Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
You can move all the buttons about the screen, and choose to steer with a virtual joy pad or tilt. But other areas are less flexible - first-person aiming sucks and fighting indoors is about as much fun as being kicked in the plums. The actual game, however, is more faithful to the original. You play as Tommy Veracity, a mouthy Mafioso dirt bag who's banished to the neon-soaked, hedonistic, Miami-like wasteland that is Vice City.
You start off by trying to fix a fumbled drug deal, but end up building a monster criminal empire. You achieve this by taking on missions handed out by corrupt politicians, psychotic drug kingpins, porn directors, and biker gangs. Missions might involve killing guys, chasing thugs, watching over drug deals, evading the police, and driving getaway cars. There are frankly loads to do, but some more annoying errands (like one featuring a certain remote control helicopter) can sour things. This remake lets you instantly retry failed missions, though.
That resolves some of the pain. Then again, GTA has never been about the missions. It’s about messing around in its sandbox world, jumping over ramps, picking random fights with cops, and flying choppers into pedestrians. Having that playful world on your phone - ready for a quick bash - is worth the entry price alone. For a decade-old game, Vice City's story and presentation still impresses.
The people have fingers now! In the end, I reckon this mobile edition of Vice City is only going to be appreciated by longing nostalgic who fondly remember bad Hawaiian shirts, the Lance Vance dance, and getting in golf caddy chases. It’s not that Vice City has aged poorly, by any means. But if you have to wrestle with antiquated game play, choppy PS2-era graphics, and bad controls, it might not be so appreciated by fresh eyes.