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Author Topic: GTA: SA Impressions  (Read 23825 times)
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Hetz
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« Reply #120 on: October 26, 2004, 09:01:29 PM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
Quote from: "Hetz"
This is the best game I have ever played on a console, bar none.

Are the graphics the best? No, but they are not horrible and the size of the game is simply astounding.

Gamespot gave it a 9.6, IGN a 9.9...I'd give it a 9.8.


I was just about to ask where you were! I envisioned you in a 20 hour GTA-SA marathon, shunning food and sleep for more game time :lol:


Hehe, you are very close to the truth!  biggrin  :shock:
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« Reply #121 on: October 26, 2004, 09:36:49 PM »

I first started GTA with the 3rd installment on my pc. and it was good
I then got vice city for the ps2 and it was the uglyist thing Ive seen on the the ps2 however with in a couple of days I didnot notice it.
GTA: SA is no better looking but the level of depth in the game have left the graphic issue in the dust. YOUR EYES WILL ADDJUST. Cool
I put in 5hrs last night and the mission were fairly easy for me up until the rescuse sweet and his girl eight tries.
Things I liked
The feel you get of the games atmosphere. exp. heat, rain ext.
Jacking is no longer I like that car Its mine. After my first couple of tries and getting my ass kicked I now go for the older defenseless people who normaly have sucky cars that sucks going up hill.
I have a choice of personality for my character.
clothes, size, charm, and skills.
Anthorage is cool and so far only the "stay close" command I found but I am sure there are more.
The city well part of it that I am has a feel of life hookers been picked up on the block, other gangs rivaling with each other, cops chaseing other gangs. just the feel like I am not the central focous of the AI is great.
And the AI civilans defending them selves the pizza robbery was interesting (cmments from boyz N the hood)and the pulling of the shot gun.
Check this.
I use my tank top blue jean guy touring the city I taught I did the 50%
of the map going south to the docks and then back north. It was more like a fraction or less. no problem it was all good except for the fender bender here and there and some one busting me a cap in my ass.
No I got the green sweater and head tie and stuff mow I get shot at were ever I go.
I wounder if I could sneak around with out the colors on.
There is so much to this game the imagination is going wild.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #122 on: October 26, 2004, 09:40:42 PM »

BTW, it looks like this game is compatible with HD Loader.  Makes indoor/outdoor transitions seamless.
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« Reply #123 on: October 26, 2004, 10:38:13 PM »

After cranking up the brightness in-game, it looks fine.  The default setting is too dark though, I'll agree.

I only have two complaints so far:

-Some of the voices sound gravely, ie, poorly-recorded.
-Color choices for the mini-map in some cases are very, very poor (green little triangles on green splotched areas?  Not a good move.)

Otherwise, the game is gravy.  I look forward to spending, well, the rest of the night with it!
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« Reply #124 on: October 26, 2004, 11:00:51 PM »

Be sure to clean up your mess after spending the night with the game, LE.

 :twisted:
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« Reply #125 on: October 26, 2004, 11:20:59 PM »

I just got back from Circuit City where I picked up a Sony Component Video cable for the PS2.

the difference in SA =  :shock:

wow! if you're TV has component in, GET THIS CABLE. It's like a video card upgrade on a PC. Huge gains in picture and color quality, cleans up the mini-map so it's much more visible, and makes text screens 10x easier to read. Everything is brighter too.

Component video = A+  biggrin  thumbsup
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« Reply #126 on: October 26, 2004, 11:27:19 PM »

Jeff, did you have your TV hooked up with Composite or S-Video before?
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« Reply #127 on: October 26, 2004, 11:31:24 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Jeff, did you have your TV hooked up with Composite or S-Video before?


Composite, Y-R-W (aka RCA), so this was a jump of +2
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« Reply #128 on: October 26, 2004, 11:39:20 PM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Jeff, did you have your TV hooked up with Composite or S-Video before?


Composite, Y-R-W (aka RCA), so this was a jump of +2


Ah, no wonder.  The jump from composite to S-Video is huge.  S-Video to component isn't nearly as noticeable unless you are running in progressive scan.
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« Reply #129 on: October 26, 2004, 11:40:40 PM »

Well, it'd be nice if my TV had an S-Video in. smile Trust me when I say that's going to be a factor in my next TV purchase. smile
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« Reply #130 on: October 27, 2004, 12:02:07 AM »

Been playing the game for about five hours.  It's definitely dark, but I think that's the supposed to be the smogginess of LA.  So far I've worked out, picked up a hooker, boogied-down at the club, robbed a house, won a street race, won a "bounce" competition, recruited some gangbangers.  The map is incredibly huge.  It's so big that it almost seems like there's nothing to do because there's so much to do and it's hard figuring out what to do, if that makes any sense.

