Grand Theft Auto 3 Articles RSS Feed | Grand Theft Auto 3 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Where Are the Toilets? (And Other Gaming Oddities) Sun, 13 Nov 2016 10:33:02 -0500 chopchamen

Video game characters don't have to ever use the bathroom, eat food, sleep or even speak. But with all the simulated realism in most games today, it seems kind of odd to just galavant through the woods or a post-apocalyptic cityscape for hours on end and never have to do any of those (essential) things. And what's more, it's really crazy to see your character doing something that just down-right impossible to do in the real world. 

So, let's take a look at some of the necessities of life missing from games,  as well as the outrageous things you do in video games that would be insane in real life.

Never Eating. Never Drinking. 

There are games that often put you in a world in which you just don't need to eat, and your character will (somehow) be fine. This is definitely the case in Skyrim. Without any mods, Skyrim would let you waltz right on through the game without having to munch on a single piece of food. The same goes for drinking, often you can drink, but the affects are usually null. The ONLY affect drinking has on your character is when you're guzzling down potions to get a quick buff or debuff.

You Can Sleep When You're Dead ... Or Something Like That

If you're a gamer, you know this all too well: You will eventually pass out from gaming too much... Look, it's happened to us all. At some point, you'll need to snooze. Even science says we've gotta' sleep about a third of each day to function right.

But in the virtual world, your character can almost always go without sleep -- and almost never receive any kind of consequences from doing so. Haven't sleep in over 40-hours of dragon-slaying combat? Eh, no biggie. 

Yo, I Need a Place to Sit (Where the Heck's the Furniture?)

Okay, there are a lot of games out there that are guilty of this. I mean, what're all the digital carpenters and builders doing with all their time?

But let's single out one series that does this a lot: Battlefield. Okay, Dice kind of fixed this in Battlefield 1. But in the other Battlefield games, the devs would usually have a few building scattered around each multiplayer map -- WITH ALL OF THEM EMPTY OR ALMOST EMPTY! Where's all the detail? It's weird when a real-life house no furniture. And it's weird when it's like that in a game.

I Speak. I No Speak. 

This one is kind of a classic. In games like The Legend of Zelda and GTA 3, you play as a character who rarely, if ever, speaks. In games like South Park, the developers actually make fun of the fact your character doesn't speak. What's with all the silence, guys? 

Man, I really Gotta' (Not) Go. Where are All the Toilets? 

This is a big "whuh?" in the Elder Scrolls series of games. Dragonborn ain't got no time to go. And while it may be medieval and you might expect them to drop a poop in a bucket, you've got high-tech dwemer robots buzzing around for goodness sake. That's not to mention the sewer systems in Riften and Solitude being mucky cesspools of well, I really don't know...

And think about the imperial city in Oblivion. NOT A SINGLE TOILET. So yeah, the absence of even one toilet is a bit weird.

Okay. Weird Stuff Your Character Can Do, But You Can't

Just as it's weird that your character occasionally can't do the things above, it would also be weird to think you can do these things in real life:

Using Mounted Weapons as Portable Weapons

We've all done this in classic sandbox games like Just Cause or Saint's Row (heck, we've even done it in Call of Duty). Grab a minigun and run around firing it from the hip.

It's a bit funny when you think about it.

Running Into a Fire Just to See If It Will Kill You.

Look, this is just fun sometimes, okay? That's the beauty of games: You get to test anything and everything that should be lethal just to see if it will actually kill you. It sounds crazy and in real life, we have a sensibility about that kind of thing. But when it comes to gaming, there's no worry at all! 

Teabagging, or Showing Your Opponent Who's Boss

Now, we've all done this at one point or another in games, and it goes without saying it would be crazy to do in real life, ESPECIALLY if it's just to piss somebody off.

So, sure, real-life elements can be good sometimes to help gamers suspend their disbelief, but honestly, who wants to worry about the basic necessities of life in every video game? (Survival games are a different story).

Likewise, the crazy things you do in games would be insane to perform in real life! 

Do you find the things you do in games every day weird or vice versa? Do you have anything else to add to this subject? Let us know in the comments!

ex-Rockstar boss issues $150m lawsuit against parent company Take-Two Interactive Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:53:14 -0400 Scott Simpson

In a statement issued today, Leslie Benzies, the former boss of Rockstar North who was lead producer for the company's highly successful Grand Theft Auto franchise, from GTA 3 through to GTA V, has issued a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, who owns Rockstar, to the tune of $150,000,000.

The statement reads:

"...while on sabbatical, Mr. Benzies discovered numerous deceptions on the part of Take-Two, Rockstar, Rockstar North Ltd, Sam Houser and Dan Houser, who sought to force him out of the company and terminate his portion of royalty payments based upon arbitrary actions by the company's Royalty Allocation Committee, a committee that may or may not have actually ever met. As the lawsuit describes, based upon agreements in place, as one of three named Rockstar Principals, Mr. Benzies is owed in excess of $150,000,000 million in unpaid royalties."

The lawsuit alleges that when Benzies tried to return to work from his sabbatical, he found his key to the building had been deactivated. After eventually being let in by security, he was then asked to leave the premises by the Rockstar North office manager. He also claims that the sabbatical wasn't even his idea, but that he was encouraged to do so by the defendants.

This is at odds with Take-Two's CEO Strauss Zelnick's version of events where he stated back in February, "He's decided not to return to Rockstar Games." This is something Benzies denies.

The conflicting allegations don't end there, however, with Rockstar and Take-Two filing a document stating Benzies left the company, "...without good reason."

It looks like this one's going to get messy.

Grand Theft Auto SanAndreas and other PS2 games are coming to PS4 Fri, 04 Dec 2015 15:37:17 -0500 Daniel Williams_2179

Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony's Worldwide Studios, has announced 8 PlayStation 2 titles coming to PlayStation 4. The games announced are: 

  • Dark Cloud
  • Grand Theft Auto III
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: SanAndreas
  • Rogue Galaxy
  • The Mark of Kri
  • Twisted Metal: Black
  • War of the Monsters

All these games will be released tomorrow, and all come with trophy support. These titles will also be available to play during tomorrow's PlayStation Experience event, in addition PaRappa the Rapper 2 and The King of Fighters 2000.

Earlier this November, Sony announced that they were working on bringing PS2 emulation to the PS4. Three PS2 games have already been ported to the PS4 -- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, Star Wars: Jedi Star Fighter, and Star Wars: Racer Revenge. These titles are available to anyone who has bought either the Star Wars Battlefront or the Disney Infinity 3.0 PS4 bundle, and will be available on the PlayStation store for a later date.

What other PS2 games would you like to see on PS4? Let us know in the comments!

