When Rockstar first released screenshots of the PSP version of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, a lot of criticism was directed at the less-than-stellar visuals. It looked as if there were no improvements over the DS version, which seemed unforgivable considering the PSP is a much more powerful console.
Thankfully, the graphics are now noticeably superior to the original DS version with all the interactive mini-games left intact as well. The controls have been cleverly tweaked to better suit the PSP hardware. You’ll mostly be using the analogue stick and shoulder buttons in lieu of the Nintendo DS touchscreen and stylus.
The game is set in Liberty City, following the character of Huang Lee and his ongoing quest to seek whoever was responsible for his father’s death. If you were a little sick of playing yet another Grand Theft Auto game set in Liberty City, don’t panic. The city is more like a scaled-down version of the Liberty City seen in GTA IV and is rendered beautifully for the PSP.
The mini-games are the highlights as they’re not only fun, but they make for a more realistic experience. For example, in one mission you’re required to cut a wire in order to defuse a bomb, while in another mission you have to manually hotwire a car in order to steal it.
For those of you who were wondering if the old-school, birds-eye-view-style camera hinders the experience of the game, fret not. Although driving in this game may cause more crashes than usual, it’s still rather enjoyable. There are also several side missions added to prolong the fun. These include diverse activities ranging from dealing drugs to even becoming a tattoo artist.
It’s fresh, innovative ideas like this that make the Grand Theft Auto series so popular among gamers. There is a plethora of missions on offer and the cel-shaded-style graphics are sure to please. However, it’s the interactive mini-games that’ll steal the show.