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YMMV / Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

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  • Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Victor Vance has definitely gained a polarizing reception. On one hand, fans find him a breath of fresh air from the more psychopathic, cold-hearted protagonists seen of that of Claude and Tommy and like that they got a Nice Guy as a protagonist for once (especially with how tragic Vic's backstory is). On the other hand, there are also fans who felt that Vic's nice-guy attitude didn't blend well with the nature of the game and dislike how hypocritical Vic can be at times (saying he doesn't want anything to do with drugs yet doesn't bat an eye to build drug empires).
    • Likewise, a lot of fans are divided of this version of Lance Vance, either the fact that his stupidity and impulsive antics make him seem funnier and great use for comic relief or that his personality was an all-time low of his more slick, mellow demeanor he displayed in the original Vice City and made him come off more annoying than funny, bordering on Badass Decay.
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  • Broken Base: Much like Liberty City Stories, fans of the Grand Theft Auto franchise are either going to consider this game a huge letdown of the its original and dislike how depressing the storyline is, as well as being turned off of the empire side missions, or an underrated gem that truly deserves just as much attention as the other games of the franchise, and the fans actually do like the side missions for the empire buildings, as well as the other additional features that even encourage many of them to complete for the 100% completion.
  • Cult Classic: It isn't as popular as its original (much less any other game of the series), but thanks to its atmosphere looking much more crisp and vivid than the original, as well as the enjoyable side missions and features, a handful of the fans consider this the most underrated game of the series.
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  • Damsel Scrappy: Louise slips into this territory after she decided to take on Martinez on her own, which was a rather impulsive and foolish move on her part, especially given how many goons Martinez has backing him up.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Compared to the rest of the 3D-era GTA games, VCS is very bleak and cynical. It doesn't help the fact that one of the main characters (Lance Vance) is an incompetent, childish idiot who only causes problems for his brother.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "The Bum Deal", aka the White Stallionz mission, involves the Vance brothers having a shootout with a gang of homosexual bikers in a bar. Then in 2016 (ten years after VCS was released), a mass shooting occurred at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
  • Iron Woobie: Victor Vance. Unlike all the other playable characters of the series (including CJ, who has been considered have more "moral" than most), Victor Vance in the background does not like to be a drug dealer or kill people, he just feels compelled to. Adding to this, his mother is a drug addict, and his brother an idiot, Jerkass Manchild and has a lust for the money without seeing the consequences.
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  • Moral Event Horizon: See here.
  • That One Level:
    • "Turn On, Tune In, Bug Out". The level involves destroying six antennae on the roofs of Vice City's police stations with a rocket launcher before the DEA can gather incriminating evidence on the Vance Brothers. For starters, you're on a time limit, and every time you destroy an antenna, your wanted level rises by one star. This wouldn't be so bad if Pay-and-Sprays worked normally on the mission, but instead, they only remove the player's wanted level temporarily, restoring it to whatever it was previously once the player nears an antenna. On top of all this, once the final antenna is destroyed, the player must lose their wanted level without dying - a tall order at 5 stars, where FBI teams with high-powered automatic weapons and fast-moving vehicles litter the streets and traffic ceases to spawn. The mission is slightly easier if you use a helicopter to go from antenna to antenna, but that still leaves the escape to the hands of fate, as losing a wanted level requires the use of a non-police land vehicle.
      • Unless, of course, you fly from police bribe to police bribe, dropping down just low enough to collect the bribe and immediately ascending. In this way it is possible to get rid of your wanted level entirely without ever leaving the helicopter.
    • One of the final missions, "Light My Pyre". The mission begins with a highly annoying car chase that wouldn't be so bad, except you have to escort Lance, who is riding a motorcycle and seems to enjoy getting in your way (sometimes, even in your line of fire) and getting himself killed, which is a Game Over. Then, you have to fight through a small army of heavily armed, respawning goons to get around the back of a building and through a door. THEN, you have to fight Armando Mendez, who is wielding a flamethrower. If that weren't enough, you're forced to fight him in a disorienting top-down perspective — not to mention, his goons storm in and fight you, as if a man setting you on fire with a flamethrower wasn't enough. (This part is made almost laughably easy if you have a minigun with you, but if you don't...) And if you die? Back to the beginning. And if you do finish it? You find that Louise, the woman you went through all this hell to save, is dead. What fun!
    • Okay, let's talk about "High Wire" now. You're basically pulling an Escort Mission with cocaine crates using a huge magnet on the bottom of a helicopter for the first two thirds, and it seems like everything's normal, but then you hear this: "HELP! THE BIKERS ARE ON ME, I CAN'T GET THEM OFF!" and you must go after a moving car that has bikers constantly shooting at it with Sub-Machine Guns, making it move around erratically, in turn causing Fake Difficulty as you're attempting to drive down and collect the car. The BEST PART of this, you may ask? The car has an HP meter of sorts, and if the bikers hit it enough times (read:about 15 or so streams of bullets), it'll blow up and you'll have to start over from THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE MISSION. Have fun.
    • If you thought picking up cargo containers and a gang car with a helicopter in "High Wire" was bad, you haven't seen "White Lies" yet. You have to follow Lance's helicopter in a hovercraft and collect cocaine that drops from his helicopter. This is easier said than done, considering that the hovercraft handles horribly.
    • "Jive Drive", which must wholly be blamed on the PSP's lack of a second analog stick. After a hair-raising drive to an abandoned lot, being shot at all the way there (thankfully this isn't terrible as your car has decent armor), you must survive a gauntlet of fire on you and your brother. Lance is useless with a gun and if he dies, WHOOPS, start over. The fact that you can't get a clear look around you with the PSP's limited control scheme is the main reason you will fail this mission.
    • "Unfriendly Competition" has a MAJOR Difficulty Spike compared to missions before it; it's not too hard until you get to the swimming pool, which is absolutely crawling with enemies and has very little cover, making it insanely hard to kill all the enemies without getting killed yourself, and if you somehow survive you have to chase down and kill the last two guys using a quad-bike, which is very awkward to control and it's hard to drive and aim at the enemies at the same time.
    • The ATV race in "When Funday Comes" is anything BUT fun. To better elaborate, you have to win a quadbike race around the trailer park against some rednecks. Which SHOULD be easy except that the quadbike handles fucking horribly!
  • That One Sidequest: Vigilante. While the earlier levels are acceptable, the later levels have enemies that can tear Vic to shreds if the player doesn't plan ahead or exploit the AI.
  • The Scrappy
    • Lance, BIG TIME. Even more so than in Vice City.
    • Louise tends to fall into this as well, thanks in large part to her status as a Damsel Scrappy.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Aside from being Vic's love interest, Louise doesn't really do much for the story and only seems to exist to be a Damsel in Distress (which isn't helped by the fact that she becomes a Damsel Scrappy after Martinez kidnaps her). It would've been nice to have her character more explored by having her show more development to live a better life after meeting Vic for the first time, as well as her sibling relationship with Phil.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Considering that Vic's goal was to join the army, it's a bit jarring to not see him get his named cleared to return in the army to take on Martinez and have him discharged as a sergeant in retaliation as well to explore more of the military missions. The fact that Vic gets discharged before he even has any time to train doesn't help this case.
  • The Woobie: Louise. She did not finish high school, her ex-husband abused her verbally (and probably physically), was kidnapped twice (and allegedly raped and tortured) by Jerry Martinez and Armando Mendez, and finally being killed by Armando.


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