Now that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has hit the streets and gamers across the nation are deeply entrenched in roaming its titular state, Rockstar is giving players a treat in time for Thanksgiving in the form of a cinematic prequel to the game.
Dubbed The Introduction, the lengthy "machinima" movie, done using the game engine, will be a collection of vignettes revolving around events that took place in the days before GTA: San Andreas starts. Rather than focus exclusively on main character Carl "CJ" Johnson, the movie is told from several intertwined viewpoints that reveal the network of organized crime operating throughout the state of San Andreas.
The collection of scenes exposes the magnitude of the corruption within the LSPD, spearheaded by Officer Tenpenny (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), and offers more information on the history of the Grove Street Family conflicts, the problems that Ryder, Smoke, and Sweet face, and the rift that comes between Sweet and CJ. You'll get a glimpse of CJ's life before returning to Los Santos, as he spends his time carjacking and mugging the residents of Liberty City.
The Introduction will also examine San Andreas' diverse organized crime factions. For example, in Las Venturas, Liberty City mob boss Salvatore Leone installs a newly drug-free Ken Rosenberg as his puppet front man at the Mafia-owned casino Caligula's Palace, setting the scene for inevitable confrontation. You'll see tension build throughout The Introduction, as threats are carried out, stakes are raised, and communication breaks down, ultimately igniting the series of events players will explore in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
In addition to the DVD containing The Introduction, the bundle will contain a two-CD set with selected music from the game, all for an MSRP of $21.98.
For those who like their soundtracks unabridged, on December 7 Rockstar will release a complete eight-disc San Andreas box set for a MSRP of $51.98. The set will feature a comprehensive collection of music tracks from the nine radio stations heard in San Andreas.
The complete track listing for the eight-CD box set is as follows:
CD1 - Bounce FM
1. "Bounce FM Intro"
2. Kool & The Gang - "Hollywood Swingin'"
3. Rick James - "Cold Blooded"
4. The Gap Band - "You Dropped a Bomb on Me"
5. Cameo - "Candy"
6. Ronnie Hudson - "West Coast Poplock"
7. "You're on Bounce FM"
8. Zapp - "I Can Make You Dance"
9. Dazz Band - "Let It Whip"
10. Roy Ayers - "Running Away"
11. Ohio Players - "Funky Worm"
12. Maze - "Twilight"
13. "That Was Bounce FM"
14. Commercial: "Glory Hole Theme Park - Fun With Strangers"
15. Commercial: "Eris Pump Up Shoes"
CD2 - Radio Los Santos / Playback FM
1. "Playback FM Intro"
2. Public Enemy - "Rebel Without a Pause"
3. Brand Nubian - "Brand Nubian"
4. Slick Rick - "Children's Story"
5. "You're on Playback FM"
6. Eric B. & Rakim - "I Know You Got Soul"
7. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - "It Takes Two"
8. "That Was Playback FM"
9. Kid Frost - "La Raza"
10. The D.O.C. - "It's Funky Enough"
11. Da Lench Mob - "Guerillas in tha Mist"
12. Compton's Most Wanted - "Hood Took Me Under"
13. Cypress Hill - "How I Could Just Kill a Man"
14. 2-Pac - "I Don't Give A F***"
15. Commercial: "Ice Diamonds"
16. Commercial: "Commando Pest Eradication"
CD3 - Mastersounds 98.3
1. Mastersounds 98.3 Intro
2. James Brown - "The Payback"
3. The Chakachas - "Jungle Fever"
4. Lyn Collins - "Think About It"
5. Bobby Byrd - "I Know You Got Soul"
6. Charles Wright - "Express Yourself"
7. Maceo & the Macks - "Cross the Tracks (We Better Go Back)"
8. "You're on Mastersounds 98.3"
9. Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul - "(I Got) So Much Trouble in My Mind"
10. The J.B.'s - "Grunt"
11. Harlem Underground Band - "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"
12. James Brown - "Funky President"
13. Booker T & The MG's - "Green Onions"
14. "That Was Mastersounds 98.3"
15. Commercial: "Cluckin' Bell"
16. Commercial: "Zebra Bar - Fun to Try"
CD4 - K-ROSE
1. "K-ROSE Intro"
2. Willie Nelson - "Crazy"