The radio stations seem like a mixed bag, partly because I spend so much time out of car that I don't get to hear them very much the way I did in Vice City.
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« Reply #131 on: October 27, 2004, 12:42:25 AM »

Quote from: "weeskwee"
THE IGN REVIEWER PUT OVER 60 HOURS INTO IT. YOU GUYS HAVE PLAYED FOR A FEW HOURS TOPS, IF ANY.

IN OTHER CITIES THERE ARE DIFFERENT STATIONS. RAP STATIONS ARE THE MAJORITY IN THE GHETTO (first city).


First of all, you've undermined yourself. By shouting, I don't look at the text; I just see "Bwah Wah Bwahwabwa" (Charlie Brown's muted trumpet sound).

So, calm down, pull up a comfy seat, and discuss in a calm and collected fashion.


I put forth that IGN reviewers are biased and seedy people with lined pockets and bad haircuts. K, the bad haircuts may be going over the top. maybe.

Now, 60+ hours in a game is all fine and dandy, but that is a 9.9, my friend. .1 from perfect. Games get slammed for releasing the same game will only minor increments, and even if this game is bigger, better and has more options, it's standing on the shoulders of a giant. So to even get the SAME score means they have to put out. Splinter Cell 2 didn't get as high a score as SC1, and it added a revolutionary multiplayer component, among a host of other improvements. And a new story. etc, etc etc.

Here's a well-loved game to illustrate the point :
PS2 -Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3  Sports   9.7  
PS2 -Tony Hawk's Underground  Sports   9.5  
PS2 -Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4  Sports   9.3  
PS2 -Tony Hawk's Underground 2  Sports   8.6  
or. for you 'box'ers:
XBX -Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3  Sports   9.5  
XBX -Tony Hawk's Underground  Sports   9.2  
XBX -Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4  Sports   9.0  
XBX -Tony Hawk's Underground 2  Sports   8.4  

New and improved (added. whatever) doesn't mean you get a higher number. Pro Skater 3 kicks the crap out of the newest 3 versions.

Secondly, Sony has a hand in the IGN Editors pockets, if you get my drift. PS2 scores seem to always come out higher, even though they lose on the head-to-heads almost consistantly. On xbox, GTA:SA would have surely gotten a 9.7 or less.

Here's a bizarre twist :
PS2 - Grand Theft Auto Double Pack  Action Adventure   9.7  
XBX - Grand Theft Auto Double Pack  Action Adventure   9.4
On the head-to-head :

Quote

Final Verdict
You might ask, "Why bother? Why even stack the clearly older PS2 version against the new Xbox update?" It's true, Xbox did win in pretty much every category and you probably could have surmised this without reading this feature. But, the Double Pack is new for both consoles and there were differences to learn about. Xbox's control advantages, custom soundtracks, and overall better presentation do make it a clearly better choice than the PS2 version.

But, in that same vein of thinking, the disadvantages the PS2 Double Pack has are nothing that will sully the experience.

In other words, go Xbox if you have both consoles. If not, you're not missing too much if you decide on the PS2 version, which is a better value at $39.99.

Overall Winner: Xbox

Winner Ranking:
1. Xbox
2. PlayStation 2


- Best version for single player: Xbox (control; minor advantage)
- Best version for videophiles: Xbox (more complex graphics, HDTV support; medium advantage)
- Best version for audiophiles: Xbox (in-game Dolby Digital, custom soundtracks; medium advantage)
- Best value/price: PlayStation 2 ($39.99; medium advantage)


Pardon? What's that? The only reason the bundle is given any  consideration is because of a $40 price point and was released 2 weeks earlier than the Xbox version. Plus, it's a bundle of two games everyone already owns on that system. With no improvements, it's a far cry from the product released on the xbox a scant 14 days later. Y'no the one, with the custom soundtracks, improved graphics, faster load times, and the little imp that pops out of the disk to wipe your butt for you while you play on the toilet? It got .3 less than the same old PS2 versions. For two new games. Released on that platform for the first time. Ever. Did I mention it got 9.7? Over 9.4 for xbox? Y'no, the remastered directors cut ultimate version? No? I could have sworn I'd mentioned it.

