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True Crime:  Streets of LA

2004

"True Crime: Streets of LA" is kind of like the "Grand Theft Auto" series, in that you have the freedom to cruise around town and do whatever you want.  In fact, I think that the Los Angeles represented in this game is larger than both Liberty City and Vice City put together, an incredible achievement...

...until you factor in that there just isn't as much to do in this LA.  Players assume the role of Nick Kang, LA detective, who has to protect and serve over the course of a reasonably short campaign of missions to rescue his brother, amongst other things.  Voice work by Russell Wong ("Romeo Must Die"), Gary Oldman, CCH Pounder, Michelle Rodriguez and Christopher Walken gives the game some street cred, and their cut scenes are some parts hilarious, totally wrong and completely entertaining.  In addition, the hip-hop soundtrack for this gritty game has over 50 songs, many of which were made for the game and add to a great multimedia experience.

The problems with "True Crime" come in the gameplay, mostly; by trying to be all things to all people (stealth action, gun action, fighting game, driving game), none of the modes is all that great.  The fighting is probably the worst of these modes; you can get by most of the enemies not by "fighting" so much as "tapping the shit out of all of your buttons."  You have to literally push a button to switch into fighting or shooting mode when on foot; this is frustrating when you just want to punch a guy out but are in shooting mode, and you can't run as fast in shooting mode, so to chase down perps, you have to switch to fighting mode...and on and on.

The game does give you little twists to keep things fresh, like the ability to arrest perps or just shoot them down; the choices you make allow for three different endings, based on how nice of a guy you are.  But, this is strictly a play-through-once-and-regift-to-friend kind of game, unless you are a collector.

Rating:  eBay

 

Feedback?  Comments?  Hot doughnut tip?  justin@bellviewmovies.com

 

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