Monday, September 9, 2019

Grand Theft Auto V - A Newbie's Take

I've been bored bored bored for months now.  There's only so much TV I can watch, and reading is very hit or miss with my attention span.  Knitting is still a no go, thank you drug-addled brain and shaky fingers.  So when we were in Dallas a couple weekends ago, I killed some time watching a streaming version of Grand Theft Auto with Allie’s boyfriend Andrew, while she and Jeff were installing some security cameras in the garage and downstairs area.  Honestly what got me hooked was seeing that the character wore a salmon colored sweater, and whenever he got a new vehicle, he promptly drove it to his body-shop and had it painted salmon, which is my kind of game.  Color coordination?  I am in.

Well, my interest got everyone excited - MOM IS FINALLY GOING TO BECOME A GAMER!  Not so fast, people.  Mom just wanted to do the Sims-like part, where you create a character and design a house and decorate it.  Only with vehicles.  But sure, I'm game (har) - so Jeff downloaded GTA V onto his computer and I started playing, which as you might imagine, did not go well considering the last video game I was proficient at was Centipede.  At the arcade.  In the early 80s.  So yeah, I had a big learning curve.

Day one:  I was on some sort of tutorial in a snowy area and after many failed attempts I managed to grab a stack of cash and shoot my way out to escape, but then I had to drive a vehicle on icy snow roads.  Just driving would have been a challenge but having the car slip and slide?  I kept crashing, dying, and starting over.

Also, I couldn't figure out all of the actions - most eventually came to me but I had to take a picture of one and text it to the kadults for help:
Allie responded first:  "Isn't that enter?  Like return on a typewriter?"  Oh.  Yes it is, and notice how she was speaking my language, using 'return' and 'typewriter'?  I would have felt dumb but there were so many things to learn that I blanked on what should have been a familiar symbol.

Day two:  More of the same but apparently if you fail at a mission so many times, the game offers you the chance to skip that section (I think this may only be in the tutorial version), so I did.  Then I was transported to a coastal community in southern California, where I was part of a team repossessing sports cars.  Well.  I would either crash right away, or drive so slowly that the guy who I was repossessing the car from would catch up to me on foot, pull me out of the car, and beat the crap out of me until I died.  Or I'd accidentally hit the F key which would make me exit the car and then someone else would beat the crap out of me.  Or else I managed to drive away but would lose the car I was supposed to be following and die.

Day two, hours later:  I stumbled onto the page where I could create my own character - yay, like the Sims!  Except for criminals.  I decided to make my version of Bad Janet from The Good Place.  OK that was fun.
Bad Janet, with all of her attitude, ready to take on her first job.  She had to drive to a meeting place and then get the drugs.

I managed to get Bad Janet to the meeting place - you'd be surprised at how many times you can run over light posts and pedestrians and still get where you're going.  She got out of the car to get the drugs, only to be shot by several people.  So we began that again, and again, and again.  At one point I had her running away (in high heels - go Bad Janet) and lost the car, so she walked and walked and after a while I realized that I could click the F key and she would enter a car, even if it wasn't hers.  Yep, old Bad Janet would smash a window with her elbow and get in the car and drive away; she made that look easy.  Driving was still terrible, but at least she started out in a nice car until she crashed it too many times.

And then...Bad Janet came across a Mini Cooper:
Heck yeah she stole it.  Also, get the drugs, I know, I know.

She drove so far out of the city that she got completely lost:
Get the drugs - yes, she would do that if she could get anywhere NEAR the drugs!

Apparently once you missed the first opportunity to get the drugs, the drug guy got in a car and kept driving away from you...I was convinced at that point there was no way to ever get the drugs.  Side note, I later found out that I was right - well, according to some gamers online.  You either got the drugs right away or else you got to practice driving around southern California, LOL.

So, here's the deal:  I was playing this on Jeff's computer, which is a gaming computer and can handle all of the graphics and sounds, but I was using a keyboard to play, which means driving by pressing the W key to move forward, A to move left, D to move right, and S to reverse.  Hey, I drove a stick shift as a teenager, but these actions were about 1000 times harder, mostly because there were either two speeds when driving - herky jerky starting and stopping (like a stick shift when you first learn how to drive one, LOL), or 135 mph.  So trying to subtly move to the right or left was really hard, much like it must be when one is driving 135 mph in real life.  I wouldn't know...I may have gotten up to 90 mph or so as a teenager (I'm not admitting anything, MOM AND DAD WHO ARE READING THIS) on a freeway but there weren't pedestrians and other obstacles to avoid.  Also I may have only done it once.  Maybe.  Who's to say for sure?  WINK.

Boy that was a tangent.  What I was trying to get at, is that Jeff decided I needed an actual game controller to make it easier so I could, say it with me, get the drugs.  He was ready to buy an Xbox controller when Allie offered to give me an early Christmas gift in the form of a Nintendo Switch, which is a handheld video game that you can also play on the TV.  I abandoned GTA for Zelda, and that's where we'll pick up next time on MOM IS A GAMER.

