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GTA Online: Car Review

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I have posted something so I thought it’d be best if I stopped this laziness and since I haven’t bleated on about GTA in quite some time, why not say something about it. (Throughout this article I am going to assume you play GTA V. If you don’t, read on for silly musings, if you do then you are with fine company.)

I am still waiting with anticipation for Rockstar to release GTA V on the PC and after so long I have padded myself out quite nicely in Los Santos and I am kind of dreading doing it all again from the beginning on PC (Rockstar, please allow cross platform save or at least a transfer function). I have been there, done that and got most of the best stuff, the experience really is all about the mighty dollar. You buy a new bunch of duds and next month a new pack comes out with a raft of new goodies for you to buy, Rockstar is pandering to the consumer in all of us. Most of the time I buy stuff my character doesn’t even need like recently a set of top hats which look pretty silly on a female character cost me $5,000 a pop plus a new super car setting me back $500,000 which after modifications to make it better and faster (same thing right?) probably put the bill at $800,000, all said and done I spent $1.5 million on the lot.

Oh Shaun, you are a wasteful chap playing a female character with a wardrobe to rival Paris Hilton’s and a garage that could make Jay Leno weak at the knees, in Los Santos aren’t you… yes and no. Where there is no waste is in that garage because I love cars of most shapes and sizes, that much everyone except you knows already. What appeals to me is more vehicular temple with shiny floors and lighting like an art gallery all for slick and sexy sports and super cars than edwardian mansion overlooking the dales with a modest shed to house the carts. And so the diatribe about cars begins as I have spent a fair bit of my life here in this virtual toy box and when you do this many burnouts along with much opposite lock on stretches of beautiful sun drenched tarmac you begin to form an opinion.

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Jay who?

If you just started playing you might be poor, very poor as your bank account is in $100s and you do not have anywhere to remain safe from the hoards of crazy and maligned players who look for people like you to kill. That isn’t fair nor fun but you persist because you’ve had a look at your online web browser on your in-game phone and seen websites like southernsanandreassuperautos.com or legendarymotorsport.net and they have many shiny cars that you want so let me help you there:

Let’s start with things you probably want now because they’re new from “The Business Update” as in only this week could you actually begin to purchase them, all of us who have been playing since GTA V came out had to wait with you too:

Grotti Turismo R

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Looks fast, goes quite fast and scrapes alot

You fancy yourself a little well off after playing that one larger paying mission over-and-over again and now you have in excess of 1.5 million in your GTA$ account, you need the most expensive of the newly released cars to give you the thrills. Yes it is exciting and stylish and you will get looks from everyone when you drive it with some caveats. Firstly everyone has been saving up for it so at the moment it is like any new fangled thing, it’s getting around. Secondly it’s actually not that fast, I drove this thing on the highway and at full chat to find I was passing cars like they were stuck in reasonable traffic and not like they were parked, this is depressing.

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For the less fortunate this is the view they will need to remain comfortable with, until the next bumpy corner that is.

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She’s looks good but with a nose like that it only means trouble as soon as the road isn’t glass smooth

Handling wise it turns in quite nicely however it has a tendency to break traction at the rear under slightly bumpy conditions and in terms of predictability it’s as good as the weather service which means in the game of keeping it mint while you doddle about, many points are lost (style and man ones included). If you, like me mince about a lot parking it on the high street waiting for the gasps and nice comments from toffs about your car, then you can appreciate the sleekness of this car as it looks good. Bring the very low bodywork near a kerb however and you find that the Turismo R is not like other cars which hop up the kerb, this one grinds it’s skirts so you park up too close and you end up with a great big gash in the lower part of your fender making you look incompetent. The other part of the problem is the nose is so long and low that exiting your apartment or LSCustoms comes with scratch marks on the nose, now everyone is laughing at your and their misfortunes.

I feel Rockstar is kind of making a joke of all those of us with enough cash, properly introducing us to the world of exclusive hypercars, all their foibles and the knobs who buy them, touché.

Dinka Jester

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No spoiler, looks sleek and mean in a funny way, like leering at an enemy, for which you have many.

Everyone thought this would be the coming of the Supra to our pixel rich world, they were wrong because instead we got the next NSX, and we are better for it. A properly modern design that for us in real life, isn’t even obtainable yet unless you are Tony Stark. Initial impressions are that this car is small and tight in a good way where they seem to use only what is needed to make the car and make it look fast. Short front and back overhangs and mid engine supercar looks seem to suggest the Jester punches above it’s weight.
For the car mod fans (really, who isn’t in this game) there are a raft of aggressive parts to make your Jester your own although I did notice that going ‘up’ in the cost brackets when choosing parts for this car doesn’t necessarily end with a good looking car as they have given you the chance to make  it look pretty much like a hill climbing racer and therefore beneficial to you like a large wart is right on the nose.

