It's Halloween today, also known as October 31st, which means Vice City Stories has been officially released across North America. Some people in other countries have already received their copies of the game, and thanks to exploits made possible through various homebrew applications, are already taking digital screenshots and sharing them in forums - these show you exactly how the game will look on your PSP.
In other news, Rockstar have made a minor update to the official site by way of a link to Urge where over 80 songs from the soundtrack can be downloaded. Urge of course have exclusivity rights lasting until mid-November, at which time iTunes will also have the songs to download.
Looking at other pages on the site, it's probable there will be one final update (occurring in mid-November) to obviously add the link to iTunes, but also to update the downloads page which still says "More coming soon", presumably this means more wallpapers and such like are on the way.
If you're playing Vice City Stories and want to tell everyone how great it is, or if you need help with missions for example, head on down to our forums where you'll find plenty of people willing to help you on your escapades through the city of Vice, and who can provide answers to many of your questions.
IGN have finally posted their review of Vice City Stories, giving the game 9 / 10. Of the negative points talked about in the review, all are ones mentioned by other websites. The hand to hand combat, weapon aiming, poor AI, lackluster missions etc. We've heard it all before, thankfully the review is a lot more positive and a lot more in depth (3 pages) than the other reviews we've seen. Being a Grand Theft Auto game itself actually brings up the review score according to IGN, though this is coupled with the inherent humour and excellent replayability. The overall fun factor now with the addition of helicopters and more vehicles, is another excellent trait of the game. Again there are a few new screens included in the review.
Gamepro have posted their review of Vice City Stories. Yet again we see another negative start, followed by only a few positive points. It seems that VCS may not be living up to that hype after all.
Gamepro gave the game a fun factor of 3.75 / 5, in comparison to the infamous GamesRadar article this is equivalent to 7.5 / 10.
The review, which is very short it has to be said, is essentially two paragraphs of negatives and two paragraphs of positives. A lack of personality and boring characters are said to be two of the disappointments, in addition to Rockstar failing to stamp out the bugs that are still evident in the series after all these years, including poor AI and weapon aiming. The awesome soundtrack makes up for all the bad points apparently, as well as a myriad of new side missions and tons of new vehicles. Check out Gamepro.com for the full review, a couple of new screenshots are also shown.
There's been a lot of speculation as to whether Vice City Stories will require the latest firmware updates from Sony, and we can now confirm that it will require at least version 2.81, the latest currently available being 2.82.
Vice City Stories seems to be getting into more and more players hands now, despite the fact we haven't reached the official release dates, as many retailers are choosing to bend the rules and distribute copies of the game earlier than they're supposed to.
Some quick facts we can now clear up about the game:
Unless homebrew is more important to you, you may want to update your PSP right now, so as to avoid the annoying wait to download and install the firmware before you get to play VCS. You can do so by using the network update feature on your PSP, or alternatively download it from one of the following links:
Everwhere else (you'll need to click on your country then go to Help & Advice -> PSP System Update)
Thanks to Enstone @ GTAforums for the info
The Vice City Multiplayer team have been busy recently, and last week released version 0.3 of their fantastic mutliplayer mod. Version 0.1 has already proved to be the most popular multiplayer mod in our database (for Vice City), so I expect you'll be pleased to see this update, which contains the following upgrades and new features:
GamePro Australia, who you may remember were the ones who brought us the first scoop on Vice City Stories, have put up an article describing 15 things you need to know about Vice City Stories.
Some of the interesting things they mention include cops now being able to swim, it may now be a bit harder to escape from them at sea. There is apparently of lot of profanity in the game, though this is what most of us have come to expect in a GTA game now. Voice acting is said to be excellent once again, and according to GamePro there are a number of celebrities in the game, we know Phil Collins is one of them, but they suggest there are more. Unfortunately, Vic won't be able to climb walls, it seems that Carl Johnson is the only character with this truly unique ability.
Some missions will be received via pager. You may remember the famous GTA3 pager, which played a catchy tune that was so popular it went on to be released in .mp3 format, as well as being a downloadable ringtone for your phone. Sadly it won't be returning, but the pager does add some more realism to the game.
