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mattykovax Blog

PT.3: A city full of sunshine and vice..........

Vice City. The middle child. While the middle child stereotype probably does not fit most real life familys, it definitley applies here. Vice City being in the middle knows well how to get along well with others,has a lot of friends,and is more popular than his siblings. However what is lost is a bit of the indiviulaty and uniquness of his older and younger sibling. Lets face it,ask someone who has not spent as much times with these games their favorite-Vice City. Ask gamers that do not care for the series but felt they needed to try it-Vice City. Or how about the media or people that really do not play games, yup you guessed it-Vice City. Most people who really like the series but are not dedicated, they choose the younger sibling San Andreas. Most hardcore people such as myself that have played and replayed and will play again for some reason gravitate to the older brother, GTA III. Everyone else it is the City of Vice. Not a bad game but bland compared to others except in one respect.

Lets start off with the good. It has the best story of the three,much more complex than III and unlike San Andreas it stays cohesive and does not get to big for itself or send you on chases for Jetpacks and CIA missions. Rockstar nailed the vibe they were going for and do both Scarface and Miami Vice better than they did themselves.The atmosphere is so good,that even if like me there are certian aspects you dont care for,whether it be the pinks and neutrals,or the soundtrack,it all fits the vibe so well its neccassery. They have pretty much sucessfully recreated Miami circia 1986.

You start as Tommy Vercetti, a Forrelli brother associate who has just got out of jail, and is sent down south by the family boss Sonny to keep him out of the way, and start a drug pipeline. You are ambushed and both the coke and money are lost. When talking to Sonny something Tommy does not know but is made very obvious to the player through the cutscene showing Sonny in Liberty city with a table full of money and coke isthat the setup was an inside job. Not knowing this Tommy starts to try to track down the money. However he comes to a realization soon enough that changes the course of the game. Vice Cityis one big cesspool of crime, drugs, and money with no one really in control which is just waiting for someone with the know how and the hands-on ability to come in and lock it down. Tommy realises he is that man. What he does not realise is Sonny also realised this which is why he set him up and loose thinking that eventually Vice City will be owned by the Forellis. And thats just the basics, like i said,definitley the strongest story of the trilogy.

This entry also added helicopters, motorbikes, more vehicles and more weapons. The idea of weapon slots and different versions of similar weapons, and while not fixed the targeting is at least improved. It also aded things that would be took a step farther in the next game such as being able to eat to restore health, body armor pickups looking like body armor, and the adition of mini-games that have no bearing on 100% completion but add quite a bit of life to a playthrough.

The negatives are here also. the missions seem the most dumbed down out of the three, and the most linear. The cop A.I. howeveris just brutally punishing. And the Rampage missions are a joke. If you fail they stay right where they are, no alternate locations, but dont worry about that you hardly fail,the game pops up so many enemy gang members that stand in flocks like idiot birds,that you never really have to worry. Again, the graphical pop-ups and occasional physics glitch. And maybe this is personal,but the worst supporting character ever, why can I not just shoot Lance and get it over with. Not only do I think the guy is a jerk, and shifty, and blows your spot up, but he whines like a six year old that did not get any ice cream.

So in sum, great game, just the worst of the three in my opinion. I feel I have backed that up with some points, feel free to disagree. And remember, I may think its the worst of the three, but being the worst of three games I consider to be the greatest gaming trilogy of all time is not a bad place to be "oh its only the third best ever" :lol: .

So thats my two cents, stay tuned for part four,

mattykovax.

PT.2: The game that started it all and had an impact on the entire industry.....

....Yes I mean GTA III. I know it is the third (fourth if you count the london expansion) in the series, but lets be honest about the genesis of the series. The first two were indy titles using older tech that made its small niche mark by making you a criminal instead of a hero. Without that caveat they probably would have been lost to obscurity. But they were not, and then Rockstar released three. This game has had so much impact on the industry across all genres and even if you are not a fan you probably do play some game that has been affected by what this game brought to the table. I would even go so far as to say that it advanced 3D gaming in general as much as Mario 64 did.

Its most important aspect is the "sandbox" nature of the game. the world is so open and you can do what you want when you want. But you can also apply that to the missions.

