Finished GTA4

That’s not to say that I’m done playing around with the game necessarily, but I finally made my way through the final mission of the game today.  I’m writing this as I listen the music during the credits (which have been going on for at least ten minutes now, with no end to the stream of names in sight).

The last mission was, appropriately, one of the missions I had to play more than a few times to get right, and had enough good cinematics and explosions in it to make it a worthy final mission for the game.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed Grand Theft Auto 4, and I think that many of the complaints people have had after the initial flurry of praise, about the game being a disappointment, were mostly unfounded.  Grand Theft Auto 4 was the next logical step for the series, and I think that it was a great success in taking the franchise into the next generation of cpu / gpu power.

My biggest complaint was that the final mission, and the jobs leading up to it, just never had as “epic” a feeling as some of those from the other games, like GTA: Vice City or even the first itteration of the game to go 3D, GTA 3.  When Rockstar went to such great lengths to make the city alive and full of detail, I would have liked to have seen the story get so out of control that at the end the entire city sees the destruction and carnage as it happens between Niko and his enemies.  Something like the end of the Matrix, where Neo and Smith virtually destroy the world (pun intended).

Still, the ending was good, I enjoyed the game from start to finish, and I liked just about everything that Rockstar has done with the game.  There aren’t too many games I’ve played that represent the real world so well that, when you see little things happening in the game that reflect life so perfectly, you can’t help but smile.  I’m sure I’ll continue to do that as I play through it some more and uncover the secrets I missed while playing through the main story.

For now though, I’m set to finally beat Phoenix Wright as well (I put it off for a long time, huh?), and I’m also considering picking up a used Game Cube to scratch a Mario Sunshine itch I’ve been having lately.  For about the same price as an Xbox 360 game I can buy a Game Cube, Mario Sunshine, and a memory card, so I’m totally tempted.

I’ve got to work on my competition entry some more too, probably…  so we’ll see.  In any case, I’ve finally scratched at least one of the games off my backlog now.  So the summer wasn’t a total bust, I suppose.

Image courtesy of Team Xbox

5 comments:

  1. xot - Over a year ago

    OBJECTION!!! You definitely need to work on your compo entry. :)

    You can’t go wrong with a GameCube, it’s my favorite console right next to the Dreamcast. The much maligned Mario Sunshine is far better than people let on, it’s one of my favorites. Just thinking about it makes me want pop it in right now. Pikmin is in my replay stack at the moment, along with *sigh* Eternal Darkness. I always get stuck in Eternal Darkness, I’ve never gotten more than 10-20% into it before stopping. I’d sorely like to get Pikmin 2 and a few other titles I’ve missed, maybe I’ll treat myself next paycheck.

    At the moment I’m replaying Wonderboy in Monsterland for Genesis. I do that about once a year. I love that game. I might also hit up Popful Mail before putting the console away.

    On the PC, I’d like to finish up CS: Condition Zero, and then play the recently ported Decay mod for Half-Life. It’s very exciting to get the chance to play a “lost” Gearbox mod for my favorite FPS. If you don’t know the story, check the link below.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/09/28/half-life-the-lost-chapter/

  2. xot - Over a year ago

    Oh, and how could I forget Psychonauts (pure awesome) and Fallout on GameTap!

  3. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

    Psychonauts is indeed a great game to play through, and might be worthy of another (I do have it installed already, after all). I remember a few very frustrating platforming moments in the last level, but aside from that, the game was genius.

    I haven’t played any of the previous Fallout games, but I am definitely excited about Fallout 3. I’ll be adding that to my game library sometime this year, I am sure. I’ve always heard a lot of good stuff about the previous games, but never got a chance to play them. Maybe I can check ’em out before the threequel hits stores. :)

    As for the Game Cube, I’m still on the fence. I’ve already beaten Super Mario Sunshine, but I astill have a hankerin’ for more, and at $30 for just the console, it seems like almost too good a deal to pass up. And that’s even ignoring the fact that the games are almost all $10 or less. Decisions, decisions.

    But yeah, I will be working on my compo entry. I’d like to get a game in this time. :)

  4. xot - Over a year ago

    Psychonauts isn’t perfect by a stretch. What it does well, it does very, very well. The humor, the design, the acting, the premise, the characters, the story, the variety — all top notch. But it does falter here and there.

    There are some typical annoying 3D platforming problems, namely landing jumps. Thankfully, it’s not enough to ruin the game because instant-death-style situations are rare, and the game is pleasurable enough to make replaying parts not such a burden.

    Psychonauts has overly complex controls that could probably be greatly simplified. This is a bit of a tangent, but part of my problem is being used the GameCube controller. It has an asymmetric design that I think is really smart. I know a lot of people don’t like the controller, but I personally believe it is among the best ever made (albeit flawed), particularly for being able to imply function through its form. The controller I use for my PC is a very similar to the PlayStation Dual-Shock. It’s highly symmetrical, homogeneous, and completely black, which makes it harder for me to remember which buttons do what. I also miss the patented Nintendo octagon-shaped joystick guide rings (USPTO:5,984,785). I’ll admit it: I’m sloppy without training wheels.

    The third place Psychonauts lets me down, and this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, is the PC configuration menu. This is a console game at heart, and most of the menus are perfectly fine. But there is an extra menu for setting things like graphics detail and audio effects, settings that normally wouldn’t appear in a console game. This menu it’s not controller aware and is inconvenient to use. Some more thought should have gone into that.

    I also found a lot of technical problems would pop up whenever I would alter the PC configuration controls without restarting the game or my computer — ugly texture errors or missing audio. That’s very annoying when you change something, don’t like it, change it back, and then have no idea why your settings no longer are working, even after restarting the game. All it takes is a reboot, but who would guess that would be required. Once it’s dialed in, you don’t have to fool with that menu again, and everything is fine.

  5. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

    Configuration menus and controller / keyboard / mouse homogeneity always bother me in games that get ported to PC. I hate how developers change over to the mouse only when it’s absolutely necessary, but leave all the other screens navigable only with the keyboard. It’s almost like a slap to the face for paying PC customers. :(

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