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The Cars Issue


GRAND THEFT AUTO 3The 3-D sequel to Grand Theft Auto is blowing my ass off like a bazooka. Here’s the plot.You just escaped from prison and some black dude (another ex-con who I swear has
Κείμενο THX 1138


Grand Theft Auto 3
Platform: Playstation 2
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: DMA The 3-D sequel to Grand Theft Auto is blowing my ass off like a bazooka. Here’s the plot. You just escaped from prison and some black dude (another ex-con who I swear has Guru as his voice) knows where you guys have to go. You have to steal a car with Guru and take him to a mafia guy named Luigi. Once you’ve completed that mission you’re on your own and, with Luigi’s guidance, you can keep committing crimes and climb up the ladder of crime or you can just piss about. That’s right – it’s just like real life. You can stand there and think about stuff, beat the shit out of Guru, steal an ambulance and go help people all game, or talk to a cop. You can even become a cab thief that collects fares all day and helps the elderly. Before I got good at taking my friend to Luigi I would occasionally wander around the living city and fuck with innocent people. One time I picked a fight with this Puerto Rican dude and he pulled out a gun and shot me. The game is constantly streaming off the disc, so unlike the lame-ass virtual city in Shenmue (where you ask stagnant robots where your father is all day) there is action going on all day and all night. Every citizen in the city goes about his or her business no matter what you do. This has never been done in video games before. The tedium of entering code is now getting the same attention as making the characters, and it makes for a look I’ve never seen before, part of a new breed of games where the line between publisher and developer is totally blurred. The detail is truly groundbreaking. You can choose from nine radio stations featuring everything from a dub station with Scientist on it to the soundtrack from Scarface; there’s a to-scale day and night system where half an hour is a day and if you miss the Brinks truck at 5:00 PM you have to wait till the next day to get it again. Each car has totally unique physics and handling; prostitutes come out at night; actors do the pedestrian mumbling you hear every time you go by a crowd (There’s a total of 2 000 different quotes including “Where’d you hear that?” and “His mother’s coming. She hates me”). I’m telling you. It’s the fucking real world. So real in fact you can’t criticize it. Unlike other Rockstar games, parents can’t complain about kids blowing people’s heads off. That’s not part of the game. You get rewarded for killing bad guys but as far as innocent civilians go, that’s your business. If the game is violent your kid is violent. I played this game for so long I didn’t want to play it anymore so I just walked around and got my head back together. After having a brief stroll around my neighborhood I was ready to go back home and play again until I realized I had never stopped playing. I WAS STILL IN THE GAME (dee nee nee noo, dee nee nee noo, dee nee nee noo, dee nee nee noo).




Manufacturer: Midway

Year: 1981

Twenty years ago, arcades weren’t family- friendly “amusement zones” like Playdium…. They were gritty, smoke-filled dives where rockers hung out and beat the shit out of you for your lunch money, or better yet, sell you some sweet gold seal. If you were a kid, you felt like you were in on some kind of taboo underground sub-culture where parents were kept far, far away. Gorf sums that whole era up for me. Gorf was the punk rock renegade of video games that was always sitting at the back recesses of the arcade, overlooked by most, like that skinhead kid who sat at the back of English class in 10th grade huffing glue.

Ripping off all its graphics from Space Invaders, Galaxians and Galaga, Gorf was the ultimate space shooter smorgasbord. Instead of a joystick, Gorf had this big crazy red flight stick, with an analogue button so you could “feel” the laser blasts. Not content to follow the standard back-and-forth horizontal plane of gameplay as its predecessors, Gorf let you move up AND down as well. Another thing Gorf had going for it was how it shook things up by having five radically different levels in an era where endless repetition of the same level was the order of the day. If that wasn’t enough, the game starts out with a “blue” level (unheard of in the time of black-background-only levels). I used to think that was so fucking cool until recently playing it and realizing the blue background was just a cheap ploy to make the game harder (you can’t see any of the enemy’s blasts) and thus eat up more quarters.

—THX 1138