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Author Topic: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS)  (Read 4725 times)
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Misguided
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« on: September 13, 2008, 12:14:10 PM »

Where to begin...I suppose with a caveat: Keep in mind that I've never
played a GTA game nor did I really expect to. I think many of you know
that GTA isn't my cup of tea. However, Chinatown Wars just might change that.
If that intrigues you, then read on intrepid viewer. Excelsior!

Wait, where was I?

Oh. Yeah. Chinatown Wars.

Where to begin...*smacks forehead*  saywhat

It may surprise you to learn that Chinatown Wars is currently expected
shortly after the first of the year. From what I gather, it was a late decision
to bring it to the Gamestop convention in Vegas. As far as I know, it was
not available to play on the expo floor, only on Sunday in Nintendo's
hospitality suite. As a result, I think very few people actually saw it.  ninja2
I had the pleasure to chat for a while with a producer on the title,
watch him play, and even take the controls for a spin myself.

Right now you're thinking, "Get on with it already!" Alright, then.

What immediately struck me about the game was that it was in 3D,
with an open city environment. Guess that consumer survey turned
out to be right after all, eh? The city isn't small either. The view
is top down, so you don't have tons of buildings on-screen at once
(which the DS clearly couldn't do). There's a lot of solid colors on
the buildings with heavy lines creating an effect that I can only describe
as looking like 8-bit cell shading, if that makes any sense at all.

While it's true that the game doesn't offer tons of details visually,
this is actually what drew me to it. You can mow guys down with
your car, shoot them with a gun, throw molotovs and blow up cars
but because of the visual style it all has an old-school feel to it
and I found myself laughing out loud while watching the game in motion.
The old-school look keeps it from feeling overly serious to me
and I feel like this is a game I might actually pick up, play,
and have fun with.

It's worth noting that there are vehicles all over and you can steal
any of them, either by yanking guys out from behind the wheel,
or in the case of parked vehicles, breaking into the car (which involves
one of at least a couple of micro games). There are boats, but I
didn't get to see them. Oh! Almost forgot to tell you that when you
run into something, you'll see the hood of your car fly off, and
the car will start to smoke when it is close to conking out completely.

As far as gameplay goes, there's a long mission list. Expect 20+
hours in story mode (single player) as well as co-op and competitive
multiplayer. I'm not aware of any online MP but didn't ask about it.
Movement is controlled with the d-pad. The driving controls are
arcadey but surprisingly tight and responsive. I have a feeling
MP racing will be popular. One mission I saw required you to
recruit new blood for an underboss by protecting thugs from
the cops.

What I really wonder about this game is how will they market it?
As I said to the producer, there haven't been all that many "M"
rated titles, and those titles haven't had GTA's marketing muscle.
I suspect a lot of folks will be watching this launch closely.
Will there be a large audience for an open-world "M"-rated handheld
game with this kind of graphical style? I just don't know for sure.

Jeez, I didn't even mention getting chased by cop cars or running
toll booths or flying around corners with the handbrake.
What I can say for sure is that based on my brief look at it,
GTA surprised the heck out of me and I think the game is going
to be a lot of fun. It's a game I can actually see myself playing.  icon_eek

I'm happy to try and answer questions as best as I can. Thoughts?

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2008, 02:22:02 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on September 13, 2008, 12:14:10 PM

Thoughts?



Your prose is strangely vertical.  You do know that the cursor will automatically jump down to the next line once it gets to the end of the current one.  You're not writing on a typewriter.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2008, 03:49:15 PM »

Thanks for the impressions.  Sounds a lot like the first two GTA games. 
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2008, 07:35:07 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on September 13, 2008, 02:22:02 PM

Quote from: Misguided on September 13, 2008, 12:14:10 PM

Thoughts?



Your prose is strangely vertical.  You do know that the cursor will automatically jump down to the next line once it gets to the end of the current one.  You're not writing on a typewriter.

My guess is he wrote it in some sort of word processor and cut and pasted the text and it was automatically formated that way.  You taking the time to point this out is strange to me.  You're the professor correcting posts on this message board.