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The Jester mucking about at night with super dark tint, surely this car isn’t legal like that.

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Nice behind

Driving around and you notice immediately that the engine note is far too coarse for a car like this, though with time you appreciate it as the car is quite aggressive in acceleration. Handling is sharp with a tendency towards understeer however some handbrake and opposite lock (oh look at me) and you can slide about like a hero. I haven’t had the chance to take the car to an event like “Drift King” to really shake down the handling characteristics when oversteering but the AWD platform seems to be quite docile, easy even to drive unlike the odd 9F and it’s AWD chassis that has a tendency to want to put you in a wall wherever possible (maybe I am not very good with that car).
Bonus points need to be awarded for not being the first choice of the cashed up nutters yet shining through as the surprise package and so desirable it too like the Turismo R, looks good in the more fashionable districts. Put tasteful mods on this one with some nice wheels and maybe skip the roll cage (I put the race components on) to be uber understated cool.

Grotti Carbonizzare

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Well-proportioned but something is amiss with that front.

This is a car that has been around since the beginning and yet it is worth a mention as my late bloomer choice. I didn’t want to like this car, it looked like a Japanese sports car front and a pretty italian coachbuild in the back with a lovely roofline. Though I spent many hours staring at the back of most cars when I drive them I knew the front of the Carbonizzare wasn’t quite right and in that way it put me off.
Rewind to 2 months ago and I, like many of the other players had 500+ million dollars and nothing to do except kill things so I bought one and fully specified it until it was scary. By now I had gone through each car available and where some things were right, many experiments in car modification went wrong, for this car though it went right.
The Carbonizzare is a front engined rear drive Italian sports car sporting a high-revving V8 and I put everything that was available on it except custom tyres as the high-revving nature seemed to suggest it could drift, which it does very well. The Carbonizzare’s engine is the real party piece as it bounces off the rev limiter while you slide sideways, it’s a joy on the twisty stuff.

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Drop top mode, basking in the afternoon light.

Styling is still a little suspect with the oddity that is the front but folding origami hard top roof up or down the car is quite good looking, pretty even when you consider the curves that make the rear. Not that it really matters because you will be having too much fun executing smooth effortless drifts from street to street after which you can park it and admire… from the rear.

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With a bum like that…

More mentions:

Entity XF – Buy it, probably the best handling supercar and the second most expensive after the Adder (yuck and can’t handle ice cream in a bowl). Everyone who knows… buys the Entity for precision and performance.

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On it’s way to another race. All this car seems to do is race.

Coquette – The Corvette look alike and a little bit prettier than the real thing, it has GT racing modifications that don’t go off the handle and can really stick it to all the Sports class cars. It was my first choice for a sports car and I would do it again. Has a detachable roof so you can cruise around like a poseur or stick the carbon roof back on and race like a mad man. It has some sudden traction breakaway issues as the chassis is stiff but for the money it’s a great car that looks the business.

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Looking fine in gold. All my cars have a backstory like why she owns one and what it was for. This is an ex-racer, I say no more.

Stinger GT – If you collect then maybe you want something you can admire like poetry in motion yet standing still. Ok that’s nonsense because you want something expensive you can show off to your friends so why not drop $875K on a Ferrari 250 GTO doppelgänger? Handling characteristics are sharp… for a car from the 60s. You will also find it oversteers whenever the accelerator is depressed but it doesn’t matter when money looks this good. Opt out of getting whitewalls to spoil the look and make it properly classic, this one below uses lowrider wire spoke wheels to make it look right (original wheels are the size of bottletops).

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Pretty much all this car is great for is looking fantastic. God agreed and shone a ray of light to seal his approval.

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Game Trailers of the Week

Batman: Arkham Knight

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In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Check it out HERE.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

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The game will take place predominantly within the town of South Park, where the children are all caught up in live-action role-playing. The player takes on the role of a new kid in town, joining in their game and ultimately making friends with the characters on the show.Check it out HERE

Trials Fusion

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Coming with visual breakthroughs, the arrival of FMX tricks, and taking place in a high-tech and futuristic world, Trials Fusion goes even beyond what you knew about Trials and its crazy gameplay! Check it out HERE

 

 

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Game review: Army of Two – The Devil’s Cartel

Army of Two The Devil's Cartel

Army of Two The Devil’s Cartel

I know this is about a year late, but we just played through Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel from EA Games. The game was bought second-hand for the Xbox 360 and we played coop mode.

