Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories - PSP review

3.5 out of 5
£35

For

More GTA, so much to do and see, fantastic soundtrack

Against

PSP’s poor control rears it’s ugly head yet again, a few graphical problems, Doesn’t offer anything new

In our ever so humble opinion, Vice City is still the best GTA bar none. The 80s soundtrack, the first sighting of 3D GTA bikes and glorious dialogue all adds up to a title that’ll go down in history as one of the best ever.

With Rockstar’s money spinning series taking a deserved sabbatical from full scale releases until next year, the series sojourn to the PSP has been for the most part a successful one.

Liberty City Stories was a fantastic welcome back to Liberty City – the setting for the PS2 smash Grand Theft Auto III – and helped shift a colossal amount of PSPs when it reared its pretty little head.

But with the limited technical capabilities of Sony’s sleek handheld and the introduction of the next generation of consoles about to get into full swing, Vice City Stories needs to give us something a little bit fresh to keep us interested. Surely we can’t stomach what is essentially the same game yet again, right?

It’s safe to say that if you’ve played a GTA title since its transformation from top down vehicular madness to full 3D freeform gaming pleasure, you’ll already be well aware as to what Vice City Stories has to offer.

Since making the switch you can pretty much count the number of new features added on one hand. But that's not all bad. This is simply another slice of good old GTA action and nothing more.

Things are just as we remember them – gaudy 80s style clothing and all. This time around though you’ll be playing as Vic Vance, brother of Lance Vance who you may remember from the previous Vice City title. Nothing like a bit of self referencing to cause excitement for all fans of this long running series.

Storyline wise this is your typical GTA affair. Vic finds himself involved in illegal activities and takes part in masses of missions for various gangs in order to get himself out of the mess he’s found himself in.

The missions follow the same path as always – "fetch and carry" jobs that you’ll soon get used to – although more than a few slightly off the wall missions are thrown in to keep things interesting.

The game engine keeps things rocking at such a pace Liberty City Stories veterans won’t spot many differences outside the change of setting.

But despite this standing head and shoulders above most other PSP titles – particularly considering the huge size of the game world you can wander off and gawp at – graphical errors rear their ugly heads from time to time. Some scenes look awful and take longer than usual to load from UMD. It’s a pity these couldn’t have been ironed out during testing.

The PSP’s poor d-pad, shocking analogue nub and sub par buttons make playing the damn thing a bit of a chore at times. Just don’t toss it across the room the way you’d do with a PS2 pad.

Verdict

You’ll already know full well if Vice City Stories is for you. If you want more GTA action to keep you going before GTA 4 hits, then go for it. Just don’t expect anything fresh.