By Sam Coles:
I’m starting a new segment called “Retro Sundays”. Why Sunday you ask? Honestly it’s because I use to play all sorts of games on a Sunday especially on a rainy one, from old to new because I have the time to relax and play games for a long period.
Let’s start with a game that I don’t think gets enough appreciation and that’s probably because it was on the ill-fated PSP originally and I’m of course talking about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
You step in the shoes of Victor Vance you may recognise the surname of this character if you played the original Vice City back in 2002 and that’s because he is the older brother of Lance Vance. What I like about this character is that when you start off he is not a criminal he is an honest man trying to start a career in the army until he gets involved with a corrupt sergeant who is delves in drugs and illegal fire arms trades.
The gameplay is very similar to the original Vice City game, but also borrows elements from San Andreas such as being to recruit followers if you have taken over a business and also your followers can do drive bys out the window of the car. The only problem I have with the game is the aiming is unpredictable in a gunfight and you’ll end up aiming at a random pedestrian rather than the person who is trying to kill you.
Unlike some games in the series you must take over businesses from enemy gangs to help you gain income, how you do this is that you must start some commotion by blowing up their cars or killing their fellow gang members outside and you‘ll start an attack. What you have to do is that you must defeat all the members outside the business and then enter the premises and take out the remaining members.
After you have cleared up the place you can then shape what you want your racket to be from drugs to prostitution, but be careful the enemy gangs will fight back and attack your rackets and try and take them back, so you must defend them. This feature kind of reminds me of the Godfather games where you had to do the same thing by intimidating shop keepers for money. Each racket adds to your weekly income that you accumulate from business and this happens every in game week.
Graphically its looks pretty good for something that was ported from the PSP and yeah it does look dated but what do you expect for a game that was released on the PSP and then PS2 so it’s understandable. It still looks nice with the little details from the sun setting over the blue sea on Washington Beach as you cruise along with some 80’s metal, to the reflections on your car and on the road when it rains which is really impressive for the hardware.
Overall Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories is still an enjoyable game and I would recommend if you have a PS2 or PSP if you are willing to look past the frame rate issues on the handheld. It’s very cheap and easy to find these days so if you have a bit of change in your pocket I would recommend buying it I picked it up for £3.99 in my independent video game shop.