Late bloomers: A look at popular franchises that weren't always that well known Tue, 22 Sep 2015 19:30:01 -0400 katlaborde

Resident Evil ser-

Hey, wait! Nobody likes you anymore, Resident Evil! You're on the wrong list!


What games were you introduced to mid-franchise or were you already playing these games long before everyone else caught on?


Brag about it in the comments below! 

The Witcher series

Unless you were an avid PC gamer, the original Witcher seemed to pass by unnoticed. But lucky for everybody else, when the Witcher 2 finally came around, it was eventually ported to the Xbox 360, allowing a new group of gamers to witness one of the best modern RPGs out there.


With its expertly told story and well-written characters, it's a wonder why it didn't catch on sooner. But with the hype that was behind the sequel's release, the eyes of gamers were watching eagerly, waiting to find out more.


And they were not disappointed. 


Image source: The Gamers Drop

Metal Gear Solid series

What is probably the most confusing and defended series ever conceived started off as a mostly unknown NES title. Before the time of PlayStation and 3D graphics, Snake was doing what he does best - sneaking past 8 bit soldiers and guard dogs in Metal Gear.


If it was any other franchise, it would have probably fallen by the way side after its sequel, but when CD based gaming became the way to go, Metal Gear Solid came along and created a legacy that would forever cement cardboard boxes as the top echelon of stealth based technology. 


Oh yeah and it gave us nanomachines. Lots and lots of gabbing about nanomachines.


Image source: Kotaku

Call of Duty series

Speaking of oversaturated, it's hard to imagine a world where Call of Duty isn't giving middle school children something to talk about during lunch time. Back in my day, Call of Duty was nothing but a buncha WWII shooters that would collect dust in the GameCrazy bargain bins!


Kids these days don't know how good they got it, I tell ya!


Before the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came around and wowed us with its pretty new guns and well, modern setting, we were stuck fightin' nothing but Nazis! Now, a decade later, we're patiently awaiting the release of Call of Duty 76. Thanks Call of Duty 4


Image source: Get Into PC

Assassin's Creed series 

Back when the original Assassin's Creed came out, it was mostly met with lackluster reception. From its rinse-and-repeat gameplay to a surprisingly limited world, gamers and reviewers alike just weren't feeling it.


Then the sequel was released. Assassin's Creed 2 did everything the original promised, with amazing parkour mechanics and clever stealth. From this point on, every game in the franchise would follow this blueprint, turning Assassin's Creed into one of the most successful, albeit oversaturated, franchises out there. 


Image source: Amazon

Final Fantasy series

Okay, I already know what you're going to say: 'But I've been playing Final Fantasy since Final Fantasy V!' or 'Final Fantasy VII has nothing on Final Fantasy VI!'


While both of these may be true, it was Final Fantasy VII that brought the RPG juggernaut over to the West. While Final Fantasy may have already been a success back its home country of Japan, it was the 7th entry that wowed the U.S. with its amazing graphics and cinematic cut scenes.


Now, when a new Final Fantasy is announced, fans from all over wait in anticipation, watching every subtitled and overly convoluted trailer as to speculate on what is sure to be a mind-bending story. 


Image source: B-Ten

Fallout series

Much like the Elder Scrolls series, Fallout was given a new lease on life through an overhaul in gameplay and scope. What was once a top down RPG became more accessible as a massive first person world for the player to explore.


Of course, that world is filled with monstrous mutants ready to tear you limb from limb.


Fallout 3 was an instant hit, nabbing the attention of gamers everywhere, as well as getting rewarded with multiple Game of the Year awards. With gamers even more pumped for Fallout 4 later this year, it's clear this series has journeyed from obscurity to being eagerly anticipated by all gamers.


Image source: PC Games

Elder Scrolls series

Bethesda makes an appearance more than once on the list due to their ability to take somewhat niche franchises and turn them into some of the most anticipated releases in gaming culture.


One of these franchises, of course, is the Elder Scrolls series. Now, unless you're a hardcore Elder Scrolls fanatic, you'd be hard pressed to name the subtitle to the second game in the series or if there even was a second game in the series. Everybody has heard of MorrowindOblivion, and Skyrim, but what about Daggerfall? No? Well neither had I - I had to look it up for this list.


But then came Morrowind with its sprawling open world that was unlike anything before it, and from that point forward, Elder Scrolls has been one of the most popular RPG series out there.

Grand Theft Auto series

When a new Grand Theft Auto title is announced, the entire world goes into a frenzy, whether it's fanboys experiencing sleepless nights until release day or Fox News attempting to scare parents into thinking Armageddon is around the corner.


But it wasn't always this way. Before the revolutionary Grand Theft Auto 3 was released, introducing us to its open world sandbox, the series mostly flew under the radar as a top down shooter. It's amazing to think that one of the most influential franchises in gaming history had such humble beginnings. 


Image source: Blogspot




Everybody and their mother has heard of Call of Duty and Final Fantasy, but for some franchises, this notoriety wasn't always the case. While some franchises resonate with the public straight away, some others don't manage to garner popularity until later sequels.


These series are like the scrawny kid in gym class who transforms into a beast after hitting puberty. So join me as I chronicle gaming's late bloomers!


Image source: Cinema Blend

Top 10 Best PS2 Games Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:56:46 -0400 Curtis Dillon


That's all folks! (Insert pig laugh.) We've counted down the 10 very best PS2 games. As was the case with the PS1 list, the diversity and quality of games on display here was incredible. I mean, you know the top 10 must be truly amazing when games like Shadow of the Colussus, God of War, Metal Gear Solid 3, Prince of Persia and many more, don't even make the cut.


The PS2 is the most successful console of all time, and the primary reason why is the games. Some of the very best games of all time have come from this generation, not to mention some memorable character mascots and the inception of online multiplayer. This was the generation when 3D gaming found its footing and gaming really became accepted in the mainstream.


So where next? Well, next we go smaller. The next step in the PlayStation timeline is the little system that could, the PlayStation Portable. Yes, we will be counting down the Top 10 PSP Games and reliving the glory days of arguably, the greatest handheld system of all time. (I'm more of a Vita guy, but the sales suggest otherwise). So remember to check back for the PSP list. We guarantee Tony Hawk won't hog the spotlight!


Until then, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

And showing the incredible impact and legacy of the series, it's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 that makes the number 1 spot on the list. This marks the 2nd time that the Tony Hawk series has topped the list, with THPS 2 hitting the number 1 spot for PS1 games. Gamespot even gave THPS 3 a perfect 10, making it only one of eleven games ever.


As is usually the case with sequels, Pro Skater 3 went bigger and, as is not always the case, better. It added new tricks, levels, modes - including online and the all-important revert. The open-ended levels were brought to life with NPC,s, cars and all sorts of things, all of which you could combo off of. The revert move allowed for significantly longer combos that didn't have to end at certain moments, thus fundamentally changing how the game was played.


