Don't be a menace to South Central while drinking your hot coffee in the hood: an overhyped video game.

User Rating: 6.5 | Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas PS2
I already know that no one will agree with me but I have to be vocal about my opinion of this game and its franchise: You all hyped it way too much, ok? GTA is not the second **** of Christ. It's not even that good. GTA III was revolutionary, I'll admit, but it wasn't perfect. Then came all the games that were similar and were immediately panned for being "rip-offs." The best and most recent Castlevanias are Metroid rip-offs but I don't hear anyone complaining about them. Why? Well, because they're all good and there's no prejudice. No one cares. Vice City comes around and celebrity voice acting is now expected at this point. Rockstar gives the people what they want: A Tarantino-esque video gaming experience. San Andreas is absolutely no different.

The graphics are NOT good. The characters (and I use that term loosely) look like they've gotten pwned by the T-Virus, the sunlight is almost as obnoxious and pretentious as the graphic designers' egos, and it's all one big urban ruins. Giant map, yes, but there's little variety so there's no point in driving for 5 minutes to do yet ANOTHER drive-by. The script and characters? Taken from every urban movie your white film teacher's made you watch so you can "understand the ghetto." Maybe it's because I'm from the boogie-down Bronx and not Compton that I don't "get it," but I've seen Boyz in the Hood before so I knew exactly what these people were going to say before they opened their nasty missing-polygons-field that are supposed to be mouths. Profanity is used in this like any other Rockstar game, just to prove the point that these people are hard and like to curse or shoot people or whatever. They're street, son. Don't believe me? They play dominos for no reason because it needs to be made painfully obvious that we're dealing with very harsh black stereotypes. I'm not "hating on" black people nor am I defending their integrity - I'm just saying that this game is no different than researching Al Jolson. As for story? Like I said, Boyz in the Hood meets some other cliched tales of barrio honor. Enjoy.

You play this like you do the other GTA games - the controls are simple enough and it's only within 10 minutes when you're ready and able to do what you'll be doing for the next 2k hours: Kill police and hookers and steal cars. Blah blah Jack Thompson blah, but really that's all this game is. If you can tell me with a straight face that you play GTA: San Andreas for its gameplay and story and graphics, I can tell you with a straight face that I am actually half-bird, half-woman. The people who give this 9.6s and 10s are sheep. The same kind of people who give The Guy Game a 7.5 (yes, I've mentioned this before but THINK about that!). The sex scene that got it taken off the market and all of the conspiracy around it all attribute to one thing: "Any attention is good attention." The same reason goths cut themselves is why Rockstar tried to put in as much as humanly possible - to get you to react to them. And like the sheep you are, you bought copies for a higher price on ebay when it got suspended. Tsk tsk tsk. I admit, I wanted to play it more when it was gone and there was controversy surrounding it as well, but not because I needed to experience this glorious perfect game but rather I wanted to know why you all cared so much about it. And you know... I don't get it.

Total Overdose at least jokes about the racism it spits forth like so much hot acid and I can respect that, but when I'm forced into doing similar rmissions with stricter guidelines and a story that demands I take it seriously I'm just not having that. GTA: San Andreas is what happens when you tell Spike Lee to make a video game - you get what you expect to see and nothing more but you give it two thumbs up because you want to be in the majority. Congrats. This game is a simple free-roaming shoot-em-up with an uninspired story and an ugly font used for everything. You spray paint a la Jet Grind Radio. You steal TVs a la Alf. You fight with a corrupt Samuel L. Jackson a la Shadow Warrior. Same ol' road we've been down before. If you liked the previous GTAs (which means you obviously hated True Crime: LA), you'll probably already have this and rated my review poorly by its number being under 9 already. If you're honestly wondering if you should give this a shot, I STRONGLY urge you to rent it first and see if this is to your liking, but just know that the hype is overdone and that there are alternatives.