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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Launch 419

Posted by Zonk
from the grand-theft-dating-simulator dept.
The first of this year's AAA titles has launched, and the first reviews are in. Gamespot, IGN, and OPM all have looks at the game, and it sounds great. If you want to keep track of the pool-shooting race track driving everything-under-one-roof extravaganza, the GameRankings page is available as well. When you play the game this week make sure and tune in to WCTR News to catch Anchorman Richard Burns, TV's Wil Wheaton. More seriously, reviews aren't the only thing the developers are looking for. Commentary regarding Take Two Interactive's slipping stock is available on CNN Money's Game Over.
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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Launch

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  • Re:New Features (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:25PM (#10634667) Homepage
    Eating food to survive? Did they get a bunch of ex-DIKU mud coders for this one or something?

    At any rate, I've never played a GTA game. Is this one different enough to pay full price for, or would I get substantially the same gaming experience buying GTA3 or Vice City for less money?
  • Re:Old news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by d_jedi (773213) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:29PM (#10634715)
    Thanks for the link!
    piracy@rockstar.com you go..
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sheetrock (152993) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:31PM (#10634745) Homepage Journal
    Although I'm probably going to be right out there with the rest of you picking this up, am I the only one that's a bit concerned about seeing all the parents buying the game for their kids?

    Supposedly the ESRB stuff is supposed to stop retailers from selling the game to people under 18, but I know that many parents don't have the time or the willpower to look into what media their children consume. And I know this series gets pretty bad, with things like picking up prostitutes, car theft, and massacre being rewarded in what some have termed a "pornography of violence".

    As fun as the game is, maybe this is something that should be hidden behind the counter or maybe only sold in adult venues/online. We all know where to find it, and we're old enough not to be profoundly affected by murder simulations, but apparently there are still a bunch of chuckleheads out there that are completely unable to determine what's appropriate for their kids. And society pays the price.

    I sure can't wait to play it, though.

  • by SilentChris (452960) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:31PM (#10634750) Homepage
    This is shaping up to be the best holiday season in gaming history, from a breadth of titles standpoint. Tons of great games for all kinds of systems (some which have been in development forever).

    Halo 2
    Metroid Prime 2
    GTA: San Andreas
    Half-Life 2
    World of Warcraft

    I've been playing for years, and this is the first holiday season I can truely say "Where am I going to find the time/money for all the good games?" Other years we've had one or two blockbusters, but this years there's a ton.
  • First AAA title? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chamblah (774997) * on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:31PM (#10634753) Homepage
    I don't think that GTA:SA is the first AAA title of the year(it is October).

    A few titles immediately come to mind are Doom 3, Unreal Tournament 2004 and even Sims 2.

    If you are meaning fist AAA title to come out for the console, you might be right. I don't follow console releases very closely. But I think that Fable probably fits into that area.

    Please keep in mind that there are games that are released on the PC & Mac as well. Consoles are not the only gaming market out there.

  • Re:New Features (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:32PM (#10634768)
    What next? Have to run around the corner to pee? What does eating matter to a game like this? Pointless.
  • yay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ColonBlow (120356) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:34PM (#10634794) Journal
    I got tired boning and killing the same old hookers.
  • Cool! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d_jedi (773213) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:36PM (#10634827)
    Too bad it'll be several months till I'll be able to play it.. damn PS2 only releases!
  • Re:Good indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RonnyJ (651856) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:36PM (#10634831)
    And it's already getting rave reviews from customers over here.

    On Amazon, it almost certainly got numerous rave 'reviews' months before the code was actually completed.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Krypto420 (652140) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:40PM (#10634879)
    I'm planning to run out to the store and steal it as soon as soon as I can, even if I don't own a Playstation 2.

    Why don't you just steal one of those while your at it? Sheesh!