This game is part three of the franchise and was very fitting since we also recently re-watched A Man Apart, starring Vin Diesel as he gets mixed up in some Mexican cartel carnage.

Got yo back

Got yo back

Army of Two is a 3rd person action shooter which is a favourite in our household. It’s not as good compared to a game like Gears of War, but it was also lots of fun to play. There are many points in the game where you and your partner have to part ways in order to better flank the enemy, making it an individual experience for each player. Overkill mode allows both players to create maximum damage and activate immortality and when triggered at the same time, even more damage can be made, showing that in this game, teamwork is rewarded.

Horizontal split screen

Horizontal split screen

A basic thing to mention is the split screen mode…the screen is split horizontally instead of vertically. I find this important because a vertical split is annoying, so this made gameplay much better.

Customise weapons, masks, suits...

Customise weapons, masks, suits…

Another great part of the game is being able to customise your weapons with the money that you earn during gameplay. I am more of a sniper but Michael is more of a run-in-and-kill-with-close-combat player so this was great for us. We had similar weapons at times but they were totally customised to fit our needs.

Teamwork is key

Teamwork is key

For co-op players it is a great game and we finished it in about 3 days (mostly only playing in the evenings). The storyline was quite predictable but all in all, it was an entertaining play. We played this game without playing parts 1 and 2, so I’m not sure about continuity or the differences between the games, but we are planning to try out the first two as well.

To be honest, we wouldn’t have gone for this game except for the fact that we had already played most of the other co-op games on the market. Still, it’s good for some fun and it was nice to just run around creating havoc. It also has a number of levels of difficulty including ‘insane’ and I found the controls to be quite intuitive unlike some other games *coughFusecough*.

3 out of 5 stars from me.

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Games im looking forward to in 2014

Now that 2013 has come and gone a huge list of awesome games has left a mark in our minds so this list is a few of the games that I am excited to play in 2014.

Thief

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Now I didn’t play the original Thief games but I know what they mean to other I’ve met people who have a true passion for its originality and its style and I am happy to experience what has been called a Legend.

Mad Max

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We haven’t seen anything in terms of gameplay but what has been shown is some great detail and from what we have seen it looks to be what Rage should have been.

Titanfall

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Ok I will admit this when I first saw Titanfall I thought it was going to be another game that was hyped for its movement much like Brink, but after listening to people who experienced the game even in its early stages it became more intriguing and now its on this list, Stand by for Titanfall.

Dying Light

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This game was introduced to me by a mate of mine in class I didn’t hear of the game because at that moment all I was thinking about was either GTA V or BF4 but after watching the gameplay that was online it truly was a different beast I love killing zombies and running around with mates so what a great combination to put both of them together and give it a smoother feel hopefully it will be more fluid then dead island.

Fortnite

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I only heard of this one recently and it captured my attention immediately with its design and its concept with out any gameplay as of yet Im not sure if it will be as good as it looks but it gives the impression of being quite fun.

Project CARS

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No its not a disney game its actually done by Slightly Mad Studios the guys behind NFS Shift 2 and this is a Sim racer, even though its incomplete it already has 60 licensed cars and over 35 tracks and some fictional race tracks as well. So if this keeps its pace it is sure to become Shaun’s new obsession.

Star Citizen

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Do you ever find something that you didn’t need until you saw it? well Star Citizen is that same feeling, until I saw some gameplay of just the hanger with all the ships in it just….. mind blasting i never knew i wanted it yet there it is.

The Crew

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This game looks perfect for some long sessions of co-op madness for me and Shaun its got driving a MMO feel and a huge location to drive in if it has the driving mechanics of either Driver or maybe GTA V it will be awesome.

The Division

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Much like the Crew it promises a lot of things a huge map, playing with buddies, and dynamic gameplay so i have big expectations.

Watch_Dogs

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Now this game was meant to come out this year but it got delayed probably because the dev team saw GTA V and said ‘yeah we need more time’ but im happy as long it means a better game.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

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From what I’ve heard its has a old style shooter feel but the world loves that and sometimes needs to get away from complexity of bulletdrop and go back to the way things were but better looking and awesome.

