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Off Topic & Games
For when your thoughts are drifting to things not so movie, or if you're feeling trivially inclined.
591

GTA IV
Topic by: Battie
Posted: May 28, 2008 - 1:08 AM PDT
Last Reply: June 3, 2008 - 5:23 AM PDT

author topic: GTA IV
Battie
post #1  on May 28, 2008 - 1:08 AM PDT  
Surely there are other GTA'ers out there? If not, here's some thoughts.

I have to admit, video game violence has never led me to become more violent. But you know that crazy driver who weaves in and out of traffic while speeding? That was me. But I wasn't like that until recently...damn you, GTA IV! (Okay, so I'm only likely to be that way when tiredness destroys my defenses...which is even worse. :|)

The online aspect of GTA IV is insane fun. There are a number of different ways to play (ranging from Death Match and Team Deathmatch to Free Mode), and all of them have tweakable settings (such as playing Death Match on Happiness Island with nothing but rocket launchers). I love it, save for the huge, blood-sucking, death-giving bugs. They're not even bugs, they're FLAWS. You get disconnected, a lot (on the PS3 and the 360). It happens when starting a game most of the time (90%), but will occasionally drop-kick you when you're right in the middle of a game. You also have no choice in a 'lobby.' The server just dumps you in whatever lobby it feels like (sometimes you end up being host of an empty table). If you get disconnected, or you decide to drop out of a game voluntarily, you are booted back to Single Player Mode (with its annoying load time) and then must bring back Online Mode (with more load time). You also cannot access Online/Multiplayer Mode without first being in a saved Single Player game (in other words, along with the idiotic Rockstar art that displays for about 3-5 minutes in the beginning, you also have to load a game). Then, lastly, there are the freezes. While I have yet to experience a PS3-Killing freeze, it has frozen my entire system before (which meant reboot and reload). Supposedly Rockstar issued a patch (which I have), but it didn't seem to fix the freezing.

Now on to the fun stuff: The main story is a ton of missions and quite a few side missions. And unlike San Andreas, there are hundreds of 'objects' to collect. Just 200 flying rats to be killed and so many stunt jumps to complete (which are quite fun). There's also plenty of time-wasters. There's tv (yes, GTA IV has its own warped tv - think GTA talk radio). There's weird shows (Bluesie St. John and a very inept magician are funny as hell at times - I loved her tranny song), comedy acts (from Katt Williams and Ricky Gervaise), the internet (my favorite site so far is a travel guide for Americans going to Europe - satire can't get more obvious and side-splitting) and mini-games (depending on your preferences, some may be annoying, some may be a lot of fun - I'm fond of darts). You also have the social scene, which can be amusing and enlightening (often conversations between Niko and his friends/girlfriends reveals Niko's past). Or it can be an annoying diversion from the main story (also depending on your preferences). A lot of the minor characters have more dialogue than previous GTA characters (the Indian cabbie that works for Roman is a trip).

Finally, my favorite diversion of all: getting Niko drunk. I have, at times, spent 5-15 minutes laughing myself silly over this admittedly minor aspect of the game. I went down/fell down some short stairs while drunk...Packie followed me...then I spent the next five minutes trying (and failing) to walk back up them. If you've ever gotten massively drunk before, you will find a lot of amusement in watching the ground move in GTA IV. Throw in a little drunk driving, and you're having a GREAT time.

Now for the trade-mark warped humor: first up, hookers. In this game, the hookers will literally move on Niko (on, over, etc) and one of them is very vocal. I imagine there are clips on YouTube by now. It's worth a few minutes just to hear the funny things they say (occasionally in bored tones, occasionally not). Talk radio is just as warped as usual. There's one show I occasionally catch...It's some judge going over cases, and every time, he sides with the man and spouts some crazy sexist crap. Even told the female claimant once to come sit on his lap. The commercials are just as crazy. "There's something genetic inside you that makes you want to kill things and then mate with them!" Billboards, passing pedestrians, cops, hobos. You could literally spend days just looking around seeing more weirdness.

