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: What would happen if you put Grand Theft Auto on a modern portable game system? Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS, of course. Then, you port the game to the PSP and you get the same light-hearted take on serious criminal activities in an improved graphical package with only minor hiccups in translation. Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars holds its own well among the other Grand Theft Auto games, including those on the home consoles.
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.
Pros: Doesn't feel like a compromise compared to other GTA games, Improves upon previous games with new features, The massive Liberty City from GTAIV is instantly recognizable, Controls mostly improve upon the DS version's, Lengthy story, loads of optional activities, and fun multiplayer modes
Cons: Multiplayer supports only two people, Camera doesn't always afford you a clear view of action, Some of the DS minigames don't work well on the PSP
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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.