So that pretty much rounds up of the games im looking forward to im sure I missed some games because its late night and im sleep deprived but so is the life of a gamer. So what are you looking forward to in 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The year of Kokstars

Hi Everyone,

I’d like to start the end of the year as if we’ve been in conversation already, because it’s been rather one-sided and I tend to be the talker in this relationship anyway. Wow what a year it’s been and our first year as a blog stemming from an idea stuck in our unique collective heads for some time now. I think it’s been a great year and I thank you for joining Stephanie, Justin and I for what was and still is our creative outlet, a place we can call home on the internet and somewhere where our thoughts run a little more rampant.

I haven’t been that active lately and that would be down to one very big game which I might add is not 100% complete yet everyone is playing it ragged. As a christmas present to everyone on GTA Online, they made it snow:

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Fading light over the mountains at the end of Christmas

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The view of Vespucci Beach covered in snow. It was approx 25 degrees celsius here in Sydney so to see this was refreshing.

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The Vinewood sign in winter, look mum I’m famous!

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Getting around town in the snow in a convertible, because earmuffs are fun.

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My Sandking on the top of Mt. Chilliad, loving the lighting.

All in all it’s been great writing for you this year. I hope Christmas was as good as you hoped it would be and that the new year brings new exciting things to you and your friends and family.

Shaun

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Battlefield 4 my view so far

Ok so if you know me well you will know that to me this is one of the biggest releases all year, yes GTA V is huge but Battlefield 4 has been the talking point for me and my friends since the announcement back in July 2012.

Multiplayer

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So how has the release been, not as bad as some other titles with most of the guys in my squad over the last 4+ hours its been rather smooth just a few issues with servers or some load-out issues weapons not spawning, menu issues the list is relatively short but my list goes a bit longer.

– load times are HUGE! some times ill get in to the round 1/4 of the way thru just because of loading

– Game crashes frequently and randomly as well

– Maps not rendering properly i’ve fallen thru the map once but still

In summary it’s smooth but not for all hopefully they patch it soon because just like battlefield 3 it had issues but by the end it was fixed.

But on the brighter side of things the map design and layout is near perfect, maps like Siege on Shanghai, Paracel storm and Hainan Resort have allowed for Jaw Dropping moments like the first time the storm rolls in and causes chaos when this is heavy rain and machine gun fire are coupled it can get quite daunting for those who are new but seasoned pros cakewalk

I will not give a score for the Multiplayer as i haven’t played enough and a score would have to be changed every time a patch comes out.

Singleplayer

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Ok now some people have trashed the singleplayer calling it “Mediocre” or “lacklustre” but its not half bad for this kind of shooter if people were expecting Bioshock infinite or Uncharted they were severely misled or expects to much from a franchise which gets its replay ability from its Multiplayer however it is a step up from its predecessor Battlefield 3 which had a singleplayer that was forgettable.

The characters are more memorable then the last and have a better feel about them i remember their names and what their feelings were toward the high impact decisions that they made. For instance in the early shanghai mission as Irish calls out to the nearby civilian boats shouting “Follow us we’ll get you to safety” a feeling of admiration and a near tear-jerking moment happened, because don’t we all want to save everyone we can I know that Mass effect 3 pulled at this same string. These serious moments are coupled but some humour which is reminiscent of Battlefield Bad company 2.

Their are still issues obviously some of the dialogue seems to have been glossed over and this in turn effected the over all story with a few issues here and their and on top of this chunks of levels don’t load and after restarting from checkpoint more issues arise.

In Summary its not a brilliant storyline but its not as mindless as something like Serious Sam but it does touch on the Hard decisions that have to be made by operators dropped in to hostile situations.

For the singleplayer alone i’m giving it a 7.8/10. But as i’ve said earlier this game isn’t made for its singleplayer its made to be the Earth shattering, grenade spamming Hulk of a multiplayer and it does it well.

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GTA Online: You must be bored by now

I decided to write a suggestion letter to Rockstar about things I’d like to see:

Hi Guys,

Big fan of the GTA series.

