Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Daddy's Girl

This was another fun one to work on.  I think I'm about 87% back to comic-style.  

My poor kid's sick again today.  She's spent the majority of her life relatively sheltered from other kids, so as soon as she started school it's like a new illness every week.  I sent her to school this time, though, since she's already missed a day this month.  I'm not sure what the protocol is supposed to be.  Ideally, you keep a kid home from school when they're sick.  But they only get a designated amount of sick days before they get in trouble for missing school, and this is only September.

So, even though I don't have any money, I bought Grand Theft Auto V the day after it came out, because Grand Theft Auto.  This game is amazing.  As with the other GTA games, there are minor holes in the plot, and some of their story-telling could be executed better (the dialogue though, as usual, is top-notch), but overall I find myself compelled to go from one mission to the next because I really want to see how things come together and escalate.  I have actually spent very little time doing all the extra things there are to do in GTA games, which is unusual.  In previous games, I'd do a mission or two, but then I might go look for hidden packages, or stunt jumps and so on.  Not this time.  I'll but upset when I realize I've just beaten the game.

The three-character dynamic adds a wonderful twist to the game, and it's done perfectly.  The characters are very different, but each of them is enjoyable to play, and each has a specialty that sets them apart.
Franklin reminds me a lot of CJ from San Andreas, which is not a bad thing.  It might even be the same voice actor; I don't know.  He's from Grove Street, and even the very same block CJ was from makes an appearance in the game although, strangely, CJ's house is gone.  I was disheartened to see that the Grove Street gang didn't have a bigger presence in the game after the events of San Andreas.  In fact, it's like they've nearly wasted away.  Franklin feels like the "good guy" of the three (right up until you start assassinating people left and right), and that's probably why I play him the most.
Michael is a little bit Tony Soprano (complete with a shrink and a dysfunctional family), and a lot bit Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs, but his violent antics are coupled with a guilty conscience.  He's the true professional of the trio.  I see that most players favor him, but I think I actually play him the least.
Trevor is great.  He's like a perverted, redneck Heath Ledger Joker, complete with incoherent grunts and an unsettling stare.  That in itself should be enough to make you enjoy playing him.  He seems conflicted, though.  Most of the time he seems genuinely without remorse for the things he does, but occasionally he'll turn around and do the good-guy thing, which is always unexpected.  It's hard to say whether this is intentional, like that was the plan all along, or if the writers decided at the last minute that maybe they should give this guy at least an shred of admirable traits.

There are always things that happen in these games that are done for the shock value, and you won't be disappointed with this one.  Some of the recurring characters I've come across are treated with zero respect.  I get that this isn't their story anymore, but damn, the exploits of those characters basically get thrown out the window.  That's all I can say about that.

Just about all the best features from the previous games are back, and then some.  There's a hilarious and elaborate in-game internet complete with a GTA-ified version of Facebook and Twitter, TV shows (and this time, movies to go to as well)... Rampages even make a triumphant return.  You can even play an imaginary stock market, and I believe you can download an app for your actual smartphone to check the imaginary stocks outside of the game.  There's a dog-training app on its way, apparently, for Franklin's dog.  Unfortunately, the dog is pretty much useless until this app launches.

I'm looking forward to online play for the like the first time in a game ever.  I don't particularly want to play against others, but there's an elaborate crew system in place that will allow you to play with your friends, and I can't wait for that.  Jason and his brother and I are already in a crew, just chomping at the bit for the online to go live.  It sucks there are features of the game that still can't be accessed; I imagine they're still being perfected.  On the other hand, it's better than the alternative: having to wait even longer to play the game.

I'm enjoying the hell out of it, and apparently, so is everyone else.  The game hit profits over a billion dollars in three days.