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:42PM (#10634902) Journal
    • Although I'm probably going to be right out there with the rest of you picking this up, am I the only one that's a bit concerned about seeing all the parents buying the game for their kids?
    No you're not, I've seen the game and even as an adult find the level of language in this one to be disturbing. I'm not easily offended either, but the constant amount of cussing gets old fast. Even a lot of the NPC comments you hear going about the game world are more cuss-filled than in the last two GTA games. Perhaps it's authentic, but this is a case where I'd have liked a less-cussing option myself. I only saw it for a few hours and was already thinking that the mute button looked like a great idea.
    • Supposedly the ESRB stuff is supposed to stop retailers from selling the game to people under 18, but I know that many parents don't have the time or the willpower to look into what media their children consume. And I know this series gets pretty bad, with things like picking up prostitutes, car theft, and massacre being rewarded in what some have termed a "pornography of violence".
    Well the ESRB is working as it should in that case. If parents aren't willing to check into the game before they buy it for the kid, it's certainly not the ESRB or Rockstar's fault. You have to blame the parent there, it doesn't take much time to look at the package and see M (Mature) on it, then flip it over to see the sub warnings (which I'm sure include violence, adult language, adult situations, etc.) I worked at a Wal-mart for a few years in Electronics and I'd always point out that a game was Mature to parents in case they didn't realize it. Some parents didn't know about the ratings system (which is amazing as it's posted on every freaking game case at Wal-mart) and when they asked what it meant and found out they'd put it back and tell the kids they had to pick something else. Some would say "I know, I don't care" and buy the game for their 6yo. (Quite literally I saw someone buy Vice City for their 6yo.)

    But in any case there's a recent article that was in Computer Gaming World or Electronic Gaming Monthly one where they sent a young-looking 15yo kid into several stores to try to buy M rated games to see what happened. (They showed a picture of him, he looked about 12.) Some stores sold him M rated games without even blinking, others refused from the start. Unfortunately a lot of stores and/or employees don't even try to enforce the ESRB, providing fuel to the anti-gaming camp. :(

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Good Reverend (84440) <{michael} {at} {michris.com}> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:44PM (#10634928) Homepage Journal
    This is exactly how the system should work. This way, parents make the choice about what their kids watch/read/play, and it's up to them to decide how informed a choice this should be. I think plenty of "parenting" is already done by the government and industry in stopping sales to minors, there shouldn't be any regulation on a parent purchasing a game for their child.
  • Re:Old news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hollismb (817357) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:47PM (#10634963) Homepage
    You're the dumbass that posted a link to a pirated game torrent on slashdot. You asked for it.
  • Re:New Features (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mekkab (133181) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:48PM (#10634966) Homepage Journal
    Just wait 6 months. They'll release the $20 version. I can wait to get that one! (besides, despite getting to the end of GTA3, I've barely gotten ANYWHERE in GTA:VC...)
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NaugaHunter (639364) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:49PM (#10634985)
    No, I'm sure all kinds of conservatives are way overworked about parents letting their kids have this game. But they're also overworked about them telling their kids the truth about drugs, sex, etc., and yet wouldn't have any problem with them allowing their children to see The Godfather or the like.

    If parents do their job passing their values in context and without sugar coating, then they can trust their children to make them, if not 'proud' then at least not ashamed. If parents simply say don't do this or that without addressing why they might want to in the first place, they're just asking for trouble.

    "Behind the Counter" is definitely not the solution - games get the MA rating merely for language in today's world. How is that worse then, say, American Pie's PG-13 completely irresponsible attitude towards teenage sex? At least Fast Times at Ridgemont High showed some negatives. Of course, it had to cut out a frontal shot of a penis to not get an XXX rating. Heaven forbid girls see one before their wedding night!
  • Re:Old news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Holi (250190) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:50PM (#10635000)
    Why shouldn't he report blatant piracy to the copyright owner.

    I believe it's called "civic duty", something that has been long forgotten.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Osty (16825) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @04:55PM (#10635046)
    I know that many parents don't have the time or the willpower to look into what media their children consume.
    As fun as the game is, maybe this is something that should be hidden behind the counter or maybe only sold in adult venues/online.

    Because some parents can't be bothered to take an active role in their childrens' lives, we should increase the nanny state and "hide" items like GTA? I'm sorry, but no. Besides, you said it yourself that parents are buying this, so what would hiding it serve? All the parents know is that little Billy wants "Grand Theft Auto: Something Or Other", and they're just going to ask the store clerk for "that Grand Theft thing". Hidden behind the counter or not, the parent is still going to buy it.