Which brings us to detail. Compared to San Andreas, this game has a huge amount of detail. You've got all the above mentioned, but you also have a lot of textures (such as different kinds of pavement), realistic shadows, lighting, etc. There's fog and rain (and when it rains, the textures change, too). Some roads have brick, so when you drive over them, yours car 'feels' the brick. The driving is insane. Most people hate the driving initially (and, in fact, you will crash like mad for about an hour). I, on the other hand, like how it mirrors real driving conditions. If you take a turn too fast, you will skid into a building or fishtail. I once took Niko to the top of the old roller coaster and accidentally fell off. On the way down, he hit a slat, screamed and then kept going till he hit pavement. There's very few instaces of going through things (ie, they're there, but you can't touch them).

There's a new aspect to GTA IV...you can choose to let some intended victims live. However, I've yet to see this have any impact on game play. Maybe it will later, or maybe this will be something they explore in the next GTA.

Overall, the main story is really fun and so is the online gaming. If they'd just fix the disconnect issue, I could mostly be happy. As it is, I'm only 60% happy because I wanna play online a lot right now and simply can't. I spend about as much time loading and being disconnected, etc as I do actually playing. What a time waster.


So...anyone else becoming a crazy driver?
doozer
post #2  on May 28, 2008 - 10:28 AM PDT  
> On May 28, 2008 - 1:08 AM PDT Battie wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
>
> So...anyone else becoming a crazy driver?
> ---------------------------------


You know it!

I love all the new GTA stuff they gave me.

I love that you can be ejected from the vehicle. I love calling Carmen when I don't feel so good. Some injuries make me wince in a bad way though. I smashed my head into a wall last night and had to stop for a minute.

I love the detail. The little courtesy lights that come on in the car when you open the door excite me. The old crap cars backfiring is great.

I love when the owner of the car tries to take the car you're stealing back. Furthermore, I love that the parked cars locked.

I LOVE OUTRUNNING THE COPS! That's not new, but the little blinking ring to let me know my wanted status is super. Also, I outran them on foot last night. I wish I could do that IRL.

I dig the radio stations, including the talk radio. I love the radio show where the hot dog vendor talks about how his family was so poor they didn't even have water. They only had tears. Priceless.

I jacked a firetruck and sprayed pedestrians with the hose. I don't know why that was so entertaining.

Have you gotten Niko drunk, while drunk? That was weird for like..2 seconds.

There's plenty of great things about it. Between work, school, and having a birthday - I haven't been able to give it as much time as I'd like.




Now my gripes:

I'm disappointed that the game doesn't have buyable properties. That was one of the more rewarding parts in the game. I robbed a bank and made a crapton of money. It's funny how Niko frets about money all the time, and here I have hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I can spend it only on hot dogs, strippers, and guns.

The game doesn't feel right without the satisfaction of blowing your money on businesses. Don't get me wrong, it's still an amazing game, especially in the visual department, but Rocksar made a mistake with this.

Also, need to talk to the makers of Forza to get better car physics.

They need to talk to the folks who made Mass Effect to learn how to create character models. The characters are pretty good and the voice overs are nice, but the quality of their rendering and artistic value suck inappropriate things compared to Mass Effect.


and FINALLY: After a marathon GTA session, I find my IRL driving skills take a hit. Last night I was driving back from a restauarant and saw a woman standing on a corner. I immediately said "oh a hooker! let's hit her!" to my companion, who happened to be my friends dad that I was picking up from the airport. Luckily, he thought it was funny.
doozer
post #3  on May 28, 2008 - 10:30 AM PDT  
and I failed to edit that before posting. SUPER!
Battie
post #4  on May 28, 2008 - 12:46 PM PDT  
> On May 28, 2008 - 10:28 AM PDT doozer wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> You know it!
>
> I love all the new GTA stuff they gave me.
>
> I love that you can be ejected from the vehicle. I love calling Carmen when I don't feel so good. Some injuries make me wince in a bad way though. I smashed my head into a wall last night and had to stop for a minute.
>

Oh yeah, being thrown from through the windshield is a trip!

> I love the detail. The little courtesy lights that come on in the car when you open the door excite me. The old crap cars backfiring is great.
>

*nod* And the fact that you can still hear music playing from inside the car after you've gotten out.

> I love when the owner of the car tries to take the car you're stealing back. Furthermore, I love that the parked cars locked.
>

Yeah, that's not so fun in some parts of town where the owner and random peds that look similar will shoot you dead. Though that can be amusing.

