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    joe801's Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

    [October 30, 2009 08:40:34 PM]
    Just started the last downloadable content for GTA IV, Ballad of Gay Tony, and its already rocking. I'm only into it a couple of missions, but I don't want to go any further because I just want to keep playing these over and over. One of these missions drops you off in a building with the new assault smg, and you get to use it to fight your way out. Another has you stealing the new Buzzard helicopter and blowing up a yacht. Really enjoying it so far.
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    [August 1, 2009 09:10:49 AM]
    Finally got 100% on GTA IV- the Lost and Damned last night. I had finished all the side missions, which allowed me to knock out the rest of the main story missions and get 100% at the same time.
    It took me several attempts to beat the last mission, Get Lost, but once I found a winning strategy, I beat it quickly. At first, I was trying to snipe all the targets, as their body armor made them difficult to kill with the automatic rifle, but that was taking too long and I kept getting killed. My winning strategy was to use the automatic rifle, zoom in, and toggle up and down going for the head shot. Using this process, I quickly took out all the guards, made it to the guard tower to pick up the body armor, and then went after Billy.
    I can't wait for the next downloadable content, the Ballad of Gay Tony. I think Rockstar is finally going to show us some of Liberty City's more opulent interiors, which will stand in stark contrast to the last safehouse that you get in L&D.
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    [July 19, 2009 06:32:01 PM]
    Been playing Lost and Damned for a couple of weeks now. Went after all the Seagulls first. It didn't take long, since there were only 50. Then I played just enough of the story missions to open up all the side missions. I've played through Coming Down and Off Route, so I've opened up the Bike Thefts, Gang Wars, Racing, and Stubbs missions.
    While chipping away at the Gang Wars, I started trying the races. Went through most of those pretty quickly. The Bike Thefts were fun, and some of the Stubbs missions were challenging, but chipped those away pretty quickly also.
    So, right now the only side missions I have left are some of the Friendship missions and games. I hope to knock those out soon, and then I'll resume playing the main story missions, while at the same time taking phone calls from other gang members to finish the remaining games and Friendship missions. Hopefully it will work out that when I finish the main story, I'll also be hitting 100%.
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    [June 27, 2009 08:21:00 PM]
    Never thought I'd see it happen, but today I got 100%! Took the Revenge path, mainly because I like the dirt bike jump at the end. Had to play the finale mission several times before I beat it, but I finally managed to go through it without messing something up.

    This is particularly cool for me, because I've played through the game before, but couldn't get 100% because I was missing one stinking pigeon. I even went back through and tried to revisit every single pigeon location to ensure that I had them all, but still couldn't find the one I was missing.

    While I was playing through the story missions of the Lost and Damned, I decided "why bother going for 100% in the downloadable content if I don't even have it in the main game?" So I decided right then to replay GTA IV from scratch. I can't believe I finally beat it. What a relief!

    Of course, I'm not done yet. I'm restarting the Lost and Damned today, and should have that done in plenty of time for the release of the Ballad of Gay Tony. Good times...
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    [June 26, 2009 10:01:18 PM]
    Finished all of the Stevie text missions. I'm pretty sure that's all of the side missions, so now I'm set up to simultaneously complete the story missions AND get 100%!

    Also did To Live and Die in Alderney. Current Progress: 93.72%
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    [June 25, 2009 05:01:34 PM]
    Found an excellent online tool for tracking my GTA IV completion. It's coming in handy, especially for the Stevie Text missions, on which by the way, I am currently at 22. Only 8 more to go.

    Had a big breakthrough on QUB3D---once I figured out how to rotate the cubes around on their axis, I easily passed the high score. I was kind of worried about that one, though.

    Also did several more missions---Pegorino's Pride, Payback, Catch the Wave, and Tresspass. I can't believe it, but I'm now at 91.02%.
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    [June 23, 2009 07:45:49 PM]
    Made a little progress this week---passed the 80% mark! Finished the Assassin missions, as well as the Most Wanted and Vigilante missions. The Assassin missions are great---I wish they had additional randomly-generated Assassin missions. Speaking of, I love the way vigilante missions are done now, i.e., through the police computer's Current Crimes dialog. I've finished my 20, but they're so much fun that I'm sure I'll keep doing them.

    Also started doing the Stevie missions. They're challenging I guess, in as much as you have to locate the vehicles based on general info, and then you might get busted and have to get away, but otherwise, there's not much going on with these missions---they just seem to be missing something. Not sure what I'd do to improve them. Have to give it some thought.

