Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Features for Xbox

On: XboxPCiPhonePS2

Tom Orry, Editor - Epic Mickey 2, Xbox 360

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two screenshot

I had hoped Epic Mickey 2 would at least match its predecessor - a game that I'm fond of despite its flaws - but sadly I'm about a third in and the game is missing something. The original Wii game had a wonderful atmosphere and a sense that Mickey's quest was indeed epic - the sequel feels emotionless by comparison and the gameplay dull and repetitive. I'd hoped the series would live on long enough for a sequel to arrive on the next-gen platforms, with the designers finally able to make a game with visuals to match the wonderful concept art of the original, but given the state of Epic Mickey 2 I have my doubts.

Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Xbox 360

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas screenshot

I guess the hype for GTA 5 must have gotten under my skin, because the other day I suddenly found myself downloading San Andreas from Xbox LIVE. Given that I rarely cough up for Games On Demand stuff, this caught me by surprise.

The first thing that caught my attention was that old-school GTA look. I'd forgotten how distinctive the HUD is in the last-gen games, that slightly blocky design with its ever-so-slightly cartoonish overtones. At the time, I remember being blown away by how realistic everything seemed; with hindsight, the PS2-era GTAs were hugely stylised, which is partly why it was so easy for them to be referenced or parodied in other media. When you compare San Andreas to GTA IV, the contrast could barely be starker... but maybe one day GTA IV, which now seems so committed to realism, will look equally distinct.

In other news, the characters are just as unsympathetic as I remember them. CJ isn't too bad, but his brother and the crew are very hard to like. Still, this is a game with an awfully long build-up – and I know the best bits are still a long way off.

Martin Gaston, Reviews Editor - Far Cry 3, Xbox 360

Far Cry 3 screenshot

Far Cry 3 is an interesting game, but mostly at this point it reminds me of the things I loved from Assassin's Creed II which I felt were lost in Assassin's Creed III - running, jumping, climbing things and getting horribly distracted along the way. When it comes to the game's actual missions, well, I have a bit of a lukewarm reaction to those; they just feel like typical open-world missions, and I've never been a great lover of those, thank you very much. Go here. Collect that. Listen to somebody say some stuff about things. It's like being at school or, even worse, work. But, oh my, the freedom and wonder conjured up by the rest of it – and all the chasing, hunting and skinning things such freedom entails. Few things on my version of Rook Island haven't been skinned. I'd skin people if I could. Heck, does this support mods? I want to be able to make a necklace out of human ears. Ear necklace DLC please, Ubisoft.

David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Wii U

Nintendo Land screenshot

And by Wii U, I mean the infamous Wii U System Update. Nothing drains the excitement out of a new console faster than the realisation that you have to leave it alone for hours to let it update, watching the download bar slowly fill and wondering whether it's crashed after it doesn't move for five minutes. Imagine an over-excitable youngster waking up on Christmas Day to find Santa's brought them a Wii U, only to be told that they can't touch it until it's completed its precarious - and terrifying - update process. A process, of course, that can reportedly take up to four hours.

It's a little like when you bought a phone in 'the olden days' and had to leave it charging overnight. Only this time, your new piece of kit could become an expensive doorstop if there's a power cut or intoxicated uncle Joe trips over the power cord.

Given how long Nintendo has had to get this right - the Wii U was publicly revealed 18 months ago, after all - I find it difficult to believe quite how ridiculous an oversight it is. Hardware launches are never without their teething problems, of course, but when the president of the company apologises for the mistake before the console has even gone on sale in his own backyard, you know something somewhere has gone badly wrong.

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User Comments

pblive's Avatar

pblive

I've been mostly playing New Super Mario Bros U, Sonic and Sega Racing Transformed and Tekken Tag 2 on Wii U this week, with some Farcry 3 on PS3, Black Ops 2 on 360 and bits and pieces on the iPhone and Vita in between.

Still going to concentrate on completing Black Ops 2 Campaign as a priority.
Posted 09:26 on 03 December 2012
Ghost5's Avatar

Ghost5

Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U!

Been playing with the family over the weekend and my 6 year old cousin gives it her seal of approval!

Want to add me? Hop on over to the Miiverse and add me!: IanWindram
Posted 09:15 on 03 December 2012
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I played Modern Warfare 3 on Veteran and it wasn't as tough as I expected. And thanks to the generosity of Altaranga, I've been play 007 Blood Stone which is a little rough graphically but quite good fun.
Posted 08:58 on 03 December 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee@ MJTH

I think I already added you :) just accept. (If it works like that?)

I will drop it here when I get my 3DS, though.
Posted 20:39 on 02 December 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

I've played a lot of games this week which is depressing since, I haven't made much progress in any of them. Not only did I spend a good chuck of time on Wii U with AC3 and trine 2 (I also played chasing aurora, because I love the aethetic design of that game, and some of Nintendo land), but I also have been going through my steam game list this week and play a bunch of games that I bought in sales but haven't gotten round to yet. These include, Trine, Portal 2, Portal, Bit trip runner, realm of the mad god, reprisal and super hexagon. I haven't made much progress in any of them though, except for Trine.

The update for the Wii U is awfully long. It took me about an hour and a half, but if you know it's coming you can set stuff up to do during that time, or also play some games offline first before doing the update afterwards, so it's not all bad. If a kid just wants to play a game on Christmas day within minutes of set up he can do that, before connecting online to update.