Lets look at some more numbers :
Samurai Warriors    Action   8.5 vs XBX -  7.4   -1.1
Dynasty Warriors 4  Action   8.6 vs XBX - 8.5  -0.1
Dynasty Warriors 3  Action   8.5 vs XBX - 6.8  -1.7

Now, the Xbox versions run faster and have (at the very least) sound improvements over the PS2 versions (don't even *try* to dispute this one; I've played all six extensively). There are other major features (such as getting unlocked officers as bodyguards in DW3) The only argument is time release, but that is not the game at fault, and given the tech improvements the 3-6 month difference in negligable.

I've not submitted the Tony Hawk games for this example; although online and face components for THUG are bonuses that *might* be worthy of +.2, I'm thinking it has *nothing* to do with it. both online market and camera markets are niche, and although online is definately blooming I can't say it outweighs playing the game with comparatively no jaggies. (720p in widescreen... booyah ... I'm sure the HDTV market is bigger than the Eyetoy market)

A quick look at all IGN games rated higher than 9.5 : (Xbox and PS2):

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas  Action Adventure   9.9  
Gran Turismo 3 A-spec  Racing Simulation   9.8  
Halo: Combat Evolved  Shooter   9.7  
Grand Theft Auto Double Pack  Action Adventure   9.7  
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City  Action Adventure   9.7  
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty  Action   9.7  
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3  Sports   9.7  
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time  Action Adventure   9.6  
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell  Adventure   9.6  
Devil May Cry  Action Adventure   9.6  
Grand Theft Auto III  Action Adventure   9.6  
Twisted Metal: Black  Shooter   9.6  

the doublepack xbox version doesn't even make the list.

Bastards. :/
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #132 on: October 27, 2004, 12:46:51 AM »

Isn't IGN one of the those places that will rate PS2 versions higher due to the limits of the system- ie since GTA was designed for the PS2 it gets more of a break on graphics than if it had been an Xbox design.  I don't neccessarily agree with the distinction but I think that has more to do with it instead of some sort of Sony payout.
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« Reply #133 on: October 27, 2004, 12:49:25 AM »

Also- I seem to recall a major change up in their Xbox editorial staff because they use to be way too easy on games (Wrecklesss 9.x and a few other examples).
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« Reply #134 on: October 27, 2004, 12:55:32 AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Isn't IGN one of the those places that will rate PS2 versions higher due to the limits of the system- ie since GTA was designed for the PS2 it gets more of a break on graphics than if it had been an Xbox design.  I don't neccessarily agree with the distinction but I think that has more to do with it instead of some sort of Sony payout.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PS2:
 9.3   Presentation
GTA III lays down the ground work with slow jazz, great dialogue and funny one-liners; GTA: VC takes the story to another level.    
 
  8.6   Graphics
GTA III is huge and an impressive piece of technology, but not without its flaws; GTA: VC is slightly better, with a glossy, brighter look, but still suffers from the same problems.    
 
  9.8   Sound
GTA III is brilliant in its own way, with Italian classics, etc., but GTA: VC is the motherload. An amazing soundtrack. Both have excellent and mature dialogue.    
 
  9.6   Gameplay
Some of the best racing, fighting, shooting, and everything in between in one game. More vehicles in GTA: VC, a deeper storyline and a stronger lead character make this worth it.    
 
  9.9   Lasting Appeal
There are few games as deep with replay value as either GTA III or GTA VC, so you're covered here for like 200 or more hours.    
 
 9.7  OVERALL:
(out of 10 / not an average)  
 
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xbox:
10.0   Presentation
There's more cinematic quality in these games now that there's lip-synching during cutscenes.    
 
  8.0   Graphics
The improved visuals put the PS2 versions to shame, but Xbox games in 2003, even ports, have lofty standards to live up to.    
 
  9.0   Sound
The surround sound is well done, but it's all about the custom soundtracks you can put in your own gangster adventure.    
 
  9.0   Gameplay
The innovators of free-flowing action games are still fun after all these years. The new control scheme is splendid too.    
 
