|Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories|
|Developer||Rockstar Leeds / Rockstar North|
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, also known as GTA Liberty City Stories and abbreviated to GTA LCS, is the ninth video game in the Grand Theft Auto series, the fifth of the GTA III Era and was developed by Rockstar North and Rockstar Leeds. Capcom published and distributed the game for its Japanese release. The game was released on October 25, 2005 in North America and November 4, 2005 in the United Kingdom on the PlayStation Portable (PSP). The game, originally a PSP exclusive, was later ported to the PlayStation 2, being released on June 6, 2006 in North America and June 22, 2006 in the UK. The game has since been re-released as a downloadable game for the PSP Go on October 1, 2009.
The game, set in Liberty City in 1998, was also the first game released on the PSP. GTA Liberty City Stories serves as a prequel to both Grand Theft Auto Advance (set in 2000/2001) and Grand Theft Auto III (set in 2001). Toni Cipriani, a supporting character from GTA III, returns as the protagonist.
The game features the return of Grand Theft Auto III supporting character and Leone Family capo Toni Cipriani as the protagonist. The game starts with Cipriani returning to Liberty City after fours years in hiding for killing a made man. Toni, however, is disappointed to find himself back at the bottom of the Leone pecking order, working for his replacement Vincenzo Cilli. Toni later begins to work his way back up the ladder and against various people in his way, including Cilli, his mother, other mobsters and families, hitmen and politicians.
The game returns the player to the crime ridden streets of Liberty City but features many differences from previous renditions of the city. The city features new areas to explore, such as Fort Staunton, new gangs, new residents and new means of transportation, including a ferry service from Portland to Staunton Island. Motorcycles also make their first and only appearance in the city. Other changes include the Porter Tunnel and Callahan Bridge being partially completed, with the later being completed as the game progresses.
On the PlayStation Portable, character movement is controlled using the analog stick and the D-pad being used to cycle through the available weapons. The Select button changes the camera mode. To target an enemy, the player holds the R Button and can then cycle through targets using left and right on the D-pad. While in a car, the L and R Buttons can be used for drive-by shootings. While in the midst of a mission, all enemies (that is, those directly relating to the mission) are indicated on the radar by red dots. In the game's menu, the player can choose to reverse the functions of the analog stick and D-Pad.
The PlayStation 2 version of GTA Liberty City Stories combines various gameplay mechanics from the PS2 versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Camera control is similar to that of San Andreas, while on-foot movement and gunplay are closer to III or Vice City. However, third-person free-aiming is available in GTA Liberty City Stories, which is used in San Andreas.
The PSP version of GTA Liberty City Stories has a multiplayer mode, for up to 6 players through wifi ad-hoc mode (same area). The game features 7 modes of wireless multiplayer gaming, in which various pedestrian and character models from the single player mode are available as player avatars. Rockstar removed these modes from the PS2 port of GTA Liberty City Stories.
- The first is Liberty City Survivor, a tie-in to the radio advertisement found in GTA III of a fictional reality television show of the same name. In Liberty City Survivor, players fight for themselves in a deathmatch. The first player to reach a certain number of kills, or with the highest score when the timer runs out is the winner. Players can also play in teams, or "gangs". Ultimately players will be able to choose from over 60 different characters, and play on all three islands, depending on progress through the single player storyline, but from the get go, it is limited to Portland with a generous nine characters to choose from.
- The second mode of play is Protection Racket, in which players attack an opposing player's gang base in order to destroy four limos while the other gang tries to protect its limos. When time runs out, or a gang destroys the other gang's limos, a new round begins with the gang roles reversed.
- In Get Stretch, players try to steal the other gang's gang cars from their base and take it to their base. The game ends when a gang reaches the score limit or time runs out.
- In The Hit List, players have to kill the Marked player as quickly as possible. Survive as long as possible when you are the Mark. In the first round, one player will be chosen randomly as the Mark, all other players must try to kill the Marked player as quickly as possible. Once a Marked player has been killed, a different player will be randomly chosen to be the Mark. Making a successful kill on a Marked player will award you with extra time that is added to your survival time at the end of the game. Once all players have been Marked and killed, the player with the longest survival time wins. The Marked player's vehicle will take damage over time.