The first two Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games were amazing. This may be kinda hard to understand nowadays, considering the downward trend the series went on, and especially with Pro Skater 5 releasing this week to less than favorable reviews. However, the series started on a very different note and that special trend continued well into the PS2 generation.


They weren't just for skate fans, they were for fans of fun gameplay and challenges.


Honorable Mentions:

  • God of War I & II
  • \n
  • Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
  • \n
  • Madden NFL 2002 & 2004
  • \n
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
  • \n
  • Virtua Fighter 4
  • \n
  • TimeSplitters 2
  • \n
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  • \n
  • SSX
  • \n
  • Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal
  • \n
  • Okami
  • \n
  • WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain
  • \n
  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
  • \n
  • Guitar Hero
  • \n
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
  • \n
  • Sly 2: Band of Thieves
  • \n
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • \n
2. Grand Theft Auto III

This just had to be here, didn't it? Yes - the game that really did define open-world video games is more than worth its place on any list of classics. I've reiterated how ground-breaking GTA III was a few times in this list, but to really drive it home I will show you a few review quotes.


The most innovative, outlandish, brilliant video game I've ever seen.


-Official US PlayStation Magazine


While the violent nature of the game will surely turn some people off and kids simply shouldn't be allowed anywhere near it, GTA III is, quite simply, an incredible experience that shouldn't be missed by anyone mature enough to handle it.




A luscious, sprawling epic of a game and one of the most complete experiences I have ever encountered. If this is what I've waited a year to see on my PS2, then I would have waited ten. Magnificent.




Those three quotations from renowned outlets should help you realize just how innovative this game was. When GTA III came out we had been in the realm of 3D gaming for a good while, but developers were still trying to figure out the formula for hitting the nail on the head consistently. So when Grand Theft Auto III released and featured the first truly open 3D world, equipped with dozens of car types, sprawling map, intelligent NPCs and a story that you play at your own leisure, it felt like we suddenly leapt into the future.


Another thing worth remembering is what came before. GTA and GTA 2 were decent games but they were top-down action games in which you stole cars and shot people. Certainly the DNA can be traced back, but I don't think many expected the series to evolve the way it did.


Grand Theft Auto III was a surprising masterpiece that firmly cemented Rockstar as the most exciting, innovative developer in the world - a title they hold to this day.

3. Resident Evil 4

I'm a big fan of almost every game on this list, though it's far from the Top 10 I would devise myself. But I have a real penchant for this particular title. Resident Evil 4 made me a fan of horror games. I'd watch my brother play the original on the PS1 when I was a toddler, and dabbled with some scary things thereafter but it wasn't until I seen a friend playing Resident Evil 4 that I was truly hooked. After watching him play a very early level, I had to buy it for myself. Shortly thereafter I pressed start on my own GameCube version, with a different friend by my side, and started a journey I would never forget.


So it kinda goes without saying that I really like Resident Evil 4. It's a tremendous game and quite possibly the paramount horror experience. Of course, scarier games exist, and as time passes and graphics etc. improve, Resident Evil 4 will fall further down that ladder. That being said, it's still the defining Resident Evil game and an exemplar of survival horror.


You play as Leon Kennedy, an American agent who is sent to a mysterious village in Eastern Europe in search of the President's daughter Ashley Graham. Right away you realize that something bad has happened to every resident, and they desperately want to kill you. The crazed villagers are part of a cult, Los Illuminados, that controls them with a virus and answers to overarching series villain Albert Wesker.


The story is pretty cool and the atmosphere was second to none when it released. The good news is, if Capcom continues its current trend of remastering EVERYTHING, then this game will get the PS4/Xbox One treament in just a few years!

4. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid was, for many, the defining game of the PS1 era. It virtually invented the stealth genre as we know it and redefined storytelling in video games. So the follow-up to that game was going to have to be something very special, and it was. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was an incredible game that took the storytelling and gameplay to a whole other level.


Oddly enough MGS 2 is a fairly divisive game with fans of the series. Despite the very cool, unique setting (Big Shell), quirky cast of characters, incredible cutscenes and improved mechanics, fans found it hard to overlook the simple fact that you don't play as Solid Snake. In a bold move, Kojima decided to go with brand-new character Raiden (Jack) as the protagonist, someone decidedly less cool than Snake. This was, in fact, the inspiration for the rapidly changed Raiden we meet in MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots.


Regardless of the love/hate relationship with Raiden, it's undeniable just how good the actual game is. The original game certainly established the series as being "cool". but Sons of Liberty just oozed suave and confidence. From the weirdly sexual Vamp and Fortune to the debonair Pliskin and Raiden, Kojima knew what he was doing and was clearly given free reign over the project. This is where Metal Gear as we know it began.

5. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

But that was Vice City. As it always seems to do, a few years after its Vice masterpiece, Rockstar took its beloved series to the streets of Los Santos (California) and again redefined open-world gaming. GTA: San Andreas was unprecedented in size and production value, and even included Samuel L. Jackson as Officer Tenpenny.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the original sandbox. It was the first time you felt like you could truly do anything - drive from the concrete jungle to the backwoods, train like a beast in the gym, play pool, get your pilot license, burgle a house, spray paint walls, get tattooed, jet pack onto a building then parachute off, eat until you puke, fight gang wars, low-ride, purchase property, derail a train, and simply change your hair. And that isn't even everything. Simply put, San Andreas was well ahead of its time.


This isn't just one of the very best PS2 games, it's one of the best games of all time and a testament to world-building, storytelling, characterization, and how to make a game fun.

6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Following up the most ground-breaking, controversial and realistic video game ever made (at that time) was never going to be an easy feat. But, as we now expect of it, Rockstar Games took one look at the bar of expectation and decided to break it in half.


2002 was a pretty amazing year for gaming: Kingdom Hearts, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Spider-Man, Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Sly Cooper and the Thievous Racoonus and Ratchet and Clank, to name just a few. So it's telling just how good GTA: Vice City was that it received so many game of the year awards.


Everything from the story to the music was perfect in this stylized version of 1980's Miami, Florida. While GTA III was the birth of the series and the open-world game as we know it, it was Vice City where Rockstar found its footing and added a ton of color, humor and absurdity to the series. Flying around the neon streets on a red motorcycle, listening to I Ran (So Far Away), with an SMG in hand, that's Vice City.

7. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

Carrying on the trend of high-quality racing simulation set by its predecessors, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec continued to perfect the formula, adding more depth and honing the graphics. Something worth noting, however, is that this came out just a year after Gran Turismo 2 and was, for all intents and purposes, a port of the PS1 game. That being said, it was a very, very good port.