> I LOVE OUTRUNNING THE COPS! That's not new, but the little blinking ring to let me know my wanted status is super. Also, I outran them on foot last night. I wish I could do that IRL.
>

I somehow outran 10 cop cars on one wanted star in a Trashmaster the other night. It was so stupidly funny. I think the game spawned so many of them that they just crashed into each other chasing my slow self.

> I jacked a firetruck and sprayed pedestrians with the hose. I don't know why that was so entertaining.
>

It is, especially when they get mad about it and start trying to pull you out of the firetruck...and then the cops get angry at you for assaulting peds with a high-powered water blast.

Walked into a gushing fire hydrant yet?

> Have you gotten Niko drunk, while drunk? That was weird for like..2 seconds.
>

Not yet, I was going to try it in the next few days. I have a nice bottle of 100 Southern Comfort.

> Now my gripes:
>
> I'm disappointed that the game doesn't have buyable properties. That was one of the more rewarding parts in the game. I robbed a bank and made a crapton of money. It's funny how Niko frets about money all the time, and here I have hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I can spend it only on hot dogs, strippers, and guns.
>
> The game doesn't feel right without the satisfaction of blowing your money on businesses. Don't get me wrong, it's still an amazing game, especially in the visual department, but Rocksar made a mistake with this.
>

Yeah. The money seems pointless in this game. There's not enough/no buyable clothes, property, cars, car customizations, etc. I can understand cutting back some of it, but they cut back so much of it that it leaves you not caring about achieving money (like in San Andreas, in the beginning you'd take any and all side jobs to make some cash so you could buy nice clothes).

> Also, need to talk to the makers of Forza to get better car physics.
>

I like them. :)

> They need to talk to the folks who made Mass Effect to learn how to create character models. The characters are pretty good and the voice overs are nice, but the quality of their rendering and artistic value suck inappropriate things compared to Mass Effect.
>

I agree. I expected a fairly dramatic increase in the quality of the characters' faces from GTA: SA, and didn't get it.

>
> and FINALLY: After a marathon GTA session, I find my IRL driving skills take a hit. Last night I was driving back from a restauarant and saw a woman standing on a corner. I immediately said "oh a hooker! let's hit her!" to my companion, who happened to be my friends dad that I was picking up from the airport. Luckily, he thought it was funny.
> ---------------------------------

Lmao. Lucky you. I actually yelled, "Run, bitch, run!" at a lady jogging on the street at night (she didn't hear me) while driving my friend home...and this was without GTA.

I get more impatient with traffic...which leads to some weaving around traffic, etc. It needs to stop! Then there's..."Omg, can you be anymore slow?! I'm going to ram you!" *snort* I made a conscious effort to control my GTA impulses today. :)
doozer
post #5  on May 28, 2008 - 1:15 PM PDT  
Ok another gripe. Sometimes getting from point a to point b is far more frustrating than it needs to be, even with the new taxi cab feature. That's to be expected from a free-roaming game, but I think it's time to revise the map/way point system completely. I'm talking the ability to set permanent custom way points, name them, and always be able to refer back to them whenever needed.
Battie
post #6  on May 28, 2008 - 4:07 PM PDT  
> On May 28, 2008 - 1:15 PM PDT doozer wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Ok another gripe. Sometimes getting from point a to point b is far more frustrating than it needs to be, even with the new taxi cab feature. That's to be expected from a free-roaming game, but I think it's time to revise the map/way point system completely. I'm talking the ability to set permanent custom way points, name them, and always be able to refer back to them whenever needed.
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, it gets frustrating trying to remember a particular spot (like where the Turismo store is, for example). Plus, if you find 'hidden' items (guns, armor, etc), it'd be nice to mark them on the map in case of emergency later.

GTA IV is supposed to have several explorable buildings (a lot of skyscrapers), but so far, I've only found one. Well, two, actually. I stumbled into a museam during a Death Match (but now I don't even remember where it was/which one it was). I really wanna be back in the Museum to see what kind of damage I can do to the dinosaur bones! Unfortunately, unless you remember where they are when you find them, you're SOL exploring them later.
SirenTiger
post #7  on May 29, 2008 - 12:18 AM PDT  
> On May 28, 2008 - 4:07 PM PDT Battie wrote:
> ---------------------------------

>
> Yeah, it gets frustrating trying to remember a particular spot (like where the Turismo store is, for example).

