Yeah, there was a lot of stuff that was fun and a lot of stuff that was annoying. The gang wars were frustrating, I forgot the exact reason but think it some sort of glitch or something that would always ruin it... maybe it was a rival gang member staying too far off the map or something... it was fun but I just remember there was something that always ruined it in the end.
Overall my ULTRA favorite thing to do was to use the Riot codes and try to get across the city alive... there would be cars exploding left and right... good times.
For all its warts SA was okay, but the thing that made it most memorable was that it set a new standard for the series... which is what made LC very disappointing to me (although it did capture NYC's "essence" to an extent)... IV looked great, but it lost a lot of its freedom, and there seemed to be a lot less interesting things to do... like for example: F**k bowling, where is my RIOT code (But we did get a Trashmaster code, so I guess that made up for it).
SA promised (not in writing) what the series could be... how it would evolve... You saw the things they get right and said "WOW"... and the things that sucked you said, well its gonna get better in the next game...
What a kick in the nuts that was.
Not to say LC was bad... it was just that it seemed the people who programed and designed LC, never even heard of SA, or hated it enough that they were determined to make LC different in their own way.
I think the nostalgia for SA was due to fans disappointment with LC not completely blowing SA away... which realistically is what you would expect given all the hype the new consoles had gotten before hand... you just naturally expected LC to be 10X better than SA and get you a cold beer and give you a back rub while you played... so when LC's hype faded and people see that a lot of their expectations were not met (whether realistic or not), it is natural that people will have a fondness for the thing that gave them the high expectations in the first place...
The good old days were not always so great, but your hope for a better future, which when not realized will always make those earlier days seem greater than they were.
My opinion is Rockstar should listen to the fans... really try reach out to the rational people. try and understand what it is that made the magic in the earlier games and try and build on it.
They really need to stop listening to people who tell them what they want to hear.
I have no hope for GTA 6 being better than 5... it will have some great features, great graphics but it will be flat and uninspired because Rockstar will keep thinking inside its box... its not going to hear the fans suggestions or do anything bold.
When 6 comes out, guaranteed 5 will seem like gold in fans eyes... just like with SA.