It is currently Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:47 pm


All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: IT News: A Console Gets the Game It Needs
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 5:57 pm 
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:43 am
Posts: 1818
Location: 100WebSpace's Headquarters
I had all kinds of complicated ideas about how to start this column but realized it's usually best to just say what you mean. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is the game the Sony PSP was made to play.

Image

It's pretty much that simple. Sony introduced the PSP, its new handheld game console, in Asia last winter and in North America in the spring, and anyone who has used or even seen one can tell immediately that it is a sleek and powerful piece of technology. The unit feels nice, the screen looks fantastic and it has enough horsepower under the hood.

But Sony, as well as anyone, knows that most people don't buy electronics for the technology. They buy electronics for the experience they provide. And the big problem for the PSP has been that there just haven't been a lot of great games available for the machine. Over all they've been decent - Untold Legends, Lumines, Midnight Club and Rengoku have each taken a fair bit of my time - but there certainly has not been that breakout title that makes gamers tell one another, "Just get it." There has not been that game that does things you've never seen before.

That may be why I see people watching movies and pirated television shows on their PSP's at least as often as playing games. In fact, the absence of great games for the PSP has actually allowed Nintendo's less snazzy DS handheld to retain more street cred than the PSP among many gamers.

Liberty City Stories, which comes out next week, is about to change all that.

Until now, playing on a handheld console has always felt like a dumbed-down, truncated experience compared with playing on a "real" game machine. Even as Nintendo has sold millions of Game Boys, I don't think there has been a conceit that playing on a handheld could truly be as deep and engaging as playing on a television or PC screen. The handheld screens were too small, and the silicon behind them too weak.

I spent almost an hour at Rockstar Games headquarters in downtown Manhattan this week playing Liberty City Stories, and it was the first time that a handheld has made me feel as if I were playing a full-fledged, no-holds-barred, top-end console game. PSP is supposed to stand for PlayStation Portable, but until now it has not lived up to that concept. Now it can.

I feel comfortable making these seemingly bold statements because Sony and Rockstar have been down this road before. For the first year after Sony introduced the PlayStation 2 home game console in the United States in late 2000, one of the big knocks against it was that there were not a lot of great games available for the new system. Sound familiar?

And then, in October 2001, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto III for the PlayStation 2, totally blew away gamers around the world and almost single-handedly made the PS2 a must-buy. The next month, Microsoft released its game machine, the Xbox, to acclaim based largely on the appeal of Halo. But propelled by Grand Theft Auto III, the Sony console was already galloping to a huge sales lead that it would never give up.

Sound familiar?

Once again, Microsoft is set to release a new game machine in November, this time the Xbox 360. And once again, Sony is using a huge new installment of the Grand Theft Auto series to try to steal some of Microsoft's thunder.

And once again, Sony may very well succeed. With Liberty City Stories, Rockstar has somehow shoehorned into the PSP a game that is actually bigger and in some ways more advanced than Grand Theft Auto III (though not as big as the Vice City or San Andreas installments). In the franchise's universe, Liberty City Stories is set a few years before the events of G.T.A. III. The player is Toni Cipriani, returning to Liberty City to work for the Leone crime family after four years in hiding. The game seems to have the humor, style and free-form play that gamers have come to expect from previous episodes for "real" game machines. As in the other Grand Theft Auto games, the player can act pathologically violent or merely street tough.

In fact, Liberty City Stories does things that were never possible in previous G.T.A. games for any system. For instance, the earlier games were almost entirely single-player. But using the PSP's built-in Wi-Fi, players can now stalk and battle their real-life friends through the streets of Liberty City. The big disappointment, however, is that it does not also include a cooperative multiplayer mode in addition to the "versus" modes.

In the end, it would not be that big a surprise were Liberty City Stories to end up overshadowing Rockstar's big release of the year for "real" game consoles, the Warriors. The scary thing for Microsoft is that it is distinctly possible that L.C.S. could be at least as appealing to many gamers as anything coming this holiday season for the Xbox 360, just as Grand Theft Auto III was at least as appealing to many gamers in 2001 as anything coming out for the original Xbox.

Sony's new home game console, the PlayStation 3, is not due until 2006. But if Sony is somehow able to frame gamers' holiday buying debate this year as "Do I buy a PSP or do I buy an Xbox 360?," then it will in one sense have already won the battle for the hearts and minds of gamers over the next generation of systems.

By SETH SCHIESEL - The New York Times

_________________
Read the F.A.Q. before asking a question!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:01 pm 
Cool :) I don't have a PSP... hopefully I can save some money and get both the PSP and GTA :)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:16 pm 
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:43 am
Posts: 1818
Location: 100WebSpace's Headquarters
From what I've heard PSP has one big problem - the batter doesn't last long... but it is a portable console so this might be just the problem that would make me NOT buy one...

_________________
Read the F.A.Q. before asking a question!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:17 pm 
The reason why I didn;t buy one was mainly the price. I just didn't have to money to buy one, instead I bought a Nintendo DS :) (which I haven't played for a couple of months) :(


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:19 pm 
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:43 am
Posts: 1818
Location: 100WebSpace's Headquarters
Is it good? The Nintendo I mean?

_________________
Read the F.A.Q. before asking a question!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:27 pm 
There are some good games for it (Super Mario 64 DS - Total remke with new graphics, levels, etc.. of the original Super Mario 64 for the N64) The mini-games are cool. WarioWare Touched is also good. One game that would make the DS 100% worth it would be either The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past, or MAjora's mask, both great games. I would buyboth of them ON THE SPOT if they made them for the DS :)


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ]  Moderators: fhmagic, KJ, Support Team, Moderators

All times are UTC


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
100WebSpace © 2011