Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories PSP

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories PSP
While fans eagerly await the next version of the Grand Theft Auto series for the powerful next gen consoles, possibly expanding the scope and geography of the title exponentially, the second in the PSP’s series of "revisitings” will have to tide over the devoted until October of ’07. Much like its predecessor, Liberty City Stories, which returned to the NYC-inspired location of GTA III a few years before that story and with a new (anti-) hero, Vice City Stories returns to the vibrant, Miami-flavoured settings of Vice City. However, instead of Vice City’s Tommy Vercetti, you play the older brother (Vic Vance) of VC’s Tubbs-like sidekick, Lance Vance, once again a few years before the events of Vice City. Starting out as an enlisted man, Vic slowly gets drawn into a life of crime, is drummed out of the military and slowly but surely, attempts to take over Vice City and build his criminal empire via the trademarked third-person, open-ended game play, storyline missions and side-quests fans have come to know and love from the franchise. True, for those familiar with the series, and fans of the massive San Andreas in particular, Vice City Stories doesn’t further the series or introduce any completely new elements (although the Empire building feature is a nice touch), but what it does exceptionally well is move the luscious Vice City world to the PSP, improve dramatically upon the PSP version’s soundtrack aspect (which was oddly weak in LCS), continue GTA’s near-pitch perfect combination of humour and violence, and offer a slightly improved storyline, for the handheld versions, at least. Granted, there are some slight issues with melee combat and backgrounds popping up, and it’s nowhere near as deep as San Andreas, obviously, but Vice City Stories is a welcome return to the scene of the crime. (Rockstar)