Getting my head around Friends being off the air for a decade, not to mention turning twenty-two, was hard enough but when another tenth anniversary special release was announced; Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, my head rolled!
It'd seemed like only yesterday that I was twelve, borrowing the game from a friend and watching out for my mum who would not have approved of such a violent game. I was hooked at once! Of course, I wasn't the only one riveted.
Set against an 80's Miami backdrop (with authentic music to boot!), Vice City had all the feel of a classic gangster movie, with characters you instantly bond with (retired Colonel Garcia Cortez and eccentric southern property developed Avery Carrington) and laugh at in equal measure (any scene with Diaz, Lance, Umberto or Tommy himself). Immersing you in an experience that had gamers (well, me at least) playing again and again.
Since the game, available on both the Apple and Android markets for just £1.99, no longer uses a controller, Rockstar have integrated intuitive touchscreen controls on the left and right side of the screen. The left side, just like in the old days, is devoted to movement. When on foot you're given a joypad-esque bubble wherever you put your thumb, mirroring the easy multidirectional control of Vice City's sequel GTA San Andreas.
In vehicles, the joystick becomes a static pair of left/right buttons. While carrying an SMG the buttons to perform a drive-by shooting will appear above the steering controls (with an additional forward-shooting control when on bikes beside the brake). It takes a little getting used to but it's easy enough to use once you're comfortable with it. The only drawback is that, when on a bike, it's impossible to do a wheelie or a stoppie!
It would also appear that Rockstar have learned from their first anniversary release of GTA 3, which featured a much clunkier interface, and have made massive improvements in the input department. Best of all, nothing about the game has changed. It looks the same, sounds the same, and FEELS the same - right down to the slightly dyspraxic way old Mr. Vercetti runs and jumps. The only thing that is noticeably different is that all guns now feature an auto-aim, making the game slightly easier and that all properties now cost 50% less.
Personally, I wouldn't advise playing on a mobile as everything gets a little cramped, not to mention any device older than two years and they have a tendency to crash but, if you have new-ish equipment (and a spare gigabyte of data!) I’d recommend a trip back in time to anyone!
Now there's only one thing left for me to say, and it's directly to Rockstar; Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in 2014 on the iPad 6? Bring it on!