3. Hank Williams - "Hey Good Lookin'"
4. Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn - "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man"
5. Statler Brothers - "Bed of Roses"
6. "You're on K-ROSE"
7. Jerry Reed - "Amos Moses"
8. Eddie Rabbit - "I Love a Rainy Night"
9. Whitey Shafer - All My Exes Live in Texas
10. Ed Bruce - "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys"
11.Merle Haggard - "Always Wanting You"
12. Patsy Cline - "Three Cigarettes in the Ashtray"
13. "That Was K-ROSE"
14. Commerical: "Logger"
15. Commerical: "Starfish Resort and Casino"
CD5 - CSR 103:9
1. "CSR 103:9 Intro"
2. Guy - "Groove Me
3. Today - "I Got the Feeling"
4. Bobby Brown - "Don't Be Cruel"
5. En Vogue - "My Lovin' (Never Gonna Get It)"
6. Wrecks-N-Effect - "New Jack Swing"
7. Boyz II Men - "Motownphilly"
8. "You're on CSR 103:9"
9. Bell Biv DeVoe - "Poison"
10. Samuelle - "So You Like What You See"
11. SWV - "I'm So Into You"
12. Aaron Hall - "Don't Be Afraid"
13. Ralph Tresvant - "Sensitivity"
14. "That Was CSR 103:9"
15. Commerical: "Renegade Cologne"
16. Commerical: "The Epsilon Program - Covet"
CD6 - K-JAH West
1. "K-JAH Intro"
2. Max Romeo & The Upsetters - "Chase the Devil"
3. Barrington Levy - "Here I Come"
4. Black Uhuru - "Great Train Robbery"
5. Blood Sisters - "Ring My Bell"
6. Toots & the Maytals - "Funky Kingston"
7. Augustus Pablo - "King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown"
8. "You're on K-JAH"
9. Pliers - "Bam Bam"
10. Dillinger - "Cocaine in My Brain"
11. Black Harmony - "Don't Let It Go to Your Head"
12. Reggie Stepper - "Drum Pan Sound"
13. The Maytals - "Pressure Drop"
14. "That Was K-JAH"
15. Commerical: "Sooth Cough Medicine"
16. Commerical: "Wrestling on Weazel"
CD7 - K-DST
1. K-DST Intro
2. Heart - "Barracuda"
3. Kiss - "Strutter"
4. Boston - "Smokin'"
5. Grand Funk Railroad - "Some Kind of Wonderful"
6. Joe Cocker - "Woman to Woman"
7. Humble Pie - "Get Down to It"
8. "You're on K-DST"
9. America - "A Horse With No Name"
10. The Who - "Eminence Front"
11. Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"
12. Eddie Money - "Two Tickets to Paradise"
13. Rod Stewart - "Young Turks"
14. "That Was K-DST"
15. Commerical: "Midlife Crisis Center"
16. Commerical: "San Andreas Telephone - New Father"
CD8 - Radio X
1. "Radio X Intro"
2. Soundgarden - "Rusty Cage"
3. Helmet - "Unsung"
4. Faith No More - "Midlife Crisis"
5. Stone Temple Pilots - "Plush"
6. Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name"
7. "You're on Radio X"
8. Living Colour - "Cult of Personality"
9. Danzig - "Mother"
10. Depeche Mode - "Personal Jesus"
11. Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealing"
12. L7 - "Pretend We're Dead"
13. "That Was Radio X"
14. Commerical: "My Five Uncles"
15. Commerical: "Exsorbeo Handheld Gaming System"
the weekend is here so what are you game spot users doing this weekend
the new gta is game of year thats what i think anyway
GTA: San Andreas is the next step in the Grand Theft Auto franchise and marks an evolution in the gaming experience. Almost everything has changed, with the game featuring a new main character in another city. Move over Tommy Vercetti and welcome Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson! As such the GTA franchise loses the feel of the Sopranos and you’re far more likely to drink a forty than break open a bottle of Chianti. The game sees CJ return home after five years because of his mother’s murder. Ironically Carl left San Andreas to escape the pressures of the gangsta lifestyle, but the past has a horrible way of catching up with us. Johnson makes his way home for the funeral but is confronted with the fact that everything which he once cared for has fallen apart. Gang warfare has split the old neighbourhood and drugs have taken their toll on the community. Despite having put his past behind him, once he arrives home Carl finds himself stumbling back into his old lifestyle. Corrupt cops basically mug him on his arrival and his brother needs his help whether he likes it or not. What ensues is a tale of death, destruction and debauchery set across the bleak streets of San Andreas.
