mdorn01's Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)
| [October 6, 2008 12:22:28 AM]
| 3rd round:|
For my third session I decided that I would check out the cheats that San Andreas had to offer. Many gamers look down on cheating but I find it to be a lot of fun and a great way for games to provide better game-play for people. Most people play a game till they either beat it or get stuck, by offering cheat codes a game offers extended play to those that beat it, and allows those who are stuck to get around a particularly difficult mission that would have otherwise prevented them from playing anymore. While normally I like to beat a game without them first, and then go back and use them, I decided that since I was only playing for class, and probably wouldn't have time to play the game for real, cheating would be acceptable.
San Andreas includes a long list of cheats affecting many different aspects of the game. It has the basic cheats of all games such as getting weapons, money, health, armor and ammo, the game specific cheats such as losing/raising wanted levels, recruiting anyone into your gang and automatically giving them a rocket launcher (one of my favorites), and the ability to change your physical attributes, such as being skinny, fat, or muscular. It also has the GTA standard spawning of different popular vehicles, as well as the ability to make cars fly, have nitrous, etc. Some of the most unique cheats that San Andreas has are its weather and time cheats; allowing you to make it clear and sunny, stormy, or foggy; it also can lock the clock at midnight, or at 21:00 hours.
Naturally I turned on the best weapons package, infinite health and ammo, and full skill with weapons, as well as really muscular physique, spawning a monster truck adding nitrous, and faster cars, and turning on the 'Vehicle of Death' which makes my vehicle invincible and able to destroy everything it touches. After all this I turn my wanted level up to 6 and try them all out. :) After a good 15-20 minutes of destroying everything and everyone, I use the no wanted level cheat and try out some of the more odd cheats. Such as making all the pedestrians go crazy, looting and burning houses, or turning them all into Elvis. I noticed that changing the appearance of CJ also changed how the pedestrians on the street reacted to him. Using the cheat to make him fat lead to them pointing and making rude remarks.
Overall the game was very good, great pedestrian AI, the cop AI left something to be desired, but I have yet to play a game that really gets that right balance between being realistic and still playable. I almost felt that there was too much emphasis on the small things. It was annoying having to go and eat when CJ was hungry, or going to workout all the time to stay in shape. Video games are supposed to be an escape so why make us do tedious things? The missions themselves were pretty standard with only 2 or three of the few I played really standing out.
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| [October 5, 2008 11:43:19 PM]
| 2nd play:|
For my second trip to San Andreas I hopped in a friends game who had already unlocked all of the cities, so decide I should check out some more of the sandbox play before getting into the missions. So I shoot a few pedestrians and drive around for a while before finding an ambulance for me to borrow and do some side missions in. I soon discover that ambulance missions are very difficult to complete in San Fierro during the day due to heavy traffic and a very hilly map. So I only complete one mission out of 5 attempts before my friend suggests a different city might be easier, after trying a few I decided that Angel Pine, a tiny neighborhood at the south end of the map is great for these missions, as well as Montgomery and Palimino Creek.
After getting bored with the ambulance my roommate, being a firefighter, suggests testing out a firetruck, I try it out for a few missions and immediately get bored with trying to put pedestrians out when they keep getting flung around by the pressure of the water. So instead I switch to becoming a vigilante. I start killing people and shooting things until my warning level goes up and a cop car comes, I manage to steal the car, and lose my wanted level after a few tries and turn on the missions, I quickly learn that a cop car is not the idea vehicle for chasing bad guys and go to check out the military base for something with a bit more...explosiveness.
Ahh the Rhino, a favorite of mine from GTA III. Turn the turret around and fire away to gain lots of speed, then just crash into, or fire at the car the bad guys are in and it's not long before you get the prize associated with reaching level 12, 150% body armor. Sweet.
Now with this increased armor the missions should be a wee bit easier, or at least I won't die quite as often. It also helps that my friend has taken CJ to the gym often so my stamina and strength are quite high, as well as gone to the shooting range so my accuracy is great.
On my way to my first mission of this session however my friend mentions in passing something about a jetpack. So I never actually played any missions during this session which I feel is what makes the GTA series so great. It's not necessary to play missions all the time, the first ones are to introduce you to the game and get you to explore and start to memorize the map, but as you play more and more stuff opens up for you to go and play around with that have nothing to do with the missions themselves and don't really advance the plot at all.
After 10 minutes or so of flying around in a jetpack shooting things with my uzi I have to go to a meeting and save the game for another day when I might actually get back to the missions.
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| [October 5, 2008 10:50:23 PM]
| Having some familiarity with the GTA series of games, but having never played San Andreas I thought that it would be very similar to GTA III and GTA IV. While the game-play and style of the game was pretty much the same, GTA San Andreas had many details that made it amazing in it's own right.|
Central to the storyline in San Andreas is the prominence of gangs. This is introduced at the beginning when CJ is thrown from a car by a cop onto a rival gang of the one CJ used to be involved with. In order to escape you must jump on a bike and ride away as fast as you can. This surprised me because in every other GTA game I've played I've never even seen a bike let along been able to ride it.
After completing the first few missions I go off to explore some of the sandbox play that's made the GTA series so popular. One of the first things that I noticed when looking at the map is that instead of being limited to a city with multiple islands, this is a state with multiple cities, much much bigger than GTA III's Liberty City. The second thing I noticed was that I could swim underwater, much better than drowning every time I walk into water. San Andreas also includes the ability to work out at gyms, something I found very boring, much like working out in the real world, but it comes in handy when trying to outrun the cops on foot!
I soon realized that leaving Los Santos wasn't a great idea as it immediately raised my wanted level to 4-stars so I decided to get back to the missions. The next mission is to get my name back out on the streets by tagging some buildings and tagging over some Ballas tags. This gets the attention of some Ballas standing near by and I soon discover that I can kill them with spray paint. Awesome. Other missions are pretty basic, drive-by's, chases and killings along with a little tutorial to learn how to shoot weapons.
Another interesting feature in the game is improvements to cars, I really enjoyed having a car that could hop with hydraulics and spent a good 10 minutes driving around bouncing up and down trying to jump things.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Oct 5th, 2008 at 23:11:42.
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