Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (PSP)
At first glance, China Town Wars could be mistaken for a return to the Grand Theft Auto series' 2D humble beginnings. The action is viewed from a more or less top-down perspective, and of course you still spend much of your time driving stolen cars and causing problems with firearms. But the similarities between this amazing PSP game and its 90 stem largely over. China Town Wars actually has more in common with GTAs III and IV than is the case with previous games, and remarkably, even extend and improve the formula that made these games so successful. It's a bold statement for sure, but China Town Wars is really that good.
In the same recognizable Liberty City as GTAIV (minus one island), China Town Wars tells the story of a power struggle within the Triad gangs from the perspective of Huang Lee, whose crime-boss father was recently murdered. Huang fly to Liberty from Hong Kong to avenge his father, and predictably becomes involved in the war between them, hoping to step into the dead man's shoes. As Huang before the story - which should take you about nine hours to play through - by carrying out missions for a variety of characters in the Triad organization, and for one or two people outside it. Many of these missions involves the usual mix of driving fast, kill people and not get caught by the police, but there are plenty of varied and memorable missions as well.
For the most part plays China Town Wars, like all other GTA games, which is a feat in itself. Basic controls for motion and car-jacking is associated with the same key positions, they are on other platforms. The simplicity of foot and vehicle controls are much the same (sprint will accelerate, shoot still shoot), so even those of you who have not previously GTA experience should have no trouble picking them up quickly. There are some great opportunities to make the game even more user-friendly as well, such as autotargeting for drive-by shootings and a subtle motion, which automatically straightens up the car so it is parallel to the road you're on. There is even an option to overlay the GPS directions directly on the street, which works much better than having to look down at the map on the bottom screen.
One downside to China Town Wars is so uncompromising in his attempt to repeat the GTA experience is that because the PSP has fewer buttons than other systems, you are occasionally required to use them in ways that are not entirely comfortable. Selector button gets a lot of use, and you have to beat up on either D pad or the analog kernel to move the camera behind himself while running around on foot with the other to control your movements, for example. It's not a big problem, and in some respects, the PSP version's controls are a significant improvement over those of the DS original. Switching between weapons is much easier now that you do not need to use a touch screen on it, and thrown weapons (grenades, flash bangs, Molotov cocktails), which was heavy on the DS is now as easy to use, even to be in control of a fast moving vehicle does not rule them out. Elsewhere, the fact that Chinatown Wars was originally designed for the DS hurts PSP version: Many of the mini-games that were fun to complete using the stylus and touch screen does not work so well now that they have been adapted for play with analog core and shoulder buttons. Hot-wiring cars parked dump trucks and searching for weapons or discarded food still works well enough, but former big mini-games such as tattoo gang recruits and make your own Molotov cocktails at the service station is not very fun at all now. Regardless of how well they have been adapted for the PSP, what all these mini games have in common is that they are quick, rarely challenging enough to stop your progress, and mandatory only once.
Grand Theft Auto: China Town Wars Screenshot
In goal-based Gangbang multiplayer games, both players accompanied by a number of gang members.
The story missions are mandatory only once, but China Town Wars is the first game in the series to let you play any mission you have beaten earlier in an attempt to achieve a higher score or a faster time. Another great addition to missions is "trip skip" option, if you choose to retry an eligible mission immediately after falling, you can skip the trip at the beginning of the mission and get back into the fight that killed you on your last attempt. None of the missions are so difficult that you should fail them more than once or twice, but this is a welcome feature nonetheless and one that hopefully will be implemented in other GTA games down the road.
When not performing missions given to you by the central characters, and random pedestrians you encounter is an impressive number of other things to do in Liberty City, some old, some new. For example, stealing a cop car, an ambulance, a taxi, a truck or a noodle van allows you to earn some money to publish these vehicles' rightful owners. And if you successfully steal a van that is used to transport drugs or weapons and get it back to one of your secluded safe houses, you get to keep its contents. Weapons can be difficult to achieve in this way because they ammu-Nation drivers are always well armed. But to steal the medicine is much less challenging, and if you get them for free so make a profit is inevitable when you meet with any of the 80 dealers who, when you find them can be traded to make relatively easy money. It is assumed that there is no police in the immediate vicinity because they will either spook the dealer before you can make the deal or wait for you to close it and then go in to make arrests. Interact with a dealer in any way add him to your GPS system database for future reference So when you see a telltale blue dot on the map, it's worth a quick detour to check it out.
Other things to watch out for in Liberty City include parked cars, which initiates the checkpoint races and supply missions when you climb them, unique stunt jumps that are set up so you can crash through billboards, a go-kart race track and 100 security cameras that can be destroyed by grenades or Molotov. China Town Wars'm also welcome return Rampage missions that are on-the-clock killing sprees that challenges you to kill a certain number of enemies with a specific weapon, sometimes with an AI controlled sidekick or two on your page.
Other weapons are in plentiful supply and can be ordered from ammu-Nation's website using your occasional sluggish in game PDA. There are more than 20 different weapons to play with in China Town Wars, including everything from fists, flash bangs, and flamethrowers to swords, shotguns and sniper rifles. Most weapons fall into either the ranged, melee, or thrown classes as far as controls go, and all performing their jobs admirably. The sniper rifle is unique because it comes into play only in special missions, to be assembled through a simple mini-games before use, and turns the screen into a crosshair. Proximity mines that you do your feet is also a fun addition to the GTA arsenal, even if they are prepared to only a few seconds before they explode without provocation. The most powerful weapons are easily available only towards the end of the game, which is just as well because once you get your hands on a flamethrower or an armful of flash bangs, they make subsequent missions much easier.
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The most powerful weapons become readily available only toward the end of the game, which is just as well because as soon as you get your hands on a flamethrower or an armful of flashbangs, they make subsequent missions much easier.