The second you start playing this game you realise that the latest Rockstar title is about a hundred times more complex than its predecessors. Not only is there a load of new weapons, cars and a huge new environment available, but the gaming experience itself has completely evolved. San Andreas has more in common with Fable than it does with Vice City. As the first few missions unfold the player is gradually introduced to all the upgrades in the series. It’s not enough to simply run around kicking the crap out of anyone you see anymore. In fact if you try mug a prostitute in the opening couple of seconds, you’ll be surprised to see her draw a gun and put a cap in your ass. Johnson has got to feed himself, put clothes on his back and pump some iron if he’s going to maintain his street cred. It means that the player will keep a close eye on the clock and develop a routine like daily chores in order to strive towards perfection. On top of that the surrounding environment is far more interactive than previous efforts; Johnson is able to diss or give props to NPCs and can learn how to break into houses. There’s a whole host of new shops like tattoo parlours, barbers and clothes shops which means that your character is fully customisable. It’s down to the player whether Johnson ends up looking like Tupac or The Notorious B.I.G.
In terms of character controls, GTA: San Andreas shows that Rockstar has taken consumer feedback on board and has tried to offer a lot more as a result. The first vehicle you can control is a bicycle and it’s a classic example of the immersive experience that is on offer. You can do wheelies just like in Vice City, but now your character can also perform bunny hops. The longer you hold the L1 button, the higher the bike will jump, which opens up a whole new trick book for eluding your opponents. Remember the way if Tommy Vercetti fell into a puddle of water he flapped his arms like a bird before submerging into a watery grave? Well now your character can swim so if you don’t mind getting your clothes wet, take a dip and explore the gaming environment in way you never thought possible. As a result San Andreas offers a far more mature approach to gaming, as the developers show a genuine interest in pushing the envelope forward. This stands in stark contrast to the GTA franchise’s competitors who merely hope to copy what is on offer and sell a few copies on the back of its success. This will ultimately lead to Rockstar’s continuing success because you can have genuine faith that the company will continue to include further advancements in its future titles.
The most impressive aspect of San Andreas is the character customisability and advancement on offer. Your interest is maintained throughout – you are constantly being challenged to improve. Simply put: the more you play, the more your stats and abilities get better. You’ll find yourself constantly tinkering with Johnson until he finally fits into the mould you have envisioned. I spent about half an hour in my first clothes shop trying on all bits and pieces; it’s like dress-up for adults. So put away your Barbie and Ken dolls and take Carl shopping where you can kit him out in all the latest threads. It doesn’t just stop there though; with one eye on your budget you’ll constantly be thinking of ways to improve your character. I’m currently saving up my cash so I can get Johnson’s hair braided and then he’ll truly be an OG in my eyes. It sounds idiotic but this is the level of thinking that you develop and before you know it, you’re completely engrossed in the title. This level of customisation adds to the addictive free-roaming qualities of the game and creates a new dimension to the gameplay in the process.
