Tag Archives: Grand Theft Auto

2023 Mobile Game Preview

Introduction

2022 ended with a bit of a whimper around here. Other priorities caused me to evaluate the page and I came the closest I ever have to shutting it all down. In the grand scheme of things, definitely not the worst thing to happen to me last year, but this page represents almost a decade of my growth as a person and a gamer. Even if I only use it as that personal record, it’s worth the effort to keep alive. So, let’s get 2023 started with our 2023 Mobile Game Preview.

While I spend most of my time playing games on my phone, I don’t often play new games. I stick to the same rotation of about half a dozen games. Occasionally, I go back to an older game to see updates. Once in a while, I try a new game and enjoy it. Both happened recently. I picked up Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest. I also got big into Marvel SNAP. With all of that being said, I make a resolution to branch out more into mobile gaming this year.

2023 Mobile Game Preview: The Old Rotation

As long as they keep releasing expansions, I continue to play and complete quests in MtG:A and Hearthstone. The same looks to be true for Marvel SNAP. SimCity Buildit provides a low key break from the stress of those two games. I invested way too much into Candy Crush Saga to quit anytime soon. MTG: PQ became a log in once to get the daily gift and I think it might reach that status again very soon. The game play is just far too frustrating at times to make it as enjoyable as the other match three games that I played. Fallout Shelter will be put back onto the virtual shelves now that the holiday season is over.

Older Games That Might Break Into the Rotation

Bored and reminded of their existence on Google Play, I downloaded Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords. I played both on the computer back when I owned a computer capable of running them. Yes, sad. My phone is now more powerful than any computer in the house. Nevertheless, once I have time to play and strategize in them, one or both can easily fit into my daily gaming routine. One day when frustrated by Hearthstone, I played the other Riot game, Legends of Runeterra. I enjoyed the game play and don’t remember why I stopped.

New Games I Might Play

Note: I searched several times and read a couple of articles before finally realizing the correct search term I needed to find new releases for this year. I used that list and limited information to put together the lists for the games I might play and the ones I will definitely play.

Mighty Doom

I told the story more than once that as a teenager, I often joked about every piece of electronics, “Can you play DOOM on this?” As I get older, that joke becomes true about more and more things. The latest I saw was a Lego block running a modded Raspberry Pi. Crazy. So, if and when this releases, I might try it for old time’s sake.

I never enjoyed the RPGs in the Mortal Kombat series. A friend played the Sub Zero Mythologies game and recommended it. I tried the game and found it limited. Also, I played the mobile version of the actual fighting game. While fun, it quickly grew stale. So, I might try this one, but I don’t expect much from it.

Always a sucker for old school D&D RPGs, I considered putting this one on the definitely list. After all, I played some Pools of Radiance a few years ago to get that fix. The only thing keeping it from that list is that I never liked Forgotten Realms all that much. I played Dragonlance and, after that, Dark Sun.

I always wanted to play Warhammer or Hordes. I collected miniatures, bought novels, subscribed to their now defunct magazine, and even purchased the games on Steam. I never played any of it. Now that it’s coming to phones, maybe I will finally give myself a chance to play.

New Games I Will Definitely Play

I started playing the Grand Theft Auto series with GTA III. I stopped playing regularly with GTA: SA. I reached the peak of my enjoyment with GTA: VC. I played some of IV and bought V but never played it. Give me the opportunity to relive the “glory days” of jumping the canal on my motorcycle and stealing some kid’s bike any day.

I thought this was a release of the original Final Fantasy VII game. Behind VI (III) in America, VII is my second favorite game in the series. Granted, it is also the last one I ever played on a regular basis. The original game already exists on mobile. This one is a compilation of spin offs. So, maybe swap this one with Baldur’s Gate.

I wish I had more self respect when it involved Warcraft games. All they do lately is take a popular formula, reduce it to its core elements, slap on the Warcraft/Hearthstone aesthetic and call it a day. And, every single time, I fall for it. This will be no different.

