Grand Theft Auto, Old School Style

GTA 3 Claude Speed
Hey all Blogsters, whaaaaaaaat’s haaaaapeninnnng?
Today inside Jimmy Devious’ head is another exciting installment of…
Totally Retro Tuesday!

And well, I just thought since GTA 5 dropped not to long ago, AKA only the biggest game of 2013…

…that I would take a quick look back to where the series has come from, and some brief “reflections” of my own on “the franchise.” Because, I am yet another “mouth with a keyboard attached” and well, why not?

Come on and take a look back with me, why doncha? 😉

Grand Theft Auto — 1997
 Grand Theft Auto 1997 cover
Simply put, the granddaddy of them all.
Would you believe that one of the most innovative, controversial, and highly irreverent franchises in gamming history began in SCOTLAND?!
Nooope, I can’t say it shocks me, after all, this IS the same country that also gave birth to highlanders, Billy Connolley, and the most indecipherable-ly awesome languages ever created (Glasgowese, of course 😛 ) where else would you expect to find such anti-social snarkiness?
(Okay, TECHNICALLY it was created by two London-born guys living in Scotland, but whatever, everything else I said was true lol )
All the trademark elements of the series are first introduced here, the driving, the car-jacking, the open world freedom style, the first appearances of Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas.
Go ahead, look!  It won’t bite’ya (unless you try to play it, that is! )

Younger gamers may find the original GTA boring and dated, but being as I’m old enough to remember when games like this were common, I find the “throwback 80’s arcade” style endearing. The original GTA’s were kind of like playing with Hot Wheels in your computer or console…Hot Wheels that can run over tiny people and burn each other up with flamethrowers that is!

It was fun, in a deliberately eveeeel sort of way. The real surprise “secret weapon” though in this game’s demented charm arsenal is the parody radio stations.

Depending on what type of vehicle you stole (sports car, taxi, police cruiser, TANK, etc 😛 ) would effect what type of music you got.

Gawwd-help-you though if you jacked someone’s pickup truck, you’d get THIS..

(Okay, I admit it, that terrible country song is one of my favorites, I can’t lie! It sucks so bad, it’s good! 🙂 )
GTA Mission Pack: London 1969
GTA London 1969
(AKA “GTA London” )
If you have to sum this one up in a phrase, it’s “Austin Powers Meets Grand Theft Auto.” But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
 In fact, this expansion is my personal favorite of the early ones, and I’m not totally sure why. It’s more-or-less the exact same GTA game engine painted over with a “Cockney-London” swinger skin…
…But somehow that “skin” they chose  works. GTAL is not particularly original in function, but the psycho mayhem that was (and is) GTA works in grimy old London town. It’s the perfectly different setting for it’s carnage, and paired with the truly AWESOME radio stations soundtrack…

…it all really puts one in the mood to become a dapperly-dressed psycho prat speakin’ the Queen’s English. It’s like Gangster No 1 or Get Carter: The Video Game.”

GTA London 1969 NICKED

GTAL is what The Getway hoped to be.
The first true sequel to GTA, released in October 1999.
This is where the franchise went into “Same’ol-same’ol” territory for a bit.
 That’s not to say the game isn’t well done, or that it didn’t add to the gameplay formula at all…
 (Being able to upgrade/alter cars you stole in body shops, the ability to work for different gangs around the city, all nice touches)
…it’s just that this version never really stuck with me, that’s all.The “retro futuristic” look of the city and cars was okay and done fine, it just didn’t appeal to me to much.
GTA 2 Gameplay BUSTED
About all I can remember about GTA 2 is working a lot for the Yakuza, that Japanese chick DJ who’s voice would make me bleed from the ears, and the radio advertising slogan in-game,“JUST DRIVE! For all your manual computing needs (disclaimer speedy voice)JustDriveShouldNotBeUsedToStoreOrSellPornography.”
Probably why I haven’t played GTA 2 (until last night) in literally 12 years!
One more point of note, this installment was also the first to introduce everyone’s favorite future cago-pants-wearing criminal bastard-deluxe, Claude Speed.
Finally (for this blog) we come to…
GTA 3 Box Art
I’m not going to delve too deeply into this one, because almost everything that can be said about this installment in the series, has been said. And it’s all probably true. 😉
GTA 3 is the “crossroads” of the franchise. The dividing line of what the series was, and is, going forward to today. Of course it was great, of course it was epic, and yes, I enjoyed it. I played this one every bit as much as I did GTAL, and probably more so.
(I even created my own Claude sim for Sims 3, and with the help of the “Weapons System” Mod and “Klepto” trait, he shoots people and jacks cars in Bridgeport. Claude in Sims 3 makes it all better! lol B) )
GTA 3 was everything that was grand about the early GTA’s… in 3D!!
And it had a more natural night and day cycle with weather. It was a great game to get lost in. There was so much to do, even when you weren’t doing jobs.
My favorite side dish? Driving around in the rain listening to the nuts on Chatterbox FM…

Ahh yes, GTA. Whatever “Old School” version of the franchise you choose, it will always equal a good time! (Yes, even GTA 2! )

So, before you get completely immersed in the new epic hottness that is GTA 5, (and we know you will!) give some of it’s “ancestors” a lookie-loo, particularly if you’ve never played them before. You might be surprised! 🙂

Still wondering about that “prancing German named Hanz”
J. Devious, ESQ.

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