GTA: Vice City - why is it so popular?

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spetz_naz_basic

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#1 spetz_naz_basic
Member since 2002 • 815 Posts

Whenever there's a discussion about "best GTA game" or "favourite games of all time", 9 times out of 10 this game gets picked. But why? There wasn't a big jump from III to VC in terms of content or design. We got some cool weapons (chainsaw!), new vehicle types, a voiced protagonist and the ability to crouch (but you couldn't actually move around while crouched). Water could still kill you. The Scarface-esque plot was an improvement over III but nothing to shout home about.

San Andreas was when last-gen GTA reached its potential: huge map, deep customisation options, countless side activities and an even greater variety of weapons and vehicles. As far as I can tell the only thing VC had going for it was the setting: 80s Miami, great stuff. Is that it, or is there something else that I've missed? It's like the album Revolver: everybody seems to think it's the best Beatles album, but I just don't get it.

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Ancientwanderer

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#2 Ancientwanderer
Member since 2010 • 40 Posts

I have to agree with you as well. I don't know why VC is the favorite. San Andreas, as you said, is the first truly innovative GTA that I actually found 'playable'. VC and III still had a lot of nuisances and hadn't truly reached the potential. They actually just threw together Vice City in 8-9 months and released it. Talk about making a buttload of money for such a small budget. If I had to pick the list would go 1. San andreas. 2. GTAIV, 3. VC, 4. III.

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Dire_Weasel

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#3 Dire_Weasel
Member since 2002 • 16681 Posts

It was the best GTA game becuse it was pure fun.

There was no dating, or phone calls, or going to the gym to work out. All the missions were well-done driving and shooting mayhem.

Other than that, it was the well-done 80's setting, the voice acting by Ray Liota, and the fact that by the end of the game you're living in a Miami Vice mansion with a helicopter pad you a good portion of the city, and you're giving missions to yourself. :)

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UpInFlames

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#4 UpInFlames
Member since 2004 • 13301 Posts

It's definitely my favorite Grand Theft Auto game. It was a massive improvement over Grand Theft Auto III. Tommy Vercetti was a fully-realized character voiced by Ray Liotta who knew what he wanted and didn't feel conflicted about taking it by any means necessary. The missions were leaps and bounds better both in terms of design and sheer variety. Vice City also featured the brilliant property mechanic which unlocked optional, yet brilliant missions (the Malibu and Film Studio missions are some of the best in the series). I don't remember any characters from Grand Theft Auto III. Vice City was filled with interesting and often insane characters (I'll never forget the scene when Tommy enters the office and finds Rosenberg snorting cocaine or when Diaz kills pigeons with a shotgun at his mansion). A cIassic rise-to-power story. Neon-lit art deco 80's Miami. The soundtrack. The sex. The drugs. Scarface. Miami Vice. Need I go on?

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deactivated-5cf0a2e13dbde

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#5 deactivated-5cf0a2e13dbde
Member since 2005 • 12935 Posts
Vice City is so popular because of the retro setting, all the parodies, and I think it came out at just the right time. And when people found out that the emphasis was less on driving and more mixed up gameplay than GTA III, it exploded.
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deactivated-59b71619573a1

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#6 deactivated-59b71619573a1
Member since 2007 • 38222 Posts

People all have their own favourite. Some love VC some love SA. I for one am on the SA bandwagon. But VC is still a great game. GTA IV doesn't have the settings character or story for me.

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-Hoax-

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#7 -Hoax-
Member since 2008 • 5331 Posts
Alot of people love GTA: SA just as much as Vice City.
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aboy1411

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#8 aboy1411
Member since 2003 • 101 Posts

For me it has always been the music. This was my first intro to the GTA series. I have played and finished all of the games since then. When I look back at the series Vice City has always been my favorite too and when I ask myself why the music comes to mind. Just off the top of my head Duran Duran had a song in there, I thing GNR may have been in there too. Since Vice City the game play, overall, has been identical so it has to be the bad ass soundtrack for the game. Again if memory servers me right then I saw the sound track to vice city in a cd store.

My 2 cents. peace............