Also speaking of San Andreas, I love that game. I played it during the summer all the way through and looking back enjoyed the majority of my time. In the only real down points for were the sections that took place in Los Santos. They were fun at first, but as soon as (*insert spoiler here*) happens they are pretty much outclassed by the rest of the games missions in the other cities, the desert and countryside areas.

@ Munkee
I still need to add you on 3DS, so could you post your friend code here at some point please.
Posted 16:14 on 02 December 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ FantasyMeister

@FM - oh, I meant traps as in sharpened/poisoned stakes attached to springing tree branches, snares, collapsing trees, and the like... :p

Heh, shotguns do tend to solve most problems though, don't they? ;)

Also, as you seem to be loving the game, have you checked out the free code thread...
Posted 16:04 on 02 December 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Wido

If my 360 went I would. I saw one go for about 50 quid once.
Posted 16:00 on 02 December 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Clockpunk

@Clockpunk

Re: One shot kills - they come later when you start using attachments. Or shotguns :)

Re: Traps - they're there! You can lay mines on patrolled routes and lay multiple C4s, they detonate in the order you place them. And I guess rock throwing is kind of a trap as it sets the target up nicely for an easy Takedown.

@jeffyboy40 Haven't done online yet.
Posted 15:39 on 02 December 2012
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ rbevanx

I haven't mate. Not really considered it to be honest.
Posted 15:00 on 02 December 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Wido

Have you considered selling your gamertag on ebay, making it clear what arcade games you have to fund your new console/games Scott?
Posted 14:27 on 02 December 2012
Wido's Avatar

Wido

ZombiU! 360 died, bloody Microsoft and their scrap! Not played too much of ZombiU as of yet, but I've been browsing through the Miiverse and just general exploration of the console itself.
Posted 14:14 on 02 December 2012
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Did The Amazing Spiderman on the PS3 this week as it was part of the deal with Black Ops 2.
Spiderman I think is a really good movie tie in game and in terms of quality is just behind Batman Arkham City.
The 360 version from what I have played is the better version but not by much mind.
Also did Black Ops 2 and the story reminded me of Kevin Smith (the filmmaker) explaining (well more like ranting which he usually does) how astonished he was at how bad a Superman script was that he read.
"Did you pay the this guy" "Can you get the money back?" "Who's dick did he have to suck to get this job???"

But yeah in a nutshell the story is all over the place but what bothers me even more about it, is that it's a big chunk of what you play and most of the game is sort of out of your control your very restricted so the story has to work for the game to have any bearing really.
On the positve though I quite liked the strike missions (I think that's what they are called) which are a mix of Call of Duty and Comand & Conquer which still has some problems and too short but has potential to be a game in it's own right.

Maybe they should have focused more on the experimental side of the game but of course that requires effort which we rarely see in a Call of Duty game.

Also did this weeks Halo 4 Spartan Ops and really looking forward to the last one :)
Posted 12:06 on 02 December 2012
jeffyboy40's Avatar

jeffyboy40@ FantasyMeister

Totally agree,FAR CRY 3 is really good,i loved FAR CRY 2 as well,the only criticism i have is the framerate on the 360 is passable at best,i guess its because of all the stat tracking but it is a fine looking game after all.Have you tried the multiplayer?,im enjoying it more than blops 2,ive been levelling up before the yanks get hold of the game on tuesday.
Posted 11:59 on 02 December 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

This week has just been an all-Ubi extravaganza! I finished AC: Revelations, unlocked the final two AC3 multiplayer achievements (Wolfpack is a fantastic gamemode, for undertaking as either a co-op or single player experience), commenced with the main game (with is blatantly more actiony... if only they had truly capitalised on that direction, and made the fencing/duelling a lot more involved than it actually is. Not entirely sure I like that aspect as it stands, but the world is fantastic, and it is just the opening memories, so...), and finally got my hands on Farcry 3.

Now... while it does look VERY good, I do already have a couple of reservations about it... namely the seeming lack of noticeable damage differences when it comes to hunting (that is, if I shoot the legs, a creature should fall, and a head shot should suffice to kill a wild boar or deer, rather than the standard three no matter where they strike on the body... that was a little disappointing), along with a touch of dismay at the rather paltry weapon selection. But, that is something they can add to later easily enough. I presume traps (a la the first title) aren't included, but they would have been an ideal addition as well. But the tattau skill tree system is a funky idea, and the music... WOW! Not quite deserving of the 9s and 10s thus far... but once I get into it properly, that opinion may indeed change.
Posted 11:54 on 02 December 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

I let the usual distractions (Forza 4, anything with Poker) keep me busy until Friday, Far Cry 3 (360) ever since.

Some Far Cry 3 notables (imho):

Most beautiful open world playground in a video game? - Check.
Best opening sequences in a video game? - Check.
First game to have the F-word appear its loading screens? - Probably.
Best acting in a video game? - I'm impressed.
Most useful realisation so far? - Do the Path of the Hunter quests as soon as you unlock them, it makes finding and killing specific species for crafting much easier.
Does it have that glorious "I'll just do this quest... OMG Nirnroot!" distraction gameplay? - Yes!
One improvement that could make the game better? - Just Cause 2's grapple hook, have to make do with hanggliders, ziplines and wing suits in the meantime.
If my top 5 games of 2012 are Guild Wars 2, Diablo III, Borderlands 2, Halo 4 and Mass Effect 3, where does Far Cry 3 fit in? - Jury is still out, but so far at least 3 or 4 of them are moving down the list.
Ubisoft done good? - Ubisoft done good :)
Posted 11:18 on 02 December 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 10/06/2005
Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Take-Two
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 2,657 21
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