The Verdict

Looking over the list I found, I came away underwhelmed by the offerings this year. I came into this 2023 Mobile Game Preview article excited for the possibilities. I left with a list of retread has beens and what seems like a bunch of never will bes. I know as the year goes, I will find more and more games to try and enjoy, but for now it looks like the same old games. Also, I found this article while searching and I liked many more games on that list, so be on the lookout for them on the page this year.

(Very Limited) 1st Impressions of GTAV

Introduction

Always on the cusp of several years ago when it comes to just about anything, I finally purchased an XBox One. A�”Why,” you might ask, “after all of this time, did you finally buy an XBox One?” If you are asking about the choice of console, there’s really only one answer and it is the answer that regular readers of the page will recognize. A�The XBox one version of Minecraft is the first one to be cross platform with the Windows 10 and mobile version. A�As Minecraft is still a huge deal in our house, that sealed the deal on the XBox as the next console in the house.

If you are more wondering why I finally dropped the cash to get one, my wife was wondering the same thing. A�It came in the mail on a day that they were all home due to snow, so I took it into the living room to show Aiden because I knew that he was excited about it and waiting for it to arrive. A�”What’s that?” A�She asked. A�Aiden replied, “An XBox One.” A�”Why did you buy an XBox One?” She inquired. A�This time I replied. “Because I’ve been working my balls off for 2 months and I finally have the money.” A�Aiden, our child who is most enamored with “bad words” giggled at my response and then asked me to set up the console so that he could play some Minecraft.

Minecraft is a hell of a drug.

Over the next two days, I got texts from both Chris and Kevin asking me how I was enjoying the new console. A�To be fair, I had texted them both that I finally ordered the thing and when it arrived. A�However, I hadn’t even been able to play it yet when they both asked me, so I had to sheepishly reply that the boys were enjoying it, but I hadn’t had a chance. A�I did try to play Grand Theft Auto V (Five), but as soon as I put the disk in, it started to install something that looked like it was going to take at least an hour and I thought I had to be up at 6 the next morning. A�Plus, I just didn’t have the patience for that. A�Back in my day, you put the game in and you played it!

Well, I’m here to report that I finally got to play GTAV (Five) for about an hour last night. A�That’s the only game that I’ve gotten to play so far, so this article will just be about my first impressions of the game. A�I hope to do something on cross platform Minecraft next week and maybe in a few weeks, I can do a deeper dive on GTA and maybe even Destiny 2 (the other free game that I got with the console) after that.

The Good

Bear in mind that I have only made it through (maybe) half of the tutorial of the game. A�I had a beer last night, the second mission is a driving one, and I am proof that you should not drink and drive, not even in a video game. A�I couldn’t, for the life of me, finish that mission. A�So, I was only able to see the opening shootout, the cut scenes with the psychologist and introduction of the two repo men, and some of the driving mission before I failed it. A�Not once, but twice.

No lie. No joke. This is as far as I made it in my first attempt. I made it to the part where you cut through the alley on the second one. Don’t drink and drive, kids.

Nevertheless, what I saw of the story was good. A�It isn’t that much different from what I remember in previous games. A�For reference, I played GTA3 to the end and then used the tank code to beat it so that I could see the ending, played a ridiculous amount of “try to jump the canal on your motorcycle” in Vice City, and just couldn’t get into San Andreas because it felt a little to real for me. A�I had a similar reaction to movies like Boyz N The Hood.

Even with the familiar feel, I was still invested in the characters that I met. A�Rockstar does a good job with their storytelling in their games and that is something that I appreciate. A�In fact, the story for Red Dead Redemption was not terribly original, but it was very well executed. A�The same can be said for this story. A�I can’t wait to finish that second mission to see what kinds of crazy trouble I can get into and what weirdos I meet.

The Bad

The story might be good, but I already wrote that it is, to put it mildly, familiar.A� I also mentioned Red Dead Redemption earlier.A� By the time that game came out, I had played enough GTA that I knew the formula.A� As a result, it took a while for me to actually play that game.A� I often derisively referred to the game as Grand Theft Auto:A� Horse.A� Consequently, when I finally got around to playing Red Dead Redemption, I got a good lesson in not judging a game by its cover because it remains one of my favorite games I’ve ever played.

