Excerpt: Rockstar Games' palm-sized Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was one of last year's best portable games. Scratch that. It was the best portable game of 2009—sorry, Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks . Whether you love or hate aggregate review score sites such as Metacritic.com, it's hard to argue with the numbers; GTA:CW pulled together scores of 93% and 90% for the DS and PSP, respectively.
Excerpt: When Rockstar Games announced they were going to be bringing a new Grand Theft Auto to the Nintendo DS, many were expecting something similar to what we got with the GBA port from years back. That is, they expected 2D top-down graphics and a pretty neutered experience, with possibly a little bit of extra touchscreen functionality and some extra info on the second screen.
Can Rockstar's Juggernaut Franchise Turn Heads on Handhelds?
21 October 2009
Conclusion: Concept: Rockstar has crammed an entire GTA experience onto the DS cart. Gunplay and storytelling come up short, but new gameplay avenues keep you glued to this crime caper
Graphics: Liberty City hasn't lost any of its life. Stylish still-frame cutscenes effectively convey the story
Sound: The ambient sounds of the city establish the setting well.
Summary: Dealing drugs is dangerous business, even in the cesspool of Liberty City. The risks may be amped, but so is the payoff. Play your cards right and you can generate thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes. In Chinatown Wars, the drug trade is a central new tenet of the GTA experience. Your pay for plugging rival gang members is paltry, so you need to find other ways to keep your SMG supplied with bullets.
GTA comes to the Nintendo DS, but it's NOT FOR KIDS.
Common Sense Media
27 July 2009
Summary: Parents need to know that this is a 'M"-rated Grand Theft Auto game. It might look cartoon-like and it's available on a platform embraced by young children, but this game is NOT FOR KIDS. The game is about organized crime, which includes gang violence, assassinations, selling drugs, and prostitution. Players can kill the police or pedestrians and have sex with prostitutes.
Conclusion: There is an amazing level of detail present in the game. During combat, you can zoom into the thick of the action to see exactly what your units are doing. Obviously it is virtually impossible to be an effective commander like that but it is worth gawking at the graphics a little before going back to helicopter view to continue slapping your opponent around some more.
Excerpt: Say what you will about the Grand Theft Auto games, they don't half push hardware. We saw it for years on the PS2, more recently on “next-gen” consoles, and now, perhaps most impressively of all, we're seeing it on the Nintendo DS. Chinatown Wars, the handheld re-imagination of the most famous sandbox of them all, is a technical marvel. Every five minutes or so something will happen that makes a mockery of what you thought the DS was capable of.