Manages to be fun for a while.

User Rating: 6.5 | Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories PS2
I can't say I was expecting a masterpiece when I bought this game, after all it IS nothing more than a PS2 port of a PSP game. However, I don't think I would've enjoyed it that much more even if I had played it on PSP. Don't get me wrong though, I'm a huge GTA fan and there are VERY few Rockstar games that I don't like, and this game isn't bad by any means, but it's flaws stand out like a sore thumb. First of all, Tony Cipriani is not an interesting character, nor is he particularly well-written or worthy of being a protagonist in this franchise. His dialogue usually consists of awkwardly delivered lines devoid of any enthusiasm or character, usually no more than 10 words long. Also, he is a mama's boy, which does little to bolster his credibility as a murderous mafia hitman. Even the protagonist from GTA 3 (who had no lines at all) manages to be more likeable, and credible, than Tony. Also, the story is largely forgettable, even with the inclusion of some of the characters I liked from GTA 3 (in fact, I've already completely forgotten what the story even was). Now about the gameplay. The controls are not bad but some of the button mapping doesn't translate very well to the PS2, making combat occasionally more frustrating than it should be. For example: to go into aiming mode you have to hold down L3, which forces you to be very careful with your movements, and that doesn't help when you have a barrage of hostile lead coming your way. The graphics also do not seem to have received much polish in the translation as the textures tend to have this muddy, low-res look that isn't very pleasant to look at. The strong points of this game are in the minigames, which are much more varied, fun and numerous than ever before. The radio stations are also very fun to listen to, as they should be, and the vehicles are easy to control, well-balanced, and fun to drive. There is also a larger quantity of vehicles and locales than in GTA 3, but with less missions and a much shorter (and inferior) storyline. Overall, LCS is a welcome, but unremarkable addition to the GTA series, feeling more like a mediocre rehash of a more successful game than a full-fledged, genuine Rockstar product. It's still quite enjoyable, but doesn't draw me in like the other GTA games have and has done little to push the series forward.