So after two impatient weeks, my copy of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars finally arrived yesterday. I had read all the positive reviews (9.3, I think, at last glance at metacritic) and was quite excited.
The drug dealing sidequests are amazing yet simple fun... Buying cheap when people sell cheap and selling high when people buy high, not much brains required for that. But the risk factor is very well implemented.
For instance, I spent a good two hours doing taxi fares and selling antidepressants and weed before I could afford any of the hard stuff like cocaine and heroine. Then I got up to like $6000 dealing some cocaine, then spent all that money on a massive amount of cheap heroin I though I could move for a massive amount... only for the cops to bust the deal and for me to get arrested and lose all my heroin that I had just spent all my money on. So I was back to $94 and smuggling cheap antidepressants for $50. The build up, all-or-nothing, gambling with the cops thing is excellently implemented. I got so distracted trying to get my small fortune back that I totally forgot about the missions.
Which, sadly, isn't that bad a thing as the 'cutscenes' are dreadfully written, which is very dissapointing after the amazing acting and dialogue in GTAIV and even the GTA3s. If anything, it is the lame dialogue inbetween missions that isolates this game from the universe of GTA4. But still, the gameplay is utterly amazing. I was laughing with delight so hardly the first time I tried to make molotovs, I spilled half the petrol on the ground.
The PDA UI is also excellent and feels just like using some iPhone equivalent. Only criticism there is the inconsistencies between different touch screens. I think I would prefer to have every touchscreen mini-game to have similarly themed navigation than the different style for different things which it is at the moment. But still, that is a minor criticism. The minigames remind me so much of WarioWare Inc. And that is a good thing.
I forsee productivity stalling in the near future due to this game.