Coming out just 4 years after the original Gran Turismo, the third installment in the series showed an incredible advancement and acted as a phenomenal show-floor piece for the PS2. This version of the game added 2 new tracks, new cars and a great soundtrack.


GT3 offers the finest racing, the best cars and the highest-quality automotive audio-visual feast available on any gaming system anywhere, and as far as I'm concerned, it's an absolutely essential purchase for anyone who loves cars and racing. --IGN

8. Madden 2003

Madden 2003 was easily the best NFL game of its time and the first to feature series regulars John Madden and Al Michaels. The 2003 installment in the series was a very deep game with a franchise mode that would take months to complete, a fun online mode, and the first ever EA Trax and Mini Camp.


It may look pretty jagged and robotic by today's standards, but in 2003 this version of Madden was the best and most authentic to date. The gameplay was refined and the commentary was a huge upgrade, making the overall package more realistic than ever before. It says a lot that Madden 2003 is, to this day, the highest rated Madden game ever!

9. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

It's hardly surprising the #1 most critically acclaimed PS1 game series also makes it into the PS2 list. Carrying on the pure skateboarding tradition of its predecessors, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 continued to perfect the mechanics and level design set forth by the previous installments.


Pro Skater 4 was the last game in the series to bear that branding (ignoring the upcoming PS5) and be a skating simulator. The games that followed were very divisive and more GTA-inspired. Pro Skater 4, however, had excellent mechanics, impressive graphics, the always-awesome level design, and introduced multi-player into the series.

10. Devil May Cry

While God of War has become synonymous with big, hack 'n' slash action, it was Devil May Cry that first brought it to the PS2 and made it a very popular genre in the west. Capcom had been making sequel after sequel when Devil May Cry appeared out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise. A much appreciated surprise.


Playing as private investigator Dante, you enter the Demon world to avenge the death of his mother and brother. Funnily enough, Devil May Cry started out as another sequel - a Resident Evil game to be exact. This, amazingly, was the embryonic version of Resident Evil 4, a game that may show up later in this list.


Devil May Cry was a very stylish Gothic horror game that infused hack 'n' slash sword-fighting with dual gun-wielding. A great game that spawned several sequels and a reboot.


Welcome back to the best PlayStation games countdown! This is the second week in the countdown and so we've moved on to the biggest selling console of all time, the PlayStation 2.


Last time around we covered the great console that was the PS1. A system that was born from a scorned Sony and completely wiped the floor with its competition. When the next generation rolled around, Nintendo and Sega both attempted to emulate PlayStation's success by producing more powerful consoles that were capable of running bigger, more mature games.


We all know what happened the Dreamcast, despite the fact that it was a very good console that was well ahead of its time. The GameCube was a similarly brilliant console but didn't sell all that well either, managing just 21 million units. The PS2, on the other hand, took over the world and brought gaming to the forefront of entertainment.


It sold a whopping 155 million units, putting it well above the PS1, which is still the 2nd best-selling home console ever. The PS2 has also sold more than the Nintendo DS, which is sitting just behind with 154 million units.


But you aren't here to read about numbers. No, you're here to see some games! And it's the games that made the PS2 so successful....well, that and a DVD player when they were pretty new. But the games were fantastic nonetheless. So let's hop in and find out which ones made the top 10!

Ten Ridiculously Overrated and Overhyped Franchises Thu, 19 Mar 2015 19:18:03 -0400 The Soapbox Lord


Disagree with my selections? Feel I left some deserving ones off the list? 


Let me know in the comments. Just keep it civil please. 




Whoa now! Let’s put down those pitchforks, stop typing your angry comment, and hear me out. The Half-Life series is a great series. The games have been hugely influential on the game world and launched Valve to the astronomical heights where the company now sits. Since the release of Half-Life: Episode 2 in 2007, players have been eagerly anticipating the next release in the franchise, be it an episode or core release. It has been eight years now, and Valve is still holding their hand close to their chest. To say the next entry in the series is anticipated is an understatement. Every year, rumors swirl like a mysterious fog on the shore. Maybe this year we will finally hear some news from Valve but to no avail.


Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the next entry in the series too, but the hype for this will probably backfire. When a game gets hyped to ridiculous heights, the game usually fails to meet expectations. So can we forget about Half-Life until Valve makes an announcement please? 




You had to know this was coming. Honestly, every franchise Molyneux has worked on since the closing of Bullfrog could be on this list. At the end of the day though, Fable has to be the most deserving of a spot. The first Fable was one of, if not the most, anticipated games of its generation. Molyneux worked his magic filling our heads with grandiose dreams of acorns which would fall from a tree and then grow into tree themselves. Players should have been more skeptical, especially after Black & White, but the hype train could not be stopped. Surprising no one, many features Molyneux promised were nowhere to be found in the game after launch. Say it ain’t so!


Molyneux has continued to get the hopes of players worldwide to astronomical heights for each subsequent release in the series, only to disappoint. Jim Sterling is one of a few who has the gumption to call him out on his shenanigans he has perpetuated for years now. Each release has been missing features and more which were promised beforehand. On top of Molyneux’s self-perpetuating cycle, the games are also just basic ARPGs at their core with elements of The Sims. Let’s put an end to this cycle eh?


Five Nights at Freddy’s


A relative underdog in this sea of AAA overhyping, Five Nights at Freddy’s is an odd choice but deserves its place on here. This is the only series on this list not subject to hype from the press but rather the fans. Let me be clear here. I am a metalhead; I play Magic the Gathering; I play and write about video games; I read comic books. But Holy Toledo Batman! This fan base is the most rabid and fanatical one I have seen yet, and I have seen bronies.


I like Scott Cawthon. He is a nice guy and is open about his faith, something you rarely see in this industry. The reason we have FNAF is because Scott took some criticism about one of his games and decided to listen to what the criticism said and improve, rather than lashing out or acting infantile. The results have paid off tremendously for him, and I applaud his success. I stand by my assertion about this overrated series though. Also, the games are not scary. They are good for putting me to sleep after a long day though.


The Elder Scrolls


Imagine there is a pool fifty miles square but only one inch deep. It would be a terrible pool right? The Elder Scrolls series is that pool: a gigantic Tolkien influenced fantasy world with less depth than a papercut. On top of shallow mechanics and poor leveling systems, you lucky players also get atrocious, floaty combat! You lucky people! I have had staring contests with my googly-eyed plants that were more intense than the combat in these games.


I like a good sandbox game, but when every texture, house, and dungeon looks the same, things get monotonous fast. I’ve written before about how Elder Scrolls needs to evolve past a shallow, generic fantasy sandbox or just do something different for crying out loud. If players want their sandbox unchanged (because we know how much players love change) then fine, let the series stay as it is. However, the press should stop over hyping this series, and players should not lose their collective mind when the tiniest tidbit gets announced. Seriously, please just stop. 


