“No minorities please!”
– from a girl’s dating profile
“No minorities please!”
– from a girl’s dating profile
Developer: Rockstar North | Publisher: Rockstar Games || Overall: 9.5/10
For me, a Grand Theft Auto game is like one of those mini-milestones in my life; I get to experience something fantastic, funny, and overall extremely entertaining. I’ve bought each of the mainline GTA games during the first week of release, and have thoroughly enjoyed each of them. I still have yet to complete any of the games on PlayStation 2, and I still need to buy Vice City Stories, but I can pretty much say that GTA is a big part of what makes gaming so enjoyable to me.
So, does Grand Theft Auto V continue to be the torchbearer that has been such a motivator for me to stick with gaming as a whole? The answer is yes, but the answer is also no, in some regards. Grand Theft Auto is a lot of things to a lot of people — a social scapegoat, a cool game to fuck around endlessly in, and most of all an offensive and satirical look at America and what it means to be an American.
Grand Theft Auto V breaks the mold of its predecessors by allowing you to play as three different characters. Each character has their own individual stories and some missions that overlap with each other. The missions culminate at certain points of the story where you will do “Heists.” Heists can essentially be looked at as the major challenge or “boss” of that point of the game. Heists themselves are very dynamic story missions that allow you to switch characters based on what sort of preference you have. At times you’ll also be forced to change characters to progress the mission. There are several occasions where a character has to drive 5 miles to a certain location, but during “their drive” you can switch to another character who is currently in the middle of another objective that is occurring. After completing the Heist, all three characters have their own missions opened up again.
Each of the three characters draw parallels to previous characters in the series, with the character Trevor, who is a drug dealing crime entrepreneur being the most unique as far as the series-as-a-whole goes. All three characters, and their motion capture/voice work actors, do an amazing job in conveying the story and making it enjoyable. First and foremost, the story of Grand Theft Auto V is a character story. There is very little strength in an overall arcing story, as it never really comes to a head, but the real joy of the story is the interactions between the characters and the way they live their lives and the things that go on around them. The main storyline revolves around the government and government corruption, but is never fully realized in its potential. My feeling is that there will be expansions, a la GTA IV’s expansions, where each character may be the sole focus to fully flesh out the remaining questions that each individual’s story sort of left open ended even as the credits rolled and after.
As a result, the story sort of just drops off at the end and you’re left with questions for each of the individual character’s stories without any real indication that they will be answered or even if the inevitable expansions are even going to focus on the main protagonists of the GTA V. A lot of the plot points of in the characters’ personal stories make you question why they bothered having them when there was no real pay off. A wait-and-see approach for the expansion plans is sort of unnerving, but if it pans out the way I hope it does then it may not be that bad.
The game play has been universally improved from GTA IV. Combat is a lot more fun and refined. The addition of the weapon wheel allows for switching guns in a more efficient manner. Many of the same features you expect in a GTA game are present, and have been refined as well. Being able to customize cars permanently is a welcome addition for the single player mode. Speaking on cars, your characters all have their own “personal vehicles” that you will undoubtedly drive more often than not. This is a vast change from previous games where you would always just steal a car to get around the city. Now that you have your “own” personal vehicle you can always rely on using that car. I actually preferred to use the personal cars to give the feeling of consistency for the story. The cars are also unique, so you can tell when another character is driving it or is parked somewhere waiting for you to start a mission.
During a lot of the missions there are opportunities to catch references to action movies in a way that is an homage to Hollywood and Los Angeles. There are plenty of hilarious scenes and subtleties that make this Grand Theft Auto leagues ahead of any before it, while still harkening back to them. Most notably is GTA: San Andreas, as you encounter gangs that existed in that game as well as visiting CJ’s home neighborhood — you will instantly recognize it and there is even a mission where you will have a shootout through the whole neighborhood. You will also be able to walk into a lot of different buildings during your missions — one such being the LifeInvader offices where there are a lot of Facebook-related jokes and scenes to be had.
Missions are split out into separate categories — “Missions” and “Strangers and Freaks.” During the series there has always been those “off-storyline” missions that came around that didn’t have much to do with anything. In Grand Theft Auto IV, they added “strangers” that you could meet on the street and talk to them for a little while or even do a mission for them. The Strangers and Freaks missions in Grand Theft Auto V allowed Rockstar to combine both of those aspects and let themselves go really crazy with designing missions. Shooting aliens after smoking weed, kidnapping a movie star for two old British tourists, and skydiving out of a helicopter into the city are only some of the things that you can do in tandem with the main storyline. Another welcomed feature is the ability to replay all of the missions you find and refine your score on them so you can earn trophies.
