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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS)

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21 Reviews

Genre: Action & Shooter / Suitable for 18 years and over / Release Date: 2009-03-20 / Published by Rockstar

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    21 Reviews
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      01.09.2010 14:20
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      Buy it!

      What Rockstar games have managed to take a classic game franchise (Grand Theft Auto) made popular by the home consoles and made a portable DS version and managed to make the game work with the lower processing abilities of the DS.

      You play as Huang Lee, the son of a recently murder Triad boss and arrives in liberty city to pass Yu Jian (a sword his father won in a poker game) and is using it as an heirloom to deliver to the new family patriarch, his uncle Wu 'Kenny' lee. When the sword is stolen and Huang left for dead, Kenny is dishonoured and hires Huang to work for him to help keep his business afloat. You then have to work your way up the triad chain of power.

      Unlike the console games, chinatown wars takes a classic approach used the the original games and plays the games from a birds eye perspective, with cell shaded graphics. These work very well for the game and with the DS poorer graphic capabilities have made it work very well. While it may look a lot different from the console games, it still feels very much like a Grand Theft Auto game.

      The touch screen is used in the game but isn't overdone, it is used for simple task like menu selection, and for hot wiring cars, which is really easy to do. Having to hot wire parked cars may seem like a bother, and I thought it would be as well, but I found it to be a good addition to the game.

      Main controls such as walking, driving and shooting all you the buttons (not the touch screen) which is the best way to do it I think, as it is much easier to control that way, while the touch screen is left for basic things like displaying the map.

      The missions and game play are very similar to the console games, you may have to kill off enemies of the boss, or have driving tasks. You can buy stuff from shops such as guns and food. its basically everything you would want from a Grand Theft Auto game.

      there are also side quests in the game. One example would be the drug smuggling, different drug dealers offer different selling / buying prices for drugs. You can become friends with the dealers and they will ring you if anything is going cheap, then you can buy it off them and sell it to another dealer at a higher price. as you get to know the dealers and their prices you can make a lot of money by buying and selling from the right people.

      The gameplay of the main story is not too long but long enough at around 11 hours. But with such a large city and lots of side missions such as the drug smuggling, there are also the taxi driver and police missions that were in the consoles games to keep you entertained well after you've completed the main story. Also there is just the plain fun of going around causing havoc trying the avoid the police at the same time.

      the game been very well received by critics being named best game on DS 2009 by gamespot, and best hand held game by 2009 Spike Video Game Awards. It also received a metacritic aggregate rating of 93%.

      Overall this is a great game and a welcome addition to the GTA franchise and one of the best (if not the best) games on the DS. Great game play, good use of graphics and plenty of extras to do after the main story. A definite recommend.

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        27.04.2010 03:06
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        Just great!

        =======My Opinion==========
        The game is great (even for a DS game!), with an wonderful gameplay and storyline! The graphics are not great (But, it's a DS game, so...), and the soundtrack is really bad (in my opinion). Anyway, let's go to the review!

        =======Storyline========
        Huang Lee is a Hong Kong rich guy, son of the Lee clan's boss. His father was killed, and he is going to Liberty City, to give the family's sword, Yu Jian, to the new clan leader, his uncle Wu "Kenny" Lee. But, when he got to the airport, he was kidnapped and lost the sword. Now he needs to recover the sword, and, at the same time, revenge his father's death.

        =======Gameplay=======
        The game doesn't have a top-down perspective, but not a 3D either: is a 45º full-rotable perspective. The city is GTA IV's Liberty City, with the exception of Alderney, due to hardware limitations. The game feature a big range of weapons, almost all buyable at Ammunation.net fictional website (the only one in the game). It has many cars, bikes and boats, and also the swimming hability. It also includes a drug dealing minigame, wich is a great mode for getting rich fast.

        ======Soundtrack========
        Due to hardware limitations, the soundtrack is really poor, with instrumental-only musics.

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        07.04.2010 13:51
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        A great DS game, will keep you coming back for more

        I was a little unsure as to how Rockstar games were going to translate Grand Theft Auto from the consoles on to the DS. What they have achieved is a great little game that stays true to its previous incarnations and provides the usual addictive game play with tongue in cheek humour.

