Video Games

Grand Theft Auto + Nintendo DS = Best GTA Game Ever

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Now i know what your thinking, Nintendo is in PC Mode here, how could they let a Grand Theft Auto game land on there console? Let alone there widely successful Nintendo DS of all things. Well its true, back at E3 last year it was announced by Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo’s “trying too hard to sound excited about video gaming” Executive Vice President Of Sales & Marketing. This announcement shook the gaming scene since so many people had figured Nintendo would not even go this route with there handheld let alone ever let games rated E or T on there handheld. Since there are not so many to begin with and the ones they have are subpar at best. This is not the first attempt for Nintendo to cash in on that massive audience this series has developed over the past decade, Nintendo has had Grand Theft Auto before on the Gameboy Advance and Grand Theft Auto 2 for the Gameboy Color. Both were failures to say the least given the fact that Nintendo’s consoles at the times of these two ports were released were not as powerful as there console counterparts. So for Nintendo being the only handheld show in town at the time, these games really had nothing to compare themselves too, nor was there any real chance Rockstar could have developed something successful for the Gameboy Color since it was nothing more then a Color version of the GB. The Advance should have had a hit but then again it got panned by critics all over, i too felt that it was a bad move for Rockstar more then Nintendo. Nintendo needed something to shed its “Kiddy” image but instead get a violent but bad game. Both are rare titles, so if you have them hold on to them, rare titles get a nice coin on eBay.

Here is a picture of Cammie Dunaway on stage at E3 announcing Chinatown Wars: http://i44.tinypic.com/b824xw.jpg

Here is proof these other GTA Games on Nintendo Exist:
Grand Theft Auto Advance: http://i40.tinypic.com/iwjgc3.jpg
Grand Theft Auto 2 (Gameboy Color): http://i43.tinypic.com/2znqsdj.jpg  

This is the official Box Art of a Great GTA Game On a Nintendo system:
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars: http://i40.tinypic.com/2i9qtf4.jpg

Fast forward to 2009, given the bad history of GTA on Nintendo, when i first heard of Chinatown Wars, i really had mixed feelings. It’s a touch screen handheld console, how will Rockstar make this happen. The possibility is there for sure, but will Nintendo give them full control or will they be a push over and make them censor the game. Rockstar has been secretly developing this game since 2007 so this is definitely a game that has been through long testing sessions and lots of R&D has been put into it. The final product is an absolute classic. The game, unlike the PSP side story games, takes place in the Grand Theft Auto IV world in the same time. It’s a side story yes, but its not in the past nor is it a prequel. There are sections of Liberty City that have shown the effects of the events that have taken place in GTA IV. The story centers around Huang Lee, a 25 years old who is coming home to Liberty City. Not so enthused by the return to there since he hates the area with a passion, he has a simple assignment which is to return a family artifact, the sword “Yu-Jian”, to his uncle Wu “Kenny” Lee. Sadly though, things don’t play out as planned and now Huang is thrown into the gangster life that he only heard about in music and movies. Throughout the game you find more and more about how corrupt Huang’s family really is and you also find out more and more interesting facts about Liberty City. You are thrown into the lifestyle of corruption and violence as you work your way to the top of Liberty City to find out who stole Yu-Jian and who it was that left you for dead and why.

You are Huang Lee: http://i39.tinypic.com/2ahv5oi.jpg 
Meet The Family, Clara You Know (Hi Marty…Mam!): http://i42.tinypic.com/23lnkl.jpg  

Lots of side missions and lots of collectibles to be found in this game just like any other GTA in the famous series. The graphics in this game are awesome, its not the classic 8 bit look, its more of a cel-shaded affair like the Zelda games on DS. Top down view is back for another round in this game and it works well in certain areas, for example, when going under a bridge or train track the camera tends to be problematic in ways. You can drive into things for no reason but once you have been in the situations a couple of times you know how to work with it. The camera does fade out the bridges and train tracks well and adds an arrow pointing the direction you are driving/running. The cool thing about this new top down design is that the GPS System from GTA IV was brought over to this new game. Just like GTA IV also the game’s whole engine is based off of your cell phone. Only this time, being a touch screen, its like an actual phone that you are using. You can receive text messages, emails, and even set destinations. The coolest aspect of the touch screen phone is the fact that when you receive a message from someone to meet them, you just click on “Touch Here” and it will automatically plot your route to the person or points of interest. Also cool about the touch screen portion is the ability to log onto the Internet when in your safe house. While its not the real Internet, its a much simpler experience. from the amount of time i have put into the game, i have only seen the internet used to upload your stats, check emails, and save my game. Other then that, from what i have seen so far, i don’t think there will be any other use for it. Stat Uploading accesses Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to upload your stats to Rockstar’s Social Club community. There people can compete for the best stats. No multiplayer however or co-op. One great feature about the Wi-Fi is that you can stay connected even when your not on the laptop. Your phone will act as your source of Internet connection. So if you have friends on your friends roster, you can send and receive “items” (i think we all know what we talking about here) to one another all in real time.

