mnh013's Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)
| [January 21, 2009 07:58:41 AM]
| San Andreas round 3:|
For my third session, I chose to play past the first couple missions in order to open up the game a little more. The farther you play in a GTA game, more and more features are made available to you. Having progressed a little farther in the story at this point, I was able to access some of the newer features that were added to San Andreas
Some of things I was encouraged to do were go to the gym and work out, eat food to gain health (but not too much or I'd gain weight), and find a girl to date. I did not like the addition of these features because I saw it as an attempt to make the game more realistic, which is not what GTA is all about to me. This game is meant to be anything but reality, because in real life I would never drive my car onto the sidewalk to smash a group of rival gang bangers, or run around trying to kill as many people as I can before the cops get me. I don't want to play a game that lets me do so many bad things, things that are frowned upon by any contributing member of society, and then have to go work out in the gym in order to impress a girl. This game is not meant to be reality, and these features are an attempt by the developers to blur the line between video game and reality, and for a game like San Andreas, I just think that is a bad idea.
All in all I don't think much creative effort was put into this game. Like I said before the story and dialogue is uninspired, and it seems like it was done to piss people off. The game play is almost identical to the previous games in the series, with the setting being transplanted to a west coast city filled with stereotypical gang banger characters. The developers tried to add a few new features to the game, but in the end I think they took away from being able to just have fun playing the game.
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| [January 20, 2009 04:06:25 PM]
| San Andreas round two:|
I started up the game today and quickly realized I forgot to save my game. Seeing as how the missions were kind of disappointing my first time playing through, I decided to take advantage of the sandbox game-play that first brought the GTA series widespread popularity.
I spent my second half hour exploring the city, and having played GTA before, I knew the quickest way to get around was to steal one of the many cars around the city. Driving around is fun, and it's pretty obvious that the developers are encouraging you to cause damage as you cruise around the city. The streets are crowded with cars, and smashing into one, with the the exception of a cop car, has no penalty. The sidewalks seem to be the best way to get around, with any obstacle you hit, especially people, flying out of your way.
If you don't follow the missions, it's pretty obvious that the only point of this game is to cause damage and kill people. I made my way around the city and the only thing for me to do was see how many people I could kill without dying or being gunned down by the cops. This was fun for a little, but without a lot of money and weapons, I found myself getting bored pretty quickly.
While previous games have relied on the mafia and cartel as their inspiration, this game is clearly inspired by the early 90's and the emergence of west coast gang bangers. CJ is part of the Grove Street gang, which is comprised entirely of the stereotypical black gang banger character. One of CJs friends is even animated to look exactly like Eazy-E from the rap group NWA. The other gang I encountered was made up of stereotypical latin characters. I think the developers were just trying to poke fun at some of these stereotypes by making them so obvious, but it just seemed uninspired to me.
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| [January 20, 2009 12:11:39 AM]
| Today I played San Andreas for the first time since it was released. I've played all of the Grand Theft Auto games, and this one sticks as my least favorite. It's also the only game out of the series that I did not play all the way through, and as I'm replaying it now I am definitely remembering some things that I didn't like about the game.|
My main complaint was with the actual story of the game. The whole plot seems forced, and I feel like the writers were definitely going for shock value in this game. The GTA series has always been known for its graphic content, specifically the fact that players can spend hours running around a virtual city, killing people, stealing cars, buy hookers, killing them to get your money back, and so on. I enjoyed this part of the game as much anyone else, but it was the story of the previous games that actual drew me into them. They were actually well thought out and I found myself wanting to know what happened next. In San Andreas, I just didn't really care.
I spent my first half hour moving through the first couple missions, which consisted of me riding away on a bike, getting a haircut, and driving someone home. Interspersed throughout these boring missions, were snippets of dialouge that was pretty much all curse words. That stuff doesn't bother me, but I felt like it was there just to be there, and I don't remember any of the other games having that much profanity. Besides the profanity, the clip of CJ being framed for a cops murder also stuck out to me. I know it plays into the story, but it just seemed very obvious that the game was just setting up the stereotypical corrupt cop vs. gang banger scenario. Rather than have some character or story development, CJ just jumps right into gang banging and beating up crack dealers, saying over and over "I'm down."
Maybe I'm just expecting to much from the game. Or it may be that because I'm older now, the shock value of this game just doesn't impress me like it used to. Either way it just seemed like this game was made with the sole intention of pissing people off, and not trying to create a world where you actually want to do more than run around and kill people.
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