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luke_717

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#9 luke_717
Member since 2006 • 126 Posts

Vice City has character. The setting is perfect for this type of game, the music, the cast, graphic style and the funny bits are top notch. The city feels alive, and it has that over the top Miami Vice feel. Don't judge a game by its technical performance. Its the sum of all things, that makes this game great.

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UT_Wrestler

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#10 UT_Wrestler
Member since 2004 • 16426 Posts
It's a great period game, as it perfectly captures and pokes fun at the culturally rich period of the 80s.
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flowersjf

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#11 flowersjf
Member since 2008 • 2856 Posts
Vice City was more of an "expansion pack"(dumb comparison I know) in a way since it pretty much was GTA 3 except for voiceovers and a couple new things here and there. SA was much better and imo is the best GTA game ever.
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pride93x

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#12 pride93x
Member since 2010 • 116 Posts

Vice City for me was a lot better then San Andreas. I've played San Andreas first and enjoyed it but I just had more fun with Vice City because Tommy was a great character, in a lot of the missions you met interesting characters like Avary for instance. A shady business man but a unique. Now in San Andreas, all you did was hear the F-bomb drop nearly 100 times. Have to kill all your old childhood friends, everyone except your older brother is out to get you. Deal with your little sisters boyfriend, omg if I wanted Dr. Phil I'd turn the channel to Fox.


Now don't get me wrong, I love San Andreas a lot but I rate games based on how well I enjoyed the main character and Tommy just so happened to be a lot cooler (imo) then CJ.

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GunSmith1_basic

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#13 GunSmith1_basic
Member since 2002 • 10548 Posts

Vice City for me was a lot better then San Andreas. I've played San Andreas first and enjoyed it but I just had more fun with Vice City because Tommy was a great character, in a lot of the missions you met interesting characters like Avary for instance. A shady business man but a unique. Now in San Andreas, all you did was hear the F-bomb drop nearly 100 times. Have to kill all your old childhood friends, everyone except your older brother is out to get you. Deal with your little sisters boyfriend, omg if I wanted Dr. Phil I'd turn the channel to Fox.


Now don't get me wrong, I love San Andreas a lot but I rate games based on how well I enjoyed the main character and Tommy just so happened to be a lot cooler (imo) then CJ.

pride93x

I found VC to be just a tight game. SA is a confusing mess of game modes, the plot is all over the place, the world is too large to master making some aspects completely useless like earning businesses and searching for hidden packages. VC has a very simple/ primal plot with a few twists that are actually meaningful, and getting everything in the game makes sense because the game world is manageable enough for you to know what you are doing and take advantage of it accordingly. Being able to actually memorize important parts of the map is a huge boost to experience. I even recently played the game again and I have to admit that GTA4 has superior game world but something in its soul has been lost.

Btw, SA was fun but it pissed me off for one reason: I went out of my way to win those territory wars in Los Santos. It was extremely fun and an epic experience (glitches pissed me off a bit buy I prevailed). Then it happened. There is a late mission in the game that erases all that progress. WHY? They could have at least told me so I wouldn't have bothered in the first place

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spetz_naz_basic

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#14 spetz_naz_basic
Member since 2002 • 815 Posts

Quite a few mentions of the 80s setting, music etc. I agree that it was done well, but again I can't see why this would elevate a moderate improvement over III into the best in the franchise's history. Red Dead Redemption perfectly captured the Western feel but it would have been a rather empty shell without the great gameplay to support it.

It was the best GTA game becuse it was pure fun.

There was no dating, or phone calls, or going to the gym to work out. All the missions were well-done driving and shooting mayhem.

Other than that, it was the well-done 80's setting, the voice acting by Ray Liota, and the fact that by the end of the game you're living in a Miami Vice mansion with a helicopter pad you a good portion of the city, and you're giving missions to yourself. :)

Dire_Weasel



One or two missions aside, dating was completely optional in SA: I never bothered with it, as there were 100 other fun things I could do.

I never understood the negative reaction to the gym element. Once CJ was maxed out, there really wasn't any need to go back as long as you ate sensibly. And it's not like it was for nothing: you became stronger and could sprint for longer.