Also, thanks for the impressions!  I have been waiting to see what this game is going to look like and it sounds like the first 2 GTA games which I loved back in the day. 
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2008, 11:15:55 PM »

Quote from: GatorFavre on September 13, 2008, 07:35:07 PM

My guess is he wrote it in some sort of word processor and cut and pasted the text and it was automatically formated that way. 

Actually, I just like making Canuck insane.

I forgot to mention how you could shoot out the window while driving.
Fun stuff!
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Misguided
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 01:47:27 PM »

Screens courtesy of Gamekyo
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 04:56:29 PM »

Am I the only one who hates seeing companies try to make 3D games on the DS?  I mean I get that it can do it but they almost always look like crap with controls that are more difficult than they should be.  2D games on the other hand look and play great on the DS so I don’t really see the appeal of going 3D.
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2008, 05:06:20 PM »

From a gameplay standpoint, it's more of a 2d game than it is 3d, at least from what I saw.
You simply view the 2d plane top down instead of from the side. That is to say, it's more Diablo than FPS.
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2009, 03:32:32 PM »

RISE...RISE!!!

Anyway, here's a gameplay vid:  http://www.gametrailers.com/player/46107.html

Some of this just doesn't seem possible.  It looks amazing.  Honestly, if they can pull this off and have it run this smoothly, I will be in awe.

Also, I hope I don't have to do the hotwire minigame every time I jump in a car.

I'm very (cautiously) psyched.

Here's the trailer, too: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/46069.html
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 03:34:54 PM by Bullwinkle » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 11:33:53 PM »

Quote from: GatorFavre on September 13, 2008, 07:35:07 PM

My guess is he wrote it in some sort of word processor and cut and pasted the text and it was automatically formated that way.  You taking the time to point this out is strange to me.  You're the professor correcting posts on this message board.


He always writes this way, so I don't think it is a copy/paste thing.
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2009, 07:02:55 AM »

Quote from: The Grue on February 27, 2009, 11:33:53 PM

Quote from: GatorFavre on September 13, 2008, 07:35:07 PM

My guess is he wrote it in some sort of word processor and cut and pasted the text and it was automatically formated that way.  You taking the time to point this out is strange to me.  You're the professor correcting posts on this message board.


He always writes this way, so I don't think it is a copy/paste thing.

Yeah, thanks.  He answered that question 6 months ago.
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2009, 07:05:35 AM »

Quote from: GatorFavre on February 28, 2009, 07:02:55 AM

Quote from: The Grue on February 27, 2009, 11:33:53 PM

Quote from: GatorFavre on September 13, 2008, 07:35:07 PM

My guess is he wrote it in some sort of word processor and cut and pasted the text and it was automatically formated that way.  You taking the time to point this out is strange to me.  You're the professor correcting posts on this message board.


He always writes this way, so I don't think it is a copy/paste thing.

Yeah, thanks.  He answered that question 6 months ago.

The magic of resurrection!
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 03:37:42 PM »

Hey Rocky, wanna see me pull a dead thread outta my hat?

Thanks for posting this video, Bullwinkle, I hadn't seen it.
You'd be amazed how many people still don't know about this game.
The game was definitely smooth as silk back in September, surprisingly so.
They've been polishing and adding content ever since.
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 04:51:13 PM »

I'm probably one of the few people on the planet that
doesn't love the GTA series.  I recognize how amazing
the games are, but I just don't seem to play them for
longer than a week.  That said, I'm pretty excited for
the DS version.  I think I'll pick it up the first day. 
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 02:24:00 AM »

Yeah, I'm
hoping that
this turns
out as good
as it looks.

It
might
be
in
trig
uing.
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2009, 02:29:02 AM »

O

R
L
Y
?

Roll Eyes

Quote from: Eel Snave on March 02, 2009, 02:24:00 AM

Yeah, I'm
hoping that
this turns
out as good
as it looks.

