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Grand Theft Auto Trilogy – Nintendo Switch Review

The revolutionary Grand Theft Auto Trilogy arrives on Nintendo Switch.

It’s hard to describe just how revolutionary Grand Theft Auto 3 was when it hit shelves 20 years ago. Rockstar’s legendary Playstation 2 hit popularized the ‘sandbox’ style of gameplay. Video games were no longer confined to linear levels or missions. Players were now free to interact with (and destroy) the game’s world in a style of their choosing. This was just the first entry in a trilogy of games that redefined gaming. And now it has a home on the Nintendo Switch.

Grand Theft Auto 3

The first thing I noticed was how much GTA V’s control scheme improved on the original setup. And the on-foot controls also benefit from the addition of the Weapons Wheel scheme. It makes certain rifle and machine gun-heavy missions a lot less frustrating. Liberty City looks grittier and grimier than ever thanks to the graphical improvements

GTA 3 Nintendo Switch

The game’s flaws are more noticeable after all this time. The pedestrian AI is beyond annoying. It feels like the people of Liberty are aiming for the front of your car. Plus the story is quite shallow. Though I had fun listening to the hilarious Chatterbox FM after all this time. And I had forgotten just how many stars make up the voice cast. Actors like Kyle Maclachlan, Michael Madsen, Robert Loggia, just to name a few.

7.5/10

Vice City

Grand Theft Auto Vice City was the highly awaited follow-up to GTA3 released in October 2002. This one set in 1986 in the fictional Vice City, based on Miami, FL.
The most memorable part of GTA:VC was the soundtrack. Rockstar compiled many classic 80’s hits for the in-game radio. Unfortunately, due to licensing expirations, many songs from the 2002 release are missing. Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean and Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles won’t be scoring your rampage through Vice City in The Definitive Edition. The updated graphics are crisp and clean.

Vice City Nintendo Switch

The draw distance is also expanded so you can absorb more of the sun-soaked, neon-lit goodness. At times it will look like something straight out of GTA5. Again, the Weapons Wheel and updated camera control make gameplay more dynamic. I always felt this game had aged the worst out of the trilogy, but I had a blast replaying Vice City on the Switch!

8/10

San Andreas

With the release of GTA: San Andreas, gaming on the Playstation 2 reached its zenith. SA was heralded as the crowning achievement of the 6th generation of consoles. Like its predecessor, SA also boasts an in-game soundtrack of licensed music of the era. Though unfortunately no more Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine. The improved draw distance brings each of the three cities to life. I did however notice when the action picked up, or I continued from a checkpoint, there would at times be weird graphical errors and pop-in.

San Andreas Nintendo Switch

It was rare but noticeable. I thought that it would improve in the subsequent missions and cities but it actually gets worse. It becomes more and more apparent that these games are an update on a port…of a port. There were a few issues in Vice City but nothing like SA.

7/10

Visit Rockstar.

Update: Rockstar Games has come out and apologized for all the issues players have had with the Trilogy. They have promised vast improvements in upcoming software updates.

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