Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grand Theft Auto

I started playing Grand Theft Auto 5, and although its impressive, I always think back to the top down versions I played as a kid. 

When I was in 8th grade, someone sneaked a demo copy of Grand Theft Auto in and installed it on all of the computer lab machines. (Along with Commandos) We took advantage of the aloof keyboarding teacher, who would plan keyboarding lessons to last an hour, when most of us could complete them in 15 minutes.

The 10 minute demo of GTA was some of the best fun I remember having at school. I wanted to bring this fun home with me. I couldn't figure out how to transport the demo on a floppy disk like I did with Scorched Earth, so when I went home, I started what would become a regular occurance in my adulthood.

I waited for everyone to go to bed, booted up the ole Hewlett Packard, fired up Netscape, and began searching for Grand Theft Auto. 

After several hours, I found a site that would give you Grand Theft Auto in 10 Zip files as long as you clicked on a certain amount of advertisements from their site. 

I did it, signing my Yahoo address up for a butt-ton of spam in the process, but I had Grand Theft Auto, the full version, for free. 

I never got far in the game, because of a tradition of side tracking and exploration that carries forth in current Grand Theft Auto games. Inevitably, I would do 5 or so missions and then see how much chaos I could create. 

When Grand Theft Auto 3 launched, I was impressed, but the 3D version of Liberty City just didn't hold me like the top down. I could watch someone play the game for hours and be perfectly happy. But when I had the controller in my hand, I just didn't get sucked in.

The same holds true for the current ones. But I persist and finish them as some sort of gaming flog I force upon myself. After all, Grant Theft Auto will be the talk of the gaming town for months after release and in 10 years, I'm sure some misty eyed middle-aged friend of mine will stare off into space and want to remember our time in GTA IV's party mode fondly as we smoke pipes and get our shoes shined.