The Phoenix Nest
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Updates (11/12/09) and a mini-review

Hey guys,

So, some updates eh. Um... Oh! I played and finished Ballad of Gay Tony recently. Fun stuff. Impressions:

Overall it's a great expansion. Better than TLAD? Yes. But not by much. Luis isn't a much better character than Johnny, and neither of them are as good as Niko. The story itself isn't so good... It's basically "Tony screws shit up, you go fix it." Seriously... that's how the last mission could be described. But the missions are stand outs. Pretty much every mission includes a shoot out or something else that is fun. None of this riding in formation until you get somewhere and then doing nothing. It's good too see more of Bulgarin in Gay Tony too... in the main story of GTA IV I had more or less forgotten about him. When he showed up to try to get the diamonds back I was like "Who is this dude again?". But he's a bigger player in Gay Tony. Which leads me to Gay Tony himself... he's a pretty pathetic character actually. Never does anything right, hangs out with douchebags and fills himself full of drugs.

Which leads me again to something else - the nightclubs. The story was meant to be based around the club scene in Liberty City... instead you only get to visit 3, and one of those is only open for one mission. Luckily you can replay missions after you have finished the main story, but it would be better to go in there without having a set objective. The clubs themselves are impressive - I really must take my proverbial hat off to Rockstar for creating such an impressive atmosphere. The pounding bass of the music, the lights flashing, people bumping into you... they really outdid themselves. I just with Bahama Mamas was open for more than one mission, because it is probably the most impressive of the 3. Hercules, the gay club, is rather small and boring. Maisonette 9, the main club, closely follows Bahama Mamas, in that it is much more like a real club. You can even enter the restrooms and listen to other patrons getting it on in the stalls. The music is great, as long as you are into club music - that is Dance, House, Electronica and the like. It's pretty memorable, though the additions to Vladiovstok FM don't feel like they belong there. I was playing Episodes from Liberty City ('borrowed' from my brother), so I didn't get the regular GTA IV soundtrack too, but up-beat dance hardly fits in with Eastern European music. I was glad to see Vice City FM added in there though, with our good friend Fernando Martinez as the DJ.

Finally, the new weapons and vehicles rock. I found myself constantly using the new SMG, shotgun (with exploding shells) and assault rifle, without bothering with any of the older weapons. The exploding shells shotgun is particularly fun. There's nothing like shooting a car and putting a dent the size of a fat dude in the driver's side door. The Buzzard attack chopper is fun as anything, though I do have one complaint. The missiles have no heat seeking on them, which is a real pain when you are tasked with taking out other choppers. Not to mention the minigun doesn't move - you have to move the whole chopper to aim. This is especially annoying in the first mission you use it in, where you have to blow up the boat you stole it from. So many times I almost plunged into the water. And finally, the N.O.O.S.E. APC. Especially fun. Just cruise around and blow anything away. But don't expect it to be smooth sailing... cause enough carnage and the frame rate will start to lag like a bitch. This isn't really a problem if you are driving the whole time, but if you decide to stop and take people out, or get forced into a corner, it's going to bother you.

TL;DR? Get it now!

In other news, uh... I don't really have much other news. Though I do have some upcoming blogs - I'll be doing more mini reviews, probably 2 at the same time for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and Prototype which I'll be getting for Christmas, maybe a blog on what I did with Jessica when she visits here (though that'll probably be boring, I don't think we will do too many interesting things) and possibly something about what I got for Christmas (I am expecting mostly money)

That's all for now... next blog will be before the 29th. See you then!

Oh, and I also added a new poll. Vote on it.