It
might
be
in
trig
uing.
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2009, 09:19:14 PM »

Cross post, but the reviews are starting to shine out:

Is 10/10 good enough?  From no less than Eurogamer, too!

Quote
On balance though, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is a triumph, not just in terms of bringing a difficult game to a new platform intact, but because it actually improves it in the process, and demonstrates a mastery of DS form and function. Those hoping for another gritty, complex narrative spine bound in the flesh of an openworld action-adventure may be disappointed by the rather more frivolous and silly antics of the Chinatown Wars cast, but even cynics should be converted by the huge, densely packed action playground we've been given instead. Overall this is GTA as it first was, with the inherited wisdom of GTA as it's been since, finished off with all sorts of things that would happily belong in a GTA of the future.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/grand-theft-auto-chinatown-wars-review

Also, IGN 9.5/10!

Quote
I know I'm omitting a ton from this review - there's so much to the design that it's impossible to list everything there to experience. What I won't forget to mention: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars continues GTA's legacy as the premiere "sandbox" game design. Though it might look like a lot has changed in the move to the handheld platform, more has been added than taken away - there's so much to do in this Liberty City, and it's hard not to be impressed and amazed at some of the things the developer's managed to pull off on the hardware. GTA: Chinatown Wars is easily one of the best Nintendo DS games on the platform.

http://ds.ign.com/articles/962/962778p1.html
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2009, 02:03:06 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on March 16, 2009, 09:19:14 PM

Cross post, but the reviews are starting to shine out:

Is 10/10 good enough?  From no less than Eurogamer, too!

Yep, try a 95 average on metacritic with 12 reviews in.
The frustrating thing is there are still a huge number of people unaware of this game.
My team and I have been pushing this game harder than anything we've ever done.
We're one of the top stores in the entire company for GTA reserves. I can not comment
specifically, but let's just say we aren't talking GTA IV-type numbers.

My hope is that word of mouth will really give the game legs, especially if the MP rocks.
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2009, 02:15:17 PM »

The love continues.  1Up, A-.  GamesRadar, 10/10!

Quote
Other little things make Chinatown Wars feel like a good ol' GTA game: The Liberty City map is essentially the same as GTA4's, so you'll constantly pass by familiar locations, whether it's the Burger Shot on a corner or the fountain in Middle Park. And every vehicle has a distinct feel; you'll quickly learn which ones to avoid when you need a good ride. Altogether, Chinatown Wars is what I expected -- it takes an understandable few steps back from GTA4, but also takes a couple forward (a touch screen can do that). It's a well-honed "core" GTA on the handheld, not merely a one-to-one clone of its console parents.

http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3173272&p=39

Quote
You'll love
Hours upon hours of superb gaming
Streamlined for portable play
Drug dealing and Rampages!
You'll hate
Omnipresent cops
Vehicles are quick to explode
No fart button

http://www.gamesradar.com/ds/grand-theft-auto-chinatown-wars/review/grand-theft-auto-chinatown-wars/a-200903161401660053/g-20080715134118601029


Let's hope these translate to sales!  There are so many more DSs around than full consoles (apparently), but I guess a lot of those belong to kids. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2009, 04:44:40 PM »

Just picked it up at lunch and played for about 40 minutes.  I haven't read the reviews in-depth but it's pretty much unbelievable.  Way far ahead of any other 3d game on the DS that I've seen.  The touchscreen implementation is fantastic.  So far I've hotwired a car, searched through a dumpster for a gun, and played scratch-off lottery tickets, not to mention getting email and scrolling around the map.  I love doing drive-bys in the game too.  When you're in a car, your gun is automatically aimed at the closest person, so you can just roll down the street hammering A and taking out passerbys.  Also what's cool is when you have a wanted level, you can reduce it by slamming cop cars into other cars or buildings and disabling them.  So far it's awesome.
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2009, 04:48:37 PM »

Dang I wasn't expecting it to be this good. Gona have to put this into the I'll buy it when I'm not broke mental bin. smile
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2009, 05:26:13 PM »