With Grand Theft Auto V, you can tell that even though the game is goofy at times, they have made it a point to make the game act much more “realistic.” The way people walk and run, physics that are toned down, and the serious storyline are all honed in on this goal of becoming a “realistic” game. A major casualty of this appears to be the loss of many of the more “traditional game” elements that we have seen in the Grand Theft Auto series, namely Vigilante, Ambulance, and Firetruck side missions. Vigilante has been seemingly replaced with “random events” that you will stumble upon as you are driving through the city. During these random events, people will get their property stolen or police will be in a shootout with the criminals and you can either step in or let them go. While they are nice as an addition, I think I would have gotten at least a couple of more hours of enjoyment from being able to hunt down a list of bounties or have the game generate a group of criminals for me to take down, like in GTA IV. It is unfortunate because GTA V’s combat system is A LOT OF FUN, and I wish I could just have more combat outside of missions. Being able to access the internet on your phone is also very convenient, but it seems like there are a lot less web sites to find this time around. Watching TV is also not as convenient because there is no “full screen” mode and the volume never seems to be able to be turned up loud enough where I can comfortably hear what is going on.
The graphics in the game are very impressive. Really awe-inspiring, however, is how big the game’s map is and how accurate it is to Los Angeles and the surrounding area in California recreated as Los Santos, Sandy Shores, and Blaine County. Being from the LA area, I felt right “at home,” and the lighting in the game makes it that much more authentic. The wilderness and desert areas are much more fleshed out compared to how they looked like in GTA: San Andreas. You can even hunt in the wilderness. While GTA V is a “revisiting” of San Andreas, the lack of San Fierro and Las Venturas can sort of irk you if you are a stickler for the “lore” of Grand Theft Auto. As a result of having the game be more focused on Los Santos itself, we got a much more detailed and expansive city. The radio stations are also pretty good and varied. There are some great tracks, but since nothing can ever live up to GTA: Vice City, we’ll just have to say it’s about as good as it can be.
A part of the experience to note is that ever since the Hot Coffee controversy became a big deal with GTA: San Andreas, Rockstar started becoming more and more daring with what actual sex content they choose to depict. While GTA IV poked fun at themselves by saying “hey wanna have some HOT COFFEE” and then had a lot of groaning noises saying how good the coffee is, in GTA V they literally have people having sex in plain view as part of missions — not something that is really optional like dating. And I don’t think anyone even gave a fuck (pun!) about it this time around! I was laughing my ass off when I saw one of the “movie stars” getting pounded doggie style as you take pictures of her, which resulted in her chasing after you in her convertible trying to kill you. GTA V can just be a lot of fun. You can also call random characters up to “hang out” with them and play mini-games, but as opposed to GTA IV, you aren’t forced to maintain any relationships and as a result there doesn’t seem to be any benefits from them now.
Playing the game for about 50 hours, I can say that GTA V is the best game of the series. Growing and changing as a gamer since playing GTA III, I find myself less and less inclined to just “fuck around” for an endless amount of time. I just got through the missions, played a couple of the repeatable side missions, and called it. Ostensibly, it was worth my $60 regardless, but the point of mentioning it is that sandbox games have become a more focused experience and can be less about “go do anything you want” and more about “here’s the things we want you to do, go do it the way you want to do it.” This is the way gaming has evolved and I do enjoy a more focused experience for sandbox games since they can get very distracting at times. Not to say that you CAN’T just go do anything you want to do for hours on end, but it pushes you towards what it wants you to do much more than other GTA games.
GTA V also comes with GTA: Online, which is basically just a fleshed out version of the multiplayer from GTA IV. GTA: Online is structured more like a free-to-play MMO game with progression of your character, and also gets back to the more “gamey” aspects of the Grand Theft Auto series than the single player experience offers. There’s definitely more people playing it than GTA IV’s online mode, but since GTA: Online is almost its own game entirely, I will just review it later if I get around to it. It is constantly changing as well since they will be adding patches and re-balancing as time goes on.
