Grand Theft Auto (commonluy known as ‘GTA’) – This game would have sound familiar to many people, even those non-gamers I suppose?
I recalled that in the earlier days when this game is released, there were many controversy as many people believe that it ‘encourages’ crimes since the premises of the game is that it allows players to take on the role of a criminal in a city, where you get to rises through the ranks of a organized crimr in the game. You will be given various missions which you have to complete throughout the game.
10 years on, not only the game survived, but it has span off GTA 2, GTA III on the game console, but it had releases a special 10th year anniversary special on smartphones to mark the special milestone.
Thanks to Sony, we had the privilege to try out the game on one of their Xperia series, Xperia Play, which is optimized for gameplay.
Oh, did I mention that the Xperia Play is the first ever PlayStation® Certified smartphone with dedicated gaming keys, L/R shoulder and 4-symbol keys, which means that you can also have the PlayStation® experience on your mobile phone?
Installation is rather straight-forward. As you flip out the controller, you will be brought to the Xperia Play Game Play area which you can select the games that you have installed, and the list of games that is optimized for Xperia Play.
If the game you selected is not installed, you will be brought to the Android Market to purchase and download the game.
Once installed, you are ready to play the game! … Or not.. There is a 400MB+ download which you need to download upon the first run of the game, so I would strongly advice you to do the installation where WiFi is available!
However, there is a tricky downside where the game refuses to run after the installation is completed, and only when I reboot the phone, the game finally manages to run it properly. I heard that this issue has been rectified, but I am unable to verify this on Xperia Play (I certainly do not want to risk uninstalling and restarting the game all over again!), but there is no such issues when I tried it on a newer Android handset.
Playing the game on your Android Phone
The game premises returns back to Liberty City (which many says it is ‘New York in disguise’) , and you are Claude, who works your way through various task throughout the game.
I am very impressed on how the 3D animations is being rendered, and how smooth the animation was being rendered on the Xperia Play. With the console like gaming expereince and the superb stereo sound, it was an amazing experience when I plugged in my earphones and listen to the opening animation and realized that ‘Whoa! So much have been changed and progressed over the past 10 years for game development!
To have a better gaming experience, I would strongly recommend that you plugged to your headphone to experience the entire game experience. The syncing of the animation and the sound is very good and I do not experience any lag of the video and sound.It is a immersing experience and when I was trying the game while I was traveling, I almost missed the stop and my destination! Perhaps it is due to the fact that the Xperia Play is powered by Snapdragon with a 1 GHz CPU and the powerful Adreno 205 graphical processor, which is optimized for advanced gaming. So gamers, be aware when you are playing this game on the go!
This is perhaps something that we need to get used to. As most of the smartphones in the market are touch screen based, unlike Xperia Play, most of the controls are “overlayed” on the game screen which you can interact with, however, it will take a while for you to get used to it if you are an inexperienced gamer (Like me!). It took me a while before I gotten used to the onscreen control and thus, I had to replay my first task over a few times. Oh yah, did I mentioned about the ease of restarting the game? For a novice gamer like myself, it is pleasing to see that whenever you fail in a certain mission, an option immediately comes up on the screen which offer a re-start of the game.
However, when I tried playing the game using the built in gamepad controls of Xperia Play, it seems that there is some problems controlling with the keys and buttons. I am not sure whether the game had not been optimized with the gamepad controls, but last heard was that the issue has been rectified. This is rather important in my opinion, as the gamepad control is there for a purpose. In addition, having used to gamepad control, it feels weird when I am unable to utilize the control when it is there!
For fans of GTA, this is a good game to relish the ‘good old days’ of GTA, with the convenience of playing the game on the go. It may be ‘nothing new’ or deem ‘too easy to play’ for experienced gamer, but for a ten year old game (That’s very loooooooong time in the info-comm industry!), it still has an engaging mission structure and a sandbox appeal, and it’s still fun to play as a result.
Of course, you can now play one of the most talked about games whenever you go on your Android smartphone.
This review is made possible by Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY – Test Drive.