So... apparently, BB will not be carrying this in their stores - according to their website this is available online only. What is up with that?  disgust
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2009, 05:29:21 PM »

Purchased at lunch. Can't wait till I can go home and fire it up.
Frak me for not bringing my DS to work  Tongue
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2009, 05:38:43 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on March 17, 2009, 05:26:13 PM

So... apparently, BB will not be carrying this in their stores - according to their website this is available online only. What is up with that?  disgust

I got mine at Best Buy...
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2009, 05:45:39 PM »

Gamepro: 5 stars!
Quote
A fantastic addition to Rockstar's legacy, Chinatown Wars stands solidly on its own two feet as not only the series' first foray onto the Nintendo DS, but a damn good game, to boot.

http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/209261/grand-theft-auto-chinatown-wars/

Quote from: kathode on March 17, 2009, 05:38:43 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on March 17, 2009, 05:26:13 PM

So... apparently, BB will not be carrying this in their stores - according to their website this is available online only. What is up with that?  disgust

I got mine at Best Buy...

Did they have the guide?
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2009, 05:48:31 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on March 17, 2009, 05:45:39 PM

Did they have the guide?

Hm, I didn't see.  We just grabbed it off the DS shelf which is always about as well organized as a trash dumpster.
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2009, 08:19:27 PM »

Quote from: kathode on March 17, 2009, 05:38:43 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on March 17, 2009, 05:26:13 PM

So... apparently, BB will not be carrying this in their stores - according to their website this is available online only. What is up with that?  disgust

I got mine at Best Buy...

I just went by my local Best Buy and picked up a copy. No clue why the website says "Store Pickup: not available".  icon_neutral
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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2009, 04:42:23 AM »

got my copy today at target.  they had about 6 or so at 6:30 pm and the fry's i stopped at had dozens. 

looking forward to this and i logged in specifically to see reviews before i opened it (i admit i was hesitant about controls and the like.)

did they say how long it is?
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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2009, 05:59:15 AM »

 I heard 20 hours plus. So far, and Ive only played for an hour or so. But wow. I agree with all of the positive stuff Ive heard. Great fun!
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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2009, 01:17:16 PM »

Quote from: Harpua3 on March 18, 2009, 05:59:15 AM

I heard 20 hours plus. So far, and Ive only played for an hour or so. But wow. I agree with all of the positive stuff Ive heard. Great fun!

Yeah, there's definitely a challenge level to it too. I keep failing the missions because I'm so inept retard

I tell ya, though. You look at what they managed to do on the DS, and it's damned remarkable.
The game has TONS of detail. I don't think it's far-fetched to call the visuals spectacular.
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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2009, 09:42:58 PM »

Loving this game so far.  However, one major source of frustration for me is the buttons used for accelerating/running, braking and shooting.  I am constantly wasting ammo, thinking I'm going to run.  I wish there was an option to swap buttons.  I'd love to have run=A, brake=B, shoot=Y.  I thought I'd get the hang of it, eventually, but now I'm not so sure.
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2009, 12:22:07 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on March 19, 2009, 09:42:58 PM

Loving this game so far.  However, one major source of frustration for me is the buttons used for accelerating/running, braking and shooting.  I am constantly wasting ammo, thinking I'm going to run.  I wish there was an option to swap buttons.  I'd love to have run=A, brake=B, shoot=Y.  I thought I'd get the hang of it, eventually, but now I'm not so sure.

Yep, I shoot by accident a lot.
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2009, 01:00:16 PM »

24 reviews in at metacritic and still atop the DS all-time rankings with an average of 94.
I can't believe more people aren't talking about this.
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2009, 01:41:50 PM »

I just picked it up yesterday but only got about 10 minutes in. 

First impression?  It's weird seeing an M rating on that cute little game cartridge.

Second impression?  Just drove around a bit to get a feel for the game engine.  Totally agree with the sentiment that it's "GTA2 meets GTA3-4."  Card driving felt great and intuitive, graphics looked great, initial cutscenes were well done, and the PDA interface is really slick and at first glance an improvement on the already great cell phone interface idea.
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2009, 08:14:34 PM »

Seeing all the F-bombs on the screen are even weirder LOL

Quote from: wonderpug on March 20, 2009, 01:41:50 PM

I just picked it up yesterday but only got about 10 minutes in. 

