It's not the worst but it sure does have its shortcomings.
Much criticism can be shrugged off when considering it was primarily made as one of the PSP's launch titles, and as such should be mostly viewed from 'it's a prototype' angle, especially as one to Vice City Stories.
But a damn fine prototype it was.
There were many things about Liberty City Stories' I didn't like, mostly due to it not being sufficiently long enough and lacking in cutscenes.
New characters are introduced but then disappear rather too soon, JD O'Toole and Leon McAffrey for example, I just wished we saw more of them.
Lucky Vincenzo was surprisingly enough not the game's main antagonist, despite being the obvious candidate, therefor setting a new record amongst the standard GTA antagonists.
Mickey Hamfist could have acted as Toni's frequent partner, and i'm a bit surprised to see that Toni worked alone for the great majority of times. You would think that for the only Mafia-centric episode of the GTA universe, that your protagonist wouldn't operate in lone-wolf methods such as how all the others did.
As their first run on the PSP technology, they've already shortened a lot of resources in the cutscene department; half of game's cutscenes utilizes the simplistic in-game animation rather than the usual mo-cap sequences. Even so, there were two or three notable omissions, at least to me, which were Toni's ceremony of becoming a made man, Salvatore's arrest, and Salvatore's trial near the end of the game.
The ending also revealed a particular plot element that is rather surprising, and i'm not sure if it was intentionally made to be so. Salvatore gives Toni the 'half a million' he promised to him, to which Toni objects and says that it was originally promised as 'a couple of million'. In-game, Salvatore never once made such promise to Cipriani, we are therefor lead to assume that this occurred off-screen before the start of the game, which was the entire reason why Cipriani returned to Liberty in the first place, the promise of getting a couple of million dollar.
This gives an entire new angle of the scope of the story, that Toni Cipriani didn't remained fiercely loyal to Salvatore just for the sake of loyalty, and didn't perform all those life-threatening stunts and jobs just to effectively put the Leone crime family on the map, but because he was driven to get his pay check, only to get a lot less than he was promised, along with a Elvis costume.
This was never meant to be a sophisticated character driven game, but this sudden moment just appeared rather jarring to me.
It didn't stopped me from replaying the game a good number of times though, not the least of which was its brief length, I would complete the game on one sitting most of the time, no need to even save my progress, i'll just start over again.
I'm not much a 100% completion player with GTAs I must say, nor do I go about causing rampage and mayhem, I mostly do just story missions, and side missions if it unlocks costumes or other things of particular interest.
Edited by Grievous, 3 weeks ago.