Posted on Wed 05 January 2005 in general

Despite the sudden unexpected appearance of the masses last night I did get a chance to boot up href="">GTA San Andreas on the PS2. First impressions are pretty favourable.

The map is huge, and of course I've not unlocked the whole thing yet. You can tear down the interstate for a few minutes before coming off into the urban sprawl of the main city. I'm concerned its going to take me a while to learn where all the stars are. I got busted several times last night because once your wanted level reaches 2 your
pretty screwed until you find a star. I wasn't expecting
the graphics to be much of an improvement as I thought Vice City was already pushing the hardware to the limit. However they have added some nice touches including motion blur at high speed and a setting sun that literally does get in your eyes if your driving the wrong way.

I'm still getting used to the new car physics which feel a little less forgiving than the previous instalment. However the one or two crashes I've had so far have shown the car roll more realistically than I remember. I suspect its just a case of getting practise in.

The biggest change seems to gone into the "RPG" aspect of the game. You can customise pretty much everything about your character including hairstyle and clothes (all costing money of course). There is a series of stats that cover things like your fitness, sex appeal and various technical abilities like driving and riding. One of the stats controls how many people you can have in your crew, however I haven't had a chance to start doing missions with minions yet. The controls for running around have been revamped (no more snapping to FP view to look around) and the character is a lot more mobile than before. You can now climb over fences and up walls which is handy when you've run into someones back yard to escape the cops.

The plot seems very in tune with the 90's environment the game is set in. There where a couple of occasions where I wasn't sure what peoplewhere talking about but I guess after a bit more play I 'll get more used to the language of the street ;-)

And finally today's strip on Penny Arcade encapsulates exactly the reason I can't get enthused about a lot of the cartoons on TV these days. If only there was more SPOONS on TV.....