  10.0   Lasting Appeal
Anything this fun that also comes in pairs usually costs a lot more than fifty dollars.    
 
 9.4  OVERALL:
(out of 10 / not an average)  
 
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Then explain the doublepack difference, with the Xbox version getting a complete overhaul. It doesn't add up, and it's not just in the graphics area.
They change their numbers around to compensate. Look at the improvements. I mean really, dolby 5.1 with lipsynch and custom soundtracks... and it rates LOWER than with only dolby 5.1 in the cutscenes, no lip synch and no custom tracks. WTF??

Oh, and the improved controls and faster load times with no annoying popup to launch your bike over a garbage truck that materialized outta nowhere. A 9.0 is an improved score over  9.6.

They are a company; as such they're not providing consistancy except in the discrepancy between xbox and ign favori.. err, ps2 results.

I don't think they should rate xbox games better; I always subtract .2-.3 for any ps2 titles. it seems to fit. <shrug>
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« Reply #135 on: October 27, 2004, 01:03:46 AM »

I'm thinking we need to spin off the IGN talk to another topic.  So, start up another thread while we keep this to impressions from people who have played the game so people on the fence can make a more informed decision and people that have the game can share in experiences.
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« Reply #136 on: October 27, 2004, 01:03:51 AM »

You just quoted that they docked the Xbox version because it didn't match up with the capabilities of the system- exactly what I said.  

Regarding consistency- that's a tough one for any mult-console publication but especially for IGN which has unique editorial staffs for each platform.  To further complicate matters both the PS2 and Xbox Double Packs were reviewed by different people who clearly have different opinions on the game.
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« Reply #137 on: October 27, 2004, 01:07:49 AM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
I'm thinking we need to spin off the IGN talk to another topic.  So, start up another thread while we keep this to impressions from people who have played the game so people on the fence can make a more informed decision.


true dat. I hope its fun; I'm looking forward to playing it when the exclusivity contract is up. Costs too much to maintain a PC, an Xbox and everything else that life throws my way. Plus, my next 3 months are way too busy with all the A to AAA titles coming out.
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« Reply #138 on: October 27, 2004, 01:11:12 AM »

Purge:

Pandora Tomorrow (what you call Splinter Cell 2) actually had a weaker story than the first and was pretty buggy in single-player.  Multi-player, while a good idea, was so easily hacked due to poor coding that playing a serious, non-cheating game online was a pipe dream, unless you knew the people you were playing with.

Also, while you spend a bunch of time ragging on IGN... there are other glowing GTA:SA reviews out there.  Gamespot gave it a 9.6, for example, and I didn't see where you turned their review into raving proof that Gamespot hates the XBox.

Honestly, I agree with the "pushing the limits" interpretation of the Graphics category to some extent.  The XBox should, for all intents and purposes, be 'pwning' the PS2 and the GCN.  In practice, though, XBox developers are either too lazy or too inexperienced to let it do so.

Maybe Halo 2 will change that trend.  Or maybe it'll be a muddy, blurry mess of a generic, boring shooter like the first one.
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« Reply #139 on: October 27, 2004, 01:15:44 AM »

Things I ve done drove to the country side from the dock out to LAX and back ops LSI and back.
boggied down at the club I wonder if it is dance pade comp.
Played the sega gen. in the house.
played pool won 100bucks
played space invaders spoof.
played bumble bee something.
got my ass whooped in the ring
robbed a house
played a pimp mission it cool
got a tattoo
got new fits
got new trims
milked a cow
about to rob a train.

I was kidding about the cow  :roll:
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« Reply #140 on: October 27, 2004, 02:25:38 AM »

Quote from: "Purge"
Quote from: "AgtFox"
I'm thinking we need to spin off the IGN talk to another topic.  So, start up another thread while we keep this to impressions from people who have played the game so people on the fence can make a more informed decision.


true dat. I hope its fun; I'm looking forward to playing it when the exclusivity contract is up. Costs too much to maintain a PC, an Xbox and everything else that life throws my way. Plus, my next 3 months are way too busy with all the A to AAA titles coming out.


you said TRUE DAT?! shit! that alone makes anything you say look like "bwa whaaa graaa fughahhhhh...."

by the way, your extensive investigative reporting against IGN scoring makes me think your beef with them is something beyond normal. i skipped over it after 2 paragraphs because it looks like misguided ranting and paranoia.
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« Reply #141 on: October 27, 2004, 02:45:17 AM »