19 comments:

  1. LOL! I used to play video games with the boys until they got way complicated. I kept crashing my car, my skier kept getting hurt...you get the picture! I won't deny that I enjoyed it tho.

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    1. Same - and I would crash into a river and my character would climb out and swim! It was funny to see how much Bad Janet could take before expiring. Honestly it was pretty much only gunfire that got her because I am a terrible shot. ;)

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  2. Oooh nice throwback reference with Centipede! Our first home computer was a Commodore 64 in '85 or '86, and that was one of the 4 game cartridges we had. That and Q-Bert were my favorites! There's a retro arcade here that has BOTH original games, and it turns out I still love them. Anyway, super long tangent there. :)

    I'm glad you found something new to help you pass the time! Designing the character would be my favorite part too and I love that you created Bad Janet. LOL at you definitely not driving 90 as a teenager! This reminds me that when my mom and I drove to NC last month I was indeed doing 90 at a few points through the mountains in WV (during downhills, I SWEAR) and my mom didn't even notice!

    I'm curious, if Jeff has a gaming computer, is he a gamer? What does he play? (Terry is a gamer too, so I'm always interested)

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    1. I think retro arcades would make a killing considering the kids who played them are now adults with (probably) a little more pocket change to play...I remember scrounging up quarters between me and my friends to play a game, LOL.

      Jeff is a gamer, as are both of the kadults, our third child Kevin, and Allie's boyfriend. Quite a group - right now they are all playing the original WOW that just came out; it's funny to hear them as a group all playing together. They also play the other WOW; the kadults play Overwatch but I believe Jeff doesn't play that one as much because it's harder for him. What does Terry play?

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    2. Ah yes, my brother and I used to save our hard-earned quarters to go play at 7-11! The arcade here has most of the games for free (except pinball, which is apparently a premium game) but I think you need to buy a drink or two to hang out there, so no doubt they make their money.

      Terry has played through all the Dark Souls games, and also paid into some gaming kickstarter thing where he gets new, developing games each month that aren't always very good. I'm guessing he's played WOW at some point, but I'm not sure. That's cool that Jeff and the kids all play together!

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  3. This is definitely one thing I don't think we'll ever have in common. I mean Bobby has a whole game console or whatever it's called and I never understand any of it. But I'm so glad you have something to do besides Netflix and chill!

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    1. Honestly, I never would have thought I'd be playing any of these games; my kids and Jeff started playing decades ago and it was easy for me to resist, LOL. But yeah, take away everything I liked to do and look what happens. ;)

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  4. Well, Shelley, you've given me another reason to pray to never have a herniated disc (as if I needed any more incentive than avoiding constant pain, wonky nerves, shots, PT, etc.) and that is I would NEVER live it down if I took up gaming!! Last video game I played was Pong and I was lousy at that, so, yeah, you definitely beat me to the Cool Moms club LOL Game on!

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    1. I'm telling you, desperate times will lead to gaming, LOL.

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  5. Thanks for explaining the game - I’ve never played. I certainly hope you get the drugs, hahahahaha. If you remember, I also live in a college town and we have Silver Ball (adult slushy drinks) with games. I was thrilled to find Centipede. I have definitely gotten rusty though (and the darn college kids must have spilled drinks on the console). It’s so old it is free. Fun read, Shelley.

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    1. That adult arcade sounds great! Love that Centipede is free, although dang those college kids for spilling their drinks on it! I haven't gotten the drugs yet - moved onto Zelda, which is a whole other adventure.

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  6. I loved your take on it!! I liked GTA IV better...it was more free form...so I could do missions...if I wanted. I could just go around and steal cars...or play pimp and pick up hookers and take them to their next job, or shoot things up...I didn’t HAVE to stick to the story iDVD I didn’t want!!!

    The controller will make a huge difference!!

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    1. Ooh, that sounds interesting! I didn't end up getting the controller because Allie gave me a Nintendo Switch, but when I'm ready to try GTA again with a controller - I'll have to try IV.

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  7. OMG this ---> "you'd be surprised at how many times you can run over light posts and pedestrians and still get where you're going" made me giggle out loud! I'm glad you found something to occupy your time. Also, TEAM CENTIPEDE ALL THE WAY!!! :)

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    1. Sounds like we could have a blogger Centipede game-along if we ever get together!

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  8. We have a PS3 and I like to play games. Not the violent ones, but simulations like Civ and such. You might want to look at LA Noire - that is a great game series where you have to figure out clues to solve detective cases. You drive cars around the city to go places, which is way harder than it seems. Plus there is some shooting and stuff. The graphics are really amazing in that game.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Lori - I'll add that one to my list of games to try. :)

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