        You start Chinatown Wars in the guise of Huang Lee who is given a simple enough mission of delivering a sword to his Uncle Kenny so that the family can retain control of the Triad gangs of Liberty City. Of course, nothing goes according to plan in GTA, and sure enough Huang gets robbed of the sword and left to die. Understandibly, he is not best impressed with this and so starts your involvement as you deal with double crossing members of your new family as you try to get the sword back and take over the streets.

        As with most GTA games, this carries an 18 certificate for the usual sex, drugs and bad language that have often covered these games in controversy.

        Far from being a distraction, the move to the DS appears to have given Rockstar a little more licence to play with. Stealing cars is no longer as straightforward as jumping into the driving seat, now there are three ways of hot wiring the car depending on its ability - screwdriver in the ignition, literal hot wiring of the car or obtaining the ignition code through a laptop. All require nifty work of the DS stylus as you race against time before the car alarm sounds and the cops coming hunting!

        There are loads of features in this game and the usual bunch of weird and wonderful characters that turn up both as part of your assigned missions as well as the distracting sub missions. As with most of the GTA games, even when you have completed the mission section of the game, there are still loads of things left for you to do before you can officially complete the game proper.

        I think this is a great little game that Rockstar have really managed to make best use of the DS stylus options. OK, you don't get incredible graphics from the views from above and the animated sequences in other versions are just cartoon like images here, but none of that detracts from the fact that this is a really good game and keeps many of the great features that the other GTA games do. As well as that, there is nothing else really like this on the DS.

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        06.01.2010 14:23

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        A good game for all GTA fans will keep you entertained for hours.

        Rockstar can do no wrong with GTA! Every game I've played has been engaging and all together a lot of fun. China Wars does not disappoint. I am suprised I enjoy these games over and over as the concept is more or less the same. You drive around to various people who need jobs done; you go and kill people or blow up things. I think the reason why I personally like all the games is because every single scenario is different. Here you play Huang who gets to do jobs for various people. Some scenarios are easy and some took me quite a few goes to do. I think that's a nice balance, and once again you have more than one scenario to choose from. There are side games to choose from too. The most lucrative is buying and selling drugs. You can sometimes make 5k if you get an email from someone saying "Hey I need coke come to be before Friday." I built up my bankroll so I could buy firearms and more safehouses. You can also make money on taxi fares; lottery and people who stand by the side of the road who need a small job done. They don't pay much but it's fun to do them every now and then. A great game and as always very long!

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        02.11.2009 19:39
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        Brilliant little cartridge at a very good price.

        2 D. I was not impressed at this news originally but it turns out the game is all the better for it! There's a full fledged story inside the cartridge, with deep and complex side games, with some fantastic dialogue (all be it written not spoken - a disadvantage of the DS' power) The new features such as running police off the road complement the game significantly. There is also no lag that I have noticed in 20 hours of gameplay. What I will say though is that there is sometimes glitches in the 2d cutscenes, which may just be a fault with my game. Even though the graphics are good, it is a shame that the DS couldn't render it all in 3D. My favourite moment playing the game is finally, finally scratching off that scratch card which wins you the DS, I have never felt such joy ha

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        • More +
          27.08.2009 16:29

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          Different to the Playstation versions, but not in a bad way. Engaging storyline.

          I've played the PS2 versions of this game and I think I may have even attempted the Gameboy Advance version. I always maintained that "shoot out" games weren't for me - until I spontaneously bought this! I like my platform games or "Sim" type games but was getting a bit bored and there wasn't much out so having heard a friend rave about it I went out and bought Chinatown Wars. The graphics are great and really effective on the double screen. The idea of the game is to complete missions set by various mob bosses. These include driving to certain places, killing people, driving people around and body guarding to name a few. With in the game there are also mini games such as ambulance driver and taxi driver.

          I really enjoyed this game despite it not being my normal type of game. It was easy to shoot people (i found this hard on the PS2) and quite addictive. I would definetley recommmend this, even if you didn't enjoy the other games or if you've never played.

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          20.08.2009 00:15
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          One of the best if not the best game on the DS!

          Despite a release on the Gameboy Advance a couple of years ago, the Grand Theft Auto franchise never really took off on Nintendo's handhelds, despite the games being decent attempts to bring the series over to them. To rectify this Rockstar decided to release a new version designed specifically for the Nintendo DS and it's massive fan base.

          The game features a brand new viewpoint, with a fully rotatable aerial camera angled down at the action. Although I was skeptical at the start the new camera angle works well, although you may find a few times that you can't see yourself or the vehicle you're in if you go down into a tight alley or corner. But this doesn't affect the gameplay.