At present I am really enjoying GTA Online and have suggestions for features (No particular order):
– Ability to move cars around in the garage via a hud window (like the context menu) where cars can be swapped into position
– More modification parts for the cars and ability to add more top speed via transmission rather than acceleration or possibly the chance to make a compromise between the two. Love the cars btw, Coquette is officially my favourite.
– Cross platform character progress – I really enjoy the game and have never sunk this many hours in such quick succession into any one game before. I will, like GTA 4 before it buy the PC version of GTA V/Online when it comes out and play with my PC based buddies. I know you’re putting in the work to make the PC version as good as it can possibly be so I ask kindly, no wait I implore you to allow me to import my GTA Online progress to the PC version as well. Currently I have fun with the PS3 version however I can’t help but feel that in some ways I am wasting away time that will be better invested in the PC version where I will inhabit for the foreseeable future when it comes out, what can i say I am a keyboard and mouse guy.
– Post mission passive mode – I have had points where after a game I get shot just because I was running to my car. This isn’t that big a deal but would it be possible for like 20 seconds of god mode while you get away from the lunatics that you were just killing merryweather dudes alongside?
– Crew only or Friend only option from within an Online game – I like the Crew/Friend only session option, it means I can be with people I trust. When starting GTAO from GTAV the option is there to get onto a Crew/Friend only session but I can’t find the option when you are already in a GTAO session. Can that be an option rather then exiting GTAO and starting GTAO again.
– Go back to where you came from – Before a mission if you are on a session by yourself or with friends would it be possible to go back there after a mission? Sometimes it’s necessary to re-invite people again to the server and sometimes resorting to the PSN messaging system which takes a while to write anything. Starting with friends and then ending up alone is lonely.
– Car randomisation – I am not sure if everybody is harking on about this but I find that car spawns seem to be a bit repetitive and not for lack of the selection, for one I know I haven’t seen an Obey Tailgater except the one on Michael’s drive in single player and never in GTAO. There are a shed load of Cavilvades and Issis though when you don’t want one. Handy = Gallivanters and a lot of them to sell so no problem with that.
– Car Armor – Could the glass be armored as well? Drive-bys could make the window go down or something? 360 degree shooting is wildly unrealistic anyway.

Best Regards and great work, keep it up!
Shaun

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Grand Theft Auto Online: My life online is actually a mostly solo affair

GTA Online is a big deal around here, I was one of the initial players who did their darndest from the start to get online and begin my own custom virtual criminal career with my very own customised-ish character (more on that later). I’ve been through the issues with online and now that most of that is done with I can honestly say that I will never look back. It was amazing, playing through the storyline with my now bestest pixelated buddies Michael, Trevor and Franklin however it’s is really something so much more endearing and personal when you create your own online avatar and what is ultimately the downfall of the city of Los Santos, Shaun- I mean Lilith has arrived to the city of bright lights and cellulite and all criminal enterprises should be worried. I decided to play a female character as it’s nice to look at a non-masculine character on screen when you’re running around killing or just chilling on the beach. It’s so much cooler to see a kinda-fetching female (more on this too) wearing body armour and armed with an AK-74 assault rifle “whacking” guys in the kapow or “bang-bang” you’re dead… way.

I thought maybe I’d share elements from what I spent most of my time doing since starting out as a nobody and getting to “sorta-somebody” now. In the beginning:

Character Creation (“the more on this” thing)
This is a sort of weird affair of creating the appearance which is based on appearances of ultimately your grandparents. You start by a screen that looks like this:

GTA_Online_character_creation

Not my character but notice how small the grandparents are? How do I know if I like how my grandparents look? – Gamezone

I thought the process was a bit difficult to be absolutely sure you liked the look of your grandparents whose face is really small you can’t see where good genes come from. Followers of this blog might have seen my old posts about Saint’s Row 4 where I had the Boss look just like Lara Croft which (there seems to be a theme here) is a nice touch. Maybe Rockstar just wanted to mix things up a bit, I had the option to use Niko and Misty as parents too however anyone who knows Niko Bellic knows that he isn’t pretty so Lilith would have to look like Misty or nothing… so I went down the completely custom try-find-the-best-grandparents-and-parents-for-the-best-look option. I don’t do things by halves when it comes to custom characters because I’m going to have to look at this mug and body for hours on end so it damn well better look acceptable.

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This is Lilith doing a selfie with a recently stolen Baller (Range Rover). I think she looks fine, nice grey leather jacket

Things I do
My mission from the beginning was to buy the most expensive apartment from the get go by being fastidious in money saving and robbing loads of stores as well as stealing and selling many cars. Doing missions was actually a side note to me as it took time to load up a mission and then drive to the location and then fight it out with some NPCs alone or with other players (more on this too). Initially the take was merely OK and I found that in the time it took for me to get a mission done I could be out earning a fair bit of cash by knocking over approx 5 small convenience stores in a row with a take of around $9K all said and done. The trick is to use a helicopter (from the heliport east of Vespucci or the airport or the Sandy Shores airfield or wherever you usually see a helicopter) to get away from the cops without having to drive on a 4-star wanted level. So you start the day by stealing a Lampadati Felon GT or a Gallivanter Baller netting you $9.5k or $9k respectively and as you can’t sell another for 24 in-game hours you just fly about robbing stores for their cash.