    If you really want to "think of the children," consider mandatory parenting classes for expecting families, free or low-cost birth control and abortions and sterilizations available to all, and incentives for sterilization ("You want an increase on your welfare check/a free country club membership/a large tax cut/a new car? Go get a vasectomy or tubaligation."). It's not my responsibility to parent the children of folks who should never have had kids in the first place, and I should not be punished for their inteptitude either (okay, hiding GTA behind a counter isn't much "punishment", but where do we stop?). That whole crap about taking a village to raise a child [east-harlem.com] is bullshit. It takes two parents that care what their children are doing, and are not afraid to punish them as necessary. Anything less, and those people should never have had children in the first place.

  • Re:New Features (Score:3, Insightful)

    by homer_ca (144738) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:19PM (#10635312)
    VC is somewhat more of the same. It's an update built on the same game engine. But aside from the new city and new missions, the big new thing in VC was all the new drivable/flyable vehicles, the helicopter, seaplane, motorcycles. It's no simulation, but all the vehicles have unique handling, and the basic controls on the plane and helicopter are correct.
  • by Mononoke (88668) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:23PM (#10635353) Homepage Journal
    Now whenever I see his name on Slashdot, I see everyone praising his hipness. Is it because he posts on Slashdot? Has a blog? Is a role model to countless nerd teenagers? I don't get it. Seriously.
    Maybe it's because he's had a blog since long before it was fashionable. Maybe it's because he's a linux user like most slashdotters. Maybe it's because, along the way, he got paid to kiss Ashley Judd.

    Wesley may have been a loser to some, but Wil never was.

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NaugaHunter (639364) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:25PM (#10635371)
    Normally I enjoy reading Slashdot, and your post seemed very insightful at first, but your constant use of "the" disturbed me to no end and I was completely unable to finish reading this thoroughly well thought-out post.

    Sorry, but I just cannot understand how people can be offended by words without considering context at all. Would a rose smell any less sweet if it were called a dingleberry*? Is the value of a thought to be judged by the words that express it?

    Further more, is deploring one's speech for its 'colorful idioms' any better than believing everyone should speak English, or French, or whatever? Both views hold the implication that one doesn't want to hear what one wouldn't say, so is there any distinction whatsoever?

    I would be willing to grant you that it is easier to evoke an emotional response with strong language then with strong arguments, and that with fights over ratings and money it's almost self-propagating between popular culture reflecting and shaping reality. But I prefer to judge a statement for itself and not by the words used to make it. Maybe it's the logical part of my mind asserting itself, but I have hopes that I'm not unique in this respect.

    In regards to GTA:SA, changing the language would be akin to air brushing out George Burns' cigars. The player is essentially role playing a character in an historical environment, and the language is part of it. Editing out specific words from a game with drive-by's, corrupt cops, drugs, etc. seems a little selective to me.

    * - I had a much better word to make my point the 'dingleberrys', but in the interest of a civil discourse I have edited myself.
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:29PM (#10635406) Homepage
    Thank god someone else feels this way. If I had mod points, I'd help out your karma. Your post is a valid criticism, and the only troll around is the PS2 Fanboy that modded you down.

    I'm almost as excited about GTA 3.2 as I was about another of those supposed AAA games this year, Wolfenstein 3D 8.
  • Although (Score:1, Insightful)

    by igzat (817053) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:29PM (#10635412) Homepage
    I'm probably going to be right out there with the rest of you picking this up, am I the only one that's a bit concerned about seeing all the parents buying the game for their kids? Supposedly the ESRB stuff is supposed to stop retailers from selling the game to people under 18, but I know that many parents don't have the time or the willpower to look into what media their children consume. And I know this series gets pretty bad, with things like picking up prostitutes, car theft, and massacre being rewarded in what some have termed a "pornography of violence".
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ill_Omen (215625) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:30PM (#10635415)
    I'm not trying to flame, I think this is a valid discussion. I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.

    Why should the EB employees try to prevent their purchase? Is there a law that regulates video game sales?

    A 12-year-old cannot hold a job. Any money that kid gets to purchase video games comes from parents (or friends and relatives on gift-giving occasions). If the parents of these kids don't care where the kids spend their money, why should the clerk at the game store?