With a huge environment on offer it’s easy to get lost, but what’s most impressive about it all is the level of interactivity incorporated into the gameplay. Vice City hinted at what might be possible and San Andreas builds upon its good work. I’ve already mentioned all the shops that you can take advantage of, but there are also others aspects which have been developed, like breaking into houses. If you pick up a specific type of van to haul about your loot, then you can merrily rob houses late at night, supplementing your already dubious income. With the click of a button Johnson can hop fences and traverse the gaming environment in a way previously thought impossible. With this in mind Rockstar’s next stab at the GTA franchise could be a weird hybrid with Splinter Cell! The greater character movement is bolstered by more ways to interact with NPCs. You’ll put your new found fence climbing abilities into use by legging it away from people you’ve pissed off throughout your encounters. Another aspect of the brilliant gameplay is accidentally bumping into cars; sometimes the other driver will hop out of his vehicle and start taking pop shots at you. There’s a lot more to keep in mind now than just the police, as San Andreas’s citizens are far less likely to put up with any tomfoolery than any of the other instalments’ NPCs.
The real joy of the GTA franchise is its free-roaming capabilities and each of the titles in the series are easily the most addictive games I have ever played. San Andreas has built upon this offering one of the most immersive experiences ever which can literally see the player losing all track of time. Forget parental warnings, this game should have a big sticker on the front saying ‘May be responsible for the loss of your social life!’ It is worth stating now that once you put the disk into your PS2 tray give up any aspirations for passing your exams or that promotion because you’ll never see the light of day again. The freedom the title affords you is mind-boggling; you could literally play for hours on end without doing any of the missions. With so much to do San Amdreas’s life span makes the game worth every penny you paid for it. It’s so easy to slip in and out of the gameplay that you can toy with the title for whatever period of time you have available. That’s what makes the GTA experience stand out; it’s just so user friendly and offers the best value for money in the marketplace. So if you’re going to buy a loved one a game this Christmas, make sure Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is in his or her Xmas stocking (provided they’re eighteen years or older, of course!).
Rockstar titles are always polished affairs which boast fantastic soundtracks, and San Andreas is no exception in this respect. Whoever does the market research for their titles deserves some kind of award because they've got it spot on yet again. Obviously enough 2 Pac, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg are some of the featured artists, but the soundtrack goes beyond the mainstream and includes tracks which most people wouldn’t have heard of. A great example of this is Ice Cube’s ‘Check Yo Self (The Message Remix)’ which is absolutely fantastic and has somehow managed to elude my listening habits for all these years. Needless to say all the record companies involved are going to profit from this mass exposure and royalty checks will peak over the next few months. The soundtrack is so enjoyable that there are times when you’ll be happy to just cruise the streets and nod your head to the beat. Better yet, mod your car with hydraulics so your car does all the bopping for you! If you’ve ever wished that your life could have a soundtrack then you’ll love San Andreas, who wouldn’t enjoy a drive by with ‘Today Was a Good Day’ blaring in the background?
San Andreas’s influences are no more evident than in the voice acting, characters like Ryder are easily identifiable as Easy-E or Dough Boy crossovers. It was somewhat surprising though that Young Maylay was chosen to voice Carl Johnson, especially in light of the fact that the title character shares the same initials with Curtis Jackson AKA 50 Cent. Overlooking this little glitch, the game boasts an all star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Ice T, Chris Penn, Peter Fonda, James Woods and even Shaun Ryder. Seeing as everyone hypes up the Hollywood influence in these games, if you really want to see what effort Rockstar put into the game then just scan through the amount of extras involved. There are easily almost five hundred individuals involved with lending their voices for all the various gangsters, pedestrians, radio callers and commercials involved. The twisted sense of humour that flows through all the GTA titles steps up a notch and the radio advertisements are a welcome filler between songs. My personal favourite has to be the anti-smoking one which wants to see the law changed so that honest citizens can hunt down and kill smokers. This satire is all the more delightful as it stands in the face of today’s political rhetoric and is highly reminiscent of Bill Hicks or Chris Rock’s logic.