Ill gotten gains are then spent surprisingly easily especially because I wanted to allow for outfit changes due to the feminine nature of the character. Outfits can get expensive with a female tux jacket setting me back approx $10K, so she works hard for the threads. Other than that I’ve really been on and off with friends completing missions and races, most memorable of which was stealing a C-130 type aircraft from a hangar by gunning down loads of private security mercenaries.

Pain, so much pain… and ranting!
If I were still in kindergarten and GTA O was my education system then the comment “Does not play with others” would come up in my report card. Why that is isn’t because I’m anti-social it’s mainly because everyone else is. I recall getting out of a successful mission and immediately banking my cash out of fear of being killed with 10k in my pocket only to get killed running to my car… which is tracked for me and is pointless for anyone else to drive except myself. The d-bag who killed me decided to kill me just so he can steal my car which was a very sexy orange/yellow C63 coupe looking thing with a load of custom parts. How could he/she think that the car was a random spawn, I am not sure. I died and because of this person’s ineptitude and lost $2k to “health bills” and my car went a grand total of 50 metres before it shut itself down as it was locked… to me! (why the inbred thought it was worth someone else losing $2K just so they could drive 50m is beyond me and I hope alfaalfa-whatever your silly name is dies a lonely and painful death IRL). In another situation a friend and I just completed a mission to be foisted upon the mean streets with a crazed player running my friend over and then proceeding to try that on me from which my trigger finger responded with much squeezing and spraying into his car causing a swift retreat. Why do people assume it’s a good idea to kill other enterprising criminals, you don’t even gain much from that and all you look like is a great big twat. There is much money to be made if you work TOGETHER, but that is too difficult for these ignorant, sociopathic, small-minded loonies whom for the most part (or all of it) must be terrible at life and are failing at it miserably on a drool covered, snot-slicked, smelly, wooden, dunce stool in the basement of their probably meth-addicted mom’s hovel in semi-darkness, and I say probably because they haven’t surfaced to find out yet. Play nice, kill people in death-matches where it’s appropriate and make friends amongst the criminally minded to take down the man together.

It’s fun
I apologise for the diatribe above because it’s easy to avoid the trolls by just starting a crew or friend only server and wreak havoc like you’re the only criminal in Los Santos who’s friends pop into town every now and then to make some criminations cooperatively. The game really does come together when you have people with you in the situation too, however it’s when the objective ends is when I wonder who is going to shoot me in the back which isn’t so much a worry when you have people you can trust, stand up guys. Also forging ahead in your own story with your own way of doing things is refreshing and even if the story from the single-player side isn’t there to gel it altogether what is more tantalising is that this is your story, yes you, this is your chunk of San Andreas to carve and hewn into your own masterpiece and how you get there is your own choice.

Pursuit of Happiness/Money
It dawned on me early that there would be no point buying anything other than the best apartment. Yes most of the homes have the same interior and yes the cool 10-car garage is the same if you have a $200k or a $400k place. From that point I didn’t care for the fripperies of collecting anything except cash to make 400K for my new digs. If you bought any other place you’d only retain 50% (or something like that) of your previous place’s value as a residual on the trade to the new one. You can’t own more than one property either so it makes sense to invest initially in the one you really want and then buy that and not lose 50% of your cash just because you started at the bottom or middle of the ladder. By the time I wanted to buy and had the cash I realised that the most expensive apartment actually did not have the view nor the highest level in the building so I ended up saving $9K and purchasing the second most expensive apartment in the game therefore solidifying my wanker status.

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My garage last week, oh how I love this room

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Would you like to lounge?

The view of Vinewood, the city is quite nice too
I kill people and love cool toys… and I take selfies just outside the military base for fun

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Watchout Humanity! Cards have arrived

Not sure if I already mentioned this but Cards Against Humanity caught my eye some months back. I was probably already late on the bandwagon by then but I live in Australia so certain things aren’t big here.

http://cardsagainsthumanity.com/

Anyhow I wanted a set like a 6 year old wants chocolate (except when they are lactose intolerant). I tried Amazon however for some odd reason they wouldn’t send a pack of cards my way, all the way to Sydney Australia. Why was this so difficult, I get that certain things like games may have ratings and such that limit where a certain version can be sold however this is cards, so really?

I managed to get in with some cajoling, new friends, some enemies and 4 weeks later:

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Ermahgerd – Google chrome had a spell check for “Ermagherd” and look at the parcel that just arrived!

