Tuesday 6 June 2006
It's not often that handheld games come to consoles, it's usually the other way round, which makes Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for PlayStation 2 such a tricky game to evaluate.
When it appeared on PSP there was a lot that could be excused - the recycling of a previously used location, the lack of any aerial transport and the loss of the life-sim features that appeared in the last GTA. Handhelds have their limitations so compensations had to be made.
But now it's on PS2, a machine that's near the end of its life span but still capable of holding the state-sized portion of adventure that San Andreas boasts. So now what's the excuse?
Well there isn't one really; LCS comes to PS2 as a PSP port with only slight tweaks to the graphics made to make it more presentable for big screen viewing. Importantly, though, Rockstar is not making out that this is anything but a PSP port, which explains the relatively low-key summer release and the enticing price of £20.
Rockstar's rather touchy-feely reason for the PS2 release is to enable GTA fans that don't own a PSP to enjoy this latest chapter in the free-roaming crime saga. With any other game this reason wouldn't have washed but totally missing out on the story of how GTA 3's Toni Cipriani rose to prominence in the Salvatore crime family would have really rankled with those PSP-less GTA faithful.
The only people who lose out are those who bought a PSP just for LCS. Still, they've always got the PSP multiplayer options which don't make it to the PS2 version.