4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Easy Gamer. It'll Have A Hold On You, Believe It.,
This review is from: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PSP) (Video Game)
Vice City. A city so nice they named it after some 80's American detective show that I've never seen before in my life. But enough about my TV distastes. It's time to talk about another PSP review. This time it's the turn of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. GTA:VCS is a prequel to GTA: Vice City (a PS2 game released in 2002) just like GTA: Liberty City Stories is a prequel to GTAIII. VCS was released in 2006.
The game is set in 1984, about two years before the events of Vice City. You play the role of Vic Vance, an honest hard-working army soldier who ends up getting his marching orders after performing some dodgy missions for his heavily stoned sergeant, Jerry Martinez. Vic is now looking to get his revenge on Jerry. But first he has to complete a long list of missions before he can get a shot at his former boss, because life is complicated like that.
Once again Rockstar have thrown up a Grand Theft Auto game with a large and widely varied selection of missions, which include your usual driving-to-destinations and shooting enemies jobs. You also have to perform some tasks that you weren't expecting, but this helps with the variety and makes VCS a very enjoyable game. In one mission you have to drive an elderly man from the stadium to his house. But the man has a dodgy ticker, so you have to drive carefully. Driving too fast or into the view of an enemy car will cause him to get too stressed out and die of a heart attack.
There are numerous minor touches that make Vice City Stories an improvement over Liberty City stories. Helicopters, which made their debut in Vice City, make a return after being absent from LCS. So now you can fly to your destinations and enjoy the view of the city from the sky. Swimming also returns, but unlike GTA: San Andreas you can only swim on the surface and for a limited amount of time before you run out of stamina and drown. Also there's a nice little feature for whenever you get busted or wasted. When either of these things happen a weapons icon will appear outside the police station or hospital. If you have the money you can walk into this icon and buy back all the weapons you had before you had your incident. Very handy indeed.
All the usual extras make a return: the taxi and ambulance missions, rampages, hidden packages (this time coming in the form of 99 red balloons, as in the song by Nena), and street races. The biggest new feature in VCS is empire building. Scattered throughout Vice City are a series of buildings run by gangs, which deal with things like drugs and weapons. The aim is to start a fight with the gangs and defeat them to take over the building. Once you've done that you can start up your own business and make some extra money. I quite like this idea. With different missions available depending on what kind of businesses you're running, it gives you something different to do from the main story missions.
The cast of characters is better than LCS. Popular characters from the first Vice City game, like Vic's smooth-talking younger brother Lance Vance, and drug dealer Ricardo Diaz make a welcome return. Meanwhile the new characters, like Jerry Martinez, have more energy than the characters in LCS.
But the one man who steals the show (or should I say the game?) is the guest star...Phil Collins! Phil voices himself in this game, and he actually does a decent job. Three songs featuring him can also be heard on the radio stations: the iconic IN THE AIR TONIGHT, EASY LOVER, a duet with Philip Bailey, and TURN IT ON AGAIN as a member of Genesis. The songs are really good. Well worth listening to.
But despite these songs the rest of the music on the available radio stations isn't as good as Liberty City Stories. If you're an 80's guy you might disagree with me, but there really aren't any outstanding stations, and from my POV the only songs worth listening to are Mr.Collins' efforts. The multi-player feature from LCS is available once again, but to me this is a single player game through and through.
Overall Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is an improvement on Liberty City Stories in all departments. Well, all except the music that is. If you don't have this game already then shame on you! You have to buy a copy now...unless you're under 18, in which case you have my sympathy for your predicament.