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Gta: San Andreas (xbox)


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#1 Guest_henofdoom_*

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 08:15 PM

There is no denying the appeal of the GTA series. GTA 3 was incredibly cool, and I can't remember a game giving me such a sense of the wow factor. It combined driving, shooting etc into a reasonable successful package, as well as being thoroughly entertaining and a place where you could go for a quick half an hour wander without actually doing anything.
Vice City refined the concept, changing various playing dynamics, adding new things to the mix, while not drastically changing anything. Both games were superb.

In a sense then, San Andreas is more of the same. This game is probably more or less what you'd expect of it. It is everything GTA should be, with more features and an attempt at deepening the experience by providing RPG elements. You can now go down the gym and get strong, or go down the burger shop and get fat - you can build up your fighting skills or train with weapons, its all quite impressive. Then there is the size of the game, it is huge. Your 'hood' opens up into country side, which opens up into commercial areas; the place is very big, and theres lots to do with plenty of side quests and activities to stop you rmind from wandering. Main story missions are actually quite diverse now, or at least they give the impression of it. There is also more variety in transport, with lots more car, plane and train models. The implementation of a manhunt style targeting system, as well as manual aiming is a welcome change, as is manual camera control. So, a greatly improved game then....

Well, no. Although there are plenty of new features, this is still essentially the same game its always been. The RPG elements, although welcome, really aren't that deep at all. Its really not that difficult or time consuming to beef your character up, and once he's built you never need go down a gym ever again. Although its nice to see you shooting, swimming or driving skills improve there is no drastic impact on the way the game plays (although if you become a fatboy you can't run as fast, hardly a standout feature mind).
Then there is the theme. The getto stylings aren't to everyones taste, and I personally most enjoyed everytime the game takes a shot at the gang/rap mentality (OG Loc baby!). I also can't stand rap or hip-hop, which is rather annoying considering it makes up most of SA's airwaves (and why the hell is there a country music station?). You'd think custom soundtracks would help, but for some idiotic reason you can't flick through your playlists manually - resorting to random playback. Surely five minutes of play testing would have sorted this one out.
Then there is the graphics. This is probably the part of the game that drives me most nuts. The fact is that SA is ugly and technically flawed. Character models are crap. Textures are crap. Draw distance is crap. There is consistent, noticeable slowdown - especially in areas of smoke (we're talking 2fps sometimes). There are also severe level of detail issues that give me even more respect for Halo 2 - its laughable to be driving along on a low res road for five seconds before the proper texture loads. Look at a multi-format game like Mercenaries and its clear that SA doesn't cut the mustard - Pandemic's game is infinately more easy on the eye, and isn't plagued by the technical flaws that SA is.
The simple fact is that, aside from a few new features, this is essentially the same as both previous games, with no real improvements. It even uses the same 'block the roads off to prevent travelling early on' tactics as both previous games, although at least GTA 3 & Vice City actually gave reasons for it.

Its not bad by any judge, but there is no real improvement to the series, and its still not as pretty as GTA 3 was (on Xbox at least) and is riddled with flaws and bugs. After the double pack's surprisely upbeat port, this one is comparitevly lazy.

In summary:
+ Massive free roaming game world
+ Do whatever you want whenever you want
+ Portrays its theme well
+ Very funny
+ Jack of all trades - shooting, driving etc all work well
+ It takes the piss out of the whole rap thing
+ Its made by British people

- Technically appalling
- No drastic changes to the formula
- Lazily ported
- Some control issues (especially when flying with the black and white buttons replacing shoulder ones)
- Still suffers from the same old bugs and erratic AI
- The various different genres don' represent the best of all worlds
- Lazlow still hasn't got a radio station all to himself again
- Far too much rap speak (if ya down wit it ya homee bitch buster dude)

Overall: 7/10
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#2 SM47

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 10:34 PM

I also can't stand rap or hip-hop, which is rather annoying considering it makes up most of SA's airwaves

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How does it make up 'most of SA's airwaves'? Theres only two hip hop stations. There's a country station, a classic rock station, an alternative rock station, a contemporary soul station, a dance station, a funk station, a talk station and an old school funk and soul station. The music is AWESOME.
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#3 adebisi

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 10:47 PM

The music is AWESOME.

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I can't believe people still criticise the music when it is clearly the most diverse and best soundtrack in a game, ever.
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#4 Sir DangerM

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:17 AM

WORST REVIEW EVER
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#5 maco

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 07:33 AM

Sometimes the best games don't have to have the best graphics - the Truth
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#6 starls

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 08:43 AM

Sometimes the best games don't have to have the best graphics - the Truth

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But it can still be a criticism!

Good review I thought!
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#7 Pistol

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:20 AM

It even uses the same 'block the roads off to prevent travelling early on' tactics as both previous games, although at least GTA 3 & Vice City actually gave reasons for it.

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I've played the game for all of 5 minutes (literally) and I already heard a report on the radio discussing a recent earthquake which had made travel restricted...

And even I know that the game now has the best ever travel restriction system in a GTA game. It accepts the fact that people will always find a way to get out of the initial areas somehow, and the new vehicles and abilities make it easier than before. So you get an instant wanted level if you 'break out' of the restricted zone.