- In Street Rage players must drive through the checkpoints to get to the finish line first. Players are allowed to change vehicles and shoot other players to win the race. Players will be automatically re-spawned in a vehicle on the track after a short period of time if they do not have a vehicle or if they have been killed. The player that finishes the race first wins. The Sticky Tires powerup improves vehicle handling for limited time, while Instant Repair is just that, an instant repair for your vehicle.
- The Wedding List is a free-for-all game where players must collect cars scattered throughout the city and deliver them to shipping crates. Only players in the vehicles to be collected will know the destinations of the shipping crates. Cash is awarded based on the condition of the cars when they are delivered. Once all the cars have been collected and delivered, the player with the most cash wins this game mode.
- In Tanks for the Memories players have to be the first to the tank and try to survive the target Tank Time. Other players must try to destroy the tank before the Tank Time is reached. If this happens, the player who caused the most damage to the tank will occupy a new tank and, as before, it must be destroyed as quickly as possible. This continues until a player reaches the Tank Time; this player is declared the winner.
GTA Liberty City Stories features ten radio stations, which comprise a mix of both licensed music and tracks created specifically for the game. The ten radio stations are as follows:
- Lips 106
- Head Radio
- Rise FM
- The Liberty Jam
- Flashback FM
- MSX 98
- Radio Del Mundo
- Double Clef FM
A special feature (only in the PSP version of the game) is the ability to listen to custom soundtracks. Previously, only Grand Theft Auto games on the Xbox and PC were able to implement custom soundtracks. When GTA Liberty City Stories was released, the custom soundtracks option was featured in the "Audio" section of the menu (by pressing Start in gameplay) but did not have any use. Many people posted on various internet forums asking how to use the feature. At one time, it was thought that these custom soundtrack abilities had to be unlocked, but this would have been very unusual since previous games didn't do this.
A few days after release of the game, Rockstar placed the application called "Rockstar Custom Tracks v1.0" on the official site under the "Downloads" section. This then gave people the chance to use the custom soundtracks feature. The application appears to be based on Exact Audio Copy.
In the application, songs from a CD are ripped, compressed, and converted to files that can be read by the game. Because Rockstar Custom Tracks (RCT) only allow the ripping of songs that are from a store-bought CD, burning your downloaded songs onto a CD won't work. The only way to bypass this restriction is to use iTunes to put your music on a CD, as RCT recognizes iTunes-burned CD's as store-bought CDs. This was met with much criticism among the fan community. However, fans have found a way to compress and convert MP3 files that are not burned onto CD's. RCT can also look up and use the names from the FreeDB server if there are no names for the song(s). There must be at least one save file in order for RCT to work. It is thought that this will be used for other games Rockstar will release on the PSP from the name. More details can be found in the PDF in the file downloaded from the official site.
The game received positive reviews, with a 9.0/10 from IGN. In the United States, the PlayStation 2 version of GTA Liberty City Stories had sold 1 million copies by February 6, 2007, as of December 27, 2007, the PSP version has sold 1.83 million copies and the PS2 version has sold 1.32 million in the United States alone. As of March 26, 2008 GTA Liberty City Stories has sold 8 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive.
Tips & Tricks
- http://www.ammunation.net – Ammu-Nation, the ingame munitions store chain.
- http://www.lips106fm.com – Lips 106, one of the ingame radio stations.
- http://www.electronzoneradio.com - Electron Zone Radio, a segment on Liberty City Free Radio.
- http://www.crowfest98.com - Crowfest '98, Crow's music festival on its way to Liberty City.
- http://www.pauliesrevue.net – Paulie's Revue Bar, a strip club in the Red Light District.
- http://www.citizensunitednegatingtechnology.org (also .com) – Citizens United Negating Technology (CUNT), an organization revealing the evils of the Internet
- http://www.bathtubginstill.com - Old Horsey Bathtub Gin Still.
- http://www.pastmaster-game.com/ - PastMaster, an educational game.
- http://www.itsvivisection.com/ - Vivisection, a boardgame/chemistry set.