Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Review

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Review

Jan 5, 2015

Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars on Android is a pixel perfect port of the IOS and DS game of the same name. Players take control of low ranking triad member Huang Lee as he embarks on a quest of revenge to find those who killed his father and attempted to murder to Huang himself.

GTA: CW plays less like the later games in the GTA series and more like the top down GTA games of yore. Since Chinatown Wars was made for lower powered handheld systems however a lot of things that define the later games are absent in this version. Missions generally involve little more than shooting and driving and the game as a whole is much simpler.

Screenshot_2014-12-25-20-32-27GTA Chinatown Wars does have a few features not found in the later games. Chief among these is the supply/demand based drug dealing system where it is possible to buy low and sell high if you visit the right dealers. There are also scratch cars that can be bought to win money or free food.

Since GTA: CTW was originally a DS game there are a few existing touchscreen features. When jacking certain cars the player must complete a minigames to hotwire the car or disable its immobilizer. Molotov cocktails are also made using a touch interface.

Screenshot_2015-01-03-16-04-57Unfortunately, GTA Chinatown Wars suffers from a bevy of control problems that render playing the game with any kind of grace much harder than it should be. The digital controls for turning your car are nearly unusable and trying to drive though a few turns usually results in a quick collision. The analogue controls are no better. Weapon aiming is a chore and the auto aim likes to lock onto the least useful enemies possible. Only the controls for thrown weapons are easy to use. A Bluetooth control pad makes the game much more enjoyable, but this doesn’t excuse the poor virtual controls.

The problem with Chinatown Wars is that there are three other, better GTA games already on Android. GTA San Andreas has far more features, a massive world and much better controls. Both GTA III and GTA Vice City are fantastic games. Chinatown Wars, with its top down graphics and strange control method really can’t compete.

The game looks exactly the same as the game looked on DS. By today’s standards the game doesn’t look particularly good. Low res textures and poor gun effects aren’t very impressive but the game doesn’t look too bad. The stylized cutscenes still look great though, even if the lack of voice acting is a bit annoying.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
is a decent port of a fun game that follows the basic GTA formula. It has a good story and some fun gameplay, but the awkward controls, old school top down viewpoint and lack of precise weapon aiming make it a game for GTA diehards only. It’s hard to want to play it when there are three other, better GTA games on the platform.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Released on Android at Last!

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Released on Android at Last!

Dec 19, 2014

GTA: Chinatown Wars, a 2009 game about a disgraced low-ranking Yakuza’s adventures in a top down version of Liberty city has finally been released on Android 5 years later. With its tight controls, good plot ad general GTA like insanity it is still a great buy. This version of GTA also arrives with external controller support and widescreen support for joypad toting gamers.

Pick it up on the Google Play store for $5 and expect a review of this old but fun game soon.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Review

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Review

Jan 9, 2014

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a direct Android port of the famous 2004 game of the same name. Now players can drive over pedestrians, blast Ballas and rampage in a tank anywhere. Does it do the original game justice?

In case the original isn’t familiar, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas tells the story of Carl Johnson brother to the leader of the Grove Street Families, a formerly large and powerful street gang that has fallen on hard times. Carl left the city to escape the gangsta life style, but after his mother is killed he returns to the city for the funeral. He decides to stay to help his crumbling gang rebuild their fortunes and kill a whole lot of people while doing it. A massive sandbox game, GTA features everything from gang wars to night club dancing, massive deserts to drive over to VTOL fighter jets to cause mayhem with. It is the ultimate toybox, a whole world to do as the player pleases

Screenshot_2014-01-08-21-03-35GTA: San Andreas for Android is the original San Andreas, fully realized and with a few extra widgets. The most noticeable right away is the improved graphics. There are a few options that allow the player to up the resolution of the game and add additional shadow and lighting effects that were not in the original game. Thanks to modern technology it’s possible to get GTA: SA looking way better on a phone that it ever did on a full console.

The sound is fantastic and has all the classic radio stations. The sound is loud, detailed and works very well with phone speakers. There are a few other options as well, such as controlling traffic density and such, but the graphics are the real star.

Screenshot_2014-01-08-11-28-55The games controls are well done considering how many buttons are needed for GTA. Tapping on a character targets them and there is a shoot button. There is a virtual stick, slider or tilt controls for driving. A minor annoyance is the lock on system sometimes selecting targets it shouldn’t. CJ will be shooting away at some Ballas and kill one and sometimes the lock on will jump to a nearby cop or one of your own gang members, shooting them if the player isn’t careful.

GTA: SA supports the MOGA mobile controller and for the most part it works very well, but some functions like targeting or changing weapons can only be done via on screen icon, which is a little slow. The auto lockon does a good job of finding targets however. The game drains battery very quickly, because of the horsepower required to run the game.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for Android is a fantastic port of one of the greatest games ever released. For $7 it’s an incredible game and a must buy. Even for players who played the original endlessly, the much improved graphics and portability make this one worth having.

Smash Cops Heat Review

Smash Cops Heat Review

Aug 12, 2013

Cops always get a short end of the stick. At the very least, you should beat them in driving. At most – with a nine iron. So, it’s always interesting to peak at the other side of the fence, and play as a keeper of justice for once. In Smash Cops Heat, we are given an iron badge and a fast car, and are tasked with performing rundowns and arrests. The whole game is a bit like playing cop missions in GTA, and damn if it isn’t enough.

There are two ways of controlling the car, and they both are very simple. The first one is by pressing behind the car and moving finger to the opposite side from where it should turn – kind of like holding the car by its trunk. Personally, I liked the more traditional virtual stick a lot better. There are two other buttons. First, “Super Cop” simply makes the car indestructible and very heavy for a short time, while other does a split-second boost that allows to ram an opponent off the road. It recharges a couple of seconds, but can be activated at any time, spending an “insta-ram” point, which are gathered across the missions or purchased with real money, just like the “super cop” power-up.

Smash Cops Heat 2Most of the levels in Smash Cops Heat require busting a suspect’s car by ramming into it, or getting to a specific location in a limited time. All missions are rated, based on how fast the mission was completed, and how successful and careful the player was. Up to five stars are awarded for each mission, and collecting them unlocks various bonuses, the best of them being new, faster and more powerful cars. There are also collectible doughnut pieces that can unlock additional bonuses when collected. Although the game is free-to-play, I didn’t notice a strong pay-wall. Although the missions do get more and more difficult, they are still passable. Especially so, if the player tries to collect all of the stars and doughnuts available, thus getting a faster vehicle.

All in all, Smash Cops Heat is very entertaining, and has great graphics, and smooth gameplay. It’s not very varied gameplay-wise, and car physical models are almost laughable, but great mechanics, and a relatively big city, help Smash Cops Heat stay interesting.