GTA V is good, and I hope to see more for the game soon.
Killumbus was in his castle, counting his stacks of money. Scholars have asked each other, “what do you know about Killumbus?” and their answers have always been “not much.”
What they do know, is unconfirmed at best.
What they do know is the following:
Killumbus was once an explorer of nations. He took his fleet of ships through the seas and found new people to kill. He kept a room of massacred bones from magical peoples, living in self-imposed exile. As his name might imply, he couldn’t stop killing. Everyone.
Killumbus’ weapon of choice was the fan of knives. He would throw knives up to 250 yards with deadly (that’s a pun) accuracy. Once when he had visited the Exiled Land of Juziviel, Killumbus had already stuck a knife in 40% of the island’s population from the assaulting rowboats. The massacre took only three days, and once the dead bodies had been deboned, they put them on the barges and shipped them to the next target on their map.
Killumbus’ Magical Map was a map that allowed them to find magical and mystical places that were hidden from the normal explorers of the world who did not want to kill everyone they saw. Killumbus’ greatest conquest came in the form of the country of Debrine.
Debrine was a fantastical country full of prosperity and equality. The culture of Debrine had evolved over centuries to become one of valuing your community and promoting self-worth. As a result, Debrine’s streets were always clean and there was never any traffic. Yes, life was good in Debrine, until its streets were full of blood.
Killumbus rode in on the coattails of the night, when many of the guard towers of Debrine had begun their transitional period of turning the lights on. But since they didn’t have timers in their lighthouses, they always had to judge whether it was a good time to turn on the lights once the sun had begun to lose its light. Killumbus and his elite squad of bad asses rowed in right underneath their noses, climbed up the infiltrated guard tower and chewed up the guard beyond recognition.
The country of Debrine was as big as a large metropolitan city, and to eliminate a city full of hundreds of thousands of people was going to take a long time. Killumbus established the Guard Tower as his base of operations and renamed the beach into Killumbus’ Landing. The Guard Tower was also expanded into a proper castle, in which Killumbus now resides.
The government officials of Debrine did not understand how an outsider was able to find their land, considering a magical sorcerer had enchanted their land with a hiding spell. When one of the ambassadors came to open negotiations with the hostile force, he had met Killumbus in his base of operations – well before the castle had been created.
Not much has been publically released to Debrine as to what had transpired. But this is what happened:
Needless to say, Killumbus was one sadistic a-hole.
While the government of Debrine deliberated what they should do to repel the intruders, Killumbus and his crew fortified their position and eventually he built his castle.
Why was Killumbus such a sadistic bad ass? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
It was recess in Kindergarten at Joy Flower Elementary school in Las Vegas, Nevada. Killumbus’ original name was Christopher Kohlrhombus and he liked to watch cartoons. His mother was a businessman and his dad was a female stripper. Before you ask why you are so confused about the way the genders are referenced, maybe you should ask yourself why you are so gender-biased and re-evaluate the way you live your life.
One day at Kindergarten class, Mrs. Gallagher played the piano, signaling that it was time to stop having fun and start being real. On their way in, Christopher and his friend Christopher put away their imaginary swords after re-enacting an episode of their favorite TV show Pensacoli Wily Weasel Fighters. They always had fun running around fighting each other and they were good friends. Poor Christopher Kohlrhombus never saw this friend again after that day, because when they graduated from Kindergarten they went to different first grade classes that never interacted with each other. Christopher had built this relationship over the course of a year only to have it thrown away by society’s bureaucracy. He might not have cared as much if some loser from 2nd grade said that going into 1st grade wasn’t that scary because he still got to hang out with all of his same friends from Kindergarten. Why did he have to lie? Instead of having the same friends he had NO friends because he didn’t see the same people he used to go to school with. It’s not like his mother let him go anywhere during the weekdays, so the friends he did have stopped wanting to hang out with him.
Anyway, Christopher was in the backyard of his apartment building, digging at the ground because he had nothing else better to do. He lived in an apartment complex and for some awful reason they planted two ugly trees behind the building. A wizard by the name of Magister Buy1Get1Free was growing senile and had decided that very week to hide his map full of magical secrets between these two ugly trees because he thought the map would grow a more beautiful tree. Don’t ask me why he thought that, he is senile for a reason.