I need some help. Which cable should I buy to get the most out of my PS2, XBox, and dvd player?. I have a 56" Rca HDTV monitor. Right now I have everything plugged in using standard cables. The manual says that the cables it can use are A/V, Coaxial, S-Video, Component Video, and DVI_HDTV cable. I guess what I'm looking for is if there is one cable that will help out for all my components. Or if I need seperate cables for the different things. Any help is appreciated, but please try to keep it simple as possible.... biggrin
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« Reply #142 on: October 27, 2004, 03:05:27 AM »

Quote from: "weeskwee"
you said TRUE DAT?! shit! that alone makes anything you say look like "bwa whaaa graaa fughahhhhh...."

by the way, your extensive investigative reporting against IGN scoring makes me think your beef with them is something beyond normal. i skipped over it after 2 paragraphs because it looks like misguided ranting and paranoia.


Why would you bother quoting two messages back in a thread that you readily admit to glazing over? paranoid

Let me reiterate the most important line : I don't think the xbox titles should be rated higher; I subtract .2 to .3 from IGN PS2 reviews to get the "right" score. I don't object to SA being rated higher than previous GTA's; I just have a hard time with the 9.9 rating. Another .1 and we'd have the second coming. There are NO other games in the history of IGN (for Xbox, PS2 or Gamecube) that have rated at, or higher than this game. That sets a precedent.

As to the True Dat; I was changing the topic, and trying to be lighthearted. slywink Per AGTFox, let's move on.
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« Reply #143 on: October 27, 2004, 03:15:38 AM »

Stimpy. start a new thread. We'll help out; but not in this thread. smile

Did you buy GTA: SA yet? How do you enjoy it?
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« Reply #144 on: October 27, 2004, 03:16:53 AM »

Quote
After cranking up the brightness in-game, it looks fine. The default setting is too dark though, I'll agree.

I only have two complaints so far:

-Some of the voices sound gravely, ie, poorly-recorded.
-Color choices for the mini-map in some cases are very, very poor (green little triangles on green splotched areas? Not a good move.)


So what you are saying is I was right? Thanks!

I've played it a bit more and re-calibrated one of my reserved video settings and it's better.

Can't say that I don't like it but far from 'best game ever' for me.

Still find it funny that I was being chased on a bike by guys shooting out a car window at me while pinning me against a building and then the cops show up and give ME the beatdown?!!? Ummm... what about the 4 guys in the car that are shooting at me!
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« Reply #145 on: October 27, 2004, 03:25:02 AM »

Umm...seeing as how the MODERATOR brought this subject up in this thread, I thought it would be o.k. to ask the question here. And yes I do have the game, but agree with some others that the graphics are lacking.
I thought I would try to improve them before continuing much further.  Thus my question. Sorry to interupt the all important nitpicking over ratings, (in a IMPRESSIONS thread):?
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« Reply #146 on: October 27, 2004, 03:34:18 AM »

Quote from: "stimpy"
Umm...seeing as how the MODERATOR brought this subject up in this thread, I thought it would be o.k. to ask the question here.


 :oops:  my fault. I didn't realize your GTA:SA ran in your dvd player. slywink

As to getting the most out of your PS2 system, get component video. Most games are 480i, but the signal will be clearer so you still get something out of it, even if you're not getting a truly "better" picture.

Your RCA should have 2 Component inputs (if you have 3 you're lucky), and either a shared or 3rd plug for the DVI connection. You're not going to find a DVI that I know of (for any of the 3 systems you mentioned), so component is your best bet. Personally, I'd be getting the Xbox on one of those connections as some games will actually output HD signal. The DVD player will only do 480p (if it's a proscan DVD player, if not and you only have 2 compinent inputs I'd suggest using Svideo). The PS2 will *not* do HD, but it will do 480p for DVD.
 
Get optical connection to your 5.1 surround reciever. If you don't have one, you're stuck with two channel sound (and then either your TV or sound processor on your reciever will have to fake it).
Check out Console gold's search engine to find games with hi res...
Console Gold Search
A secondary search

Hope that helps smile
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« Reply #147 on: October 27, 2004, 04:00:21 AM »

Quote from: "Covenant"
Any word on the mini-map from others?  I'll be kinda bummed if it's unusable, as I consider it to be VERY important for getting around.