Gad! I had that problem in real life. There's this one pizza place which I can never find even when I'm parked right in front of it. I walked right past it three times last night. Dang! Time to get my eyes upgraded.
doozer
post #8  on May 29, 2008 - 12:27 AM PDT  
> On May 29, 2008 - 12:18 AM PDT SirenTiger wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> Gad! I had that problem in real life. There's this one pizza place which I can never find even when I'm parked right in front of it. I walked right past it three times last night. Dang! Time to get my eyes upgraded.
> ---------------------------------


Nonsense! Blame the sign. They need a bigger/brighter sign.


I know what you mean though. I'm the Queen of "I know it's around here somewhere", insomuch as I'll convince a friend they want to go someplace that I was slightly ossified at one time a year ago who's name I can't quite recall. But I *swear* I know the cross streets.
MHeise
post #9  on May 29, 2008 - 10:49 AM PDT  
That game is crazy, I love to fly as high as i can with a jet, helicopter, etc and jump right out. I must say the motorcycle driving physics are a little weird but thats cool. so many things to do but little to buy, San Andreas gave you the choice of different clothing stores, a barbershop, and even a sex shop.very little for Niko to look fresh in.

Over all i give the game a thumbs up, rockstar has really outdone themselves with this one.
underdog
post #10  on May 29, 2008 - 10:58 AM PDT  
Er, anyone playing Wii's Raving Rabbids (I & II)? That's about the extent of my video game playing these days. Those games are so much fun. And you shoot bunnies with toilet plungers, not guns!

I do want to play GTA4 though.
doozer
post #11  on May 29, 2008 - 10:59 AM PDT  
> On May 29, 2008 - 10:49 AM PDT MHeise wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> That game is crazy, I love to fly as high as i can with a jet, helicopter, etc and jump right out. I must say the motorcycle driving physics are a little weird but thats cool. so many things to do but little to buy, San Andreas gave you the choice of different clothing stores, a barbershop, and even a sex shop.very little for Niko to look fresh in.
>
> Over all i give the game a thumbs up, rockstar has really outdone themselves with this one.
> ---------------------------------


I was actually surprisingly satisfied with the motorcycle driving physics....until I smashed mine into a wall ;_;
shiftless
post #12  on May 29, 2008 - 12:33 PM PDT  
I do not have GTA or even a PS3 but my friend does and I've played 3 times now. I've played the game since it was sprite based. Love GTA! I haven't gotten very far in the game but if memory serves, getting to know the city's layout is essential to completing a lot of the missions. And with the new GTA, it's SO VAST an area, that that will be difficult. In a real city, I can learn my bearing very quickly, but in video game land where textures and models are reused a lot, I can't remember anything about where something was. I haven't gotten to try the online play yet.

I was impressed with all the programming available on the TV and of course the radio bits are hilarious. Haven't seen much yet to distinguish this new version against the old ones though. I was gonna use my tax refund to buy a PS3 but then my car went kablooey so there goes that... sigh...
doozer
post #13  on May 29, 2008 - 6:01 PM PDT  
> On May 29, 2008 - 12:33 PM PDT shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I do not have GTA or even a PS3 but my friend does and I've played 3 times now. I've played the game since it was sprite based. Love GTA! I haven't gotten very far in the game but if memory serves, getting to know the city's layout is essential to completing a lot of the missions. And with the new GTA, it's SO VAST an area, that that will be difficult. In a real city, I can learn my bearing very quickly, but in video game land where textures and models are reused a lot, I can't remember anything about where something was. I haven't gotten to try the online play yet.
>
> I was impressed with all the programming available on the TV and of course the radio bits are hilarious. Haven't seen much yet to distinguish this new version against the old ones though. I was gonna use my tax refund to buy a PS3 but then my car went kablooey so there goes that... sigh...
> ---------------------------------


What made you decide on the PS3?


I personally cannot figure out if I want a ps3 or a 360. Blu Ray isn't the issue for me, because I have a Blu Ray disc player at home. Honestly there are more 360 exclusive games that I want than ps3 but I know as soon as I decide on one and spend the money - something will change. I don't know what, but it will.
shiftless
post #14  on May 29, 2008 - 9:58 PM PDT  
Well, for one, I have a grudge against Microsoft and don't want to give them any of my money. Two, I like the PS3 controller better, it's also what I'm used to although I am somewhat more used to 360's controller now too. I think of 360 as being for PC fans who like shooters, cause that's largely what's out there for 360.