Gears of War


Ah Gears of War. I remember renting the game with a friend and blasting through the co-op. To our fifteen year-old selves, the game was absolutely amazing. It was visceral, action-packed, gory, and had flipping chainsaws on assault rifles! Until this point, third person shooters had been rather middling affairs (with some exceptions). The series reinvigorated the third person shooter and has spawned countless imitators.


However, the series digressed into self-infatuation and taking itself WAY too seriously, no mean feat given how serious the first game took itself. I understand the series wanted to tell a dark tale of humans struggling against a merciless invading force, but it is hard to take the series seriously in any way given how the dialogue and character models were ripped from the 80’s and 90's beefcake film universe. At least those movies had a sense of self-awareness in some cases, or they went all out bonkers. Gears of War is a good action shooter in some regards, but as a gripping tale of human survival? Please. 


Assassin’s Creed


Assassin’s Creed blew us away at launch showing what the 360 and PS3 were capable of achieving, and we had only seen a fraction of what these powerful, new systems could accomplish. Despite being more bug-infested than the Capital Wasteland, players enjoyed the then unique premise and setting. The sequel improved upon the first by leaps and bounds. Then Ubisoft decided to be Ubisoft and the yearly releases started.


For perspective, since releasing in 2007, the series has seen nine titles, not including spinoffs. The Metroid series, which first released in 1986, has had the same amount of core release in twenty nine years. 29! Yet again, each release in the Assassin’s Creed series is eagerly anticipated. Despite the underwhelming and astonishingly buggy Unity, players are already talking about the next entry in the series. Unity had perhaps the biggest hype train of any game in the series and failed to meet expectations or playable standards on launch. It’s time to be skeptical of the series if you weren't already.


Grand Theft Auto                                                                   


The Grand Theft Auto series has had an impact on the gaming world like few other franchises have or ever will. GTA 3 revolutionized the sandbox genre and showed what the Playstation 2 was capable of achieving. San Andres and Vice City were by all accounts great games, so what happened with GTA 4 and GTA 5? I tried to play GTA 4 sometime after its release and was utterly dumbfounded at its myriad issues. Both GTA 4 & GTA 5 are among the top ranked games for their systems on Metacritic. All I can ask, is why?


The series has seemed to become more interested in attempting some smug stabs at satire instead of a game franchise. The games have issues with sloppy mechanics, but even worse is that they are simply boring. Yes, boring. Anything you can do in a GTA game has been done elsewhere much better. Despite being as boring as watching grass grow, the series continues to be catapulted into the stratosphere on the hype/overrated train. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go surf a jet liner in Just Cause 2. 


Call of Duty


The Call of Duty series has had some great entries. For better or worse, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has completely reshaped the way the FPS multiplayer is designed and played. However, the series has been treading water for some time now. For every decent or good entry, there is a weak entry in the franchise. Even the weaker entries receive a hype train some developers would love to have for their game. Players and the press complain of stagnation, yet continue to dole out heaps of praise, coverage, and money onto the series. My amazement never ceases at the hype each yearly release incurs. Can we give it a rest?




The Borderlands series is a battered, one-trick piñata with only a single, fragile leg to stand on. The main hook of the game was a “bazillion” or so guns and co-op play. The series really has several key flaws. The game worlds are as barren and lifeless as the surface of the moon. The gun mechanics are not only underwhelming but also poorly designed. The games tout themselves as some sort of action RPG/ shooter hybrid, but no self-respecting ARPG would limit the players to one skill. Yes, ONE skill. Sure the skill can be upgraded, but the upgrades are more underwhelming than my rare book collection. The game has more grinding than a gear manufacturing factory set in a JRPG. The best thing about the series was the writing of Anthony Burch in Borderlands 2 and the voice cast used to bring the script to life. 


I mean really, ONE skill??




Ugh Uncharted. Where to start? The poor shooting mechanics? The haphazard game design? The extremely unlikable main character? Or maybe the lack of respect for the player? The series has all of this and more.


Uncharted 2 though is where I really questioned the appeal of the series. Sure, the train sequence was a gripping and well-done opener, but the rest of the game is just, bad. Is the game, like some think, the worst ever? No, but it is nowhere near deserving the amount of praise and awards heaped upon it. Uncharted 3 proved Naughty Dog put story second to gigantic spectacle set pieces; you know, kind of like a Michael Bay film. On a perfect day in an alternate, perfect universe, the series would be considered average at best. With Uncharted 4 looming on the horizon, the hype shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down. 


First things first, I am not claiming any of these series are bad (except one or two maybe), merely overrated and overhyped. Secondly, I am not singling out individual games or this slideshow would never end; instead, I am giving you ten of the most overrated franchises in gaming. With that out of the way, let's proceed!


Oh hype, where would the game industry be without you? Without those exclusive cover stories, in-depth previews, and bold, attention-grabbing headlines, which games would we know to build our hopes up for? The hype industry is a key part of the game industry, but sometimes the hype and overrating stays around long after the game’s release. Long after. Sometimes the hype and overrating follows each entry in a series, like a faithful puppy.  These ten franchises have the most loyal of puppies. 

5 Things You Didn't Know About Grand Theft Auto 5 Thu, 19 Sep 2013 19:21:35 -0400 GameSkinny Staff

Every game has some interesting tidbits of trivia and the thundering powerhouse of Grand Theft Auto 5 is no different. Here are 5 interesting facts about GTA 5 that might go unnoticed.

1. GTA 5 is the most expensive game ever made

With a budget of approximately $265 million, GTA 5 is the most expensive game ever made to date. GTA 5 beat out the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, which cost just over $200 million.

2. GTA 5 was annouced on GTA 3's birthday

This game was announced on the same day as Grand Theft Auto 3's 10th anniversary. GTA 3 was originally released on October 22, 2001.

3. GTA 5 was originally code-named "Rush" to possibly be confused with Bioshock Infinite

Rockstar Games in pre-production called this game (code-name) "Rush" and Take-Two was initially named as the production company to keep the game a secret. Speculation says that because Take-Two also owns 2K games, in addition to Rockstar, code name Rush might have been used to throw the scent by confusing Rush with a possible code name for Bioshock Infinite.

4. GTA 5's second trailer features the three main characters as the "Three Monkeys"

At the end of the second trailer, the three protagonists can be seen together in different poses of disbelief. Their poses mimic the "Three Monkeys" who embody the famous phrase "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil."

5. This GTA 5 pre-release image is based off Deacon Blue's popular song "Dignity"

One of the pre-release images published by Rockstar shows a ship registered in Los Santos named Dignity. This is a reference to the Scottish pop band Deacon Blue's song "Dignity," the lyrics refer to a blue council collar worker who has saved his money to buy a ship that he'd name Dignity. The song can be found here.