*spoilers ahead*

For instance the chunky lee chong mission. When I first started playing I would chase him,trying to avoid his henchmen,and shooting him down. I soon advanced to knowing where his escape vehicle was parked,parking there and chasing him than drive bying him to death. Now I am really smart. These days I do a slow drive around his little area and take the one or two station wagons to eight balls to get wired. Then I take them back, activate the bombs and go startle him and chase him to his vehicle which procceds to blow up.

The level of freedom is practically unparalleled,even by later entrys in the series.

The story however is the worst of the games. Not bad it just did not have the polish the series would gain later on. Its a simple revenge tale. During a bank robbery he is involved in our silent protagonist ( later identified as Claude in GTA;San Andreas ) gets shot in the face by his girlfriend Catalina and left as bait for the cops while she makes her escape. On the way to jail an unrelated incident involving the colombians allows Claude and Eightball (GTA's resident bomb expert) to escape. The rest of the game is Claude taking any job from anyone to get closer to his final goal, revenge on Catalina.

The radio stations are excellent, both the commercials and the talk. And since they did not have the licensing yet, even though less than half of the soundtrack is real songs, the ones they created have some humorous names and lyrics, kind of like the love fist parody but across different genres. The DJ banter as always is hilarious.

The end result is a game that has the least to do in the trilogy,but the most freedom to do it in,at least misson wise.

The Bad-The graphics even at the time were never top of the line,and that is more evident today,though they are still good. Least amount of activitys and music, and Liberty is lifeless compared to VC and especially SA. some pop issues,and the targeting system was just horrible at that point. Probably the least likable and unsympathetic characters in the series.

But all in all a great game and in some ways the best of the three,since it paved the way. Long live GTA III,

mattykovax.

My thoughts on GTA:The trilogy PT.1

Okay,I have decided I am going to break down how I feel about all three of these games. These should not be considered as reviews which I will still do, its more of impressions and a breakdown of my favorite series of all time. This blog is just to inform the people that like to read my blog that I am doing this,and the next three parts will be on one game each. I know I have not kept a few of my blogging promises in the past( eventually I WILL tell you why Halo 2 was one of my greatest disapointments.:P ),but this timeI will, expect to see all three entries within the next week.

so stay tuned,

mattykovax.

Talking about videogame addictions......

.. I broke down and did it. SinceI have bought a PS2 and have been making that my primary system of late(I love XBOX but suport is gone and the games are getting hard to find) and even though I already own them, at 30 dollars I bought the trilogy. GTA that is. My trilogy. Some have star wars,or lord of the rings,I have my GTA games.

This time through Iam going to play the storys chronological order(VC,SA,III) not actual game release. And I will be reviewing.

I would like to add I already rated it 10. I always love and usually rate them high,but this time i have to take the package into consideration,same as the XBOX double pack. With the release of IV,and time I would maybe rate each game between 8 and 9,but when you get all three,in one package,for 30 dollars,thats a 10 in my book, critics be damned.

I will have other subjects going as always, but I will also keep this subject updated untill each review.

Thank you for reading,

mattykovax.

Slave to the grind.

I have an addiction in videogames. Level grinding. Yes my favorite series is GTA. And FPS is probably my favorite genre as a whole, I even like my Guitar Hero. But give me a dungeon crawler and I am stuck, all I can think about is grinding.

I write this as I am playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance on PS2. Between my love of grinding and the fact that I am and have always meen a real comic nerd, my addiction has reached new levels. I have even been signing out of GS around eight at night then staying up untill the wee hours just grinding in this game. It has got so bad I am pretty much just ignoring the main game and story and using the simulator vs. missions to grind levels and collect coins.

As I have said,I would do that anyways ,but oh the unlockable costumes.A comic nerds dreams, Ms. Marvel into Binary, Iron Man into War Machine, even Captian America into U.S.Agent, oh my! And of course I need to level up all the costumes. With all the characters.

I think I need help. Seriously,a twelve step program and no dungeon crawlers or avengers comics for a few months. Anyone else have those kinds of quirky must dos in games,does not have to be grinding?

Mattykovax.

Please do not stand on your plastic guitar!?!What!?!

