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Grand Theft Auto III

2004

The tough thing about dropping $50 on a video game is that you are never sure just how much worth you'll be able to get out of the thing.  You walk into your local Best Buy, you drop the Visa on the counter, and as the game is being rung up, you just kind of wonder...will the thing be any good?  If it is any good, how long will I play it before I get sick of it?  Will I want to play it again?

In the case of "Grand Theft Auto III", from Rockstar Games, the game is so large, so great and so replayable that $50 might be the greatest bargain for a video game ever.  When I first bought "GTA III" I had not played the previous two iterations of the game, but that doesn't matter, because the perspective has changed so much that those first two games don't even compare.

You assume the role of a local thug, recently busted out of the joint in fictional Liberty City, and it's up to you to make money and succeed in your new environment.  By "succeed", of course, I mean kill, maim, and steal from other local criminals; win street races; jack cars; and, have the occasional fun with hookers in your new ride.  Along the way, you'll log a lot of time just hangin' out in Liberty City, killing innocents, driving around town, picking up secret packages (normally well-hidden) and getting into trouble by completing missions for the local heavies.

You've heard enough about "GTA III" through friends and the media, and if you haven't played it, and you love games that really ARE open-ended, this one's a no-brainer.

Rating:  Opening Weekend

 

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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either half.com or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09