    On the other hand, if EB decided to post a policy of not selling M rated games to people under 18, and not selling games rated T to kids under 13, I wouldn't have a problem with it. And if they did have that posted policy, then they should enforce it. I'm guessing there are two reasons they don't do this. First, they make money on kids with lazy parents, and two, they don't want to open themselves up to liability from litigious parents.
  • Re:GTA Source (Score:2, Insightful)

    by okayplayer (670828) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @05:33PM (#10635439)
    At the risk of taking the credit away from us and putting it where it belongs... Those guys did the work. And good work they did.

    Sony had nothing to do with it. And even if they tried to give direction to a GTA, do you think Rockstar would listen?
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NaugaHunter (639364) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @06:18PM (#10635972)
    You're right! They should have had them speak French! I mean, it's not like they were going for a certain time (mid-90's) or place (Southern California)! And why are they mostly black males and not green, triple breasted alien women? They really cut out the sci-fi fans with that choice!

    Back to my main topic. It's pretty pretentious to judge one solely by their word choice, whether it's if they cuss, if the use mostly monosyllabic vs. polysyllabic words, or if the speak native American English vs. the broken English of a visiting foreigner. It's all elitist and self centered. If you translate, say, Dante's Inferno from his era's Italian to current American English it's one thing to say you captured the story line, and another entirely to believe nothing could have been lost in the process. (Many examples could be made for this, even the Bible's many translations. This just came to mind because it involved his writing in a three sentence rhyming structure that is impossible to do in English in an exact translation, so some of the overall effect is invariably lost. Think, Poe's The Raven into German. It may be good, but I don't think German could possibly pull off the feel of the original.)

    I'm not debating that some (or many) use whatever they think will get them attention and shock value; I'm debating that all words have meaning and they are sometimes part of the statement, not just an addition to it.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @06:40PM (#10636222) Homepage Journal
    GTA3 is comparable to The Sopranos and Vice City is like Miami Vice or Scarface, then San Andreas is like the LA gangsta scene and that wasn't fictional.

    Woah, and you think that the Sopranos was based on some totally fictional Itallian crime family? The Mafia was very real. The only reason you probably identify with south central, is I am guessing that you grew up sometime around the 90s. During the 1960 and 1970s, the FBI mounted a massive effort to break up organized crime in the US. During the 1980s, Regan's 'Drug War' tried to stem the flow of drugs from central and south america. You don't think that these were nice people, do you? I'd be willing to bet that the the Mafia and the south American drug cartells have killed a LOT more people than the LA gangs.
  • Re:Awesome! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @07:30PM (#10636714)
    It was a joke, you moron.

    But I wouldn't expect someone like you to know that. Afterall, you're pimping one of those fucking ipod pyramid schemes in your sig. Fuck off and die.

  • by ChristianBaekkelund (99069) <draco@m i t . e du> on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @08:55PM (#10637448) Homepage
    Yeah, I don't understand this at all.

    Doom3?
    The Sims2?

    These weren't AAA titles???...please...
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by demi (17616) on Tuesday October 26, 2004 @09:28PM (#10637653) Homepage Journal
    hiding GTA behind a counter isn't much "punishment", but where do we stop?

    Slippery slope arguments don't hold water. Where do we stop? We make sure we check with the parents of a child when we're planning on giving them things that are generally accepted to be adults-only. That's it. The idea that this is somehow onerous or restrictive is absurd.

    The fact is, parents aren't perfect. They make mistakes. Time and mental energy are at a premium when you are a parent. I know roughly what' s in the GTA games--and recently explained to a fellow parent, whose child had asked for it as a gift.

    They were going to buy it until I cautioned them otherwise. Guess what? That doesn't mean they "should never have had kids in the first place" or couldn't "be bothered to take an active role in their childrens' lives," it just means there was something they didn't know. Guess what? There's lots of things I don't know about being a parent. And my guess is that there are a lot of things you don't know about being a parent--all of it.

  • Re:GTA Source (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DeadScreenSky (666442) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @04:19AM (#10639693)
    GTA3 and up all use the Renderware engine, licensed by Criterion (who is now owned by EA). So Rockstar would need EA's position to release the source...which kind of seems unlikely to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @10:56AM (#10641714)
    Or they don't want to use the resources required to port a game to a platform which might sell 10% of what the PS2 will.

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