Unfortunately there are a few drawbacks in this title, namely the graphics and the loading times. The PS2 is reaching the end of its shelf life and no matter how many times Sony tries to repackage it, the machine’s flaws are slowly beginning to show. On the other hand Xbox titles seem to constantly improve and if the Chronicles of Riddick are anything to go by, Microsoft’s big black box really puts the market leader to shame. The cut scenes don’t seem to have changed much since GTA 3 and you can’t help but squirm at some of the modelling involved. Character hands are an eyesore; they look like G.I. Joe toys whose fingers seem to have been designed with beer drinking or masturbation in mind. Unless everyone in the game is a chronic arthritis sufferer then there is no excuse for the rather static modelling involved. If anything the animation highlights the drawbacks of the technology involved, so here’s hoping for a brand new look for the next generation release in the franchise. Loading times also figure in the PS2’s limitations, I never realised they were this bad. I’m happy to wait for the game to load but having experienced the speed of the Xbox you can’t help but develop that sensation of being stuck in traffic. The end of the street is in sight but here you are sitting on your butt waiting, knowing that you could get out and walk in a much faster time. Sure the graphics and loading times have improved since Vice City but they pale in comparison to the advances made in the gameplay.
Some things in life are consistent and one of them is the GTA franchise. After all the hype, the game has managed to live up to its billing, and will go down as one of the greatest PS2 games of all time. I know everyone is saying it, but Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas really is absolutely amazing. Sure, it does have some drawbacks, but they are few and far between and won’t impede on your enjoyment of the game. San Andreas improves upon the advances made in Vice City and the entire GE team can’t wait until the PS3 is finally released so we can see another instalment in the series. Judging by the demand for the game it’s going to be pretty tough to get your hands on a copy over the next few weeks, so it’ll be worth calling in any favours you’re owed to buy it. If you own a PS2 then you must have a copy of GTA: San Andreas in your games collection. Yes, it sounds like a crude sales pitch, but you really would be missing out on something special. Needless to say I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for falling off the radar over the coming weeks because I’ll be too glued to GTA: SA to even care about the real world.
With Bush and Kerry dominating the media these days, do yourself a favour and put your TV to some good use, because this game is one great reason not to vote. Sure - your voice may make a difference, but the time you spend travelling to the polling station is a missed opportunity to play more GTA. Ever the kings of controversy, a slightly altered quote from Menace II Society sums up Rockstar’s latest instalment in the GTA series – Carl Johnson is America’s nightmare. Young, black and doesn’t give a f...
Yet another patent farce as a law firm claims ownership of basic 3D techniques
A number of the industry's top publishers have been targeted in a lawsuit taken by Texas law firm McKool Smith, which alleges that 3D graphics display techniques used in their products infringe on a 1988 patent.
Electronic Arts, Activison, Take Two, Ubisoft, Atari, THQ, Vivendi Universal, Sega, Square Enix, Tecmo, Lucasarts and Namco are all named as defendants in the lawsuit, while a number of smaller firms are also being threatened with legal action, according to reports on US website GameDaily.
The patent in question is US Patent No. 4,734,690, which refers to a "method and apparatus for spherical panning" - essentially, a system for moving around an object in 3D space and projecting the results onto a 2D plane.
The patent, originally filed in 1987, describes a system for storing 3D representations of objects in a computer terminal, and then rendering it onto a 2D screen (such as a television or monitor) while allowing the user to move their perspective around the model and zoom in and out from it.
If McKool Smith can enforce this patent against the videogames industry (and presumably against most other firms who manufacture 3D graphics tools and applications), the implications would be immense, as almost every 3D game ever created would require a license for the patent.
While the companies involved are taking the lawsuit seriously, it seems extremely unlikely that the patent will stand up to scrutiny - since as with many patents issued by the US Patent Office (which famously granted a patent describing the wheel), it appears to describe techniques which had previously been in widespread use.
Many games and applications created well before 1987 allowed the user to pan around objects in 3D space in the manner described by the patent, thus opening the patent up to claims of prior art (similar to the legal method used to defeat British Telecom's ludicrous claim to own a patent on internet hyperlinks some years ago).