You can read more about what GamePro have to say by reading the 15 Things You Need to Know About GTA: Vice City Stories article.
Firstly, Games Radar have tonight put up their review of Vice City Stories and are the first website to do so. It actually seems like quite a negative review, which is surprising based on what we've heard from other websites. The first page of the review talks about the "retarded AI" and "constant loading" being some of the game's main flaws. The next page of the review thankfully shows VCS in a better light, the humour and certain missions caught the eye of the reviewer.
Games Radar give Vice City Stories an 8 / 10 - exactly the same as they gave Liberty City Stories last year.
Second of all, UK gaming magazine PSM3 is available to subscribers today. It features a very in-depth review of the game. Like Games Radar, PSM3 also picked up on the same negative points, complaining about the loading times, and the fact Vic can't swim for very long without dying. Another point about swimming was that there are apparently few places where you can actually get out of the water, again, made more frustrating as you then die and have to sit through a load screen. Finally, PSM3 top off the negativeness by saying that the original Vice City was better than Vice City Stories.
Moving on to the positives of the game. PSM3 say the soundtrack is excellent and one of the best out of the GTA games so far. They also mention being able to fly "your own private Gyrocopter," which I'm sure will be very interesting.
PSM3 gave Vice City Stories 91/100, and when considering how much emphasis was put on the negative points this is an amazing score. Obviously the fact it's Grand Theft Auto somehow gives it that all round great game to play feeling.
Link: Games Radar Review
It's been a long time since we've posted any news about this game, in fact our last post back in June was calling for your votes for the Golden Joystick Awards.
Well, that award ceremony happened today and is now all over. The event was not as successful as Rockstar might have hoped, though they did walk away with the Golden Joystick for Handheld Game of the Year which is quite an achievement.
Well done Rockstar!
You may have seen some photos flying around the interweb this morning, showing one lucky Frenchman's copy of Vice City Stories. The photos, which we can confirm are taken with a real camera (a HP Photosmart 735 to be precise) due to the file's properties, don't seem to have been photoshopped. Having said that, the owner clearly doesn't know how to use the camera as they're quite poor quality and he's used the flash on a reflective surface... typical 'leaked photos' if you will.
The images show exactly what you'd expect, the UMD, instruction manual, and Take 2 registration card. It seems he's managed to get this French copy before anyone else in Europe and indeed America, quite a lucky man, though it is not known how exactly he managed to obtain the game in the first place.
Note that the official release dates are still as follows: October 31st in North America, November 3rd in the UK and most European countries, and November 10th in Australia, plus Spain and other European countries. This French copy basically confirms the game is still on schedule, unlike previous GTA games which have been delayed at the last minute.
An article on Computer and Video Games earlier this week claims that Phil Collins, whom we saw making a prominent appearance in the new trailer also released this week, will actually be a playable character in Vice City Stories. The English rock (and pop) star formerly of Genesis fame will be able to be taken into the Deathmatch arena, just one of the 10 multiplayer modes available in the game.
Meanwhile, men's magazine Maxim have a Things to look out for in Vice City Stories article. There are two points in the article of interest. One is that when 'busted' or 'wasted', instead of losing your weapons for good, they'll now be held outside the hospital or police station, where you'll be able to buy them back for a price. A nice improvement on previous iterations.
The other is that Maxim are saying that the Malibu Club and Ocean View Hotel are not being included in the game, this is contrary to a magazine article a couple of months ago in which the editors claim they flew over the club. Seems Rockstar may have taken it out of the final game for some reason.
IGN have a new article up today about the music featured in Vice City Stories, revealing even more tracks in the game. There are also four screenshots included.
IGN say the soundtrack will feature over 100 individual tracks, the largest number of songs of any Grand Theft Auto soundtrack. These will be spread across 8 different radio stations, all of which we mentioned in the previous news post.
It has also emerged that the soundtrack will not actually be physically released in stores, and will instead be available exclusively on Urge from the 31st October, that is until around mid-November when iTunes will also have it available.
So stay tuned (excuse the pun) for more updates as we move ever closer to Vice City Stories' official release.
