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Submitted by Chris Leyton on October 22 2009 - 14:56

Huang Lee hopes to find a more appreciative audience as Chinatown Wars switches to the PSP...

It's a disappointing alternative to seeing how Rockstar intends to give San Andreas the 'Stories' treatment following Liberty City and Vice City, but a port of the criminally under-appreciated DS title (still the highest rated game on the format) is a blast to play, even the second time through.  

Compared to the scale and scope of the previous 'Stories' titles Chinatown Wars looks, unsurprisingly, like a step backwards.  Four years since Liberty City Stories first impressed us with its depiction of GTA on the PSP, it's difficult to look past the fact that Chinatown Wars is a port of a game that was initially designed around technically inferior and very different hardware.  Sure Rockstar has tidied everything up so the visuals don't look as rough around the edges and loose some of the cartoon style through the improved lighting effects, but you won't find the frills such as voice acting that we've come to expect from the series on the PSP.  But considering the DS title provided a throwback to the series' roots, Chinatown Wars still manages to provide the same fun and enjoyment that we enjoyed earlier in the year.

Starring Huang Lee, a central character that perfectly fits the GTA mould of being in circumstances beyond his control, Chinatown Wars finds him caught up in a battle for power between members of the Triad gang as he attempts to retrieve a legendary sword.  It's classic GTA fodder from here on in with plenty of deceitful characters caught up in a struggle of power, egos, and Kalashnikovs.  

The way in which Rockstar Leeds faithfully brought GTA to the DS was striking considering its limitations, but we know the PSP can handle this.  The lack of the DS's second screen, which housed a myriad of important functions, makes the general interface a little clunkier and time consuming when it comes to accessing e-mails and checking the map, while the UMD brings a slight but noticeable delay between cut-scene transitions (although presumably this won't be so much of an issue if you download the game via the PlayStation Store onto a memory stick).  Mini-games continue to bring everyday actions such as hi-jacking vehicles, making DIY Molotovs, smashing locks and much more, to life in a very 'gamey' fashion.  Like the DS version they bring a bit of fun and variety to a GTA game that is markedly different to the series since GTA III exploded onto the scene; however it's difficult to look past the fact that these were designed for a touchscreen and stylus - the PSP's thumbstick is a weak alternative.

But despite these criticisms, the main qualities of Chinatown Wars still manage to shine through.  The slight changes that Rockstar Leeds originally made to the format, such as the speedier way in which pursuing police cars are handled, the bite-sized nature of the missions, and the drug-dealing dynamics, are still the primary factors that ensure Chinatown Wars stands out as a remarkably well designed take on GTA for a handheld format.

Rockstar Leeds has also been able to bring a new character into the story, a hoighty-toighty aspiring journalist who needs Huang to provide the action she needs to film in order to advance her career, but is quite happy to lambast poor Huang for his illegal actions nonetheless.  The fact that the missions associated with her don't really differ from the rest makes us wonder whether this was originally intended to appear in the DS version, but got cut due to time restraints.  But on the whole, you can't complain about the fact that the PSP version boasts an additional story arc that features a handful of new missions.

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  • Graphics: 84%
     
  • Sound: 85%
     
  • Gameplay: 89%
     
  • Originality: 88%
     
  • Longevity: 94%
     
Overall Score: 8/10
Although the PSP port suffers from the fact that Chinatown Wars was undoubtedly designed around the DS, the major qualities still remain and make for a GTA that is considerably different but nonetheless entertaining.

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GTA: Chinatown Wars (PSP)

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User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Thu 12th Aug 2010 15:03, Post No: 10

chinatown wars gameplay isn't thtat good..

 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 26th Dec 2009 02:26, Post No: 9

  • u got that waste of money


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 25th Dec 2009 17:11, Post No: 8

it's crap the storyline is ok but you can't see anything from above so i wouldn't recomend it


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 22nd Dec 2009 12:05, Post No: 7

aaron320v6 is a dumbass. The birds-eye view gameplay is very classic GTA. This is more like what the GTA games looked like before GTA III and personally, i loved the, gameplay, cut-scenes and all. In fact, GTA II is probably one of my most favourite games of all time!

Apart from that the story seems quite original with the whole china town gangster thing, should be good!

Im gettin my PSP Go next week, and no doubt that this is the first game i am going to download!

oh, and aaron320v6 can kiss my hoo-haa 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 20th Dec 2009 11:40, Post No: 6

you are a [#@!?] mate ...ts awsum ..[#@!?]


User avatar
By: aaron320v6

Added:Sat 21st Nov 2009 12:21, Post No: 5

how can anyone say this game is good you are playing it from above great in desti storm but not on gta

as i keep reading it was made for the ds thats for sure

im the old gta the misson video clips you never had to read anything

sorry but i would not recomend this game to anyone

i should have downloaded the old gta to my psp go !!!


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 21st Nov 2009 12:18, Post No: 4

how can anyone say this game is good you are playing it from above great in desti storm but not on gta

as i keep reading it was made for the ds thats for sure

im the old gta the misson video clips you never had to read anything

sorry but i would not recomend this game to anyone

i should have downloaded the old gta to my psp go !!!


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 01st Nov 2009 16:51, Post No: 3

goooooooooood

 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 27th Oct 2009 21:35, Post No: 2

no1pspreviews ep8 GTA china town wars on youtube coming soon


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 25th Oct 2009 19:38, Post No: 1

when will gta ctw be 3-d?