          The graphics are cel-shaded and fit well with the grimey dark underworld themes which are entrenched into the game. There are no movies to introduce missions or further the storyline however instead the game just shows still images which update quite quickly with text directly below. This works quite well as it keeps the game moving rather than becoming dragged out with unnecessary cut scenes.

          The story folllowds Huang Lee, the son of a murdered Triad boss, arrives in Liberty City with a sword that Huang's father used as an heirloom, to deliver it to the new patriarch of the family, Huang's uncle Wu "Kenny" Lee. Shortly after landing, Huang is ambushed and is shot and kidnapped. The assailants steal the sword and, thinking Huang is dead, dump his body in the water. This is where the game begins.

          Gameplay wise the game is your typical GTA affair. Your missions vary from following characters, killing informants, collecting information. As well as the many many side missions included like buying and selling drugs, raiding warehouses and of course running a taxi. The missions are quite varied and there wasn't one of them that I didn't enjoy or was overly difficult.
          The new police star system is also unique and a whole lot of fun as instead of escaping the police zone, you have to disable as many police cars as possible. For example at the six star level, you have to take out six cop cars to get down to a five star wanted level. This means smashing into them or baiting them into driving into water or into a wall. Navigating the city is very easy with the extremely useful PDA device which acts as a GPS and you can locate your next mission, find dealers or side mission locations and even order weapons from AmmuNation to be delivered at your nearest safe house.

          Control wise Rockstar have included a number of touch screen controls which do work well. For example, you have to put together a sniper rifle piece by piece, or hotwire a car by unscrewing the bolts, then putting the wires together. None of the touch controls feel over done or pointless. However my one criticism of them is that it is kind of awkward to keep your stylus handy as you'll be using it quite often.

          There are multi-player modes available in the game if everyone has a copy of the game and there is also an online aspect however it only involves sharing your in-game statistics online. It would've been cool to have an online GTA on the DS but I understand the limitations on the hardware itself and realise it would be extremely difficult to achieve. As another incentive to keep playing there are 100 CCTV cameras in the city and these act as the old secret packages and you must destroy them.

          Overall this is my favourite game on the Nintendo DS, there is just so much detail in the game that it is impossible not to appreciate what a feat it is to have such a big detailed game on limited hardware. More importantly though what makes the game amazing is the fact that it is just a whole lot of fun to play, you'll just get hours of enjoyment out of the game even after you complete the main story mode which is something you can't say about a lot of games these days!

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            14.07.2009 21:22
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            Great buy

            I really enjoyed this game, I know it hasn't done as well as Rockstar had forecast, which I think is mainly due to the fact that this is the first 18 rated game for the DS and the general market for the DS is children and casual gamers. I think this was the make or brake as to whether adult targeted games would be a a good market to go down on the DS and unfortunately I don't think Rockstar will be looking into making another GTA for DS anytime soon. That is due to no fault of the game at all it is just because of the market that the publisher was trying to brake.

            Anyway this game is absolutely great, I was really hooked from the start. From the excessive use of swearing on my tiny DS to the memories it brought back. birds eye view reminds me of the original GTA on PS1 and the graphics are amazing as well (cell shaded). The story is very funny and the tasks are similar to those you would expect from the console versions of GTA.

            Definately worth full trade and now it is going for £17.99 on Amazon you really can't complain.

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            09.07.2009 22:45

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            A good game i reconmmend you to buy!

            Grand theft auto is a really excellent game for the D.S. I have been a big fan of the Rockstar franchise and this game was a big hit. In this game you play as a character called lee Haung. Lee Haungs' father was killed he made a promise to take revenge on the assassin. This game is like a copy of Grand theft auto IV on the larger consoles (ps3 Xbox ETC), but it is just in sand box graphics (partly 2d and 3d). There is a large variety of things to do when you have completed this game you could complete rampages, deal drugs and earn achievements and you can kill people on the streets. Grand theft auto has also got a vast amount of mini games such as the noodle run, tattoo parlor and steal drugs from other gangs. From my point of view i recommend you to buy this game its hours of nonstop game play which you will be impressed off. the only thing that let this game down is that people were really hoping for it to be 3d but the D.S. possibly explode from all the intense graphics.

