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Old 6th November, 2005, 01:35 PM
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GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP)

Released on November 4th in the UK, I picked this up yesterday (5th) which gave the teenagers of Milton Keynes long enough to finish drooling and realise they needed to go and get a job.

I haven't really played any version of GTA since the original 1997 version, except for the occasional half an hour on GTA3 on the PS2, so I can't really gauge how this compares to other versions and platforms.

Apologies for the quality of some of the pics by the way - I don't have a tripod and do have an enormous hangover, so there's a little bit of motion blur in places.

GTA-LCS clocks in at £40, which is two pints (three in Wetherspoons) more expensive than the average PSP game. For your money you get a very well put-together game, probably one of the best the PSP has seen so far. In the box comes the requisite poster/map, which Rockstar always provide and which is only useful if you commit no crimes (you try map-reading when there's a SWAT team on your case). They also provide an "instruction manual". Inverted commas because they've obviously had a lot of fun putting this together, faking up daft news stories and adverts, so it's not really an instruction manual so much as a bit of light entertainment while waiting for the game to load.

The instruction manual does detail how to use the various multiplayer modes. There are 6 different multiplayer games you can play. Two are a variation on a theme of capture the flag, two are a lethal form of "it" (though in one, the person who's "it" rides around in a tank), a cannonball run and a kind of "gone in 60 seconds" game. Unfortunately nobody else near me has an upgraded PSP.

This is the first game I've seen that requires players to upgrade to firmware 2.00 prior to use. Thankfully, it is 2.00 and not a patched version so those of you still wanting to use homebrew can use a downgrader to revert to version 1.50 when you've finished playing.

The intro is a little disappointing - just a comic-strip style list of credits. Can't have everything, I guess.

Get used to the loading screen, too. There are a lot of cut scenes and little bits of plot, all of which take a few seconds to load. Thankfully it only gives this kind of loading screen when loading from a save game (after you got wasted failing a mission).

The controls are fairly simple, though sometimes the camera doesn't really track the action. It's a lot better than the one in Spiderman 2, which typically didn't track the action at all. It's simple enough to rotate, though your character stands there like a lemon mopping up bullets while you do.

The missions themselves are well thought out. The first few are dead easy, giving gaming incompetents like myself time to get used to the controls. There are also a bunch of other, non-plot related missions (taxi, bus, garbage truck), secrets and collectibles dotted about the place, as well as the ever lethal "insane stunt bonuses" and "unique stunt bonuses".

Graphically, it looks pretty much on a par with GTA3. I've not seen any more recent GTA games, so I've no idea. Compared with other PSP games, the graphics are excellent! The textures are rich, the rendering smooth and the various bodies move about believably. Given that some other games have rather plastic-like graphics, this is a definite bonus. The soundtrack is also superb - various radio stations to suit various tastes, daft adverts and presenters that hate each other.

All in all, a definite must-have.

Pictures:
1) Poster
2) v2.00 is mandatory
3) Intro sequence (yawn)
4) Loading screen (yawn)
5) Mugging people is a fast way to make some extra dollars. A baseball bat helps make sure they don't fight back. A gun also works. Don't get spotted by the rozzers.
6) Cut scenes aplenty.
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GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP)-dsc00603.jpg   GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP)-dsc00605.jpg   GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP)-dsc00609.jpg   GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP)-dsc00610.jpg   GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP)-dsc00611.jpg  

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Old 6th November, 2005, 01:35 PM
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Forgot about the 5 attachment limit. Picture 6:
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Old 6th November, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Nice one! Almost bought a copy the other day. Thye must have had 300 copies stacked up on the shelf behind the counter at HMV. LOL! Will have to get a copy during the week...
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Old 6th November, 2005, 09:25 PM
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Uhuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, must get back to my OverDose...maybe better than GTA?
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Old 6th November, 2005, 09:29 PM
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A good solid review! Will have to stand next to the 1/2 price bin and wait a bit! ":O}
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Old 6th November, 2005, 09:31 PM
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LOL! You'll be there for awhile if you want a half price PSP to play it on. Be sure to take a packed lunch or 300.
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Old 6th November, 2005, 09:37 PM
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Waiting is. ":O}
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Old 6th November, 2005, 11:36 PM
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Doesn't sound half bad at all, though if you get the chance GTA: Vice City and San Andreas for either PS2/XBox or PC can be fun to play around with too.
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