After the frustration of Part 4, I decided to regroup and try again. I need to stay calm and keep my focus. I know that if I stick to my plan of methodically working through missions, I can beat this game. I just need to stick to the plan…

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So it’s back to ‘Cutting The Grass’ then. If you recall I’ve got to tail Curly Bob down to the docks, catch him chatting to the enemy then whack him. I read on the GTA III Wiki that if I pull up at Luigi’s club in a taxi, then Curly Bob will get in my taxi instead of his own. This would make following him a lot easier. So, I grab a taxi, head on over to Luigi’s club and wait outside…only for Curly Bob to completely ignore me and gets in his cab. Damn it, I should have known it wasn’t going to be that easy! I slowly chase him, skip the cutscene and then run Bob down, completing the mission….and driving off the edge of the dock into the water in the process. Cue rage…..

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However, when I storm back to Salvatore’s in a huff to restart the mission, the game instead tells me it’s time for Act 1 of ‘Bomb Da Base.’ GTA III has actually shown me some mercy for once! ‘Bomb Da Base Act 1’ is pretty simple too – I just need to activate the mission then drive over to meet 8-Ball. That’s easy enough…it’s Act 2 of ‘Bomb Da Base’ I’m worried about…especially as I can’t save the game….

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So it’s time to face my fear then…’Bomb Da Base Act 2′ is as far as I’ve got with GTA III. Worse still, in this case I’ve still got to complete ‘The Getaway’ too. I decide to just go for it. If I can beat ‘Bomb Da Base Act 2’ then save the game, that’s a huge moral victory for me, as I know that ‘The Getaway’ is beatable. The aim of ‘Bomb Da Base Act 2’ is to blow up the Colombians drug ship with 8-Ball planting a bomb on the ship and me covering with a sniper rifle. Unfortunately as previously mentioned, GTA III is not a game designed for accurate shooting. Having to pick off multiple enemies from range while 8-Ball wobbles around is a bit tricky, especially if you’re dire at sniper sections in games anyway. I hate sniping, I’d rather just charge at the enemy…which explains why I was used as a bullet sponge in team games of Call Of Duty 2. Well, that and my friends hate me.

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Anyway….so my first attempt on ‘Bomb The Base Act 2’ goes wrong as 8-Ball gets himself ‘iced.’ I found myself panicking after the first shot and 8-Ball gets overwhelmed quickly. However, it kinda clicks after that. I realise that there are two guys on the gangplank that leads to the boat and if I take them out first then work my way to the back of the boat, then the mission can be completed. I try that strategy, slowly picking off the Colombians as 8-Ball hides behind crates and works his way forward. I’m holding my breath the entire time, waiting for the extra enemy to sneak out and shoot 8-Ball or a stray bullet to catch him.

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It doesn’t happen though. I waste all the cartel members and 8-Ball plants the bomb – I’m treated to 8-Ball wobbling his way off the burning boat, not that I’m paying much attention. I’m actually celebrating as the realization dawns on me – I actually feel like GTA III is beatable and I’m excited to push on. Dare I say it, completing ‘Bomb Da Base Part 2’ might be my biggest achievement while writing this blog. Well, that and persuading you all how great Altered Beast is…you all ran out and bought a copy, right?

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It’s getting late, but I’m determined to complete ‘The Getaway’ now. I storm over to Joey’s and wait around in my new jeep until Joey clocks in at 6am. I then race over to the robbers hideout…only for them to tell me that I need a getaway car. I don’t understand, that’s a sturdy, but fast vehicle, what more could they want? I’m tired and grouchy so I start to get pedantic. Taxi? No. Vans? No. Fire engine? No. I’ve left a massive pile of smashed up cars outside the robbers hideout…nothing. I’m livid now, why is the game cheating me? I’ve used most these vehicles before in previous attempts, all I had to do was pull up outside the hideout, drive into the blue circle and honk….

I’m an idiot…I’ve been getting out of the getaway cars and running into the blue circle. Still, all the robbers had to say was “Get back into the car idiot!” I thought I was going mad!

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So I grab a nice van and go to the bank. My first attempt is scuppered by the bitter Triads, who attack me and kill me. Great, thanks lads…get over it, it was like three missions ago. My second attempt sees me avoid the Triads and park strategically outside the bank. See, there is a alleyway over the way and my plan is to hide in it until the police leave me alone. It’s a good plan with one fatal flaw…I’m carrying three wanted armed robbers and lots of stolen money. This means that the police are not giving up and they chase me through the alleyway. As the police chase me in a huge circle around the Red Light District, I think back to how I beat a similar mission on Liberty City Stories. I need to find a spray shop and change the car’s colour and license plate. I can never remember where the spray shop is though…should I chance it? I decide to go with it as I have no alternatives. It’s a tense drive around the Red Light District, but eventually I find the spray shop and bolt in, just beating the police in pursuit. Result? A nice new yellow van and a completed mission. I’m on a roll!

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This takes me to the last mission on the first island, ‘Last Requests.’ Salvatore tells me to pick up a car and crush it as it’s covered in victim brains, As I set off, Maria pages me (remember pagers?) explaining it’s a trap and meet her at the docks. Upon meeting me, Maria explains that she told Salvatore that we were an item and now he wants to kill me…cheers Maria, big help that. Maria introduces me to Asuka (not the wrestler) and explains that we have to leave on Asuka’s boat, for our own safety. I smile, because that means one thing…

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Finally! Sixteen years and I’ve made it to the second part of the game. I head off to bed, in good spirits as I realize that I might actually beat this damn game….