Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gangstar Review

Before last week, there were only two Grand Theft Auto clones in the App Store. Car Jack Streets is 2D, and Payback is 2.5D. Still, neither provided the experience console gamers with the latest few Grand Theft Autos wanted. Then, Gameloft came along, and released a game that gives a revolutionary experience on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Maybe not revolutionary for consoles, but an amazing display showing just how much the iPhone can do. That game, is Gangstar.
Gangstar, $6.99, is an amazingly good and content-rich clone of GTA III. You control a Mexican gangstar, who was just released from prison, in a fully 3D virtual version of Los Angeles, trying to scale up the mob rankings by completing missions, racing, jacking cars, and just plain doing anything you want. There are a whopping 50 missions, most taking about five minutes, which is perfect for gaming on the go. If you hit or kill too many people, the cops come after you, and you have to pick up different badges to reduce your wanted level. However, the cops are easy to kill, even when you have a 5 badge wanted level.
When on foot, you use a virtual analog stick on the left to control your gangstar, and a range of buttons on the right. There is always an attack button, and buttons to get into a car and enter a shop appear when necessary. To target a person or car to attack, tap on them. Tap on your weapon in the upper right corner to cycle through your weapon inventory. There are a range of weapons in the game, including fists, handguns, Uzis, and RPGs (rocket launchers). Swipe around the screen to rotate your view, though the game does a pretty good job of rotating your view on its own. When you are in a car, there are three controlling options; a slider, a virtual wheel, and tilting the device. Different people have preferences, but I like the device tilt option the best. To move forward, press (and hold) a pedal button in the lower right corner. To back up, press the button in the bottom left. To pause the game, tap the mini-map in the upper left corner.
The graphics in the game are amazing for a handheld console like the iPhone, which wasn't even meant to be used for gaming in the first place. Everything is rendered in great 3D, even on my 1st Generation iPod Touch, and the only drawback is that it shows cars and people within a very small range, if you're driving down a road, a car can appear out of nowhere and hit you. Also, there are about 20 different cars to use, with different paint jobs, but sadly, no bikes, motorcycles, or planes.
The virtual version of Los Angeles is a perfect size in Gangstar. It's just big enough that you don't feel crowded and like the city is tiny, and just small enough that you can eventually guide yourself around the city, to different areas and shops, without very much help from the mini-map. It has a version of Beverly Hills, Chinatown, and even a port/storehouse area. The different neighborhoods are shown by different colors on the map.
There is one major glitch in the game, which is almost impossible to stumble upon, unless you are purposely executing it. (Which I do often.) Some might think of it as a bad mistake, but I think that it makes the game experience more fun. I've probably spent more time playing around with this glitch than doing real free-roaming. Some areas near or behind houses and other structures are blocked off by gates, or thin walls, or invisible barriers. This glitch allows almost instant access to these areas, and requires only a little work. Check the comments section for instructions on how to execute the glitch.

Amazing Graphics
Fully 3D World
Lasts a Long Time

Short Draw Distance
Long Load Time in the Beginning (No Other Load Times)

Bottom Line:
Get Gangstar!!! Support Gameloft, encourage them to keep making these console quality games. I recommend Gangstar with all of my heart, it is truly my absolute favorite game on my entire iDevice, and it will be for some time.

Graphics: 4.75/5
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Controls: 5/5
Replay Value: 5/5

Overall: 9.75/10 (not an average)

Remember to check the comments to see how to use the glitch to access secret areas!!


Fleabag323 said...

Here's how to execute the glitch:
1. Get into a car.
2. Start driving so that the left side of your car is against the gate, fence, or out of boundaries zone.
3. Drive as fast as you can.
4. Press the button to jump out of the car.
5. You are now inside the area. Sometimes you will need to keep moving up, then you will eventually get to a point where you can walk normally.
6. Enjoy, and comment saying if you used the glitch and you liked it! :D

Alex F said...

I'm just about to check it out but it sounds cool :D

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