So on easter eve,also known as Saturday night I logged off gamespot, cracked open a perfectly legal for me adult beverage(read:beer) and played some Guitar Hero III. After some fun sets (some of the tracks are godly,though it is in my opinion the worst set list from the first three) I went to bed, anticipating the holiday and family fun.

Upon waking up, I cleaned my room, properly put away my Guitar controller, and went off to a day of posting, modding, hanging with my uncle, eating, hanging with my cousin, and then up untill now posting and moderating. Well about half an hour ago I went to indulge in my other legal but disgusting habit (smoking) and as I like to read when I do ( I have to go outside,I need to make the trip worth it) I happened to grab the Guitar Hero III booklet, and while reading came across this

.Never stand on the Guitar Hero Kramer Striker controller

What? Do people try to play with their toes? I understand the whole disclaimer so there is no suing thing,but dont you kind of lose when you stand on it? Do they really need to tell you? Is there really a jury that is going to award damages because Activision did not tell you it might be a bad idea TO STAND ON YOUR FLIMSY PLASTIC FAKE GUITAR?

Seriously,go back to the begining where I said I CAREFULLY STORED MY GUITAR CONTROLLER and I had never read the manual. Probably should have because the first Boss battle confused the heck out of me,but still. Some common sense,really.

It reminds me of when I worked at KFC as a teenager. The pressure cooker had a "do not stand on" warning. Are there people that actually feel the need? Or even better,the deep fryer said "do not stick hands in boiling oil". No ****,like I really needed that advice,thank you but the need for hands will keep me from doing that.

And what about the aversion affect. You know,when you tell someone not to look and they do? What about those people? They probably stood on their Guitars,broke them and cannot sue.

What a world we live in.

My two cents,

mattykovax.

I am not and why I am not a retro gamer.

First off I am not a collector. Though my first console was an atari 2600 and I have owned or had major access to every system since (including the Lynx, neo geo, turbografx 16, 3do,and jaguar which I had access to but thank god never bought) Right now I have only a Xbox, PS2, and a heavy $400.00 paperweight ( a PS3 40 gig which I have no money to fix,its the blu-ray drive). I had no problem selling my 360 to pay bills when I was ill. And I always trade games in when I beat them. That is why I never have any of those neato emblems,because i actually always keep my collection to what I actually physically own. (yes if you look I have a super nintendo with tetris and Dr.Mario,but that is our little secret because i am NOT a collector,okay?)

Two, I am not nostalgic. Except for the rare book, movie and game( Legend of zelda:link to the past,Morrowind,GTA series) I really am not big into the whole re-experiencing something I have already experienced,I would rather move onto something new. Yeah, Super Mario World was great all those years ago,but it WAS years ago and God of War III is coming out soon,I want to play that. I like to have something I have never done,seen,experienced,or in this case played before. Its why I hated Halo 2, it was just more of something I already played. I like sequels that actually advance things,like Oblivion.

Third, and most important to me, some older gamers may get this, some might not, but retro or not just think. When you were playing with blocks on the atari,and than watched say Star Wars, did you ever think " I wish my games looked and played like that."? I know I did. And games have finally reached that stage. I do not need to watch Goodfellas,I can play GTA. I do not need to watch *generic war movie* I can play Call of Duty. And so on and so forth. Games have finally reached exactly where my imagination wanted them to be. And I will not get too caught up in this generation either. Now that they have reached where my imagination wanted to take them,I want to go forward and see where they can take my imagination.

*disclaimer,this is not a dig at retro or old school gamers,thats cool too,just not for me*

And thats my two cents,

mattykovax.

I have been tagged through the moniter.

So Btaylor tagged me. Here you go, 10 things you never knew about mattykovax.

1. I have spent most of my life in or around Oxford,Massachusettes which is where Clara Barton is from. Both my father and my Garandmother are buried in the same cemetery as her.

2. My father died when I was one and a half years old and my mother was still pregnant with my brother. I think that has a lot to do with my commitment issues.

3. My favorite Author of all time is Ernest Hemmingway and I have read the complete short stories so many times I cannot count.

4.Even though I am not a christian I have read the holy bible both old and new testament cover to cover five times.

