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LTTP: GTA Chinatown Wars

Tschumi

Member
Note: concerning the PSP version

GTA 3 was actually the.. fourth game in a series that began with a first game, believe it or not. The first 3 titles - GTA 1, GTA London, and GTA 2 (off the top of my head may have been more) - were top-down games with tank controls and zaney cities. GTA 2 remains to this day one of my favourite games in the series, it has wonderful attitude, awesome characters and wild missions (hijacking a bus and driving it to a hot dog factory where you watch the passengers being herded in orange jumpsuits into a giant meatgrinder, they delivering them as hot dogs, ........ actually chills me to the bone just writing about it)

After GTA 3 took the series into 3D however I thought we were done with top down games. I have of course played each of the subsequent mainline titles - I've not really enjoyed anything after San Andreas to be honest - but I always passed over the PSP titles because, when I looked up screenshots, they all seemed to be very pared back versions of GTA 3 and Vice City - same 3rd person perspective, just hugely reduced graphical quality. and I felt like it wouldn't be worth playing on a PSP with its missing second analog stick.

Little did I know - clearly - that in actual fact Rockstar DID revisit the traditional top-down perspective in the form of GTA: Chinatown Wars. This one sits pretty atop the metacritic PSP rankings and yet I never played it because, I thought, I don't play PSP for spinoff western titles! Where's Lumines and Tactics Ogre at?! Besdies, the title somehow made it seem like it would be a spinoff like the Assassin's Creed Bloodlines games or similar. Boy was I wrong!

GTA: Chinatown Wars is the coolest, slickest, most fun, best soundtrack'd GTA game I've played since San Andreas.


Pros:
- Awesome cutscene style, story, a refreshing main character with a far-flung take and a lotta chutzpah.
- The return of over-the-top stuff from those earlier GTA titles
- Brain-exploding soundtrack with everything from MF DOOM to traditional Chinese Gu Zheng music
- Insanely stylish and snappy PDA mechanic for a menu system
- Awesome camerawork and controls
- A refreshing take on cop evasion

Cons:
- They've kept the same 32-bit, or whatever, character models from GTA 2, they look pretty bad on my 4K tv though they might be fine on PSP, also they're kinda out of scale with the cars.
- Can't think of anything else.




I could go on. I've been playing this on my xBox Series S which is a fantastic emulator, so I've been playing it in super clear 4K. That makes it a real trip, especially on TV speakers. I can also recommend playing it via Adrenaline on a Vita, where you'd also probably get boosted visuals. I'm sure it works wonderfully on PSP too, should probably get a PSP 2000 or 3000 for the boosted RAM though.

Hugely recommended ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(Hugely recommended on psp or ppsspp to be clear)
 
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daveonezero

Member
Oh I didn’t know this was released in PSP later.
I played the DS version. It was pretty good but I have problems with figuring out the map and knowledge of the city.
 

kanjobazooie

Gold Member
One of the top 3 GTAs for me.
I loved the characters/story, and the game felt really good to play despite the DS limitations. Car chases in particular were really fun, and I enjoyed them here more than the other games.

I wish they'd make another top down game in the future. I love their simplicity.
 

Drizzlehell

Gold Member
I remember my friend praised this game a lot back in the day but I never got around to playing it myself. I'd gladly check it out if it got a PS4/5 or PC port, though.
 

amigastar

Member
which version is the best? I had the DS version, I knew there was a version on iOS, I didn’t know PSP had a version.
From all versions the Android/iOS version is the most sharp and has best textures. After that comes PSP then DS. But the DS version has touch features, so if you into that, its a pretty good version as it is.
 
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Bluecondor

Member
From all versions the Android/iOS version is the most sharp and has best textures. After that comes PSP then DS. But the DS version has touch features, so if you into that, its a pretty good version as it is.
I never played the other versions, but the DS version with touch controls was such an enjoyable game to play, as you regularly were given new mini-games and activities that required you to use the touch controls in different ways. I remember thinking that these unique and interesting controls on a handheld would be the future of handheld gaming (unique controls in games with mature themes). Sadly, the game just wasn't a commercial success. :(
 

Deerock71

Member
From all versions the Android/iOS version is the most sharp and has best textures. After that comes PSP then DS. But the DS version has touch features, so if you into that, its a pretty good version as it is.
They didn't have the touch features on android/iOS? That's a curious exclusion.
 

amigastar

Member
They didn't have the touch features on android/iOS? That's a curious exclusion.
I'm pretty sure it didn't have any touch features, i've only played it for short on my Wacom Companion Hybrid Android tablet some time ago (with a controller). All i remember is it was the nicest version in terms of graphics.
 
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