    One thing cool about the Stevie missions was stealing the green Sabre GT. I'm sure that's a reference to the green sabre from San Andreas, which was driven by the guys who killed CJ's mom. Speaking of CJ, I've seen some theories that the graffiti on your safehouse wall indicates that CJ is dead in the worls of GTA IV. However, I recently came across a business named CJ's Used Autos, or something like that. I'll try to find it again. Anyway, that may indicate that CJ is still alive.

    I can't recall what the first Stevie mission car was, but after that, this is the order in which I've got them so far:
    Sabre GT

    Progress: 82.32%
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    [June 14, 2009 06:42:34 PM]
    Made some more progress this weekend. Finished all the Algonquin Most Wanted, then played through some story missions. Took several tries to get through Museum Piece. Didn't have any trouble making it through the museum, but kept getting torn up outside. I wanted to find a good spot to make a stand and take out the attackers, but couldn't find one. Finally, the only way I got out of there was to jack a car and get away fast.

    Then I did No Way on the Subway, Late Checkout, and the Bernie missions. I should be getting a call from Bernie soon telling me that he's giving me Bryce's Infernus. I think I have one race left, and want to use the Infernus for it. Won the North Alderney race this weekend with a Sultan RS. The only competition was a couple of Comets, but I left them behind early.

    Going forward, I want to finish the Alderney Most Wanted, as well as the last 6 Vigilante missions. I've think I've opened the Assassination and Car Theft missions, so I'll need to take care of those, and I also need to find the remaining Random Characters. Ideally, I want to finish all the side missions so that when I complete the final storyline mission, I'll also be getting 100%. I was able to do that in Vice City, but not in San And.

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    [June 13, 2009 01:41:45 AM]
    Completed the first island's 10 Most Wanted. But coordinated it out of my Albany Ave. safehouse. Best place to jack a police cruiser: just south of your Albany Ave. safehouse. Take the middle one to avoid a wanted level.

    Wound up answering Packie's phone call and getting sucked into the Undertaker mission. But at least I don't have to worry about those phone calls anymore.

    Read somewhere that the Playboy X safehouse had Clyde's clothes from Liberty City Stories---green fatigue pants and black jacket. So I had to go check it out. It's true. Changed immediately---no more Statue of Happiness sweatshirt. Kate seemed to like it.

    While finishing up the Most Wanted on the first island, I stocked up on weapons with Jacob, and then went on a rocket launcher run.
    I took a cab to Big Horn Dr. in Alderney and jacked the private Maverick. I took that to the rocket launcher pickups at the top of the Kakagawa building and on the half-sunken freighter.

    While doing this, Dwayne called and wanted to go to a strip club. So I took the helicopter, picked him up, and completed the whole friend outing with the helicopter. Did several more friend activities---got the Liberty City achievement.

    Also completed the remaining Exotic Exports. These were the last 7:

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    [June 11, 2009 11:35:01 PM]
    Played some more tonight. Meant to go straight into Most Wanted, but got a call from Roman, so I wound up going to play pool with him instead. Then I just decided to go ahead and hang out for a little while with everybody, just to keep them off my back.

    Afterwards, I stole another car for Brucie (#3), and things didn't go quite as planned. The cab dropped me off right onto top of the car I was supposed to steal, and its owners immediately started hitting me with baseball bats when I got out. I was close to death by the time I took care of them and the car had taken off. Then I had to steal a car, and got a wanted level, and still had to chase them down. Once I got away from the cops, I stopped and got a hot dog to bring my health back up, and took off after my target. Caught up with them with little problem, got the car, and delivered it to Brucie.

    I also did a Most Wanted mission in Dukes (#6). After I located the perps, I accidentally flipped my cruiser upside down, so I ended up chasing them down the street on foot and taking them out with my SMG. Then I caught a cab back to Albany Ave. and took a nap. I'm at 59.11%.
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    [June 11, 2009 01:14:02 AM]
    There is one new feature that makes GTA IV stand out from the other GTAs, and I didn't really appreciate it until I went back and played San And for a little while. I wanted to get across the map, and for a second I started looking for a taxi. Then I remembered---taxis don't pick you up in San And, you typically have to drive wherever you want to go. Not that there's anything wrong with that, being that it is a driving game. But, man, I love being able to hop in a taxi and go anywhere in seconds.

    In GTA IV, when I was hunting for pigeons on the first island, it got much easier once I finished Bull in a China Shop, which opens up the ability to hail a cab. It doesn't take too much money to take a cab to the far reaches of the island, take out all the pigeons in that area, and then take a cab back to the safehouse to save.