However, at present it appears likely that the case will go to court, and if McKool Smith's claims are upheld, it's not clear what their demands will be, as the complaint filed against the 12 named publishers does not specify what damages or further actions the firm is seeking
While the Grand Theft Auto series may be one of the most popular things going on in gaming these days, most people don't really know too much about the roots of the series. Yes, the "III" in Grand Theft Auto III does, in fact, mean that there were two games out before it. Those two games were top-down, 2D games that had the same basic structure as the newer games in the series, but it was done on a much smaller scale. That smaller scale is now available in an all-new GTA adventure for the Game Boy Advance. GTA Advance basically takes the gameplay from GTA1, adds in some of the conventions of GTA III, and brings along a rather dull and poorly written story, too. There's some nostalgic gameplay here, but by and large GTA Advance just isn't much fun.
GTA Advance merges the look and feel of GTA1 with some of the gameplay conventions from GTA III.
GTA Advance takes place in Liberty City, the stomping grounds of GTA III. The story puts you in the role of a guy named Mike. When the game opens, you and another guy named Vinnie are getting ready to skip town with a bunch of money. But the escape goes bad and Vinnie is a victim of a car bomb. So Mike sets out to find Vinnie's killers and make them all pay. Along the way, you'll go on a lot of pretty standard missions, including taking out specific enemies, blowing up a building, checkpoint racing, and picking up and dropping off hookers, and so on. The story is conveyed via your mission briefings, which cut away from the top-down view and give you two large, static character heads to look at while reading the game's dialogue. The game doesn't really have the ironic sense of humor that helps make the GTA games great, and the dialogue is written in a very plain way that really lacks punch. These things make it easy to not care at all about the game's overall plot.
The look and feel of GTA Advance take things back to the original Grand Theft Auto, though there have been some changes. Some of the side missions introduced in GTA III are here, so you'll be able to hop in a cop car and go on vigilante missions, drive a taxi, play paramedic for a day, and so on. You can enter yourself into races for some extra cash, and the game has 100 hidden packages for you to find. Every tenth package adds another item to your hideout, which is where you go to save the game. Annoyingly, picking up a weapon from your hideout doesn't give you the maximum ammo count, so if you want to roll fully strapped, you'll have to enter and exit your hideout over and over again to recollect weapons until you've picked up enough bullets to do the job.
Other changes to the old GTA is that cars can now flip over, which usually happens if you T-bone them really hard. Generally speaking, though, the vehicle physics that govern how the cars react in a collision just feel strange. Cars pinball off of one another and go flying after even slight hits, and a vehicle's weight isn't taken into consideration as much as it probably should have been. On top of that, the game does a poor job at delivering any real sense of speed. One of the great things about the old GTA games is that they ran really fast and smooth, making high-speed driving a real thrill. Here, the game sort of sputters along, and you never really get the feeling that you're driving through the streets of Liberty City at breakneck speeds. Furthermore, the game's camera zooms out when you start moving faster, but it doesn't pull back far enough to give you a clear view of the road, making dodging traffic and making turns a real chore. When driving, you'll probably spend as much time looking at the map as you do looking at the road; though unfortunately, the onscreen map can't be blown up. The game comes with a foldout map of the city, but this is completely useless since a piece of paper isn't going to show your current objectives on it.
Sometimes the dialogue that pops up mid-mission can really obscure the action.
Graphically, GTA Advance does a good job of looking like the old GTA games, and the static images you'll see during mission briefings look pretty good, too. But on the street, the game's stuttery pace really gets in the way of the action. On the audio side, GTA Advance is almost entirely speech-free. You'll hear some words from other drivers when you collide with them, but these canned phrases repeat pretty often. The developers have attempted to duplicate the radio function by giving each different car type its own music. The digitized tunes, however, are pretty repetitive and aren't so great.
All in all, bringing the classic GTA gameplay back is a neat idea, but the execution here is weighted down by the lame story, straitlaced dialogue, and the occasional technical issue. If you're curious to see what the roots of GTA really were, you should probably just go to Rockstar's Web site, where the first game is available in its entirety as a free download.