Best. System. Yet.
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#8 rockstarjez

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:23 AM

Shite Review.
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#9 Wickedkitten

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:51 PM

I've played the game for all of 5 minutes (literally) and I already heard a report on the radio discussing a recent earthquake which had made travel restricted...

And even I know that the game now has the best ever travel restriction system in a GTA game. It accepts the fact that people will always find a way to get out of the initial areas somehow, and the new vehicles and abilities make it easier than before. So you get an instant wanted level if you 'break out' of the restricted zone.

Best. System. Yet.

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too right
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#10 Batman

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:13 PM

How does it make up 'most of SA's airwaves'? Theres only two hip hop stations. There's a country station, a classic rock station, an alternative rock station, a contemporary soul station, a dance station, a funk station, a talk station and an old school funk and soul station. The music is AWESOME.

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You forgot the reggae!
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#11 Fry Crayola

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:27 PM

What's strange is there is no "pop" station. No generic all-encompassing station to broadcast throwaway songs.

The pop stations on the last two games were great.
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#12 Guest_henofdoom_*

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 07:42 PM

Oooh.... looks like i've hit a few sore spots here....... and the music is SHIT
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#13 SM47

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:12 PM

You forgot the reggae!

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Damn, I knew I missed one out.

Oooh.... looks like i've hit a few sore spots here....... and the music is SHIT

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Your review was SHIT, mate!
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#14 Batman

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:08 PM

Oooh.... looks like i've hit a few sore spots here....... and the music is SHIT

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YOU'RE shit. I know it might be a bit judgemental but I fucking HATE and I mean HATE people who have a closed mind when it comes to "black" music. Especially cause its the best music n that.
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#15 cubeadvance

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 07:19 AM

"Technically appalling"

What a load of old shite.
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#16 Guest_henofdoom_*

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 10:52 AM

YOU'RE shit. I know it might be a bit judgemental but I fucking HATE and I mean HATE people who have a closed mind when it comes to "black" music. Especially cause its the best music n that.

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I wouldn't say i have closed mind. I simply don't want to listen to a bunch of blokes with no vocal talent what-so-ever tell me how hard they are or how long their dick is....
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#17 Pob

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 11:19 AM

I don't know how anyone can call the music in SA crap. The radio stations cover as multitude of genres. Bear in mind that SA is set in specific place in a specific time.

What kind of music do you like, henofdoom? I find it hard to believe that your preferred genre isn't represented somewhere in there.

If you can't find at least a couple of stations you like in SA, then you don't like music. Personally, I like it all. I wouldn't ever listen to country music or the stuff on CSR out of choice, but in the context of the game, it adds hugely to the atmosphere.
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#18 whizzo

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 11:43 AM

for me the music is just not as good as vice city.

in vice city I neatrly always left it with whatever was playing when I got in a car', now I always have to switch to X or the classic rock one.I think its more to do with the way music diversified in the 90s than any fault with the game though
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#19 SM47

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:12 PM

I wouldn't say i have  closed mind.  I simply don't want to listen to a bunch of blokes with no vocal talent what-so-ever tell me how hard they are or how long their dick is....

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Yeah, cos every single hip hop tune EVER recorded fits that description.

Idiot.
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#20 adebisi

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 07:40 PM

I wouldn't say i have  closed mind.  I simply don't want to listen to a bunch of blokes with no vocal talent what-so-ever tell me how hard they are or how long their dick is....

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1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hittin' your heart cause I know you got sould
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you're missin' y'all
Swingin' while I'm singin'
Givin' whatcha gettin'
Knowin' what I know
While the Black bands sweatin'
And the rhythm rhymes rollin'
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you've realized the prides arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
from the heart
It's a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothin's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
Cause we don't know the game
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say...
Fight the Power

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne
Cause I'm Black and I'm proud
I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped
Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check
Don't worry be happy
Was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
(Get it) lets get this party started right
Right on, c'mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be


Have that.
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#21 Paradigm

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 08:36 PM

I know you got sould.
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#22 adebisi

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 09:43 PM

Don't look at me, man. I just cut n pasted!
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#23 iloverage

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 10:10 AM

The soundtrack was fantastic. Driving a tanker down country roads with the rain beating down and the cops on your tail, listening to K Rose is possibly the finest GTA moment yet.
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#24 Hoop

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:31 AM

The one thing that annoys me more than people who diss hip hop = people who diss country.
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#25 iloverage

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:38 AM

K Rose was probably my most listened-to station. Love it.
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#26 cubeadvance

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 12:12 PM

Dis one iz from ze underground!
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#27 iloverage

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 01:32 PM

Dis one iz from ze underground!

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Yeah! Loved the techno station.
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#28 Hoop

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 11:08 PM

Hey, good lookin'...
Wacha got cookin...?

How 'bout cookin' a lille sumthing up for me...!
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#29 cubeadvance

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 10:32 AM

Hey, good lookin'... *honks horn twice to beat*
Wacha got cookin...? *honks horn twice to beat*

How 'bout cookin' a lille sumthing up for me...! *Extended honk*

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I cannot stress this enough.
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#30 pinholestar

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 11:55 AM

"One (*honks horn once*) step forwards and two (*honks horn twice*) steps back"

:D

Morally reprehensible driving crime in time to the music - it's like a 90's-themed X-rated Rez. Wonderful stuff.
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