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            09.07.2009 12:43
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            What a fantastic game, absoloutely brilliant

            At the moment I am into short quick reviews that basically put say what I think about the game and roughly talk about the game. This will also be a quick short review.

            Grand theft auto chinatown wars is not the first GTA game I have played. I have been a big fan of franchise for a very long time and have enjoyed watching them grow and change. I bought this game from amazon for about a tenner. Which for a brand new game is excellent and it arrived after only a couple of days which I was very happy about.

            This time around the story revolves around the triads. This time you play a character called Huang Lee. The story starts with Huang Lee's father dying and him having ti take a sacred sword of the triads to his Uncle Kenny. He does to make sure his family retain control of the triad gangs of Liberty City, (Liberty City is where Grand Theft Auto is set and is a made up place.) Things don't go as planned as Huang gets trapped by and opposing gang and is seriously wounded and the sword is taken from him. After this happens Huang sets out to find the robbers and get back the treasured sword.

            In this game Liberty City is massive. Its literally masssive and takes a long time to remeber where everything is. The city is portayed beautifully with some of the best graphics I have ever seen on the ds. The ds is known for not having the best graphics but this game has brilliant graphics and you don't feel like you are losing out on any of GTA experience.

            The game of course features the usual mission modes where you do a different missions for people like your gang leader. In this you do missions for many different characters such as Uncle Kenny and even a bent police men that is addicted to drugs. You also have in the game good use of side missions. These are where you do a job for a random stranger and can be to do anything. I have had little missions where all I had to do was follow a cheating ex wife. I also have had one where I just took a man to the bus station and you also get paid for dong them so there worth doing.

            MY favourite bit with the game has to be the fact that you can become a drug dealer. I know it sounds bad but you can and in the game you earn alot of money by doing so. First of all you have to find where the dealers are located. This is quite easy as they are visible on you map as blue spots. With the game though you don't just deal one sought of drug you deal all different ones such as cocaine, weed etc. You become a all in one drug pharmacist. If you do this right you can become very rich in the game and can buy different houses and flats all over liberty city which is very handy to have.

            The missions vary in time and how hard they are. Soome take a while and some are very simple and can be completed really quickly.

            In the game I also like the mini games that you have to do. Such as if you want to rob a car thats not moving you get in and have to hot wire it before the alarm goes off. My favourite mini game though is when you run your can or van into the sea and have to break the windscreen. Its easy to do all you do is touch the bottom of the windscreen with the stylus a few times and it cracks but I enjoy doing it for some reason.

            For a ds game the sound is also good, when driving a car the car sounds very cool. My favourite sound though is the sound sometimes it says when you run of a women and she shouts out, "I'm still a virgin." This is very funny in the game.

            Of course as usual with GTA games you have the pesky police on your back throughout the game if you get caught doing things that are illegal. Of course you also get the star system. If you don't know about the star system this is when if you have one star the police won't try as hard as if you had 2 stars. The more stars you have the more they will try and get you. If you have 4 stars then a police helicopter comes after you and trys to shoot you.

            Overall

            This is without a doubt the best game I have very played on the ds. What makes it so good is that you don't feel like your missing out on the GTA experience which is really great considering the platform. This is probably because the game has been built from the beginning for the ds. Should be in any ds gamers game collection.

            You can tell how much I liked it as this was suppose to be a sort quick review but I just couldn't stop saying how much I liked it.

            Thank for reading

            Rating for the game

            10 out of 10

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              22.06.2009 12:41
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              Amazing achievement - if you own a DS you must own this game

              Simply put, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is one of the most finely crafted games on the DS, full stop. The world is enormous, graphics are stunning, and the gameplay is excellent. It plays more or less like the very first GTA, only with an improved 3D world, which makes the game much more visually appealing.

              The missions in the game are exciting and most importantly varied. Rockstar have done a lot to mix things up from the standard 'go here, kill him, steal that, go there' formula. Weapons are the usual standard GTA fare - pistols, machine guns and rocket launchers, and they have been adapted well into the smaller screen. Also included are the almost mandatory touchscreen minigames, which are actually not as terrible as you might think. To steal a car for example, you might have to hotwire it, or jimmy the lock using the touchscreen. It's a nice touch, and doesn't feel shoehorned in or overused as in many other DS games. Another nice touch is the drugs-based micromanagement, which is a great way to earn money in the early stages of the game, or if you're in a bind; find someone selling stuff cheap, sell it to the highest bidder and watch your cash roll in.