Christopher spent all day digging, since he had no hobbies at the time, and found the map. At first the little boy thought he had found a treasure map! But really what it was is a map to a map. And it was also a map to all the coin-operated laundromats in the city.
Not five minutes after having found the map, the asshole boy Fookfase The Asshole Kid started throwing ice cubes at Christopher!! He pelted him pretty good this time because he caught Christopher off guard. Christopher had to run home with ice scratches forming on his arms and legs.
Christopher, with map in hand, ran to get his baseball glove to run back outside to catch the ice cubes being thrown at him and throw them back. But his mom asked him what he was doing.
“I’m going to go catch ice cubes and throw them back at that guy throwing them at me.”
“Oh no, you’re not. That’s too dangerous and I don’t want you getting into trouble. That’s why I took you out of tee-ball, I don’t want you getting hit by baseballs or ice cubes, for that matter!”
So, bored and shamed Christopher was confined to his room for the rest of the day playing video games and rubbing his scratches instead of taking revenge on the bully he had seen only once before. Christopher looked at his map – it showed the path to a secret room in the apartment complex that may have been interesting.
Under the guise of night (at 7 pm), after his parents had gone to sleep, Christopher left with his map and started walking through the apartment complex. He approximated the directions of the map and he came to a room which he had only seen once or twice before. In reality, it was the senile wizard, Magister Buy1Get1Free’s apartment. He pays 350 dollars a month on average for the room because half the time he’s able to make it disappear and make everyone forget about it, but since he’s getting older he forgets to hide his apartment from people’s minds on rent day.
Christopher touched the doorknob with his hand at which point the door disintegrated into magical dust and a dark room appeared before him. There, on a couch sitting and staring into the dark room in front of him was Magister Buy1Get1Free. His apartment was strangely decorated – there was two of everything; two TVs, two couches, two lamps, two dining room tables, and two microwaves among other things.
“So, you’ve found my map, have you?”
“Y-y-y-yes, sir.” The young boy replied.
“That map you have holds special power, my young friend… it allows you to see what is not there.”
Christopher looked with amazement at what he held in his hands. The treasure was not what was ON the map, the treasure WAS the map!
“Let me tell you, young friend. I am getting old. I am not as sensible as I once was. My years of extreme couponing and buying one item to get one free have taken its toll on me. And my sanity. Too much free stuff goes against free enterprise and the economic system we have in place, and as a result I have grown senile with guilt of taking advantage of those multi-million dollar corporations.” Magister Buy1Get1Free rambled on.
Christopher didn’t understand anything the guy was talking about. He was like 6 years old.
“I can grant you a power to destroy those whom you call your adversaries. With that map in hand, you will have the power to end all of those bullies and assholes *I* encountered during my journeys. I will use you to exact my vengeance…!”
With that statement, Magister Buy1Get1Free got off of his plastic-protected couch and waved his arm around. Two staves flew into his hands and he waved them around.
“Young boy whom I do not know the name of…!! You will now be a bloodthirsty maniac of the high seas and destroy the most sacred secrets this world has to offer, one by one!”
Christopher floated in the air and he began to shout as his thoughts became pure bloodlust. Senile magic created a monster that would one day kill millions of magical peoples and destroy their civilizations. He had created Killumbus.
Killumbus was given his magical Buy1Get1Free Fan of Knives set that allowed him to spawn two knives for every one thrown. Hundreds of knives were at his disposal, and each were recoverable by encanting his retrieval spell. Killumbus was one of the forefront killing machines ever created.
To set sail on his journey, he would need to acquire a crew of the most sadistic homicidal maniacs ever known. Fookfase The Asshole Kid, with his special ice cube throwing skills, was immediately abducted and magically (literally) convinced to accompany Killumbus. Other punk kids from the neighborhood, like Mark the Indian Burner, Carlo the Shark Biter, Stephen the Pincher, and Joy Love the Biker Bitch made up the core of Killumbus’ crew. Their normal identities were erased from memory and Magister Buy1Get1Free conjured up ships for each of his core crew to command. The Magister hid in the deep bowels of Killumbus’ Rhombus Destroyer. The other ships were named The Friction Conviction, The Big Biter, The Ouchy Pincher, and Hell’s Envoy. For the next 15 years, these ships had tracked down and destroyed one civilization after another and ended up on the shore of Debrine in the year 2012.
The Debrine campaign has just begun.
