More Chinatown Wars Reviews
2:44PM March 31, 2009

Reviews have continued to appear this week, and we are very proud to announce that as the dust settles, critics appear to be united in heralding Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars as the best game ever to hit the Nintendo DS™*.

* Source: Metacritic, as of 3/31/09. Average score: 94/100. 2 points higher than next-highest title.

Some of the most recent reviews:

"On a system currently overpopulated by cake sims and puppy adoption,
GRAND THEFT AUTO: CHINATOWN WARS IS THE EXPERIENCE EVERY HARDCORE HANDHELD GAMER HAS BEEN WAITING FOR... the portable transition holds its own as a stunningly unique entry in the Liberty City canon, all the while harnessing its platform for everything it's worth. Shameless developers trotting out shallow minigame anthologies and SNES era RPGs should stand in embarrassment at just how much potential Rockstar Leeds managed to wring from a console this late in its lifespan. Gentlemen, it's time to beg your girlfriend for that DS back."

"Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars demonstrates how a great concept can translate to any platform and still feel fresh. This newest installment of the drive and gun series isn't just a great game for any fan of GTA, it's A TITLE THAT ANY DS OWNER (OVER THE AGE OF 17) SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR COLLECTION... You'll run into a world filled with drug-crazy cops, psycho family members, and practically everyone vying to become the new Triad boss... the DS hasn't dulled GTA's signature sharp wit or ability to mold interesting characters... This would make for a lengthy console game, let alone a handheld one... It's a great comfort to know that Rockstar Games not only makes great games, but understands what makes them great. Chinatown Wars is the culmination of years of work as well as the spirit of ingenuity to bring one of the biggest series to the smallest screen. Nothing in the game feels half done or forced. If anything, the game feels like a development team having fun with a concept. Everything from being able to ram police cars, rampage missions, the touch screen mini-games, and even the story has this sense of fun underlining every bullet fired. Even if you are not a fan of the series, you will be doing yourself a favor by taking this tiny terror out for a spin."

"Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto game for the Nintendo DS is a masterclass in handheld video games design... a remarkable achievement. Chinatown Wars is a big fat raspberry to the competition; a masterclass in not only hand-held development, but video game design as a whole, exploring exactly how to craft Liberty City around the console's unique strengths without compromising the series' character... The missions in Chinatown Wars are some of the most imaginative the series has had... All the hallmarks of GTA's world, with none of its pomp and excess lost in translation to the smaller screen... Rockstar have produced a game that isn't just the DS's premier technical achievement, but is a title that will stand as ONE OF THE BEST GAMES YOU'LL PLAY THIS YEAR. So, just how do they do it?"

"This isn't just a DS version of GTA; this is a fantastic game that advances the series by introducing a number of great new features... Perhaps what's most amazing about Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is that it doesn't feel like a scaled-down handheld version of a GTA game. Rather, it feels like a logical and somewhat experimental progression for the series, introducing a handful of great new features that seem destined to become standard in future iterations....ONE OF THE BEST GTA GAMES YET."

"...can a GTA game on the DS, with all the attendant limitations and gimmicks, feel 'real enough' to people like us today, people who just a few months ago were deep in GTA4? Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars says "yes." Simultaneously constrained and elevated by the limits of its platform, Chinatown Wars proves that the heart of the sandbox experience can thrive outside of a big-budget blockbuster. My highest recommendation: Though I'm done with my review, I'M FAR FROM DONE PLAYING... I CAN'T GET ENOUGH of this crazy little unregulated dystopia where you can get heavy assault weapons delivered to your doorstep."

"Citizens open umbrellas when it rains, run for cover when you let your guns do the talking, and become fruitful money-giving red stains when you "accidentally" park a fire truck on top of them... the city itself is gorgeously rendered with familiar locales and the smallest of details. You can see chunks missing from concrete walls, years of wear and tear on store signs, colorful graffiti in dark alleys, and beautiful landmarks like a dragon statue on a Chinese restaurant...Hardly any concessions were made in bringing GTA to the DS. THIS IS A FULL-ON GRAND THEFT AUTO EXPERIENCE. Don't let the diminutive size or nostalgic look fool you, this is just as complete of a Grand Theft Auto experience as any of the console iterations."

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Retired Features: Rockstar Games Social Club features and unlocks for Chinatown Wars are no longer available as of 5/31/14.