Rockstar have just this minute updated the official Vice City Stories website. There is of course the third and final trailer titled In So Deep which features Phil Collins, 11 new screenshots, and sadly, no new information. The multiplayer page now contains all the official descriptions of each mode, we'll be updating our page accordingly later. The Music page has a sample listing of the soundtrack, with more details coming soon, one noticeable entry is the legendary Run DMC with "It's Like That". It's also worth noting that the soundtrack will soon be appearing on iTunes and Urge. The radio stations confirmed for the game are as follows: Flash FM, Fresh 105 FM, VRock, Paradise, Espantaso, Emotion 98.3, VCFL and Wave 103.
The only new information I could find other than this was that of a new amphibious car called the Splitz. You can see a screenshot of this in our screenshots gallery where I have uploaded all of the screenshots Rockstar have uploaded today. Bear in mind some of the 19 images uploaded are duplicates we have already seen, but 11 of them are brand new.
This latest update to the official site includes another discovered episode of Vice City's short-lived 1984 news channel, MeTV News - full up with the footage, images and sounds that defined the era. Also, be sure to check out the launch of the MULTIPLAYER section, which features an overview of all 10 modes available, as well as the debut of the MUSIC section, which contains a sample track listing (full track list coming soon).
And last but certainly not least - the launch of Official Trailer #3: "IN SO DEEP". Set to the tune of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight". Can you feel it?
We posted the other day about the first VCS Review in the latest issue of PSM in the USA. The info we didn't pick up (thanks to a lack of readable scans) was contained in a whole page about all 10 multiplayer modes in Vice City Stories.
Rather than post them all here, you can check out our newly created Multiplayer page for all the essential details. We'll be updating it should Rockstar release anymore specific details in the next week, when the final official site up is likely to occur.
Thanks to gamerzworld for the readable scans.
PSM are the first major publication to get their review of Vice City Stories out. We've had a flurry of previews recently, and it seems that companies are getting to play the entire game for themselves now, so expect a lot more reviews coming in over the next week or so.
In short, PSM say it's an excellent game, giving it a rating of 9.5. Included in the article are 9 new screenshots, and a few new details.
PSM say that Vice City Stories is the best PSP game they've ever played, but it didn't achieve a perfect 10 due to all the technical glitches. There is an incredibly vague explanation of drowning - it seems that if you swim for 'too long' you will drown, it's unclear whether they mean underwater (running out of breath), or actually above water and losing stamina and energy. I'm sure this will be cleared up in other reviews.
There are still issues with the targeting system, sometimes pedestrians will be targeted instead of armed gang members. There are also issues with the AI, enemies will sometimes get stuck running into walls, and occasionally your fellow gang members will run in front of your gunfire, causing you to kill them and subsequently fail the mission.
The storyline apparently clocks in at taking approximately 15 hours to complete, very short for a GTA game. Then again, taking into consideration all the mini games, side missions, empire building, and the fact it's meant to be portable, this figure is fairly reasonable.
Expect many more reviews, the final site update, and many more screenshots and videos soon!
On a sidenote, UK supermarket Tesco have revealed the back cover of the Vice City Stories box. Click the thumbnail below for the full version.
More top gaming sites have been busy writing previews of the multiplayer features they've been shown in Vice City Stories. Today, UGO and Eurogamer posted new previews, and you may remember yesterday we posted about Gamesradar and their pulled down article, well that's back up now.
In addition to all the new previews are more screenshots, UGO have two 'exclusive' shots (with watermarks), Gamesradar also have one exclusive shot. There's also 8 more screenshots which were given to all the gaming sites over the past few days.
Two top gaming sites have posted previews of Vice City Stories' mutliplayer modes today. Gamesradar were the first with the new info, however, they seem to have pulled their article for some reason. The other site to post, IGN, still have theirs up though. There are a few new screenshots and lots of new info regarding the multiplayer aspect of VCS, details of which are listed below.
Gamesradar Preview (currently not online)
UK based gaming website Eurogamer have put up an article today about the PS3 version of Grand Theft Auto IV, and the fact that it too may have exclusive content, just like the Xbox 360 version.
According to a source close to Rockstar North, the team is working on exclusive supplemental content for both systems, which will be made available for download via Microsoft and Sony's respective online services after the game's release next year.