To be continued…?
Man: “How’s your history paper coming?”
Woman: “Well, my history professor suggested that I use the Internet for research, and it’s been very helpful.”
Woman: “Yes! I’ve already located 17 people who sell them!”
A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, “Everyone who thinks you’re stupid, stand up!”
After a few seconds, Johnny stood up. The teacher said, “Do you think you’re stupid, Johnny?”
“No, ma’am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!”
“I joined this website so I could write my senior research paper on online dating and the commodification of human beings through the internet. I’ve met some great people, and even put my cat on here. Don’t worry, I’m not crazy. And I got an A on the project.”
– from a girl’s dating profile
“Oh boy! We have a barn burner goin’ on here!”
– from the TV
“Is it a shelf with mugs? It most certainly is!”
– from the TV
“You dry a date to get a date”
– from the TV
desu – v. to play the Star-Spangled Banner through your nose
buenuno – n. a hot dog that makes you gain 13 pounds
ArchNacho and Tortilla Godzilla’s Quality Roms was a really funny ROM site that went down around 2006 or so. This is from their “Saga” page.
First Scroll: Descendance
As with all great legends, the saga of ArchNacho & Tortilla Godzilla is clouded in mystery. In truth, no one knows with certainty what took place those days in a distant past. What is known, however, is that during the month of July in the year 1999, two deities descended from the heavens to this earth to bring light, joy and quality ROMs to the starving, quality-conscious emu-gamers. They had seen wickedness grow in the realm of man and they were worried. Finally, they decided that something would have to be done; they would have to bring light back into the world. And so it was that ArchNacho & Tortilla Godzilla left their heavenly abodes and descended unto the earth.
Wherever they went, they saw sin: the wicked men had piled up ROMs in great numbers, without reviewing a single one, without even a screenshot to guide the lost souls! Some had attempted to hide their sins with glorious web design, and men were easily deceived by this trickery! Others attempted to lead visitors astray by hiding the true ROMs between false links leading to sponsors, to fill their own greedy pockets! Hear ye my word, and heed it well: this is the worst sin of all! Luring the innocent with promises of ROMs that do not exist, in order to fill your own pockets or increase your own fame is unforgivable, and those who commit such devilish acts will forever be frozen in the cold pits of Shukarnach! And hear ye, you who would let your banners POP UP and blind the purehearted with their evil messages of greed, sin and corruption: thou shalt not escape the wrath of the quality-conscious gamers!
All this ArchNacho & Tortilla Godzilla saw in the realm of man, and they knew that it was evil. They would be the light of the world, and what follows is the tale of how they banished darkness and offered to every gamer out there a chance for redemption in the splendour of ArchNacho & Tortilla Godzilla’s Quality ROMs! No more would their souls be corrupted by unreviewed ROMs without screenshots, deceitful links and pop-upping sponsor banners! Take these words to heart, dear reader, for salvation lies within! Rejoice sinners, for your redemption is here!
Second Scroll: “Salvation”
And so it came to pass, in an age long gone, that ArchNacho & Tortilla Godzilla’s Quality ROMs was born. In the Rochmann castle, strategically positioned on the slope of Mt. Kjølen, in a city called Tromsø far, far to the north in a kingdom known as Norway, the two began their hard work. Initial results were not as good as they had hoped, but ArchNacho & Tortilla Godzilla had no intention of giving up, so they struggled on. The huddled masses of the net were in desperate need of this shining beacon of hope, integrity and quality ROMs!
Finally, one cold August evening, the first draft was ready and released unto the net. One might say that it looked like crap, and one would not be entirely incorrect.Yet, intentions were good, the jokes were crazy, and the graphics were arguably so crappy it was funny! After all, the Christians spent 400 years collecting and deciding on their new testament, whereas these triumphant two had completed their holy texts in only a few months. In addition, the great advantage of AN&TG’s Quality ROMs over all other holy texts, quickly became apparent: it was ever-expanding and ever-improving! Ever onwards for greater enlightenment and a larger collection of Quality ROMs!
I took Geometry in 10th grade in high school. We had to get each one of our test grades signed off by our parents. Pretty much after every test I got a lecture from my mom. I was pretty bad at geometry, mostly because of the proofs.
Pretty hilarious, really. I ended up getting a C anyway, so I didn’t have to retake the class during summer.