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It’s MONSTROUS I can’t wait try them out.

This could become some sort of weekly fun feature where we put the best combo’s we’ve found through gameplay. Of course we know the game isn’t exactly kid friendly so if you don’t want to see the rude/funny drivel then please feel free to avoid our new segment “Humanity Lost” or whatever we change that to.

In celebration here’s one:

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Random card selection

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Grand Theft Auto V: In Brief

I haven’t posted as usual, Friday around midday. The reason for that is GTA V the game I have been waxing lyrical for the last 2 months. The game that makes me write about other games to write about GTA. This is borderline obsession but how can you not be worked up about “the next GTA” on the demonising or praising sides of the fence? I, thankfully love the game, I always have enjoyed and immersed myself into the offerings from Rockstar with the GTA titles. GTA V has not disappointed me one bit due to the vast, vibrant setting and interesting characters to boot, you feel a part of the world they have sculpted so carefully with the technology pushed right to the limit, I cannot praise the level of detail and thought put into everything you can see and interact with.

What I am not going to do now is review the game because I am no super-gamer and I don’t finish games hyperfast and then go online to write up the awesome guides and tips. What I do is take the experience in reasonable sized pieces with gaming sessions around 4 hours long, even then I don’t get through that fast so for me it’s all about taking it in (as I write I am at around 47%). And because I am taking it in I hope I can give you some info on the different way things work for someone as “relaxed” as I am with the pace (No pictures this week, I don’t know how to snap photos on PS3):

Driving/Cars/Motorcycles
I love cars, everyone who knows me knows I don’t like cars, I love cars, just not in some sicko sexual way, I like to drive and think and talk about cars, my name is Shaun and am a petrolhead (Hi Shaun). GTA V is car lovers heaven, high end sports cars, off-road pickups, modern and classic US muscle cars, sleek convertibles and all others because most of it is cool… are represented here. For the first time the vehicular line up is extensive with multiple models from manufacturers (moreso than GTA IV) but also the detail and the diversity on the streets of Los Santos is astounding. I am nearly halfway through the game and I am seeing some cars for the first time in the game. The first foray you would have gotten/get is in the Obey 9F (an Audi R8 amalgam) did what GTA IV did when I first tried it out… it sucked. Why, well it was far too twitchy and turned unnaturally quickly, in the amount of control it had as a handler it was out of control and I disliked it. Since then I have had the chance to drive nearly everything else and I love it. The feeling is definitely like a Need For Speed or Burnout with easy handling and fun easy dodging, however making you work a little to get the drift happening right. So far the highlights of my offline garage is the Vapid Sandking XL (Ford Raptor on roids), Inverto Coquette (Red, carbon bits, looks like 2014 Corvette), Bravado Buffalo (2013 Dodge Charger, Franklin’s default car) and an Imponte Phoenix (70s Pontiac Firebird, Custom for Trevor).

I am rambling but you should know:
– Cars are modifiable, if you modify your default car (for Michael, Trevor or Franklin) the car will always be modified. Find a Los Santos garage and drive/ride in.
– Things you can modify on your car: Suspension (Lows), Armour, Braking, Performance (Turbo, Engine, Exhaust, ECU), Body (Bumpers/Splitters/Diffusers, Spoilers, Wheels, Tyre Smoke, Tint, Colour, Roof, Roll Cage)
– Playing the game I notice adding a turbo seems to negate the need for engine or transmission modifications as the turbo maxxes the acceleration stats (is there any benefit to adding other stuff?)
– Rockstar seems to be on the pulse of car culture, their choice of wheels, cars and modifications shows it. They included wheels that look like Volks and SSRs… WOOHOO!
– Bikes are modifiable too, I love my Bagger (Harley Road King) in matte black.
– You can lose your car if you park it at your character’s home garage. So far Trevor’s parking lot at the strip club (kinda spoiler) doesn’t have this problem. I have lost approx 3 cars and 1 bike this way over all three characters. Luckily I wasn’t too fussed about the cars but that could get annoying if you bought something for a fair bit of change and then lost it. The most secure way to retain cars is by putting them in the large storage facility type garage.

On Foot
Walking around is not such a bad way to get around these days, with the sprawl of the city or the waves on the beach I can’t take in everything fast enough. Shooting and evading baddies and cops has improved somewhat. Aiming with the auto aim function is well executed and when you get shots on target in quick succession you feel like a badass. I haven’t started a triathlon yet but I am assuming I will have fun with the biking, running and swimming events.