The source clearly isn't reliable but it could be true, and in my opinion, it is likely that we will see content available for the PS3 version anyway. Rockstar unsurprisingly haven't commented on this yet, and probably won't.
IGN have a new preview on the weapons available in Vice City Stories, there are also five new screenshots showing off a few of them.
Link: IGN Weapons Preview
UGO.com have put up an interesting hands-on preview of Vice City Stories. In it they discuss a couple of missions they get to play, and they also give away details on what could be the new 'hidden packages'. Of course it could just be another thing to find, it's not quite clear yet.
Once we arrived at the marker, a quick gun battle ensued. In the middle of the carnage, we managed to pop a red balloon nearby, calling up a message reading 1 of 99 red balloons found. Get it? Oh '80s humor!
Nena's 99 Red Balloons was of course featured on the Vice City soundtrack, albeit her original German version, 99 Luftballons. Another nice humourous piece from Rockstar there, and 1 less package for us to find it seems! Whether the German or English version of the song will be in the game is unknown, but yet again, we are told to expect an awesome soundtrack.
Also confirmed in the preview was that we will be working for both the Mendez brothers, it was previously unclear to whether both or just one of them was in the game.
Thanks to jarjar for the heads up.
UK Gaming website GamesRadar have a new preview of Vice City Stories, this one focuses on the side missions you'll find in the game. The main highlight of the preview is the explanation of a new mini game - Beach Patrol.
Head to Washington Beach for some Baywatch-inspired challenges that see you saving lives instead of ending them. Use your swimming skills to wade out and rescue hapless beach-goers who find themselves caught in dangerous waters, with the added bonus that continued wet work permanently boosts Vic's stamina.
The stamina boosting mentioned here also suggests there will be some sort of stats system implemented, whether it's as extensive as San Andreas' is unknown.
Alongside this the preview also talks about the Chunder Wheel being part of a fully working fairground with a bunch of rides which you can go on. The preview also touches on insane stunts, which we already know about of course, as well as having a few new screenshots on show.
Computer and Video Games have published a brand new preview of Vice City Stories today. In it there is not much in the way of new details, however, there are some new screenshots.
Some of the screens have already been seen in magazines, but of course they weren't digital. Among the new images is a screenshot which is our first pictoral confirmation of hovercraft in the game. Information was spread a while ago with a literal translation from a German magazine regarding hovercrafts in VCS, though it wasn't clear whether it was down as fact or speculation - now we have pictures this is all irrelevant.
Link: C&VG Hands-on Preview
French gaming website Jeux Video have a brand new trailer for Vice City Stories called 'Jive Ride'. It shows the Vance brothers fighting gang members and performing drive-bys.
You can watch online at JeuxVideo.tv
Thanks to Dmac_91 for notifying me of this
IGN have put up a new article with the title of "The Reinvention of Water Physics in Vice City Stories". As you might well have guessed from the self-explanitory title, the article focuses on the brand new water physics engine.
In addition to the article are three brand new screens, one of which shows us the slightly improved HUD, looking not too dissimilar from LCS or San Andreas'.
1UP have posted two previews of Vice City Stories and some new screenshots. Gamespy have also uploaded some new screenshots. One screenshot appears to show a brand new (and fairly detailed) plane, presumably the planes we're beginning to see in screenshots will all be flyable. Click the links below to check them out.
On a slightly more exciting note, Rockstar have launched the official L.A. Noire website, and have also released the full two and half minute trailer. You can get all the latest news, screenshots and videos at LANoire.net.
GameSpy - Screenshots
Also, it was confirmed today by the ESRB that VCS will indeed be rated M for Mature (17+), which comes as no surprise at all. Content descriptors for the game are: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content and Use of Drugs.
IGN have posted their hands-on preview of Vice City Stories. Not much new information is given, however, we are reassured that loading times are "fantastic" on changing between the two main islands, with "barely time to take your eyes off the screen."
The preview also describes three mission which IGN got to play, these are in the later stages of the game and sound more difficult than the earlier ones which is what is expected anyway. There's also some new screenshots and artwork in with the article.
Other sites posting previews include Eurogamer and Gamesradar. Gamesradar also have a couple of new gameplay movies for you to watch, links below.