    Don't have enough money to take cabs? Rob a Securicar. I did this several times early in the game to fatten my bank account. I tried doing taxi missions for Roman, but it takes too long and brings in too little cash. But Securicars can be found driving around pretty often. Jack one and drive it back to your safehouse.

    If you look across the street, there's an empty lot next to a building. Crash the Securicar against the building over and over until it catches on fire. Let it blow up and gather the money. You usually rake in around $1000. Sometimes you'll get a wanted level, sometimes not, but it's no big deal anyway, as you can just run over to your safehouse and save.
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    [June 11, 2009 12:06:25 AM]
    Another quick entry to correct my misnaming of the Cavalcade---it is Cavalcade FXT, not XLT. And let me just say that I've really come to appreciate this line of cars. The standard Cavalcade is a luxury SUV, and the FXT model is a pickup. Both are sturdy, stable, fast, and can drift well. They're also pretty readily available. I've used them in several chases and police evasions and they've always worked well.

    Speaking of readily available cars, the best continually-spawning car that you can get early in the game is the Turismo. It's fast, sleek, and handles great, and can always be found near your first safehouse---in a driveway off Shinnecock Ave. Grab a couple of these and store them at your safehouse. Having a car like that at your safehouse, one that it won't matter if you lose it, as you can always get another, makes it more fun to go out for a fast ride through the city, like on a gun run.

    The first place I would hit would be the body armor off Sundance St., up the driveway through the gap in the wall and behind the porch. The I would grab the SMG in the alley north of Boone St. And you gotta have an AK, and luckily there's a convenient one relatively nearby.

    Set a waypoint for the eastern intersection of Valley Forge and Hooper. When you get there, look north to see a dirt ramp that runs from Hooper up to the bridge. Run up the hill and out onto the bridge, then jump off onto the Silverback building. After you pick up the weapon, run over to the west side of the roof, and look off near the phone pole to see a fire escape that you can jump down to. Then run back around to your car. I would do this several times in a row to stock up on some good hardware early in the game.

    Hopefully I'll find time to play again in the next couple of days and keep chipping away at it.
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    [June 10, 2009 11:02:31 PM]
    I checked my stats for the beginning of this log, and here is where I stand:
    Game Progess: 57.44%
    Days passed: 94
    Missions Passed: 63
    Races Won: 6
    Vigilante: 2
    Most Wanted: 5

    After I checked my stats, I couldn't turn the game off without doing a mission of some sort, so I ran a quick race, the South Algonquin. I was in my yellow Comet. The opposition was not much to speak of---I recall a Cavalcade XLT and several 4-door sedans---no serious sport cars. I left them behind early on and never saw them again. That takes my Races Won to 7.
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    [June 8, 2009 08:29:05 PM]
    Well, I started out writing a big intro detailing where I'm at so far in this game, but then I lost it, somehow. Thought it got posted, but it didn't. So, as a result, I'm gonna be brief.
    Started replaying this game in March, keeping careful track of my pigeons and stunt jumps, and trying to complete as many of them as possible without completing the story missions. Each time I cleared an island, I would start a new game save and do enough story missions to open up the next island. Now I have 3 game saves, one for each island, with all the pigeons and jumps complete for each saved game. Regarding my storyline mission progress, I've completed Blood Brothers and Meltdown. My game progress is at about 56%.
    So now I'm trying to focus on the earlier side missions, like Most Wanted, Brucie's email thefts, car races, vigilante, etc. I've already done all of Little Jacob's drug delivery missions. Just trying to mix it up and keep it interesting. The cool thing is that now I can go back and reload any of those saved games and have most of that island's missions still available.
    Since this is my second time through the game, I'm finding a lot more stuff I missed the first time, or just didn't take advantage of. On each island, I've found convenient "gun runs" for stocking up on free weapons. Even with the guides, you still have to identify the easily accessible body armor and weapons---those that you can drive to, grab, and be on the way to the next one in the least amount of time.
    In my next entries, I'll go over some of my favorite gun runs, as well as some of the other tips and tricks I've come across. You may have already discovered or heard about many of these, but I'll cover anything I think is particularly interesting.
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    joe801's Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 1 March, 2009

    joe801's opinion and rating for this game

    GTA IV is an awesome sandbox-type game. While its sense of realism takes videogames to a new level artistically, it makes it a very different game than Vice City or San Andreas. However, what it sacrifices in terms of fantastic or unrealistic gameplay elements (e.g., jetpacks, jump jets, going to the Pay & Spray right in front of the cops, etc.), it more than makes up for in its amazing depth.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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