Grand Theft Auto Made Me Do It: Stop Blaming Mature Games and Start Reading Rating Labels! Thu, 15 Aug 2013 11:09:20 -0400 PencilPusha

Remember when Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out?

I do.

It was all over the news at one point. The media was criticizing the game because of kids and teens committing crimes, like stealing money or cars or even hurting another person, and then saying "I did it because it looked like fun when I was playing Grand Theft Auto!" or the investigators would find out that the kid owned the game or played it in general. And this was all because Vice City had the same things in it: you played as Tommy Vercetti, able to smash and kill any or every thing in your path (fun, right?). So immediately parents, along with the media, would blame the game: "Well my son/daughter couldn't have possibly done this crime on his/her own accord! It must've been the terrible, horrible influences from this game!"

My question to the parents would be: if you didn't approve of this game, then why are you allowing your kids to play it? Did you even know that your child was playing it?

Parents, here are a couple of things you need to understand about Mature games:

1) In September 2006, there was a Senator named Sam Brownback who created the Truth in Video Game Rating Act, which required the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) to play every game in its entirety (doesn't that make you jealous, fellow gamers?!) before its release in order to more accurately rate the game for its appropriate and intended audiences (view an article on it here:

*Note: I'm sure there were similar laws well before this because age-ratings have been on video games since I could remember (we're talking early '90s), but I'm only digging back to 2006 for now!

And then later in May 2008, another act - that started out as an ordinary bill - called the Video Game Rating Enforcement Act stated that "all video games must have an age-related rating label" on them (which they have for years), and that if they're "rated M for Mature, meaning adults only or 17 and up only", that they "cannot be purchased from an establishment". So chances are if your kid or kids got their hands on a Mature game and aren't of a mature age, they probably had help getting it without your consent because we all know that places like GameStop and their employees don't want to be fined up to $5,000 or worse just because your kid begged for a Mature game. If you want to read the original bill for this, check it out here:

2) The ESRB has made it so easy for anyone to understand what's contained in each video game. Why would you blame the game? By law, the folks at the ESRB are required to show an age-related rating of each and every video game that can be found in-store or online. So how can some parents claim they didn't know their kids were playing a Mature game? Because they probably weren't paying attention! Now I'm not saying you should breathe down your kids' necks every second of every day, but if you care that much about what they're playing on the game consoles that you probably bought for them for their birthday or last Christmas, then go find out! Look at the game case! There'll be a nice little rating letter on the bottom of the front and back of the case waiting for you - yes, you! - to inspect. Parents, feel free to check out the ESRB site, which is proudly advertised on each and every video game's rating label:

3) I understand that it's easy to buy Mature games online from, say, or wherever. I know that some online stores require you to have an account with them, but the problem is that it's easy for anyone to make an account and fake their birth year. In that case, you need to not give your child a gift card if you don't want them going online to use it and potentially end up buying a Mature game. Be aware of what your kids are up to because kids are slick!

And if you want this sort of thing changed, get some other parents together and call your local Congressman! Tell them how important it is! Make a bill and submit it if it's that important to you! You have a choice and a voice! Realistically, it might be easier to just go straight to your kids to solve the problem...but don't let me limit your capabilities!

4) If your child commits a crime and blames it on a Mature video game he/she played, chances are he/she is trying to cover up that he/she probably wanted to do it well before he/she started playing that game. It's called an excuse. And if that game genuinely inspired your child to commit a crime out of sheer enjoyment, chances are that your child wasn't old enough - or mature enough - to be playing it in the first place! And if he/she was old enough, then... that's another story.

My point is don't blame the game. The law has stepped in and made it harder for your kids to buy Mature games in the store. Unfortunately, they can buy them online or get someone of age to buy it for them, but if you stay on your P's and Q's about what your child has access to as far as 1) video games, 2) adults with questionable/different beliefs/parenting styles than yours, and 3) and gift cards, then you need not worry. If they fuss about you not letting them play the video game they want to play because they're not old enough to play it, well too bad! You're the parent which means you (and your spouse/partner) are the boss of your household! Put your foot down! Be the boss!

Now I understand that sometimes kids will go over their friends' houses and play games that they don't have at their own houses. Then as a parent, you could make friends with that kid's parents and find out what kinds of video games they're playing together. If it's something you disapprove of, explain it to the friend's parents and hopefully they'll understand and respect your request of discretion while your child is at their house. Otherwise, you might not want to let your kid go over to that friend's house anymore, if it's that important to you.

So how important is Mature video game discretion to you when it comes to your child?

I, myself, have no problem with playing M-Rated games in front of my son now because he's too little to understand what's going on (or at least that's what I believe). Maybe when he gets a little older, I'll restrict some games he watches me or my husband play or games he plays by himself. Maybe he'll only get to play Call of Duty with Daddy and Super Mario with me, who knows? For some parents, that's bound to cause some conflict if one of you disagrees, so work it out between the both of you! Remember you're a team and you're looking out for your child!

But the number one key to making sure your kids understand Mature games, and their content versus real life, is explaining to them the difference between fantasy and reality.

"Son/Daughter, this is a Mature game. When you play it, you'll see violent images, hear profane language, and be able to commit heinous crimes. But remember: it's not real! It's just a game! And games are supposed to be fun! So if it bothers you, let me know and we'll take it back and get another game." You know, something like that. Chances are, it won't bother your child, but hey... Anything can happen.

And that example is exactly why some kids under 17 shouldn't play Mature games. They think that the game is cool, which is all fine and dandy, but that doesn't mean you should go out and do what you do on the video game in real life.

Bottom line, parents? It's up to you. Monitor what your kids are playing. It's your job to guide your kids in the right direction. Don't blame the video game when your kid decides to act out something he/she saw in the game because then the question becomes: where were you when your child was playing the game?

I would hope you were paying attention and not busy blaming game companies like Rockstar Games for your kids' behavior. Mature video games are fun and exciting, but they're called Mature video games for a reason!

Rockstar Games' GTAO: Gameplay Video and Previews Revealed! Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:28:21 -0400 PencilPusha

This morning, shared their first round of gameplay video (which was virtually non-viewable for a while since everyone and their mother decided to get on the site at the same time) and previews of their newest GTA project, Grand Theft Auto Online (GTAO). The title itself is enough to shock and amaze any Grand Theft Auto fan! It's refreshing to know that while we're all waiting for Grand Theft Auto 5 to come out, there's something else even more astounding in the works! Oh Rockstar Games, you spoil us...

So according to, 

"[16 gamers can share] gameplay features, geography and mechanics with Grand Theft Auto V, but will continue to expand and evolve after its launch with new content created by Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto community."

How cool is that?! went on to say that gamers will still have...

