So it’s happening again…how do I get distracted from GTA III? Since I last played it, nearly a week ago, I’ve been ill, feeding my ice cream addiction, watching New Japan Pro Wrestling (well, falling asleep during New Japan Pro Wrestling…I’ll have some New Beginning thoughts up at some point) and just browsing the internet…wasting time like I usually do.
Well, no more. I’m going to beat GTA III, I’m determined. I’ve realised that it might take me more than the month I originally thought. That’s fine by me…let’s see what Joey wants us to do….
I find Joey’s missions to be the trickiest I’ve faced so far. The next one, ‘Van Heist’, makes me groan – I’ve always found this mission tricky and I’m sure it’s why I stopped playing the game originally back in 2002. My first attempt fails as the police grab me as I jump out of my car ready to steal the security van. Attempt number two sees my van blow up and kill most of the pursuing police, but the security van blows up just as I’m about to jump in!
I get a removal van and try again. This time the police stop me, driving in my way and blocking my path. My attempt to escape in a police car is halted by another arrest. The GTA Wiki (an invaluable resource) recommends a bus, coach or truck cab but I can’t find one. I try again, using a triad van, but alas I die in the wreckage…I’m starting to get fed up now.
I find a bus though…at the bus station across the road from Joey, an answer so obvious I don’t know how I didn’t think of it earlier. The bus is great at causing damage, but I can’t control it properly – I end up getting jammed under a broken streetlight. I get out to beat up the police man who is chasing me…however my clever plan of hiding in the bus until trouble blows over fails as the police man realises that I’m hiding in the wreckage. I reckon the trail of my blood from gun shot wounds might have been the give away….
The next night I load up GTA III, grab a coach and complete ‘Van Heist’ on my first go…why did I struggle with it so much? Once you force the guards to abandon the Securicar, the mission is as good as completed. The police cars just bounce off the Securicar and they will happily let you drive to Joey’s lock up, even if they are following you right up to the lock up…
Next mission is ‘Cipriani’s Chauffeur’, where we meet Tony Cipriani. He’s actually the main character of Liberty City Stories on the PSP (and later PS2), set some years before GTA III. It’s an easy mission – just run Tony to and from Chinatown and get roped into his plans for vengeance against the Triads…basically, just another day at the office in GTA III.
Back to Joey and the next mission is ‘Dead Skunk in the Trunk.’ Basically, Joey’s had someone whacked and he wants me to dispose of the body, via car crusher. I’ve never realised it before but Joey is really asking a lot of people. Joey’s a nice guy, so that’s probably why he gets away with it. That and the fact he might have you killed. Joey neglects to mention that the victim’s brothers will be after me…he’s a nice guy though. Luckily I outrun the brothers to the crusher, then heroically escape in a yellow van, running over the gangster chasing me as I go.
I race to Joey’s for another job, only to be told to come back between 06:00 and 14:00. Those are some very normal office hours for a criminal…I guess Joey likes to avoid the Liberty City rush on his way to the office. So I go visit Tony, who is still angry at the Triads and wants me to destroy their laundry vans in the cleverly named ‘Taking Out The Laundry’. I cringe instantly….this mission takes forever! You have to destroy three vans randomly driving around the city, so you have to track them down and end them. Tony tells you to go to 8-Ball to get grenades, but me and the GTA Wiki agree that’s a silly idea – far too much attention will be drawn to me, plus GTA III is a game where I try to avoid using weapons were possible, due to the controls. So I need to force the vans to stop, then steal them and dispose of them. Two of the vans are handily stopped and crushed. The final van knows I’m chasing it (that might be because I tried ramming into it for five minutes…) and it’s racing around the city like a maniac, running all red lights and basically outrunning me. I chase it in various vehicles and can not catch it. Finally, I snap…I grab a bus and pin the damn van to a wall with it. As I triumphantly exit my coach to steal the laundry van, the damn van explodes….leaving me with 17% health. That was close! I would have been irritated if I’d died there, would have been another mission to replay!
Next up is Joey’s final mission ‘The Getaway.’ I love and hate this mission. It’s good fun but I find it really difficult. My first two attempts end quickly and badly – the police are ridiculously tough and are ramming my van straight away, causing the van to explode. A third attempt is foiled by Joey’s sensible working hours. So it’s off to see Tony and attempt ‘The Pick-Up.’ I need to grab some money from the laundry I threatened earlier. Tony’s note warns me about triads, which doesn’t phase me as the only danger to me is my own driving…I’m now killing people and lamp posts at a worrying speed. The triads try to ambush me, but I run them all over…there is no way I’m having a gun fight on GTA III, not with these controls. Then my truck explodes, killing me just as I’m on the way to Tony’s….won’t lie, I’m kinda annoyed. A second attempt ends the same way…I’m not happy.
My frustration extends to surfing on a police car, but then I snap out of it and head back to Tony’s. I run everyone bar one triad over, then change car and go looking for the remaining Triad. He must decide to quit the Triads though as the game suddenly just tells me to go to Tony’s and give him the money. I’ll take it…