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    jp's Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS)

    [July 23, 2009 05:09:39 PM]
    I've just finished my first GTA game. Sure, I've played many, many, hours of most of the other ones, but this is the first time I've actually finished the story in one. Curiously, according to the game, it took me only 11 hours to do that. I don't think that's accurate. I'm sure it took a lot longer than that!

    Like most of the other games in the series, I found that it was the little details that made all the difference for me. Some things had to do with the game, others just made the experience of travelling within the game more interesting, others make no sense at all, but were simply fun. Here are a few examples I don't want to forget:

    1. Hotdog carts explode when you crash into them
    2. When the weather is stormy, it can be really hard to see. Thankfully, ocassional lightning sets things straight!
    3. You can win weapons and armor by buying Ammunation lottery scratch cards
    4. You can run faster than most cars
    5. Starting a mission immediately stops any, and all, police chasing you
    6. If you're lucky, you can regain health by eating trash out of dumpsters
    7. The GPS map always shows a legal route

    Things I never did, but wish I had...

    a. I never did drop by the auto merchant in Baobo to try out all the new cars that apparently arrived
    b. I never did hijack an Ammunation truck (for myself). The closest I got was when I threw a grenade at one and blew it up.
    c. Occasionally I'd see a blue swirly thing. I have no idea what that was for and I was never able to interact with it
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    [July 15, 2009 01:28:11 PM]
    Huh? It seems that Chinatown Wars is mostly about trading drugs. Well, at least it has for me. I need to save up $5,000. The fastest way to do that is by buying and selling drugs. Unfortunately for me, I keep on getting busted, lose the drugs, and also a little bit of cash. It's a bit annoying really, but I guess that as I get better at playing the game I will be able to avoid getting busted.

    In all, the experience is MUCH better than GTA on the GBA. I'm not sure if it has to do with the double screens, the fact that Rockstar developed it, or simply a larger budget for greater polish. It been largely painless and I've been surprised to see how the game is able to self-correct when something happens that shouldn't have. For example, I was able to wiggle a car into a really awkward position that looked like I would get stuck in. Suddenly, the entire care was magically teleported to a street on the other side of the area I was stuck in. While playing another mission I was pursuing a car that somehow managed to make it halfway up the steps of a pedestrian crossing. I watched in amusement as the car's AI fruitlessly tried to correct the situation (by driving forwards a little, then backwards, then forwards, etc.). I tried to help it by ramming the car from behind until suddenly, it teleported back into the road! While I could complain about how terrible that was, the fact is that it had the opposite effect. I was amused and grateful that I didn't lose any progress by having to reboot or restart the mission.
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    [July 1, 2009 09:23:28 PM]
    I've only played a few missions. I'm not very good at the GTA games since I tend to have problems driving in a straight line (or avoiding incoming vehicles). Anyways...

    One of the things that was slightly annoying in the earlier games (GTA III and San Andreas) is that police activity was, for the most part, focused on you. In other words, cops would idly stand by while other people shot each other but as soon as you intervened, WHAM! the're after you. Like I said, for the most part, you're the only thing the cops will worry about.

    So, I confess I was surprised by Chinatown Wars when I witnessed the following:

    1) A poor pedestrian was run over by someone (I didn't actually see the accident). The car was stopped in front of the body on the road. Gawkers had already started to gather...

    2) A couple of squad cars are blocking the road ahead where a fuel tanker has had an accident and is currently on fire!

    3) I'm driving along (minding my own business) when I hear a siren. A moment later, a pair of squad cars pass me! I assume they're chasing someone or are on their way somewhere...

    Cool stuff in any case...
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    jp's Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 29 June, 2009

    GameLog closed on: Friday 24 July, 2009

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    After hating the GBA game, I'm curious how the series has evolved for handhelds...

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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