              All told, it's a stunning achievement that Rockstar were able to cram so much into the DS's tiny cart, and it's an excellent game that's at least as good as it's console bretheren. A must-buy for any DS gamer.

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              08.06.2009 06:26

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              This is a good DSS gameto play, unless you cannot look past the violence.

              This game is a brilliant GTA port onto DS. The whole game is rendered in 3D and the gameplay is as good as ever, even if a tad violent. This is probably the first real 18+ game for the DS and can be played over wifi connections and with some multi cartridge play as well.

              You start off with the story of Huang Lee delivering a sword to his uncle, and his father is a Triad memeber who is killed and he must give the sword to his uncle now to pass it on. However he is ambushed, sword stolen, game starts.

              You can as with all GTA games do as you please freely whilst getting on slowly with carrying out the game missions. Some of these missions are hard some not, and you will enjoy this game if you like your GTA.

              The game follow a top down eagle view and cars etc will flip when hit and blow up etc, the details from the game are all still there. You can drive the ambulance and taxi's for money etc.

              The game is full of violence and swearing etc so would not be suitable for youngsters, but hey it doesnt make it less appealing of a game to some people. The game is a lot more hung up onmaking use of the guns etc in game and so more missions require killings etc.

              Though the game is violent the gameplay on the DS is proven to be really good, and I would say this is a good DSS gameto play, unless you cannot look past the violence.

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              08.06.2009 00:03
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              Good game, but too much of the drugs and things

              I think Grand Theft Auto is about the first adult game for DS, as all the rest have been child games.

              This game is compatible with multi-card play and also Wifi and rated '18' and for a good reason as well.

              The game starts with a few story boards, which I just flicked through.
              It then goes on to a few people talking, which confussed me, as there is just loads of names and things going on.

              You can use the town freely and do your own things, and you can then also do some missions and work your way through the game, but I don't understand the story I just get on with it and do what it says.

              There are police that will chase you for major driving offences (fellonys).

              You can also earn money by driving taxis or emergency vehicles and doing missions from them.

              This game is rated 18 for a reason as it has swearing, guns, drugs. To be totally honest I'm supprised the game hasn't been banned yet.

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                06.06.2009 15:25
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                CAN BE A LITTLE ADDICTIVE IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL!!

                Am only a part owner (its the wifes!!) of a DS and kids have there own so am only able to play this at work or in bed as it reallly deserves its eighteen rating just for the drug dealing alone!!.

                I must be one of the only gamers who does not have any previous experience of the GTA franchise but as a DS addict thought i would give this a try, Have to admit it is really addictive but really who wants to be addicted to buying drugs and violence?? had to step back and think about it, but sensible gamers will enjoy the gameplay and unique features of the DS.

                Some of these features include using the touch screen as a PDA so you can track your progress and e-mails etc. als using the touch screen to hot wire cars is good fun.

                Overall Gameplay is good from a nice birds eye point of view,graphics as expected from DS are not great but gameplay makes up for it.

                Not one for kids and can sometimes bring about a bit of blood lust in adults too!!

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              • More +
                03.06.2009 03:29

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                This is one GTA game no-one can afford to miss

                no it'll never happen, nope.. wait what!? yes it did. people said Nintendo would never allow GTA and its 'violent' hype onto their 'family' consoles but it arrive and its nothing short of complete genius, the Nintendo DS brings GTA another step forward with its intuititive gameplay, superb controls and extremely fun altogether. If you like any of the previous games, you will love this. if not, you will still love this game. Chinatown wars does what GTA does best and delivers one of the best free-roaming games on the handheld. Get a real feel for the game as you pull up to a petrol station grab a pump and start making your own molotov cocktail, or how about hot-wiring a car? These are just a few of the many ways the DS improves upon an already steady game franchise. The Graphics are brilliant with just the right distance between you and the character (no need to worry too much about bad camera angle), The sounds could be better but all-in-all this is one must have for any DS owner.

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            • Product Details

              Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars gives Huang Lee a simple mission following his fatherÆs murder: deliver an ancient sword to his Uncle Kenny to ensure his family retains control of the Triad gangs of Liberty City. Huang is a spoiled rich kid who expects everything to run smoothly, but his trip does not go exactly as planned. After being robbed and left to die, he will search for honour, riches and revenge in the most dangerous and morally bankrupt city in the world.