PS Vita

Errol James

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What Grand Theft Auto 3 Means to Me

I remember the first time I played Grand Theft Auto 3. I was hanging out at my friend Tino's house. He was glued to the TV playing this game on his PS2. I saw him in a car driving around a city. I noticed how there wasn't any boundaries to where he could go. He was free to go wherever he wanted. "This isn't a racing game." I said to myself.

"What is this?" I asked.

"Grand Theft Auto" Tino said.

For real? The Grand Theft Auto I remembered was the game with the overhead view and annoying radio stations. The Grand Theft Auto I knew was the one where you had to hold X to walk and the missions were hard. I wasn't a fan of Grand Theft Auto 1 or 2. I pretty much wrote the series off as too complicated for my 12 year old self to understand, but here is this cool game that Tino's saying is Grand Theft Auto.

"Can I play?" I asked.

"Yea" Tino says.

I pick up the control and begin driving. I remember I was in a Kuruma driving around Chinatown.

"Press L2" Tino said

I press it and notice the camera is looking out the left window of the car.

"All right now hold L2 and press O"

That was the moment I fell in love with Grand Theft Auto 3. Something about being able to do drive by's that just blew me away. Something told me that this game was a classic. I realized then that it was time to jump into the next generation of videogames. No more N64, it was time for a PS2.

I had to wait a few months to finally get my own PS2, but it was all good. Not too long after I played the game at Tino's house more of my friends had copies of Grand Theft Auto 3. It got to the point to where you weren't cool in my middle school if you hadn't at least played the game. I would sleep over my friends house just so we could play GTA 3 all night. I remember one night my friend Tom and I were jamming to Rise FM for like 2 hours. We put Claude in a car and just zoned out to the 6 songs on that radio station.

Grand Theft Auto 3 became so popular that by the time I went to buy it 4 months later I had to bring my mother because the lady at Toys R Us said I was too young. It's crazy because I could have bought Halo, which has the same rating, with no problems. At the time Toys R Us had games on shelves so all you had to do was bring the game to a cash register to buy it. With Grand Theft Auto 3, I remember I had to go to Customer Service and ask for Grand Theft Auto 3.

The controversy behind the game dealing with violence, prostitutes, etc wasn't the reason why I wanted Grand Theft Auto. I wanted it because every time I played it with someone it was incredibly fun. If Grand Theft Auto was a boring game that had all of these naughty things I don't think anybody would care enough to want to play it. Instead it's this incredible game that just so happens to have drugs, violence, and prostitutes. That's my fault? I thought not.

On the 10 year anniversary of Grand Theft Auto 3, I wonder when that next game is going to come. A game that creates a new genre and gets it right. An original game that inspires copy cats that are both good and bad, but never better than the original. A game that every gamer knows something about. A game that unites us as gamers... It'll be here one day. Happy Birthday Grand Theft Auto 3. You changed everything.

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coolbeans2373d ago

One of the greatest game of all time imo. Even in today's age, the immerisive level of picking up a hooker is rarely replicated in other games not called Grand Theft Auto.

xX-StolenSoul-Xx2373d ago

My first gta game was Vice city, your story was very similar to mine. I have never played a game like it before and it really changed my outlook on video games. It also tought me how to beat prostitutes with a bat to get my monies back after we finished up lol.

With that said, I picked up Gta 3, it was not as exciting compared to vice city but fun nether-less.

Brownghost2373d ago

i remember when i was 11 and my cousin gave me gta vice city for my regular computer, it was the most fun i ever had and the only good game my computer could run well and i always played it during my free time.I never played the story, i just played around. Now when san andreas came out thats when it became amazing, my friend still plays it to this day.

LightofDarkness2372d ago

To me, it was the game that heralded the end of my interest in console gaming for about 2 years or so.

I bought a PS2 on launch day, enjoyed Tekken Tag and Timesplitters for weeks, but as the gen went on I was slowly losing interest (being a teenager and all with more important things on my mind). GTA III was something we had all been drooling over since we first heard of it, and of course we all had to have it on release day. The game was supposed to be the kind of thing we could only imagine, a dream game that was finally within our reach, a huge open playground where anything was possible. When it finally came time to play it, I felt... nothing.

Perhaps it was that I had been playing Devil May Cry during the same period, but GTA III, to me at least, was boring. Many of my other friends (whom I'd consider "more easily impressed") were certainly more taken with it and seemingly were more than content with what it delivered, but I personally found the game to be utterly soulless and boring. The gunplay was simply mundane compared to the games of the time, the driving mechanics were completely unrealistic (after playing GT-3 you get used to the idea of cars behaving like cars) and all the side activities were simply hollow, tacked on extras for the deviants-at-heart. People seemed to be mesmerized and entertained more by the simple IDEA of the game, and not the game itself.

The IDEA that you could hire a hooker, do your business and then kill her to get your money back SOUNDS like a lot of fun but actually doing so in-game was just boring. The idea of being so maniacally murderous and chaotic that the military had to be called in to put an end to your reign of terror sounds amazing, but the shooting mechanics ensure that this is simply a boring "lock-on to guy, hold shoot until dead" routine. I didn't feel any connection to what was happening on screen.

After that, I stopped playing games for a while. Some games held my interest, like ZOE, Halo, and various PC games, but it wouldn't be until Half-Life 2 that I got back into gaming seriously.

BlmThug2372d ago

My first GTA was Gta 2 and i fell in love with it from then on. Gta vice city really cemented it as my favorite franchise of all time. Years after and having played all gta games (except for the original) my love for it is still burning stronger than ever

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