"fundamental concepts such as freedom, ambient activity and mission-based gameplay and makes them available to multiple players in an incredibly detailed and responsive online world."


So it sounds like a regular Grand Theft Auto game, but you can do everything you could do in the traditional games online with up to 16 other people! Wow. And "all with the personality and refined mechanics of Grand Theft Auto V", as worded it. So I guess it should be referred to as GTAVO? Nah, too many letters... also added that...

"players can invest in their character through customizing their appearance, improving their stats, owning customized vehicles, purchasing personal property, and taking part in missions, jobs and activities to earn reputation and cash to open up new opportunities to rise through the criminal ranks. The world of Grand Theft Auto Online will constantly grow and change as new content is added, creating the first ever persistent and dynamic Grand Theft Auto game world."

How cool is that?!

The best part? "Access to Grand Theft Auto Online is free with every retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V and launches on October 1st", according to October can't get here fast enough!

So how will this differ from the past GTA games we've all enjoyed up 'til now? Well it seems as though GTAO will be an extension of the GTAV entity and then some. There's more detail in every aspect of the game, you can create and destroy this time around,  there will be more people involved (like how Call of Duty operates), and it will still be a great addition to the same old GTA series we've known and loved for years.

I'm still unsure if we can make our own characters - if I read Rockstar Games' GTAO Q&A page correctly, I think we only get to play as Trevor, Michael or Franklin. And that's okay because that's the way GTA has always been!

If you want to check out more about GTAO, log on to

*Special note: Keep in mind that all the past GTA games, and most of Rockstar Games' stuff in general, have been rated M for Mature (like we adults pay attention to that), so if you parents out there have young children who are old enough to understand things like profanity and adult content and you'd rather not have them play or watch you play something like this, take charge! 'Cause let's face it - if a kid wants it, they'll find a way to get their hands on it via older friends, neighbors or "more understanding/lenient relatives". Remember parents, you're the boss. And kids, do what your parents say because they know best! Stop getting Rockstar Games into trouble!

The Skinny on GTAO: Sneak Peek Coming August 15 Mon, 12 Aug 2013 11:30:06 -0400 PencilPusha

If you're a fan of the controversial yet entertaining Grand Theft Auto game series, then you're just as excited as I am about GTAO (Grand Theft Auto Online)! According to, there will be an unveiling of "gameplay video and previews" under their Newswire section this Thursday, August 15. Comments below the article were bouncing all over the place concerning what time the revelation would take place and what kinds of features the game would have. Naturally, most GTA fans wonder what GTAO has in store for us!

Are we going to be able to make our own characters (like female characters) or choose from some already-made characters that Rockstar Games has so generously provided for us? Will the game run on real-time or a fast, game-generated time? Is there going to be an active "night-life" like there was in Vice City? Can our characters get fat or fit like in San Andreas? Be sure to check out the "world première" of Rockstar Games' new GTAO online gameplay this Thursday!

New GTA V Screenshots Emerge Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:29:19 -0400 Harry ;)

Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most anticipated game of the year and a major contender for the game of the year award. Being the biggest Grand Theft Auto game yet, with a map larger than Grand Theft Auto V San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Red Dead Redemption combined, Grand Theft Auto V's map ranges from top of the mountains to the depths of the oceans and the game itself is set in Rockstar's equivalent of Los Angeles, Los Santos.  

For the past few months, Rockstar has been teasing us with character trailers, screenshots, preorder exclusive items, and for the first time, a gameplay trailer.

And now, Rockstar has released some more Grand Theft Auto V screenshots titled Grand Theft Auto V: The Fast Life. These screenshots once again emphasize the vastness, beauty, and emersiveness of Los Santos. The screenshots show a plane going down, Trevor in a strip club, Franklin and Chop on a Los Santos villa balcony, Michael relaxing and listening to music, and much more. And details like the lens flare underneath Michael's arm while shooting is what makes this game so immersive and beautiful. Check them out below.

And that's not it. Rockstar ended the gameplay trailer with a tease of Grand Theft Auto: Online. Well, Rockstar has confirmed that there will be proper unveiling of the Grand Theft Auto: Online in August. I don't know about you, but I can't wait.

Grand Theft Auto V launches on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on September 17. Remember the date folks! 

Rockstar: Jumping the Open World Shark Tue, 09 Jul 2013 12:26:06 -0400 Max Jay

In 2002, at 14-years-old, I went to my local GameStop to get the Xbox port of the then-legendary Grand Theft Auto III.

I went to that specific GameStop because they knew my face, they knew my name and I knew they wouldn’t care that I wasn’t 17. I purchased the game, spending several weeks of my meager allowance (without telling my mother of course, who would have had a some sort of motherly equivalent to a heart attack) set it up and fell in love with the world of Liberty City for the first time.

**I loved you like my brother when he wasn't beating the crud out of me.**

GTAIII was a revelation in the gaming world. It was like realizing for the first time that you can watch T.V. when your parents aren’t home and they would NEVER find out. There had been other open-world games, but none with the charisma, humor and draw waiting around every corner of Liberty City. Every nook and cranny was packed with interesting things to do and see. On top of that the unique humor of the game spoke to me at that age, and quite possibly influenced my brand of humor now. The tongue-in-cheek Lazlo radio show perhaps most of all embodies that air of stylization that permeated every facet the game. Unfortunately since then, Rockstar has lost the magic.

Vice City and San Andreas were pretty similar to III, but San Andreas began to change the formula. The characters were more realistic and the story was more serious, which in many cases is a good thing, but in this case I could never sit through San Andreas without shutting it off and popping in III. It’s like watching a cruddy sequel to a great movie; all you want to do is cut the sequel short and watch the original so you can enjoy the best version of that world. GTA had lost its way and the tunnel would only become darker for me over time.

**Will you hurt me like all the others?**

This revelation came to me while watching the new gameplay trailer for GTAV. It looks amazing. While watching I felt the familiar spinning in my stomach when I find myself getting excited to lose myself in a new game. Yet then, like a comically massive anvil on my cartoon head, I remembered I had the same feeling when waiting for GTAIV, which ultimately left me disappointed and bored. For the record, I know GTAIV is one of the most critically acclaimed games of the generation, and I respect that; people love that game as if it was their grandmother dipped in gold. It was praised for amping up the realism of the series and making the main character, Niko, a somewhat relatable and sympathetic criminal-out-of-necessity. However with this they made the city bigger yet included the same amount of content (relative to the older games).

**Yeah you were pretty - but also kind of empty.**

GTAIV Disappointments

The new Liberty City was a ghost town. There were some buildings to go into and distractions to be had, but the vast majority of the city was a visual façade that amounted to a mere representation of what a city is. Yet Rockstar often hyped the size of the game in relation to the previous installments without really delivering a truly comprehensive gaming experience. Adversely, take a look at Arkham City in relation to Arkham Asylum. City was way bigger (and considerably smaller than GTAIV), but there was something to see and do around every corner. GTAIV failed to do this.

