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November 11, 2002 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-11

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 11, 2002

ART S

------

CAN YOU HEAP IT PUMPING
ON YOUR STEREO?

The Music of Pokstar's
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice Citq"

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By Luke Smith
Daily Arts Editor

While the mega-hit "Grand Theft Auto 3" was flying
off of shelves last year, Rockstar North was already
hard at work on its successor. The product of its labors,
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" is by no means a sequel
to the mega-popular third installment, but instead, is
more of an upgrade - a video gaming equivalent to a
super-sized combo.
"Vice City," by design, looks and feels like Miami at
the peak of the explicable
and despicable excessive
'80s. The story focuses
on the recently released-
from-prison happenings
of central character
Tommy Vercetti.
Contrasting the
silent unnamed
character from
Vercetti is
P, voiced by
Ray Liotta,
immediately
linking the
game with
Scorcese's
"Goodfellas." The
addition of a cen-
tral character,
with a personali-
ty, a voice and a
lot of dialogue
(Vercetti yells at
pedestrians as he
jacks their cars)
is a polarizing
one to fans of
"GTA3."
Liotta isn't the
only celebrity
offering his
sy of Rockstar Games voice to the

"Grand Theft" series. Burt Reynolds and Luis Guzman
both lend their pipes as a couple of big-time criminals
in the game's early going. Dennis Hopper, Fairuza Balk
and retired porn star Jenna Jameson are
other members of the "Vice City" cast. "
None of the game's voice acting is as
memorable as David Hayter's work with
Konami's "Metal Gear Solid" series, but
it most definitely augments the storyline, GRANI
rather than detracting from it. AUTO
One of the central lures to "GTA3" C
was the anonymity of its main character,'Fo
who took orders and carried them out, o
silently - this facet allowed gamers to Rockst
insert themselves and their own person-
ality into the narrative; now, that personality is dictated.
When a cocaine deal goes sour in the game's open-
ing moments, Vercetti is forced to try and recover the
snow he lost in sunny Vice City. From here, he encoun-
ters a usual suspects lineup of characters, from a coked
out lawyer all the way to the members of the Hatian
district, one of the many ethnic groups residing in the
culturally diverse Vice City.
With the upgrade of "Vice City" much of the
team's work went toward the bigger, faster, hyper-
excessive culture that marked the '80s. "Vice City"
now offers over 150 drivable vehicles, extending far
beyond the simple realm of automobiles that "GTA3"
offered. In addition to a larger standard fare smorgas-
bord of fast cars, Vice City's streets are crowded now
with motorcycles, amongst a ton of new pedestrian
models.
Despite the game's engine being almost identical to
its predecessor, "Vice City" has undergone a number
of substantial upgrades. Most noticeable of these is
the game's graphics. Where "GTA3"'s Liberty City was
industrial and run down, at times pixilated with build-
ings flickering in and out of the horizon, "Vice City"
and its engine irons out the visual bugs. The difference
is clear as the warmth of Vice City's climate is captured
- hazy heat-lines drift throughout the city's streets,
blinding sunspots appear while driving through the
town. During the nighttime sequences, the lighting is
incredible - each bulb casts a humming luminescence
and the warm light trails of cars through the night is

breathtaking. Instead of buildings leaping up on the
horizon, the background is deeper than in "GTA3,"
players will be able to see buildings deeper into the dis-

Volume 1: V-Ioc
Judas Priest - "You've Got Another T king Comin"'
Twisted Sister - "I Wanna Pok"
Anthrax - "Madhouse"
Motle Crue -"Too Young To Fall in Love"
David lee rot - "Yankee Pose"
Ozzq Osburne - "Bark At The Moon"
Volumne 2: Wave
A Flock Of Sea I-I qPan (So Far Awa)"
Kim Wilde - "Kids InAnerica
Blondie - "Atomic" A
Core Hart - "Sunglasses qte
The uman Leue "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"
[ena m- "99 Luffhallons"
Volume 3: [motion

D THEFT
D: VICE
ITY
r PS2
ar Games

tance with the improved depth of field.
Visually, the game is tweaked with all
of the bells and whistles, refining the
aeshetic short-comings of the third
installment in the once-cult-enshrined,
now hailed and reviled "Grand Theft
Auto" series.
In addition to vastly improved graph-
ics, Rockstar Games fleshed out the
sound and music exponentially in the
posh, hedonistic Vice City. Liberty
City's own Lazlow is working in Vice

City, holding down DJ duties for Vice City's own
VRock radio - a smattering of '80s schmaltz. The
game's radio stations are even deeper than before,
this time incorporating a slew of period songs from
the '80s.
Unfortunately, the often shoddy controls and moody
targeting system of "GTA3" weren't given the same
redux as the graphics and sound. Running, a crucial
aspect of the cop-fleeing, is jerky and choppy -
Tommy runs inconsistently and the controls are pretty
touchy. Similarly, the melee weapons firing system isn't
particularly responsive to player control. The circle
with a dot in the center is insufficent to the require-
ments that the game neccessitates. The targeting system
of pistols and shotguns has been improved, with a red
lock on indicating the target. This makes the shooting a
bit easier in the game, but the tricky targeting system is
still one of the title's largest flaws.
No fault of Rockstar Games, but a flaw nonetheless
is the terribly slow load times experienced in "Vice
City." The load times are at their worst when the game
begins - it feels like forever from the PS2's power on
until game time.
While a definite improvement over its predecessor,
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" is more of an expansion
pack than it is a sequel. Much has been revamped and
improved, however, the game is far from perfect. Slow
lag times, oft-irksome controls and problegi camera..
angles detract from a game highlighted by upgraded
graphics and sound.

Cutting Crew - "(1 Just) Died In Your Ars
TLto - "Africa"
Mr. Mister -"Broken Wings"
Foreigner - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
P1┬▒0 Speedwagon --"Kee On Loving You"i
Night Panger -- "Siste CPristian g
Volume 4: Fash
Hall & Cates - "Cut Of To.cX"
Lionel Pickie - "Punning Wit The M
fYes - "Owner Of A L.., lHeart"
ran dams - Pn to
Wand C" ung - "Dance llal 0D s"
MiCkael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
Volume 5: Wilclstyle

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Kurtds Blow - "T1e Breaks"
Pun DMC - "Pock Box"
Wioduni-" Magic's Wand"
Afrika Bambaataa -"Looing For The Perfect Beat"
Herhie Hancock- "Pcit"
Grandmaster Flash - "The Message"
Volume 6: [ever -
Michel Jason - "Wanna Be Starting Something"
Pointer Sisters - " Automatic"
Teena Marie - Beind The Groove"
Pic James -"Ghetto Life"
Whiser -"And Tke Beat Goes On"
Kool& The Gang - "Summer Madness"
Volume 7: [spantoso
Deodato - "Suer Staut"
Caghao - "A Gozar Con Mi Comho"
NMongo Sanama r ma Papa Tu"
Tito uenta "Mambo Gozon"

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Dream ii.
R0 .
Disney:
We're recruiting on campus!
6:00 pm
Monday, November 11, 2002
University Union, Anderson Rooms
Mark your calendars -All majors and all
college levels invited. This is your chance to
go inside this world-famous resort,
build your resume, network with Disney leaders
and meet students from around the world.
Check out a Walt Disney World®
College Program paid internship. 24-hour secured
housing is offered. College credit opportunities
may be available. Visit our website at
wdwcollegeprogram.com and then
come to the presentation. Attendance
is required to interview

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