First impression?  It's weird seeing an M rating on that cute little game cartridge.

Second impression?  Just drove around a bit to get a feel for the game engine.  Totally agree with the sentiment that it's "GTA2 meets GTA3-4."  Card driving felt great and intuitive, graphics looked great, initial cutscenes were well done, and the PDA interface is really slick and at first glance an improvement on the already great cell phone interface idea.
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2009, 08:47:36 PM »

The drug-dealing aspect of it is INSANE.  I was showing someone today and his mouth just dropped.  First of all you've got the buy and sell screen that shows all of the real-world drugs you can buy (coke, acid, downers, weed, etc).  Then I showed him how it showed me profit and loss indicators, or stars for someone offering a great price.  Then I opened up the entire PDA drug interface, complete with profit/loss charting, a turf map indicating which gangs prefer which substance, drug tips about who's buying or selling at killer prices, and a complete history of my drug transactions.  Then I finally exited out and the deal turned out to be a bust and I had to run from the cops!  Completely amazing.  I'm currently running around with about $15k worth of acid and terrified about getting busted by the cops.
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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2009, 12:18:47 AM »

My world is upside down.

Quote from: Misguided on March 20, 2009, 08:14:34 PM

Seeing all the F-bombs on the screen are even weirder LOL

Quote from: wonderpug on March 20, 2009, 01:41:50 PM

I just picked it up yesterday but only got about 10 minutes in. 

First impression?  It's weird seeing an M rating on that cute little game cartridge.

Second impression?  Just drove around a bit to get a feel for the game engine.  Totally agree with the sentiment that it's "GTA2 meets GTA3-4."  Card driving felt great and intuitive, graphics looked great, initial cutscenes were well done, and the PDA interface is really slick and at first glance an improvement on the already great cell phone interface idea.
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2009, 05:47:20 PM »

I just picked up a chainsaw, it was pretty amusing seeing little body parts flying around and landing in a pool of blood.  I honestly have to say at this point, this is one of the best handheld games I have ever played.
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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2009, 06:08:04 PM »

Quote from: kathode on March 20, 2009, 08:47:36 PM

The drug-dealing aspect of it is INSANE.  I was showing someone today and his mouth just dropped.  First of all you've got the buy and sell screen that shows all of the real-world drugs you can buy (coke, acid, downers, weed, etc).  Then I showed him how it showed me profit and loss indicators, or stars for someone offering a great price.  Then I opened up the entire PDA drug interface, complete with profit/loss charting, a turf map indicating which gangs prefer which substance, drug tips about who's buying or selling at killer prices, and a complete history of my drug transactions.  Then I finally exited out and the deal turned out to be a bust and I had to run from the cops!  Completely amazing.  I'm currently running around with about $15k worth of acid and terrified about getting busted by the cops.

i have made a crazy amount of money from the trade, and i've only advanced the story far enough to get the option to hijack drug vans.  after all of the dough i have made, it's a bit of a let down to only get a handful of packets from a van, but it's worth it just for the fun and the pure profit.  over 180k in profit and i can pretty much buy any property, but i only have one per island right now so i can stockpile large amounts from the heavy buyers.  i got really lucky with a huge sale on the more expensive stuff on more than one occasion and even though it was a bust, i made it out of there and eventually made over 40k on that one deal alone.  smashing the cameras seems to help cut down on the chance of a sting op though;  i've smashed a dozen and not been in a sting in a while. 

this is simply one of the best handheld games i've played and i really hope some of the things introduced here make their way back into the genre. 
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2009, 06:33:45 PM »

Haven't had a chance to play in the last couple of days.
I haven't seen one of the cameras yet.
Hoping to get back to it soon, but now that I've made Galactrix playable on my PC (take that, you damned leapgates!) I've been playing it nearly nonstop.
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