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  San Andreas - A Second Look - Misc
  Posted by: OmegaDir on 05-17-2005 @ 15:08 - Source: IGN
This News Item has been viewed 1,117 times
A collection of editors from all over the IGN network chime in with their opinions on the biggest PS2 game of the year. There are many more staff reviews over at IGN and you can view them by clicking the source link above. Dated November 2, 2004:

Getting the highest score in the history of IGN's PlayStation 2 channel isn't something we take lightly, especially when that score is 9.9. And if the letters that we've received from readers in the last seven days are any indication, it's a score that you don't take lightly either. But whether you agree or disagree with the judgment expressed in our review last week, one thing's for sure: everyone has an opinion.

"I am sorry but I am a 'little bit' disgusted at your overzealous review of GTA SA on PS2," said one reader immediately following the release of the game. "I think there are enough control, gameplay, camera, and graphical issues in the game to drop every single area you have scored it in at least one mark each." Another reader retorted with his own reply a few minutes later: "Hello Mr. Dunham! I've read your review of GTA:San Andreas and I have to say that I totally agree with you."

The back and forth nature of our letters above have continued to pour in by the truckload every day now, with gamers seemingly united on one common point: that San Andreas is one of the most talked about games of the year. One of the most common letters we've been getting most recently, however, are the ones comparing Microsoft's upcoming first-person mega-sequel Halo 2 to the already-out Grand Theft Auto. "You just scored San Andreas a 9.9 so that it could automatically win Game of the Year over Halo 2,"said one our of our more angry readers, while another wondered aloud "I wonder if GTA: SA will go down in history as the greatest console game of this generation? I think it'll be even better than Halo 2!

Perhaps the question we get most often from readers, though, is what do some of the other editors at IGN think? We already know how the review's author and IGNPS2 Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Dunham felt, but how about the rest of the staff? What did the Xbox guys think of the PS2's most successful franchise? How about the other PlayStation editors? Do the GameCube folk have an opinion? How about everyone else at the office? Collected below are comments taken from those very people highlighted above.

Ivan Sulic (Editor, IGNPS2)
In the book of Ivan, a quality gaming experience is not only determined by grand visions and epic scales, but also by high production values applied to individual facets of a title to create a more cohesive, refined whole. While Grand Theft Auto boasts unprecedented scope, it lacks quite a bit in enough key areas to make it less of a wonderful game and more of a wonderful idea.

It's brilliant on paper: Let's combine shooting, hand-to-hand combat, driving, exploration, a rich narrative, a large game world, and some conventional role-playing mechanics into a single title. Very cool, eh? Save for the driving, GTA's pervasive problem is that no single component of this formula is particularly well developed. The fighting is repetitive, the shooting is clunky and tedious (and it sounds terrible), and the RPG mechanics are largely unnecessary. It's a great vision that offers so much in so many different areas it was incapable of perfecting or even polishing any one of its many offerings.

There is still something to be said about the Jack of All Trades that does everything but masters nothing. The sensation of freedom in GTA is unrivaled. Even though each underlying gameplay mechanic behind this "do whatever you will" philosophy happens to be wrapped in a layer of severe technical problems and glitches, it comes off as surprisingly solid. It's a game that plays off the imagination. While you're being bombarded by shortcomings, you're also amazed at being able to steel a bicycle and do a drive-by. "What can I do next?" You'll often wonder. And if you don't want to do anything next, you can just blast through the game's amusing, hilarious, and very original storyline missions.

In any event, I'll be the first to admit that it's good. I'll also be the first to admit that it's substantially better than the previous two titles (in just about every single way). But then that's not necessarily Grand Theft Perfection, but rather admittance that the originals were perhaps a bit.. .over appreciated. Still, if you're looking to tool around and do just about everything, you really won't need anything else. But if you're just looking for a developed game, you won't want GTA. It's simply not Max Payne, Midtown Madness, KOTOR, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But, it is an experience that tries to be all of these at once, which is something nothing else really does as well.

A perfect game or something close to it? Absolutely not. Great fun and a fantastic idea? You got it.

          Next News Post 05-17-2005 @ 15:13 - GTA: San Andreas PC Confirmed
          Previous News Post 05-17-2005 @ 14:55 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 8-CD Box Set

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