Flying
This is the one part that falls down slightly. I remember getting in a chopper in GTA IV and loving the idea of getting around quickly and deadly like in the annihilator. I was the king of the sky until I hit something like a power pole or skyscraper. In GTA V the same excitement was had when I approached the helicopter, then on take off everything was fine until the turbulence from all the strongest winds around the world decided to hit me at once and from every direction. I get that flying isn’t an easy thing to do but the hipster living in Silver Lake, LA can’t drive for peanuts but I bet he’s having fun driving in Los Santos. I am not sure why R* decided to make driving better but flying worse. The same goes for planes where flying is a constant correction and adjustment exercise with what feels like constant turbulence. Are they trying to stop us from flying too much?

Money
We all like money, tricking co-workers into thinking they won the lottery is a low thing to do, it also reveals everyone needs money. The game really makes a big deal of making money and lots of it, items are sufficiently priced to drive the need for lots of cash. Making money in the first half of the game is sparse except for the first heist. I was stupid with this heist so I didn’t make much (no spoilers just make sure when the crap gunman drops the loot, ride over it to pick it up as Franklin). There is a great glitch where you can find an underwater case of money and immediately switch to another character and then switch back to collect again and again until you have enough to buy that house/business/car. Apparently you make a load of cash around 50% (nearly there!) so fear not, you can get everything you want eventually.

Stock Trading
i thought this deserved a section on it’s own because it’s very much like gambling except you can influence the outcome. I don’t profess to be some super trader dude so I rely on the tips everyone else has. You can influence the ups and downs of stock by just being destructive or through the assassination missions where if you get the intel before you start the mission you can get all 3 guys bought into a particular stock with a guaranteed profit after the assassination mission is over. Generally you are killing company execs, developers or jurors so you can see where this is going. I highly recommend you leave these to after you do the big union depository job as you can bet big and make a load more than I did by playing them and putting in all I had at the time (~$800K per character)

The Law
One leap I am happy with is the Police. They are more accurate with the gun and fast with the driving. This is usually a bad thing for the aspiring criminal however what they have also done is make line of sight realistic.
What I mean by this is best explained by comparison with GTA IV:
– Running up wanted stars is easy in GTA IV and GTA V – I was t-boned by a cop car in V as I pulled out and then immediately got 2 stars. IV would have let that go. Walking near to people setup in locations i.e. a picnic or around a camp tends to make them want to call the cops for no reason. Makes me stay away.
– Hiding in a carpark in IV would spell trouble if you were still in the “dragnet”, no matter how well you were out of the public’s view, the cops would turn up and surround you, choppers were near impossible. In V as long as you were one turn ahead and then out of sight down an alley cops would convert to “point of view cones” on the map and as long as you kept out of their “view” you were safe and then you would lose your wanted level after long enough.
– Swapping cars in IV did nothing to stop the chase, in V it dropped the amount of stars as long as you were out of sight.
– Police AI in IV was quite simple, in V they have your number and will work hard to get you and your friends

San Andreas: The town the country and the vibe
I truly enjoy the sprawl and lights, I have always wanted to visit LA and this is the closest thing to that so far. You watch the movies, the tv shows about LA and there is a made up vision of the city and what is there. R* captured the gritty monumentalism of New York for Liberty City and almost in a complete opposite they got sunshine and urban sprawl as well as outback country of Blaine County just right this time around. Downtown and then the dusty plains and undulations feel like completely separate parts of America. Once again I don’t know what real life LA is like but my word, LS feels authentic, glitzy glamour and dilapidated projects have never looked or felt so right together. Buildings are not simply copy pasted round the place, every building feels individually constructed to be unique, if you want some tips on architectural design then walk around Franklin’s Vinewood home on the hills. Roads are textured and varied, it all looks sunburnt and a cool feature is they even got the ripple strips along the side of the highways to make that noise you get from driving over them. Draw distance has also changed somewhat with nearly all of the surrounding city completely visible and defined even at distance, this turns up the realism from GTA IV’s draw distance although I will say in my first foray there was one or two instances of a whole building popping in from what would have been less than 50 metres away from the character.

Online
Can’t wait to try this out, the game has had some issues with the online system dropping out for hours at a time (BAWSAQ, Social Club) probably as R* is ramping up the GTAO servers and such, if the response to the start of GTAV is anything to go by they will most likely be beefing up their servers to contain the overwhelming demand for game servers when everyone, no doubt would have finished the story and be vying for the 500 missions with their own custom character.