I was just wondering how many of y'all are playing this now and I'm wondering what you think of this. To me, I'm shocked of how well this game turned out, I was fearing the worse and I was very surprised of how Rockstar and Nintendo did a great job.
I am currently playing and so far I am finding it a very good game. It takes a little while to get around the fact it is not a normal (modern) GTA game and you have to get use to the new dynamics, but once you do it's very enjoyable. I was expecting a half ased toned down GTA money grab (like story's) and I find a game that Rockstar has put 100% into this game and have added more then they have taken out to fit on the DS. I would like to see some of the features of this game like the taking out cop cars to lose stars and drug dealing mini game to be put into it's older bothers.
The drug dealing aspect is addictive, many of times I've called off missions because I got an e-mail that someone was selling something cheap or buying at a high price. Plus hijacking the drug vans can distract me too, I keep thinking to myself "Ok, I'm going to do a mission, I'm going to do a mission, I'm going to...DRUG VAN", LOL. Two things though I wish they would have incorporated though is the car export business from the first GTA and the home invasions from San Andreas. It would have been nice to make money buying selling items like that or to hijack the big delivery trucks and sell their goods. Perhaps Rockstar will put that in the next DS game (*hint hint*)
I loved the first GTA waaay back. But never cared much for its sequels.
The first GTA I played for weeks before even starting the missions. I was just having fun with causing mayhem around town. I initially skipped GTA 2 (too busy playing Alpha Centauri and Age of Empires II I think) and GTA 3 (no PC that could run it at the time). Then went for Vice City. Though the setting was rather cool (and possibly the best of all the GTA games so far) it was inferior to Mafia in every way, and I played that right before. So I didn't get very far with Vice City. I then caught up with GTA 2, which I quickly dismissed since it doesn't bring much interesting new from GTA 1. I played through about 75% if San Andreas. For the type of game it was good that they went with a bigger, better, faster, more philosophy. But the mini"games" were crap and I couldn't give a rats ass about the physical appearance of my avatar nor about those silly gang wars. Haven't played GTA 4 and not planning to currently.
The whole reason GTA was so much fun for me was because it was new and exciting. Few games before had such a vibrant living city in which to do whatever you wished. (sure there were games like Quarantine) It was the emergent gameplay that arose from fooling around that was so much fun. The missions I only tackled when I was getting bored with the game's dynamic systems. But with the newer games the novelty had worn off and all that was left was the missions and minigames. And since I hate the latter, it's only the missions for me. Sure the missions improved in variety and action content and some other improvements slipped into the series, but the emergent system stayed exactly the same.
Nothing much has changed with Chinatown Wars. It's still the same old system, with modern style missions and (gah!) minigames. But the minigames aren't so obnoxious as with San Andreas so it's not so bad. The game looks absolutely amazing for the DS and the controls are much better than any of the games since GTA3. Sure the story is crap and all the character forgettable (like in the entire series), but it brings some nostalgic fun to my daily train trips to college. For me it's definitely the best part since the original GTA. Can definitely recommend this to anyone with a DS.
If this becomes a hit on the DS I hope they'll restart a top-down spin-off on the PC/consoles as well.
So many people like GTA for different reasons :) I guess that's why it's so popular. Unfortunately, if the freeform aspect was your favorite part, then that's pretty hard to keep 'fresh' in each new installment :/
Though a bit unfortunate that you didn't try GTA IV. Because in terms of pure mayhem and freeform messing around, that one was the most fun. Mainly because of the excellent physics system which adds a surprisingly large amount of random fun to the game.
I normally play GTA for the missions rather than the "do what you want" aspect, but GTA IV had me spending more time just playing around aimlessly in the city than doing the missions.