SClark's Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)
| [September 24, 2009 12:20:26 PM]
| I am increasingly enjoying watching my statistics change as I play through missions. In the absence of a car, most likely after I have smashed the car beyond recognition, I can run down the street. As Carl runs, jogs, walks, waddles, etc he gains stamina, muscle, and manages to lose a little weight. How thoughtful of the creators to add obesity to the mix of possible outcomes during game play. I personally think that there would be great joy in knowing that you could somehow manage to kill Carl by giving him a heart attack due to his obnoxious weight increase during the course of the game; but I’m getting off topic.|
Statistics in this game are slightly overrated. My CJ has spent a good while working on the muscle and fitness, and stamina part of the stats and hasn’t shown the slightest improvement in hitting power or speed but has only improved the amount of time I can sprint for (about 1 second more). That’s not very exciting change for all my concentrated gym time.
I have also found quite an interest in my ‘sex appeal’ bar at the very bottom of my stats window. I haven’t seen a change in that stupid statistic during my entire campaign. What’s the point if my character is sexy? Does that give CJ more respect when I complete missions? How do I add sexiness to Carl? I honestly think that making a character sexy does absolutely nothing except add girls to the fans of games. From what I’ve seen, characters have to look like girls, have long flowing hair/hair that defies gravity, and have to be deeply emotionally scarred in which their existence as “normal” human beings has to be compromised. You can easily look to Square Einx for that kind of game. So, really, what is the point of creating a “Sexy” character?
Overall the statistics are a slight glimmer of what could potentially happen here. We could be on the verge of a great RPG in which the player gets to choose how they run their own gang. This could happen if there were more meticulously plotted out areas of interest for the character. Add a good/evil bar, or have the character specialize in combat or gunmanship, almost anything could be added to that section to give it more ‘umph,’ more… pizzazz. Although, my vision of what could be done with San Andreas would probably end up being something similar to the hybrid test-tube baby of Mass Effect and Grand Theft Auto, but hey, it would make for one interesting take on the lives of gang members. Wouldn’t it?
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| [September 23, 2009 07:45:51 PM]
I made some major errors in my first log that I can't seem to edit out of my original post. That is a complete failure on this website's part. If I am allowed the option to edit my journal entries, I should actually be able to APPLY the changes I made to the entry!
In many instances in my 1st post I used 'San Andreas' instead of Los Santos. I apologize for those errors in my post. I have tried to fix them but have had no luck as of yet.
No on to my actual post:
So after playing for a little while longer, I noticed that there is one major problem. Gang devotion is the leading factor in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. A good portion of my time playing the game was to piss off my rival gang members by spray painting over their markings and by wandering around their turf. This seemed to me like a waste of time. Why not join forces to make the gang bigger? I mean, I would rather know that I can have a temporary alliance with someone than have to shoot them down or run away whenever I walk into the general area of that gang’s territory.
San Andreas throws me into the middle of a gang war as soon as I step into the virtual world in the shoes of Carl Johnson. Immediately I am told that the Ballas, the rival gang of Los Santos, are my sworn enemies and am given no real or clear answer as to why that is. This is reinforced by Big Smoke, Ryder, and Sweet constantly talking about the good of my gang and the evils of Ballas; never vice-versa. During gameplay , I typically try to defend myself from the spray of bullets from the Ballas or gunning them down myself. These actions make any peaceful relation impossible between the two gangs. The storyline requires that I not have any interaction with my “enemies.” So, I am told to ignore the Ballas (I try to) or shoot them on sight. Because of this general requirement, most of my missions are to wreak havoc upon the Ballas to repay them for their unjust actions to my gang.
I must happily say that after forcing myself to play through the boring spray-painting missions, I have found something interesting to spark my continued game play.
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| [September 22, 2009 10:13:52 PM]
| In my first thirty minute look at the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I saw the most exaggerated stereotypes I've seen in awhile; the "attitude" of a typical black gangster and his friends, bad cops beating down on people in the local neighborhoods because they’re bored, etc. Not to mention the lack of education by the entire population of San Andreas. I mean, swearing and saying “man” or “bro” every other word are the most complicated things these characters can say? Congrats on making the characters as shallow as can be; Hats off to you. |
Well, I guess I can say that GTA: SA has some slight character depth. Although, I wouldn’t count my blessings in saying that these “people” are at all realistic in nature. The second major cut-scene in the game, when Carl meets up with his brother for the first time after being back in San Andreas, made the characters seem like PMS-ing muscular women that could backstab each other at any given moment for a Klondike bar. Brother fighting brother fighting unnamed girlfriend fighting good friend fighting…. It goes on and on. All during this time I am trying to understand a completely different language and lifestyle. I mean, I don’t speak broken English or live my life gangbanging or selling drugs, but that’s beside the point. This is chaos.
The entire town of San Andreas screams “Ethical Problem.” The police are extorting money from local gangs and shooting down people (mainly me) when they feel like it; How is that even possible? Is there no government that regulates these things or hierarchy of power that goes beyond the police and gangs? Should gangs even be treated like a governmental power? I also noticed that no action was being taken by the local authorities on the murder of Mrs. Johnson. Should a homicide just be pushed aside because their child is in a gang? Is it right to ignore the lives of people associated with gangs?
I honestly am starting to get interested in this game. Although, if the game doesn’t pick up pace with the storyline, I will stop playing altogether. The ability to walk around, customize your character, overhaul any car you steal, or spray-paint over all of the opposing gang’s graffiti is completely pointless to me without some kind of connecting plotline. Without it, I could just pick up Saints Row and do the same kind of thing, as well with any other Grand Theft Auto. The story is the thing that makes me want to keep playing.
Until then, I’ll be waiting for something interesting or exciting to spark my game-play.
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