Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vaca Day Two

Yesterday was a waste. Well, not if you were Carl Johnson, but for me it was a waste. Who is Carl Johnson? He is the main character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Yesterday with my help and a few well timed cheat codes he finally tracked down the dirty cop who killed his mother and got his revenge. It was a wonderful moment as the stolen fire truck crashed over the bridge and Officer Tenpenny crawled from the burning wreckage. Three years of game time ending in a great and exciting cinematic moment.

Yes you read that correctly: three years of playing the same game. It was the investment of a lifetime literally. I am sure a kid could finish the game within a month, but I like to milk these things out. The ability to roam where you want and do whatever you want in GTA’s universe is too great a temptation. I think I spent a solid year playing the game and not doing a single mission, but rather just exploring and causing mass chaos. My new addiction is going to the airport and stealing a jet just to jump out of it and parachute onto building roofs. You can cause mass damage from a rooftop with a bazooka and there is little anyone can do to stop you. I highly recommend it: very good for stress relief.

I need a new game now. I can hear my mother in my head right now saying “how about the clean your house game”, but that is neither fun nor a stress relief. I need a new videogame, but my requirements for a game make it nearly impossible to find one.

You see, Grand Theft Auto was made by people who thought like I did about games. It drove me crazy that a character in a virtual world was limited by the direction of the story or by the size of the screen. I always felt Mario should just side-step the barrels instead of jumping them. I wondered why the Street Fighter guys got stuck in the corner of the screen while in an open field. GTA created a game engine that allowed you to go anywhere and do missions how you wanted to. It was very liberating, but raised the bar higher than most games were willing to try for.

Game makers want you to finish the game and buy a new one as fast as possible. The three year lag between games I enjoyed with GTA is not profitable for the companies so games like GTA are hard to find. If a game with the freedom of GTA is found then the quality of the gameplay is lacking usually. Most people really do not understand the genius of the GTA series.

When the average person is asked about GTA, they correctly think of guns, car theft, and killing. There is no debating that those are the central themes to the game and it is certainly not for kids. It is a game where you can pick up prostitutes and kill them after they service you. It is a game where you can steal cop cars and take on the army. I am not going to lie about that, but you do not have to do those things and the game’s plot never directs you to do those things. You must think of it on your own to do it.

The game allows you to race if that is what you are into. The game allows taxi missions, ambulance missions where you pick up the injured, fire fighting missions where you drive around and put out vehicle fires. You can listen in to the police scanners and go hunt criminals if you choose. If you get bored of all that you can return to the game’s story and open new areas. The game is an entire state after all with three complete cities and numerous small towns.

Wow, did I just babble this entire time about a video game? I think I need to start my second day of vacation already and get out of my house. Sorry to have wasted your time on the finer points of GTA, but it is a great game for adults.

6 comments:

Serena Joy said...

People are into all kinds of different things that occupy their spare time, including games. GTA probably isn't my cup of tea, but it sounds like you enjoyed the heck out of it. That's what it's all about. Now that you've reached the end of that one (assuming you don't want to start all over), leave the building and go get a new game. The price is well worth a year's (a YEAR?!) entertainment.:)

RexZeitgiest said...

What's worse is I bought GTA; San Andreas two years ago and never made it past the practice mode....

Which is the case with almost all of the 40 or so XBOX games I have.....Other than the sports games, I just lose intrest...it takes to long....Even Gun and Crimson Skies only lasted for a couple of days and then it was back to NBA or Football....

Your story gives hope to every gamer with a short attention span.....sniff sniff....I am going to cry...

Kanrei said...

Gun was a great idea for a game, but I have a feeling they released it unfinished. The scalping served no purpose. It was too short as well. I finished it in 3 weeks. Stick with GTA:SA. Once you get past the David Cross missions it is awesome.

RexZeitgiest said...

I can read you my list of games I haven't played, but we would run out of room...I am just to stuck on basketball and football...... althought I have been playing Top Spin lately.....


Crimson Skies, Splinter Cell, my 2 GTAs, and Gun are a few of the games I have, I really want to finish....

Variant E said...

How Sims: Partisan Primary (ok, doesn't exist but I'm sure you'd be highly entertained ripping up and redefining the entire political landscape...

Kanrei said...

Var,
Hi. There was a game a few years ago. I never played it.

The Political Machine
Got decent reviews.