And, the 2nd one became like Portal 3 or Half-Life 3, a fairy tale told to children to keep them docile and well behaved.

I mean, can you blame me?A� Grand Theft Auto 3 was pretty revolutionary at the time.A� They took a top scrolling racing game and developed it into a fully realized 3 dimensional sandbox game that was almost on par with Super Mario 64.A� I already told you that I played that one so much that I got to the end.A� Granted, it was with a cheat at the very end, but hopefully over the last 3 years of this web page I’ve successfully painted the picture that I am a casual and lazy gamer that has only gotten more lazy due to the time commitment of adulthood.

So, what do you do when you have a successful formula in movies, games, or anything else really?A� You abuse that formula to within an inch of its life.A� Humans are more creatures of habit than anything, so you can exploit that fact and just release the same thing over and over and people will still buy it.A� As a result, Vice City was just GTA with motorcycles!A� San Andreas was GTA with bikes.A� I never played 4 because I soon tired of the formula, but I assume that’s when they introduced airplanes and helicopters.A� If not, then this is that game.

I am invested in the game, so I will continue to play it.A� I don’t expect to be blown away by any new technological advances.A� Unlike another game that I started to play that is very much like the original, The Sims, I suspect that I might get bored of this one earlier.A� Who knows, maybe the story and nostalgia will be enough to keep me engaged right to the end.

Then again, the new DOOM (and Fallout 4) beckons and DOOM was my first pew pew game love, so it might end up winning my heart again.

The Ugly

I may be an old man.A� And I probably can remove the may from that previous sentence.A� And I definitely can remove the probably from that previous sentence.A� I am an old man.A� I’m not ancient, but I am (statistically speaking) on the other side of the proverbial hill.A� So, what I’m about to say won’t come as much of a shock.

Granted, I haven’t made it too far into the game, but so far the violence level is high, but it’s not off the charts.A� So far, it is just spatters of blood.A� Certainly nothing like the disemboweling that happens in the Mortal Kombat series.A� I expect that to change, so something might come along to shock me into reconsidering my time with this game.

The other mature themes have yet to show up, too, so I can’t speak on them.A� But, the language.A� I’ve only played through maybe 5 minutes of actual game and they’ve used the “F” word more than a full length movie.A� I mean, I haven’t been counting, but when the phrase “F” this “F”ing “F” is used, that seems a bit excessive.A� Bear in mind that I’ve used that phrase more than once in my life.

Heck, the reason that I laugh so hard at the soap scenes in A Christmas Story is that I’ve lived it more than once.

So, I’m no stranger to swearing and I don’t even consider swearing that bad.A� It’s just that when anything is excessive, over the top, or it feels like it’s being used to cover up weak storytelling or dialogue, I get a little nervous.A� Also, I’ve listened to a podcast series recently that has changed my mind a little bit about the extraneous effects of certain pop culture phenomenon.A� I’m not going to jump into the GTA is contributing to the downfall of American life (except I kind of am skirting the issue), but we can’t possibly know all of the repercussions of any single event.A� Now that I’m older and the kids will eventually have to take over for me and the other old farts, I worry what legacy we’ve created for them.

The Verdict

This has become my calling card.A� Like the Tick with “Spoon!”, I have “It’s *fill in the blank*.”A� There’s a reason for that and I wrote about it earlier.A� When you find something that works, you repeat that formula until it doesn’t work anymore because, well, why would you?A� Why take the resources to develop something new that will take time when you can just slap a new wrapping on the old thing and nobody will question you?

Well, that’s where we are with GTA.A� Good or bad, it’s GTA at this point.A� They might give it updated graphics.A� They might be able to convince some Hollywood hotshots to lend their voices to the series.A� They might let you drive helicopters or boats.A� They’ll put in an online mode.A� But, in the end, it’s just GTA.A� For now, I can forgive that because the story and my memories of the old games have me engaged, but I can’t promise that will last.A� After all, I bought GTA 4 on the recommendation of a friend and never opened the game.

And that one was supposed to feed exclusively off of my nostalgia for the “original”.