It's a bit of a pain, but you can press "start" and bring up the full map and that's pretty easy to use. Also on the full map you can set a waypoint marker that will show up on the spin map, I've found this to be very helpful.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #148 on: October 27, 2004, 04:14:31 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Maybe Halo 2 will change that trend.  Or maybe it'll be a muddy, blurry mess of a generic, boring shooter like the first one.


I know this is a GTA thread.  But I just couldn't let that go without a response.


Are you F#$%ing kidding me ???? !!!!

Ahhh there I got that off of my chest.  Back to the GTA impressions...
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« Reply #149 on: October 27, 2004, 04:34:25 AM »

Quote from: "denoginizer"
Are you F#$%ing kidding me ???? !!!!
No, Halo sucked, both on the XBox and the PC.

A few hours later and GTA:SA has gotten pretty cool.  The optional burglary missions are great fun and the missions have gotten harder/more complex.
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jztemple
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« Reply #150 on: October 27, 2004, 04:36:01 AM »

OK, my impressions after six hours of play. I'm about eight missions in, did a lot of driving, found and painted over ten gang tags, did some taxi missions, and whooped some ass.  :wink:

The graphics in Los Santos are fine. I did turn up the brightness so I could see all the detail. There are a number of times you will get slowdown of frame rate, but it never seems to happen at a critical time, like shooting, so it's ok. A couple of hours in you don't even notice the small visual abberations. The only weird thing is everything gets reddish around sunset, it's odd looking but goes away in a few minutes.

The missions are pretty on target and feel like they are part of the natural flow of the game, not something hacked onto the main storyline. They are not overly difficult, and this is coming from a 51 year old with crappy reflexes. Heavens, how I wish for WASD and mouse control!

The rough language doesn't seem to be as bad as you go into the game, or maybe you become desensitized. The music is of course what you have all seen on the websites, so depending on the station, it's either 2Pac or, god help us, Conway Twitty. I wish there was a way to have the volume of the music lower but the volume of the commericals higher so you could hear them. BTW, there's a setting in the options so that you stay on the same radio station when you change vehicles.

Forget any bad comments about the BMX bike, it's a clever addition to GTA. Aside from getting needed exercise, it's a great way to go looking for gang tags in tight places. Also with some practice you can really haul ass on the bike.

Los Santos is HUGE. I have driven through town several times and I never feel like I'm just repeating the same routes. And between the freeway, the surface streets and the concrete riverbed it feels even larger.

There seems to be fewer cars parked around to steal, or maybe I'm going around at the wrong times. I did fine a nice PCJ-600 motorcycle to ride but lost it on a mission and now can't find another, darn it. I can't really comment on the controls versus the previous editions because I've really only played the PC versions, but I'm getting used to the new controls.  

The muscle building routine is getting a bit old for me. It's not that interesting after a while to go work out in the gym. This is definitely someplace I might use a cheat, just to save the time. Also, I have yet to defeat the damn pro boxer so I can learn the new moves. I keep getting my ass kicked and end up wasted.

The strategy guide has come in handy, but I'm being very good and only reading some of the general information and to get help on one mission where I was stuck. Turns out I had already thought of the correct solution, but it seemed too obvious so I had kept trying to do it the hard way! If you get the guide, sit it in a drawer to avoid being tempted to look, you'll be glad you did  biggrin

One area where the guide has been a let down is the gang tags in Los Santos. After looking for quite a while without help I tried using the guide but all it has for each one is a very small screenshot and a very, very brief description of the location. I've found ten so far but like a dope forgot to mark where I found them, so if I do get a decent FAQ for the tags I'll end up backtracking a bit. It's really no worse than in GTA3 or VC, and it's perhaps easier since the tags have to be on walls, so there's none of this business of packages being stuck in shubbery.

My overall grade for the game at this point? I'd give it a solid A. No, it's not graphically perfect, but my A is based on my evaluation that the gameplay is so good, and the depth and longevity so impressive, that the small defects in the graphics should be considered trivial.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #151 on: October 27, 2004, 05:01:30 AM »

So far I'd rate it B or B+.  The graphics have grown on me quite a bit.  Some of the areas are nicely detailed.  Framerate continues to annoy though.  

A few of the missions seem more exciting in concept than execution but there has been a nice amount of creativity in mission design so far that I hope to see carried through.  I was a bit disappointed with the Home Invasion mission- came off rather weak IMO.  