Both Tommy and CJ end up very rich and in control of serious real estate. Both were colourful characters and all-around douchebags, but whereas Tommy only looked out for himself, CJ was also concerned for his family and neighbourhood. Does a single-minded quest for power and fortune really make for such an appealing protagonist and plot? I personally liked CJ's rags-to-riches story better, but the way I see it there was a progression from GTA III all the way to Red Dead Redemption of increasingly nuanced plot and deeper, more likeable characters.

The missions were leaps and bounds better both in terms of design and sheer variety. Vice City also featured the brilliant property mechanic which unlocked optional, yet brilliant missions (the Malibu and Film Studio missions are some of the best in the series). I don't remember any characters from Grand Theft Auto III. Vice City was filled with interesting and often insane characters (I'll never forget the scene when Tommy enters the office and finds Rosenberg snorting cocaine or when Diaz kills pigeons with a shotgun at his mansion). A cIassic rise-to-power story. Neon-lit art deco 80's Miami. The soundtrack. The sex. The drugs. Scarface. Miami Vice. Need I go on?

UpInFlames

VC's missions were an improvement over III, but SA built upon both games and added more to the mix. Some of the new content worked, some didn't, and that probably made SA a little inconsistent compared to VC, but like another poster said it's the sum of its parts, and I thought SA's best moments like the casino robbery were worth putting up with some of the crappier parts.

The cast of the III-VC-SA "trilogy" were so over the top and two dimensional they make Brucie Kibbutz seem like Atticus Finch.

Btw, SA was fun but it pissed me off for one reason: I went out of my way to win those territory wars in Los Santos. It was extremely fun and an epic experience (glitches pissed me off a bit buy I prevailed). Then it happened. There is a late mission in the game that erases all that progress. WHY? They could have at least told me so I wouldn't have bothered in the first place

GunSmith1_basic

That annoyed me too, but ultimately it served its purpose of making the player feel what CJ must have felt when the crooked cops yanked him out of Los Santos and left him in the middle of nowhere. In one flash you lost everything you'd been working hard to gain.

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pride93x

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#15 pride93x
Member since 2010 • 116 Posts

I figure that I would add a bit more information to go with my last reply.

In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, unlike in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The main objective is to gather together enough money to pay off the mafia. In San Andreas, you are simply doing favors for these characters that you apparently knew since you were a child. But one thing that ruined the game for me was the diversity between each city in San Andreas. Los Santos was a pretty drool setting, but a great starting point for the games story. Then there is San Fierro which is a drastic change from Los Santos and is pretty much a giant city but it's confusing on what you can exactly do here since unlike Los Santos where you were able to climb over fences and rob houses, find guns on the top of buildings and inside large warehouses. In San Fierro you were pretty much stuck with missions and that's about it. No real icons for the city other then the airport.

Then there is Las Venturas which has a few note-able icons to it, such as the military base, abandoned airport, and casinos. These areas are great but with each and every one of these areas being diverse and divided by sea and country. It just ruins the concept and feel of the game. In Vice City you are in one city, that's it. Each part of the city blends while all the areas in San Andreas just stick out like a sore thumb.


As for the characters you do missions for in Vice City, they all blend together and have a lot of story to them. In San Andreas, you are doing random favors for random people you'll never going to meet again. That's it.

My case, Vice City is more atmospheric while San Andreas is just a giant sandbox.

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suz437

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#16 suz437
Member since 2005 • 1053 Posts

It's definitely my favorite Grand Theft Auto game. It was a massive improvement over Grand Theft Auto III. Tommy Vercetti was a fully-realized character voiced by Ray Liotta who knew what he wanted and didn't feel conflicted about taking it by any means necessary. The missions were leaps and bounds better both in terms of design and sheer variety. Vice City also featured the brilliant property mechanic which unlocked optional, yet brilliant missions (the Malibu and Film Studio missions are some of the best in the series). I don't remember any characters from Grand Theft Auto III. Vice City was filled with interesting and often insane characters (I'll never forget the scene when Tommy enters the office and finds Rosenberg snorting cocaine or when Diaz kills pigeons with a shotgun at his mansion). A cIassic rise-to-power story. Neon-lit art deco 80's Miami. The soundtrack. The sex. The drugs. Scarface. Miami Vice. Need I go on?

