GTA: Vice City

So, I’m starting to try to pick up this blog again. We’ll see if it lasts. To give it a foundation, I’ve started by re-reading the posts from the beginning, intending to complete any games that I started and play sequels to any games that have them. The first relevant game is GTA3, and so I’ve started playing its immediate sequel, Vice City.

I thought for sure I had this on disc — I certainly have the next sequel, San Andreas, still shrinkwrapped on my shelf — but apparently I don’t. I still feel like I had it at one point and possibly lost it. It hardly matters. All these games have been on Steam for ages, and frequently get put on sale for measly sums, so I’ve had it there for a while, just as unplayed as San Andreas. It didn’t work properly with my gamepad at first, but things have gotten a lot easier since my fumblings with its predecessor seven years ago: a mod that replicates the Xbox input scheme on PC was just a web-search away.

What I know going in: This is the one where the controversy really seemed to pick up steam. So far it strikes me as more puerile than offensive, though. Also, this is the first of the GTA games to give the player a specific character, with a name and spoken dialogue. This doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference so far: even when he talks, Tommy Vercetti’s personality is no more than the implied personality of the previous games’ mute protagonists. He’s a thug for hire and that’s about it.

Vice City was one of the three cities from the original Grand Theft Auto, and clearly based on Miami as portrayed in Miami Vice: sleek cars, bright sunshine, 80s fashions. Cyan and magenta all over the place. Michael Jackson and Yes on the radio. This is a period piece, much like the London 1969 expansion to the original GTA. It even emphasizes its retroness by starting the intro cutscene with a fake Commodore 64 loading screen. By now, it’s doubly retro, a glimpse of how the 80s looked twelve years ago.

To my eye, it doesn’t look too retro. The character models have hands that are mittens, without distinct fingers, but other than that, once you’ve cranked up the resolution it looks pretty much okay. Except that the women all walk funny, swaying their hips in a way that I guess is supposed to be sexy but just looks rather difficult and uncomfortable.

5 Comments so far

  1. matt w on 5 May 2014

    Yaaaaay the Stack is back!

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 5 May 2014

    Pfft. I’ve heard that one before.

  3. Jason Dyer on 5 May 2014

    I will make sure to post lots of flattering things to encourage further posts.

    Did you see on Storycade that a classroom made Gostak fan art?

  4. paul on 7 May 2014

    Whatever, Gostak is solved now. “distims” means “holds” and “doshes” means “vitamins and protein powders”

  5. David Lohnes on 8 May 2014

    Glad to see you posting again! Hope you make it through to finish Deus Ex!

Leave a reply