Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2) Review: And the Beat Goes On

Just a year after the astounding masterpiece, Grand Theft Auto III, came the sequel: Vice City. Vice City, believe it or not, was almost better. It retained the gameplay of the third game, while adding a new city, motorcycles, a perfect soundtrack, and, best of all, had an actual story, with a protagonist that talks frequently.

A new way of travel.

Vice City features the timeless tale of a crook, who rises up from his small-time roots, and becomes a notorious drug lord. That crook is Tommy Vercetti, who with the help of his lawyer, his buddy, Lance, and rival gangs; takes Vice City for his own. He is sent to Vice City to perform a drug deal, when it goes wrong, and him and Kent (his lawyer) have to escape and hide out; he is forced to go after the money. He eventually runs into a colorful cast of characters, not the least of which is Lance, his buddy in crime, his main man.

If you die during a mission, Taxis will be there to bring you back to it.

The gameplay is practically the exact same as III, except with added elements, such as motorcycles and helicopters, and more weapons and cars to choose from. You can steal, beat, kick, shoot, explode, drive, the works. You can now also buy property, which is a big (and mandatory) thing to do in this game (you must buy the Malibu to finish the game). Also back are the side-missions; taxi, cop car, ambulance, paramedic, and the new Bus side-mission. Plus, you can hop out of a moving car, which you couldn’t in III.

Stylin’ and profilin’.

.The game’s all-around sound is even better than III’s, with phenomenal voice-acting by Ray Liotta, Tom Sizemore, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Phillip Michael Thomas, Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Jenna Jameson, and Lazlow, who cowrote all radio stations in this game, along with Dan Houser, and is the host of V-Rock. Every song in this game is a hit from the ’80s, with more radio stations, and by extension, songs than III; all of them better (in my opinion) than III, with artists such as Megadeth, Electric Light Orchestra, Judas Priest, Quiet Riot, Toto, Blondie, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, INXS, Michael Jackson, Teena Marie, Rick James, Kate Bush, Bryan Adams, Go West, Luther Vandross, Kool & the Gang, A Flock of Seagulls, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Spandau Ballet, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Hashim, Corey Hart, Laura Branigan, REO Speedwagon, and Eumir Deodato.

You must own this club to finish the game. (Source: IGN)

The game looks good, but only a little bit better than III; the graphics didn’t have the same revolutionary feel as III, since this came out only a short year after III. Vice City looks nice, but isn’t quite as great of a city as III’s Liberty City. It feels smaller, less interesting areas, and had less of a dynamic feel than Liberty City. It features two masive islands (which you can’t access both until a certain point in the game), with four bridges (two of which have mini-islands; one with a movie studio), and is very sunny and poppy, in stark contrast to Liberty City’s dark and dreary dystopia (which I prefer). The whole game’s tone, story-wise and in general, is more upbeat than the dark III, since it’s the Florida in the ’80s, and not New York in 2001 (which was dark, believe me).

Ah, the awesome Vice City.

Vice City is a worthy sequel to the masterful III, and would remain the best selling game on the PS2, until the next edition in the GTA series. If you can, I recommend you buy it. It is now on the Playstation Network, under classics (not HD), as is III, and San Andreas. It isn’t as good as III, and it isn’t perfect; but it is good enough to warrant my “rigbybot127 Seal of Greatness”.

 

9.4/10

 

James Flaherty

Video Game Reviewer/Critic at Leet Gamers Asia
Two things I love with a passion are video games and writing, and what's a better combination of those two things than being a game reviewer? 'Cause that's what I am. A reviewer for Leet Gamers Asia.

My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.

James Flaherty

Two things I love with a passion are video games and writing, and what's a better combination of those two things than being a game reviewer? 'Cause that's what I am. A reviewer for Leet Gamers Asia. My tastes in games breach all genres, though my fortes are platformers and first-person shooters. My favorite game series is probably Super Mario, specifically the 3D games. I also love Rayman, Hitman, Bioshock, Half-Life/Portal, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto. As for my favorite game, it's hard to say: I love Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, Bioshock, Resident Evil 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rayman Legends, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Grand Theft Auto IV, L.A. Noire, Fallout 3, Journey, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence all so damn much.

4 thoughts on “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2) Review: And the Beat Goes On

  • March 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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    Personally, I liked Vice City better than III, because of its more focused story, the extra modes of travel, and that you could own property. Both are excellent games and must plays, either way.

  • March 7, 2013 at 12:32 AM
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    Vice City is fantastic, but it is missing something that made III magic. It could be that III was simply more revolutionary than Vice City, but I’m not sure. What’s your favorite GTA?

  • March 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM
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    To date it’s Vice City but GTA V could change all that.

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