UpInFlames
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chaplainDMK

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#17 chaplainDMK
Member since 2008 • 7004 Posts

It just was awsome :) And im very anit "gangsta". The Mafia is a bunch of cool guys in fancy clothes, not a bunch of muscled up teens that dress up like clowns and curse like there is no tommorow, ****

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Big-Shamrock

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#18 Big-Shamrock
Member since 2010 • 688 Posts
80s man, the 80s. Gotta love it.
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#19 H8rz6naH8Br0
Member since 2010 • 30 Posts
Characters, music, setting and gameplay are what make it my favorite. Never played San Andreas though.
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Dire_Weasel

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#20 Dire_Weasel
Member since 2002 • 16681 Posts

Keep in mind, I have nothing against the other console GTA games, I've really liked every one from GTA III on. I just think GTA:VC was the best of the bunch.

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#21 burgeg
Member since 2005 • 3599 Posts

When I saw the thread title, I planned on coming in here to flame you since Vice City is without a doubt an amazing game. However when I read your post I just had to agree with you. There is literally nothing Vice City has over San Andreas in the gameplay department. Absolutely nothing. I think it just has to do with the age groups who played the game. 80s fanboys. The 80s setting appeals to people for nostalgic reasons. There is absolutely nothing the actual game has over San Andreas. The story missions, the side missions, the weapons, vehicles, variety, fun factor, content, controls, gameplay etc are all better in San Andreas. Even the story and characters are much more gripping than VC.

80s nostalgia is the only logical reason to enjoy VC more. That and the fact the game came out before SA, so it's possible a lot of VC fans played so much of the game that when SA came along they just grew bored of the GTA gameplay.

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Lostboy1224

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#22 Lostboy1224
Member since 2007 • 3425 Posts
It had the most entertaining story for me, and the characters were pretty funny as well. Taking pictures of a public official and whore messing around on top of a tall building, driving the limo of a targeted 80's rock band so they won't be assasinated, and the colorful world of Florida cities. That and the 80's is one of the most well known and poked fun at time periods so it just all came together.
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narog84

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#23 narog84
Member since 2006 • 1126 Posts

much better than GTA4 anyway

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HipnotiKal

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#24 HipnotiKal
Member since 2005 • 157 Posts
It's a great period game, as it perfectly captures and pokes fun at the culturally rich period of the 80s.UT_Wrestler
some people didn't like the whole gang banger setting in SA. for me SA is the best but VC was great at that time.
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Solid_Link22

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#26 Solid_Link22
Member since 2006 • 5698 Posts

In my experience it was because metalheads loved Vrock. I think San Andreas is wayyyyyyyyyy better.

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lamprey263

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#27 lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 42160 Posts
most people tell me San Andreas was the better one
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#28 fighter91
Member since 2005 • 1293 Posts
Vice City is my favorite (followed VERY VERY closely by San Andreas) due to the atmosphere of the game. I really felt as though I was in the 80's while driving around and walking around the city. It really drew me in, the whole atmosphere and setting that is. Not many games have had such a strong hold on me in terms of actually making me feel so engrossed in the game as Vice City did. It's something that I will never forget to be honest.
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face_ripper

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#29 face_ripper
Member since 2010 • 968 Posts
I could tell you didn't play the game at the time of release, if you did you would have understand and seen how diffrent and great it is.
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AjRageAgain

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#30 AjRageAgain
Member since 2007 • 135 Posts

Vice city radio stations were great.

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rockyoumonkeys

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#31 rockyoumonkeys
Member since 2004 • 237 Posts

Only thing I liked about Vice City was the music.

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#32 saffire117
Member since 2010 • 25 Posts
To be honest i never understood the big deal behind all GTA, it was always fun to watch but when i picked it up didnt feel right. Ill have to revisit this game in the future.
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#33 nvcification
Member since 2010 • 25 Posts
Vice City has heart the other games like San Andreas were ****