5. My favorite food of all time is pizza,and I cook my own,in fact I am cooking pizza for supper tonight.

6. My favorite televison show of all time is That 70's Show. I know all eight seasons practically by heart and I have been known(even though it annoys people) to refrence anything that happens in real life to an episode. My favorite episode of the whole series is"sparks" in season six,when Eric Rips Donnas wedding dress,and Red drunkenly spends the money for a wedding gift on a canoe that Kelso trys to ride down a mountian.

7.When I was a teenager I was the singer in a band. I modeled my vocals off Black Flag era Henry Rollins and Danzig era Glenn Danzig. I also have an extremly deep voice.

8.I almost died twice in 2007. I had pneumonia and i stopped breathing in the emergency room,and then I had a blood lot in my lung. I also had to have my gallbladder removed. This took place in a two month period. I could not work for a year and a half,they did not know why this was happening and i was on anti-coagulants the whole time.

9. I almost got married. I am kind of glad I did not.

10. I have always wanted to write but I have disabilites that keep me from getting what I want to say out. I actually sound a lot more intelligent in real life because other than a slight speech impediment and not being able to say certian words even though I know how to,speech I can get them out,but slow and typing I have issues,and have to think a lot. It took me almost halfn hour to write this. Thats part of why I make some of the spelling mistakes I do and stay out of debates in OT.

So thats ten things. Most the people i know have been tagged,so I am going to let this die from my end.

mattykovax.

My fun versus your fun.

My biggest issue with the whole hardcore/casual debate is the perceptions,arguments and preconceived notions fail to take in the fun factor. While reading this its important to remember what I find fun you may not and vice versa.

So first we must establish "fun" could mean and be 10 different things to 10 different people. I like Games like GTA, TES ,Guitar Hero, and most sports. I find them fun. You may not,but you may also like games like MGS,Splinter Cell,and the majority of JRPG's. Quality games all,but I find them tedious. And technical skill is just that:technical. Take Assassins Creed. While there are those that find it fun(again we cannot account for all tastes,and no taste is wrong) the majority opinion is that even though it is a technical masterpiece with innovation galore,the end result is not that much FUN to play. Yet most of us have waded through it anyways because of all the praise so as "real gamers" we feel we have too.

Another example is GRAW, some people love that kind of realism,and its fun for them,and thats good. But in my case I got as far as finding out you had to hold a button to hold your breath to snipe. My reaction was "If I wanted to have to hold my breath I would join the real army,this is no fun."

There is really not much farther to go with this, just a reminder that fun should play more into the equation and being a stronger deciding factor in both game playing choices,and perception. If your a hardcore shooter fan but seem to find Zuma fun,play it. And let people know you play it,and you play it because its fun. On the other hand if Zuma,Bejeweled and other games of type are all you have played but you take a shot at HL2 and love it,play it and tell people you do because its fun.

Because at the end of the day they are games. And if they are no fun are they really worth playing? There is no fun and games in that.

mattykovax.

After this its back to games.(or, yes I am a Moderator now)

Just wanted to talk to my friends about this a little. This was not something I was pursuing really but when the offer came I took it,it is the logical extension of the presence I try to maintain on the boards. I really care about this community and now I can do that even more. Dont expect me to change too much. I will do the job,and if there is a valid moderation on someone I will have to do it,but dont expect me to all of a sudden power trip. But it will also give me the chance to be more helpfull,and continue my crusade against spam-bots without having to press report spam/advertising constantly. Soon I will see them and just be able to take care of it.

I just hope my friends are not wary of me now. As I said I did not do this to be "special" I have always felt moderators are users with extra tasks,and Iam really doing it for my friends for the most part,to try and help make gamespot a better place to post.

Congratulations to the other new moderators,especially Btaylor. Which is part of my point,me and Bryan have recentlly done different efforts to try and make posting fun without some of the crap,hopefully this will help us acheive that goal.

If you feel you have to hate me or automatically assume I am "evil" I am sorry,I accepted so I could HELP the community. And unlike some i think the other mods do a good job,and i look forward to working with them and learning from them.

Thats it,as I promised starting next entry I will get back to the games.Remember I will do my job and i take becoming a moderater very seriously,but at heart I am still just a user and one that still loves games and wants to blog and review them.

Thanks,

mattykovax.

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