Overhead Cam: http://i44.tinypic.com/2v3redg.jpg (The game’s action is all on the top screen, this is from the top screen)

The game features so much use of the touch screen its almost as if Rockstar wanted to embarrass Nintendo on how to properly code for the handheld. You break into cars as usual but sometimes the car will require some hot-wiring. Normally you would press a button combo to get it to work. But with a touch screen you can do more then that. You can now remove panels, snip wires, smash up engines, place car bombs, GPS trackers,  as well as throw explosives out of your car all from the touch screen. You can eve use a screw driver to force start the ignition. Another cool feature is that if your car is pushed off the road and lands into the water, you tape the touch screen on the back windshield to make it shatter for your escape! While on a boat, the touch screen acts as a sonar showing you objects on the sea floor that you can salvage or are required to get due to a mission. You can also use the touch screen to become a tattoo artist and earn some extra cash. The touch screen also serves as your section to conceal and sell…well you know. All over Liberty City there will be dealers and users or both at the same time. All looking for deals and or to move large amounts of product. If you come into contact with one, they will be added to your phones address book and you can use the touch screen GPS to plot a point to get to them quickly. Also, you will receive either text message or email from the dealers or sellers telling you of quick money making sales or locations in need of a certain product that will pay top dollar for it. I have made a big amount of coin so far in this game on that alone since the missions don’t pay as much as i would think they would. The premise of the game is that Huang comes a rich family, which probably explains the low reward missions. Also, when in alert, the cops will pursue you heavily depending on your Star Level. Instead of avoiding them, if you can cause them to wreck there car via pushing it off the road and into something, that car will be eliminated and your star level will decrease. Each star has its amount of cars to be wrecked, 1 Star = 1 Car and etc.

Being a business man: http://i41.tinypic.com/2wcmfdt.jpg The top screen shows you and the buyer and or seller as well as look out for the Police. The bottom screen controls what you are selling and what you are buying. The car trunk stores what the Seller wants to unload, and the bag conceals what you are looking to sell.

Searching for missing product under the water: http://i41.tinypic.com/281gc2x.jpg You use the top screen to make sure you are out of the sight of police and or the coast guard. You use the touch screen to turn the lever to lower the hook.

Other people’s trash….you know the expression: http://i42.tinypic.com/25gb67a.jpg You can search dumpsters for cash, weapons, etc. All through the touch screen.

Being a Tattoo Artist as a side job: http://i40.tinypic.com/sg5qj6.jpg You can earn some extra cash by using the touch screen to draw out tattoos or you can use it to place gang markings on new recruits.

When you just plain forget to bring car keys: http://i39.tinypic.com/2gtw5s4.jpg

Disarming a car bomb: http://i39.tinypic.com/rktpv4.jpg You use the voltmeter to determine which wire is hot and which is not. Then you use the wire cutter to cut the wire that needs to be cut to disarm the bomb. Timing is crucial since the car will explode.  

There are lots of things to do in this game, i can go on and on about it for hours, bottom line…THIS IS A MUST OWN. Hands down the best Nintendo DS Game out and Best DS Game EVER…period. A serious contender for Game Of The Year and a great start for GTA on a Nintendo Console. This game may change the way games are made on the DS. It’s great to see something new rather then something released with DS Functions much like how the Wii gets its games. This game is amazing and in my opinion may be the BEST Grand Theft Auto i have ever played. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is NOW available for an MSRP of $34.99. Only On Nintendo DS.

Watch The Trailer In High Quality.
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Official Score:
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5
Editor’s Choice Award
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Buy Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars here: here.

Rockstar Games Official Site For Chinatown Wars: http://www.rockstargames.com/chinatownwars/.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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