My friend with the game has both, and also a Wii, so I get to hear about new games and play them too. 360 definitely does some things better as far as background downloading and some online play, but that could just be I saw the wrong games. Blu-ray is not a factor for me either. As far as recommending a console to a friend who wants one, I would say that either one could be fine, it just depends on your interests.

Although, I *have* heard that 360 machines experience a lot more hardware problems and don't last as long.
doozer
post #15  on May 30, 2008 - 3:53 PM PDT  
> On May 29, 2008 - 9:58 PM PDT shiftless wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, for one, I have a grudge against Microsoft and don't want to give them any of my money. Two, I like the PS3 controller better, it's also what I'm used to although I am somewhat more used to 360's controller now too. I think of 360 as being for PC fans who like shooters, cause that's largely what's out there for 360.
>
> My friend with the game has both, and also a Wii, so I get to hear about new games and play them too. 360 definitely does some things better as far as background downloading and some online play, but that could just be I saw the wrong games. Blu-ray is not a factor for me either. As far as recommending a console to a friend who wants one, I would say that either one could be fine, it just depends on your interests.
>
> Although, I *have* heard that 360 machines experience a lot more hardware problems and don't last as long.
> ---------------------------------


I always thought it would be great if I could get one of my roommates to buy one and I buy the other but sadly the only other game any of my roommates are ever interested in is Guitar Hero.

I might really be better off playing at a friends place because if I spent all that money I'd probably end up neglecting it. My DS has to throw itself out in front of my car crying "play me PLEEEEEEEAAAAAASE" before I even turn it on. Even then I really only have it for days on film sets that are long and boring.
Battie
post #16  on May 31, 2008 - 5:19 AM PDT  
Well, the beauty of the new consoles is that they also function as more than something to play a game on. I stream video files to my PS3 so I can watch them on my computer. All I needed was a router and a small program for Ubuntu called MediaTomb.

So even if I'm not playing a game, I tend to be watching fansubs on my PS3. :D (Too bad there's no mkv support yet. *sniff*)
doozer
post #17  on May 31, 2008 - 12:42 PM PDT  
> On May 31, 2008 - 5:19 AM PDT Battie wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, the beauty of the new consoles is that they also function as more than something to play a game on. I stream video files to my PS3 so I can watch them on my computer. All I needed was a router and a small program for Ubuntu called MediaTomb.
>
> So even if I'm not playing a game, I tend to be watching fansubs on my PS3. :D (Too bad there's no mkv support yet. *sniff*)
> ---------------------------------


The thought of getting both hasn't escaped me. Especially since I just got verbal confirmation that the IRS is FINALLY sending me a good chunk of money that they owe me from years ago. Getting it was not without plenty of tears, begging, Mafia threats, and the like.
troublemaker
post #18  on June 2, 2008 - 1:08 AM PDT  
Hmmm.. so what's the consensus on which system is a better media hub for streaming to a television? While my empty wallets will keep me from purchasing one for a while, I've heard the 360 works really well for those purposes and have been eyeing one. Then again, I foresee myself wanting a bluray player so perhaps it'd be a smarter move to get a ps3 instead?

Oh and Underdog, I definitely agree with you about Rayman's Raving Rabbids. Our house had a Wii until it got stolen last summer.. :( but Rayman was definitely a house favorite up until that point.
Battie
post #19  on June 3, 2008 - 5:23 AM PDT  
> On June 2, 2008 - 1:08 AM PDT troublemaker wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hmmm.. so what's the consensus on which system is a better media hub for streaming to a television? While my empty wallets will keep me from purchasing one for a while, I've heard the 360 works really well for those purposes and have been eyeing one. Then again, I foresee myself wanting a bluray player so perhaps it'd be a smarter move to get a ps3 instead?
> ---------------------------------

Dunno. My brother has a 360, but he only uses it for games and (maybe) as a DVD player. I know the PS3 has divx and xvid support (using avi, wmv, mpeg). I don't know what the 360 supports, but I suspect the PS3 (possibly both) will continue to add format support as time passes. After all, the PS3 didn't start out with avi and xvid support.

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