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time on foot but its really helped me get to know the local area.

Difficulty hasn't been too bad but I've just gotten stuck on a pair of missions so I'm going to call it a night.
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« Reply #152 on: October 27, 2004, 05:12:18 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "denoginizer"
Are you F#$%ing kidding me ???? !!!!
No, Halo sucked, both on the XBox and the PC.

A few hours later and GTA:SA has gotten pretty cool.  The optional burglary missions are great fun and the missions have gotten harder/more complex.


lest we forget, it's only an opinion...

it's a safe bet to say that more people loved halo than hated it.
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« Reply #153 on: October 27, 2004, 08:53:34 AM »

Background:  Not a huge fan of GTA.  I played the first one, and the third one.  Got Vice City in the Xbox double pack, but never played it.  According to the ingame stats, I am about 6% 'complete' here.

Technical stuff:
The game is hamstrung by the PS2.  The engine occasionally chugs.  The graphics are abysmal compared to anything recent on the PC, or even Xbox.  They are just trying to do too much here.  Oh and, the game is way too dark (the ingame brightness doesnt seem to do shit for me) and the sun/sky effects are WAY overdone.

Load/Save/Access times are horrible.  Changing your clothes, the entire process, blows.  It takes forever.  Redoing missions takes a lot more time than it needs to.  While the 'skip trip' feature is nice, why no retry dialogue after a failure?  Instead you are forced to go back to wherever the missions started and go through all of the cutscenes and crap again.

The audio is great still.  The radio anyway.  Tons of songs, lots of banter.  The stuff random people say to you gets old though, pretty quick.

Gameplay:
While there is a ton of stuff to do, it feels the same as GTA3.  So that is probably a good thing for most people.  I dont really know what to say here except that.  There is new stuff, lots of little mini games, bikes and more, but all in all its the same game as GTA3...just 'more'.

They did add a little more RPG flavor to it.  You have skills/stats that are expressed via a bar that moves from left to right as you improve.  At certain break points your 'abilities' get upgraded.  Its cool, but almost transparent.  So I am not sure it will really appeal to anyone who otherwise would not have liked the game.

Gunplay feels the same, although the targeting may be more robust.  Its wonky though, R1 locks on, L2/R2 cycles targets, but not very reliably and occasionally when trying to lock on to someone right in front of me I will get another target, or worst case, inexplicably start firing into the air.

Melee combat has more options.  You can unlock additional attacks at the gym, and later a karate studio.  Guns work fine for me though, so I havent explored this too much.  There seems to be more weapons overall.  I have seen fists, brass knuckles, pistol, SMG, knife, police truncheon, aerosol can, bat, shovel and shotgun.  I am sure there are plenty more firearms, in fact you can check your stats section and see things like 'desert eagle skill' etc.

You can respond to random passers by with 'positive' or 'negative' things but this is so far meaningless outside of missions.  And what you can respond to, and the actual responses themselves have made little sense to me.

The minimap still sucks.  It seems worse than in GTA3 though.  Put simply, it does not aid me in navigation as much as it could/should.

The game does a decent job of feeling like a boyz in the hood/menace 2 society flick which I think was one of their goals.  I think some of the language/dialogue is overdone and so far the characters are very cliched, stereotyped even.

olaf
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jztemple
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« Reply #154 on: October 27, 2004, 10:25:23 AM »

Quote from: "olaf"
Load/Save/Access times are horrible. Changing your clothes, the entire process, blows. While the 'skip trip' feature is nice, why no retry dialogue after a failure? Instead you are forced to go back to wherever the missions started and go through all of the cutscenes and crap again.


You can bypass most cutscenes by pressing "X". The exception seems to be any scene right before the action starts, particularly if it's giving you some specific information.

What's the 'skip trip' feature? I must have missed this.

Agree with your comments that the load times seem slow, but I figure that's a limit of the PS2. The changing clothes process, like the gym exercises, seems to be too long and could have been done with static menus, but it's a design decision to add in the eye candy I guess.

Quote
You can respond to random passers by with 'positive' or 'negative' things but this is so far meaningless outside of missions. And what you can respond to, and the actual responses themselves have made little sense to me.


Yup, I tried to respond to passers-by outside of missions but it doesn't really matter what you say.


Quote
The minimap still sucks. It seems worse than in GTA3 though. Put simply, it does not aid me in navigation as much as it could/should.


