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Monday, April 7, 2014

GTA 5 - Prologue [100% Gold Medal Walkthrough]

Here is a video of the proluge in GTA 5.  It was an interesting mission (reminds me of a similar mission from Grand Theft Auto 4, where Niko too had to take part in a bank robbery heist mission).  This missions is so signature to the series (yet twisted too).

Friday, April 4, 2014

Just got Grand Theft Auto 5 just a few days ago

Hey everyone, it's been a while since I have posted last, in part due to the job I was going for at Microsoft where I would have been working as a Bing HRS judge.  Despite my best efforts to pass the qualification tests, I fell short and so it looks like I won't be getting that job afterall (by the way, it was definitely tougher than it looks too since you have to be spot on your judgegments at least 80% of the time which can be easier said than done for most as you never really know if you got a judgment right till after you submitted a judgement).  Anyways, I do have some good news: I got Grand Theft Auto 5 (even beat GTA 4 a few weeks ago) which I purchased at Fred Meyer. By the way, here is a trailer for the game in case if you are curious.

Grand Theft Auto 5 (story mode) first impressions

I have been able to play the game several  times since I got it and here are my first impressions of the game.  Note that this is not my official review of the game (I will do that at another time probably when I am about to beat the game, whenever that is).  The game has 2 different modes of gameplay: story mode and online mode (aka GTA 5 Online) each with their own unique story lines and feels.  The game starts off in some foreign country (Russia?) where your character (Trevor?) is a part of a bank heist mission where your character is a part of a bank robbery scheme and he has to help secure hostages, take money and evade police.  I won't spoil  the whole prologue, but that is basically how it works in a nutshell.  Eventually the prologue ends and shifts over to Los Santos where you assume the role of an African American named Franklin and the real story begins.  I've done several missions already, including:
- A mission where you have to scope out a neighborhood (presumably for drugs) only to be attacked by a street gang and a shootout takes place and eventually leads to a scene where you have to chase a biker in a van (similar to many of the missions in GTA 4 where Niko has to chase down his targets in order to take them out).  Interestingly you can choose to skip the mission if you are struggling (which is nice as you don't have to keep repeating the mission if you are having trouble beating the mission).
- There was also a side mission where you have to help a random woman tow (which is definitely a first in  thee series as I haven't seen similar missions involving a Tow truck in earlier installments of the GTA franchise) a car from the street to an impound lot.
-  There is also a mission where you have to chase down a target with the help of a rottweiler (yes there are dogs in the game unlike the previous entries) at a train yard facility. Btw the dog can run off and get frisky with other dogs (which was kind of funny and yet twisted in my opinion).

Outside of missions, there is definitely a huge world to explore and plenty of things to do in Los Santos and San Andreas.  BTW this game will definitely remind you of GTA San Andreas in many ways which is definitely a change after hanging out in Liberty City throughout the GTA 4 era games.  Also just as Liberty City is alot like New York City in GTA 4, Los Santos is definitely alot like the Los Angeles area in California and will definitely make you feel like you are in Southern California.  By the way, interestingly your guy can smoke and drink alcohol too, which is kind of funny (btw, if you drink too much your guy passes out).  And if he smokes often he starts getting voices in his head.

Things I like so far:
+ Huge world
+ Great acting and clip scenes (much like how it is in GTA 4)
+ New mission varieties (especially the tow truck mission as the one involving the rottwiler)
+ Definitely a change of pace from GTA 4
+ During many missions, there do seem to be checkpoints where if you fail or die you can go back to the checkpoint as opposed to having to start all over in the mission.  This is definitely nice since I know in earlier installments in the series, you didn't really have this feature and if you failed at any point in the mission you had to start over from the beginning of the mission in most cases.  Also some missions do seem to have an option where you can skip them if you fail too many times (which can take out the frustration you might have on some of the tougher missions).  I am not sure if you can skip every mission that way but at least some of the missions do
+ At least 3 or 4 playable characters (though you start off with one at the beginning).  Not sure when the other ones open up

- Not sure if you can use taxis like you could in GTA 4.  Having cars is nice, but I liked the fast travel feature (especially if you are lazy or want to hurry and get to another part of the map).
- Your character (at least Fanklin) has a girlfriend at the start of the game so I am not sure if you can get girlfriends in the game like you can in GTA 4 or San Andreas, though you do get an email early in the game that implies that Franklin's initial girlfriend wants to break up with him (he gets one of those "dear John" letters where his initial girlfriend claims that she just wants to be friends and is not interested in continuing her relationship with him)., so he might be able to get girlfriends in the game.  Note: I haven't unlocked the

Online mode at a first glance:

Here is what I like so far:
1) Huge world to explore and do
2) The online mode does seem to have its own storyline that you can follow.  When I started out I created a character named after John Waynum (the screen name me and my brothers share on Xbox live).  I wanted to make John Martson his father (there is an easter egg in some versions where you can do that), though the version of the game I have doesn't seem to have  that feature.
3) Lots of things to do online.  You can do races, earn money do bounty hunter missions, fly jets (at least I saw a youtube video of someone flying a jet last night on GTA Online).

Cons so far:

1. Good Sport and Bad sport system.  There seems to be a new system on GTA Online where our actions can determine whether you are a good sport or bad sport.  I guess if you are a good sport, you reap the benefits of being a good sport.  Not sure what can make you a bad sport though apparently shooting other peoples' cars and failing jobs can land you in that category.

2. Kicking system.  On GTA 5 online, you can see other players' names and if you want to you can choose to "kick" or "report" the player.  While it might be a good way to prevent abuse of the system, sadly there are troll types (people who like to make life miserable for others online) that are ever present in GTA online that like to abuse it and sadly even innocent players can find themselves kicked from  the game or (worse flagged).  It seems to happen randomly as you can do a mission, accept jobs, take part in a race, etc and some jerk decides to kick you out of the game.  I remember on my first time playing online, I was just starting out and trying to familiarize myself with the controls and even did 2 missions when I got a message saying that someone voted to kick me.  No explanation why and I know I wasn't doing anything wrong either.  Hopefully kicking doesn't become problem for players (especially newbies), but that did seem to be evident when played the online mode.  If I were Rockstar I would make it harder for people to kick people (such as forcing them to state a reason why they want players kicked and make it easier for people to defend themselves when accused) off the servers (or at least if people want a private server to play on, encourage them to use private servers), otherwise that can be a huge issue that plagues the online mode.

Here is video for example of one of the players doing a mission where he had to get something from a gun store only to get kicked from the game (looks like someone didn't want him to beat the mission):

Other than those 2 things the Online mode seems pretty impressive so far.

Note that this is not my official review of the games as I will probably get a better impression as time goes on, but those are my thoughts so far.

Note that there doesn't seem to be a version of the game for xbox one yet, so you would need a PS3 or Xbox 360 to play it.

Interesting in getting GTA 5?  You can get them through Amazon or similar retailers: