Grand Theft Auto--San Andreas
Let's put it plainly: "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" is
the best game available on PlayStation2. Some have already
called it the greatest game of all time, but I can't go that far...I
CAN say that it is the biggest single-player videogame of all time,
easily surpassing anything else ever made in the history of
How big is "GTA: SA"?
- I have played the game for about 15 hours, and I'm not even
10% of the way through it.
- Once you have opened up all three cities in San Andreas
(essentially California), it will take you almost 30 minutes of
real time to drive from one end of the northern part of the
state to the other.
- Although there are more missions this time around, they are
easier, and that means you will spend more time outside of
missions trying to make money while also doing things like
learning how to pop wheelies on your BMX, go to the gym to work
out, rob people's houses or pick up hookers. No, I'm not
- There are 11 radio stations, and almost 15 hours of radio
- There are more than 200 Secret Package-style things you have
to pick up or spray paint in order to unlock other goodies.
I got through "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" in about four days
when I was unemployed in San Francisco a couple of years ago.
Having a job and a life right now, it will take me the rest of the
year to get through "San Andreas", easy. In fact, with "Halo
2" moments away from my hot little hands, I won't need to buy any
more video games this year.
But, back to "San Andreas" for just a moment. This is also
the most profane video game ever produced; they allowed the f-word
in this year's installment, and with a backdrop set in the early
90's to a "Colors"-like theme, the voice work is so profane that I
have not been through a single cut-scene without the f-word
interlaced poetically throughout the dialogue. In fact, with
uncut rap songs, uncut dialogue, rampant sex and violence and the
ability to run pimp missions if you find a Cadillac-style vehicle,
you need to make sure this game does not find its way into the hands
of America's youth for any reason whatsoever. The game is
offensive from the moment you turn on your PS2. The dialogue
from your lead character, CJ, as he drives through the streets of
San Andreas is a combination of "I can't believe they put that in
the game" and..."I can't believe they put that in the game!"
Wow. But, this is one hell of a ride, and it's the new
definition of "open-ended gameplay." In terms of scope, it
does a lot of things well, and for my $50 this almost can't be beat.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Feedback? Comments? Hot doughnut tip?
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.
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.
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
"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.
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