I wish I could get a little more zoom in the menu map, it's still hard to read. Thank goodness for the paper map!
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« Reply #155 on: October 27, 2004, 11:51:44 AM »

Just passed the 20 hour mark....and I dont think I want to really play anymore.

Firstly, yes, the language and constant "yo n#* f*934 that s(#9 f9348 wiith a 2x4 and eat that f839483 j83" gets really old. While I understood it in the beginning, as it was setting the scene, the characters just swear at eachother for the sake of doing it. Its almost like an issue of 100 Bullets but Brian Azz just decided to set a new record for curse words.  When my CJ is in the middle of Las Vegas, the dealers say "Taking your f*(#$ng bets!" Why do dealers need to be droping f-bombs too? It just comes off as sounding stupid after awile, not hard ass.

Mainly though, its just the same game as last time. Go from place to place, steal something or blow up something else, repeat. The same mechanics, concepts, and problems are in this game as in Vice City. Other than the PS2 cant run the game for shit, the world is just too big. So many missions require back and forth and back and forth, with needless drives through the Badlands (countrylands), or through the freeways.

Its overly dark, the storyline is a joke, the characters dont develop at all except they are all hard ass ni%(#gas, and the main characcter is annoying to me. A fun rental at best for me, I regret buying the game, as I got caught up in the release hype, and I KNEW weeks ago I didn't want to play another GTA while the formula not changing at all.

I think I'll donate it to my cousin. Hes younger and is more easily swallowed by the whole experience.

IGN btw, is obviously getting an under the table deal. I honestly feel the reviewer should be fired for such a positive review of such a formulaic and disappointing expansion pack.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #156 on: October 27, 2004, 12:16:19 PM »

Quote
While the 'skip trip' feature is nice, why no retry dialogue after a failure?


Skip trip? What is this you speak of?  

Regarding responding to people on the street- I've noticed that a negative response will often prompt them to fight with me.  Don't know if it does anything other than that though.
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Ascendent
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« Reply #157 on: October 27, 2004, 12:40:36 PM »

You know I've never ever played any of the GTA games. Hadn't even seen videos of them. I mean I'm familar with them, but never played one. So I decided to put that to rest and give the series a chance.

Have to say I'm really enjoying myself. I do think graphics are a bit fugly but I don't find that they detract from the amazing game play a bit. I really like the voice acting. I don't find the curse words to be forced, they sounds organic to me. Really enjoying the voice acting superb job there. I love the radio stations. Playback being my favorite that's Chuck D from Public Enemy over the mic was floored when I heard it was him.  

I love the freedom the game gives you, love just getting on my bike and just driving around hit the country side or perhaps the coast just working on my bike skills and seeing the sites. I remember getting out to Red County my original ride was pretty beat up and wouldn't survive the trip back so I was  looking for a ride to get me back to town all I could seem to find were people on tractors riding around. I just laughed my ass off at the thought of taking one of those out on the highway.

But the world they created feels alive and vibrant and I love just exploring it. For example during one of my scorch the earth moods I decided to jack a passing by dump truck. Kicked his out of the truck and was trying to back it up when he jumped up and yanked my ass out of the truck. Guess it was his truck after all.

What I didn't like. The minimap. Its pretty bad. I found it alot easier to just open up the map and place my own waypoint can't miss the big red glowing thingy. The fact that icons on the mini map look terrible. I think thats pretty much it as for things I dislike about the game.

All in all it was a very fun experience one I'm looking forward to trying out a bit more tonight. Hell if any game could pull me away from Nocturne have to give it credit.

Ascendent
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jztemple
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« Reply #158 on: October 27, 2004, 01:19:46 PM »

Quote from: "Ascendent"
I love the freedom the game gives you, love just getting on my bike and just driving around hit the country side or perhaps the coast just working on my bike skills and seeing the sites.


I love my BMX, but it's a long pedal from the safe house to some places.  Wonder if I could put it in the back of one of those El Camino-type vehicles and carry it to someplace and then get it out and ride it?  biggrin
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« Reply #159 on: October 27, 2004, 01:27:22 PM »

Skip Trip: In some missions you can hit right on the D-pad to skip the drive to the next location.  It brings up a "Later that day..." loading screen, and boom, you're at the next location.  Great feature, but I can't figure out how they decide which missions do and don't get the feature enabled.
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