Don't Let It End

Baby we could have so much more…

Already I have been receiving messages from friends and colleagues saying that they have beaten Grand Theft Auto IV, and of course they are wondering why I haven't beaten it yet. I admit I like to take my games slow and not rush through them, even something as epic as GTA IV. I've been doing that ever since Metal Gear Solid 3 came out, and you all know how I felt about that game, especially the unbelievable ending which I can only hope will be eclipsed by MGS4.

But a couple of weeks ago I didn't really think that I would really be interested in GTA IV as much as I am now. As I mentioned in the past, up to and including my review, I stated that I was not at all impressed with the graphics engine of the game.

In fact, when I watched the second trailer, "Looking For That Special Someone," the severe drop in frame rate was a huge issue for me.

The following trailers still were not enough to interest me at all. I knew I'd end up getting GTA IV but I didn't think it was going to be anything special, something that would differentiate itself from the trilogy that was on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It went as far as being a huge topic on the GamerGeeks podcast during one of its earlier episodes.

However, that opinion started to change when I started reading all the reviews that GTA received. Most of them, IGN included, were scores of 10 out of 10, and the lowest given was an A- by Game Revoluion (equivalent to a 9 out of 10.) I could say that Gamespot gave it a 10 out of 10 as well, but of course, after what happened to Jeff Gerstmann, can we really call them a legitimate source? (And while we're on that subject, let's welcome Vinny Caravella as the latest member of the mass exodus.)

My first taste of GTA IV came when a streaming video site had the grapefruits to actually show live in game footage for ten hours straight. While I wasn't able to chat with the person who was providing live commentary as the game went, I was able to see exactly what the game had to offer.

But of course it really didn't count until midnight on April 29th. Needless to say, if you didn't hear me during the live unboxing on GamerGeeks, all my doubts were put to rest and Rockstar left me with egg on my face.

GTA IV was far superior to that which I expected, right to the point of it getting 5 Gems out of 5. If only I could give it 6, which it surely deserves!

This is not the first time I was disappointed with a trailer or a demo, only to find that the final product exceeds all expectations. It has happened many times before, and yet the end result just floors me.

Look how I felt with the Halo 3 Beta. It left me completely underwhelmed, especially when it kept telling me "why don't you go play Shadowrun instead?" That's all I need; to be told to play a subpar shooter that closed an entire studio!

But rest assured the final product of Halo 3, despite Cortana annoying the daylights out of me in that one mission and the game being superseded by the almighty Call of Duty 4, it was still an amazing and fitting end to the Halo trilogy. Granted GTA IV doesn't mark the end of the road for the series; it marks a whole new beginning.

But in the end, all I have to say is to never judge a game just by the trailers or a simple demo. Unless of course that game is Iron Man. (Good thing the movie rocked though!)

Currently Playing: GTA IV (360,) MGS: The Essential Collection (PS 1-2-3 in preparation for below)

Waiting for: MGS4 (PS3)

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