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LB's "GTA(R): San Andreas(TM)" Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
LB Review


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GTA: San Andreas Strategy Guide >
Quick Review


Buy GTA: San Andreas
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Lunabean Rating: 9.1
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC
Release Date: PS2 - 10.26.04, Xbox and PC - 06.07.05
ESRB Rating: M-Mature
More Info: Official Site

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GTA: San Andreas Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Table of Contents



1. LB's GTA: SA Strategy Guide Introduction
2. Los Santos
3. San Fierro
4. Las Venturas
5. GTA: SA Extras
6. GTA: SA Updates
7. LB's GTA: SA Quick Review

**LB's Downloadable "GTA: San Andreas" Strategy Guide
**LB's Downloadable "GTA: San Andreas" SCREENSHOT Strategy Guide


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LB's GTA: San Andreas Review



LB Rating:
9.1
Screen Shot Screen Shot Screen Shot

More of the same? Hell yeah!



"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas", the latest installment of the best selling game, has delivered on its promise as one of the best console video games ever made. Following the tried-and-true formula of its venerable predecessors, you star as a thug; to be exact, a home-boy thug in early '90s Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco), and Las Venturas (Las Vegas)...think "Boyz N the Hood." You are Carl Johnson, returning to the hood in Los Santos after five years away. Your Mom has been murdered and your brother, Sweet, wants revenge.

Upon returning home you are framed for the murder of a cop by two corrupt cops, Tenpenny (Samuel L. Jackson) and Pulaski (Chris Penn). And thus the fun begins. From your home in the hood you begin a life of petty theft and gang wars. As you make your way up the criminal ladder you will soon make contact with the city's other crime lords and your horizons will expand to the other two cities.


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In classic GTA style, the game is very open-ended. At any one time there are several missions for you to accomplish or you can simply drive/run/bike/swim around the city exploring and earning money in any of the many side games/quests.

"GTA: SA" is different than the previous "GTAs" in a number of ways. First, as you have already guessed, there is more than one city. In addition to the expansive cities there is now countryside connecting the cities. The countryside contains a few small towns, dirt bike tracks, mountains and hills. To get around such a huge environment, the designers at Rockstar have given us a plethora of new and improved aircraft. No longer will we hear the classic, "How do I fly the Dodo?," question. Not only will you find a Dodo, but you'll also have access to WWII fighters, bi-planes, Harrier jets, and at least a half-dozen helicopters. Flying becomes a big part of this game in the later missions and is definitely an improvement on the previous games.

Another big difference is the ability to swim. Although this improvement has eliminated an easy way to end a mission if things are going poorly it is a great addition. In fact, there are 50 oyster shells hidden throughout the game's water environments. Finding them helps your sex appeal and your lung capacity.

That leads me to another difference: stats. You have a whole new slew of stats including respect, sex appeal, bike skill, driving skill, muscle, fat, luck, and many more. Your stats, or lack thereof, determine things like your ability to date girls, access to mountain bike challenges, and how hard you can punch enemies. You build up muscle by working out in gyms and you lose fat by doing aerobic exercises like running or riding a bike. You also have to watch how much you eat. There are a number of fast-food restaurants throughout the game. Eat too much and you get fat resulting in an inability to run fast. Eat too little and you become skin and bones and start to lose muscle. You have to manage your eating and exercise habits to maintain a svelte appearance.

The missions in "San Andreas" are by far the most diverse of any "GTA" game to date. From helping electronic geek, Zero (David Cross), tackle his arch-enemy by controlling radio controlled vehicles in a battle arena to robbing a casino "Ocean's Eleven"-style you will not be disappointed by the number or lack of variety of the missions.

When you're not on a mission there are many more distractions than previous "GTA"s have offered. Bored? Walk into a bar and play a game of pool. Go to a convenient store and play spoofs of several arcade games to see if you can get the hi-score. And, like before, hop into a cop car, ambulance, or taxi to do vigilante, paramedic, and taxi missions to earn money. New additions to this list include trucking, freight train, and pimp missions.

What's that? You saw a pretty girl over there? Well, why not date her? There are 6 datable girls in the game. To attract them you have to have a nice physique, a cool car, and stylish clothes. Oh, flowers help too as does a particular sex device that I'm not at liberty to discuss.

Gone are the hidden packages. They have been replaced by the aforementioned oysters and three other "findables": spray tag locations, horseshoes, and snapshot locations. Finding these items/locations in each city will spawn weapons at your "home base" for each city.


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The graphics in the game aren't stellar, but they don't have to be. Like all "GTA" games, the cutscenes are some of the most rudimentary I've seen in a while. For example, the movement is choppy, the five fingers on hands are all one big chunk of hand, and lip movement is terrible. However, you're not playing this game for the cutscenes. You're playing it because the in-game experience is like no other. The in-game graphics are above average with cars, streets, buildings, and character movement all well above average. A lot of time went into the gameplay of this game...not so much to the cutscenes.

The story in "San Andreas" is also the best of any "GTA" game so far. Rockstar adroitly perceived that the whole "Tony Soprano" mafia thing is getting old and therefore they went for a whole new direction: South Central LA, the hood. The drug wars, gang wars, and repression of the inner-city youth is a strong undercurrent in the game. For as much flak as this game takes for having "random violence" and terrible "moral values" there is actually quite a complex plot unfolding. Without ruining anything, CJ (you), is disturbed by the crack epidemic that has reached his hood and the lives it has ruined. The corrupt and militaristic cops are no help and in fact do more harm than good. You can almost see how this is leading up to the OJ Simpson debacle and the riots that ensued.

A large part of the success of the story is the excellent voice acting. In addition to Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Penn other Hollywood (Vinewood) and music-industry talent can be heard throughout the game including Peter Fonda, Ice-T, Chuck D, Bijou Phillips, and many more.

Going beyond voice and into music, "GTA: SA" does not disappoint. With 10 radio stations (which you can listen to in any vehicle) and over 100 tracks spanning every genre imaginable you won't be tired or hearing the same song over and over. Some of our fave's include, Guns and Rose's, NWA, Public Enemy, Joe Cocker, Bobby Brown, Jane's Addiction, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. Think of early 90's music and it's in the game. In fact there is an 8 CD box to accompany the game.

As you can probably tell, "GTA: San Andreas" is a huge game. The addition of several cities, a countryside, stats, and many aircraft have pushed what was once the most expansive of games into a whole new universe. Having finished all of the story missions you still have about 45% of the game to complete. You can spend hours roaming the seemingly alive city, exploring, playing, and well, killing and maiming.

"GTA: San Andreas" is hands down, one of the best games of the year and is probably one of the best games released on a console to date. It is mind blowing and fun. It is a world in which you will get lost, will care about characters, and will ultimately dominate.


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