In addition to the somewhat lackluster world, GTAIV changed the driving to a more accurate representation of how actual cars handle. You couldn’t whip around corners or drive on the sidewalk easily like some maniac. You had to, from time to time (gulp) slow-down! Insanity, I know; take a minute to collect yourself. I remember sitting in my room thinking: If I wanted to break around a corner I’d play a racing game, or better yet, I’d hop in my car and piss off the cops. It upset me that Rockstar forsook that silly packed world in exchange for a Taxi Driver aura of seedy side streets and slightly more realistic hookers.

**A hilarious and accurate representation of my day-to-day life.**

Enter Saints Row

Saints Row came out in 2006 to lukewarm reception. I’ve played it--it was OK. Saints Row was clearly a GTA rip-off; like those Hollywood mockbusters in the vein of Transmorphers and Atlantic Rim. Saints used many the same tropes and gameplay mechanics but with a twinge of levity.

When Saints 2 released, it was beginning to become clear that the developers wanted to separate themselves from the GTA copycat aura in exchange for the ridiculous. This insanity grew with time and will definitely top out with the super powered Saints V. One of the things that attracted me to Saints 2, which I loved, was that humor; it was very similar to the snarky silliness of GTAIII that I so sorely missed.

On top of that the series topped off their ridiculousness with hours of side missions that were both challenging and stupid in the best possible ways. I was never bored, and it was never so challenging that it bored me, something that GTA sometimes managed to do.

**Here's to hoping there's actually something to do in all that space.**

The Future

The gameplay footage recently released for Grand Theft Auto V looks amazing by any standards. It’s clean, pretty and thorough looking. It awakens the excited child in me that loved Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Episode II and Totino’s Pizza Rolls for every meal (not sure what I was thinking with that Star Wars bit - that movie was terrible). But what if I get hurt again? Can I even trust Rockstar anymore?

The trailer used one series of buzzwords that makes me feel like I have something to look forward to in GTAV: “The world is not only huge; it’s packed with a vast array of things to see and do.” Packed with things to do, huh? Sounds like GTA may be taking a huge step forward, while taking a necessary step back. Here’s to hoping that Rockstar’s new riff on the open world style will reinvigorate the franchise for me, and many others that miss the older style of the long treasured franchise.

What do you think? Will the new GTA capture that je ne sais quoi or will it be more of the same? Also, have you liked the direction GTA has gone in over the years, or are you hankering for the old school goofiness of the earlier games? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe we can go get some digital prostitutes in the near future together, as true friends often do!

PlayStation 3: Age Appropriate Gaming and Protecting Your Credit Card Wed, 12 Jun 2013 18:26:48 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

Having found Sony's measures to prevent children from watching inappropriate Blu-Ray and DVD content to be fairly worthless, I'm relieved to report that the control of games content is far more on point.

Game Security by Level (1-11)

Although this is another ambiguous ratings scale with the vague explanation that “The lower the level, the tighter the restriction,” unlike the Blu-Ray and DVD security, this system stood up to testing with the disallowed launch icons on the XMB (that's Sony's word for “desktop”, remember?) disappearing under restricted content labels as restrictions were tightened.

The only problem is figuring out what on earth the levels actually mean. Thankfully, regional video game ratings organisations are more on top of this and have taken the time to decipher Sony's security and provide advice corresponding to their rating systems as found on game packaging.

Sony Level ------ ESRB (US/Canada) ------ PEGI (Europe) ------ ACB (Australia)*
       2                 EC (Early Childhood 3+)                3+                            G
       3                      E (Everyone 6+)                         7+
       4                  E10 (Everyone 10+)                     PG
       5                        T (Teen 13+)                            12+                           M
       7                                                                          16+                       MA15+
       9                     M (Mature 17+)                           18+                         R18
      10                    AO (Adults Only 18+)

*Unofficial extrapolated ratings.

Apologies for not including all countries and territories, however Wikipedia has a very informative classification comparison table which may be of use.

PARENTAL WARNING: Nothing to see here, I was just checking you were still paying attention. Set parental control levels according to the above table and everything should be peachy.

Internet Browsing (On/Off)

You'll be pleased to know there's nothing to confuse you here. Either the kids can access the internet or they can't. Of course, you could just take the keyboard away and let them have at it with the ill-suited PS3 controller. At least they'll learn patience.

Securing the PlayStation Network

Elsewhere on the XMB lays access to the PlayStation Network, Sony's proprietary online shop and content delivery system. Access to which remains unaffected by all previous security restrictions. It is here that the customer can browse through the vast library of games, movies and other media and spend all of their parents' money.

However, there are a number of measures that can be put in place to prevent such juvenile smash-and-grabs, the simplest of which is don't enter your credit card details into the system. This is meant to be a cheap entertainment centre, remember, not a back door route for Sony to drain your wallet. However, in the event that you were unable to resist buying that game everyone's talking about, there are a few alternatives.

  • Delete your billing details after each transaction:

Playstation Network > Account Management > Account Information > Billing Information > Delete Billing Information

  • Require a password challenge prior to confirming every purchase:

Playstation Network > Account Management > Transaction Management > Require Password at Checkout

There is also facility to provide a controlled amount of funding to a wallet or use PlayStation Network cards and redemption codes. However the funding can only be provided in set increments which may leave you with a few useless pennies sitting in the wallet – essentially meaning you've overpaid.

Playstation Network sub accounts can be created with additional restrictions. Sub accounts are automatically created by registering a new PlayStation Network account with the details of a minor and affiliating the account to the adult Master account.

I intend to expand on surviving the Playstation Network in a later article [which will be linked here], but for now I hope this piece has furnished the latent and ageing console user with enough knowledge to join the PlayStation generation between bouts of gardening and absent-mindedness.

Your grand-kids will love you for it.


PlayStation 3 Retirement Assignment Series
  1. The Family Fallback for 'The Other Room'
  2. Making the PS3 Grandparent Friendly
  3. Childproofing the PlayStation 3: Parental Control Guidance
  4. PlayStation 3: Age Appropriate Gaming and Protecting Your Credit Card
Grand Theft Auto Radio Playlists Now Available on iTunes and Spotify Thu, 11 Apr 2013 21:00:54 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The radio stations featured in the Grand Theft Auto games have always been one of the nicest touches to the series, and now you can listen to them hassle-free via iTunes and Spotify.

iTunes users can easily browse the service and pick up the songs they want, while Spotify users can stream the soundtracks with ease. Do note that not all songs are available on either service for the time being, but Rockstar is working on making every track available in due time.

Head on over to the Rockstar Newswire, get excited, and gets to clickin'.