Grand Theft Auto III Official PlayStation 2 Strategy Guide Review & Corrections

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This review was originally written on July 14, 2004
Stay Away From The PS2 Guide, Get The PC Guide Instead

The Grand Theft Auto III Official Strategy Guide for PlayStation 2 is one of the worst Official strategy guides you could ever buy. Sure it covers all of the missions, but some of them are not covered any more fully than what you get from playing the game itself. It briefly covers SOME of the side jobs and non-mission tasks, but an Official guide should cover ALL of them! There is no detailed information on the Rampages and Unique Jumps, and the Hidden Packages are only covered with a map and short sentence. DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE GOOD REVIEWS THIS BOOK RECEIVED, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T DESERVE THEM.

I own this guide and the one released eight months later for the PC version (Windows 98/2000/ME/XP). Although the PC guide is smaller (but much thicker) and in black & white (there are color maps in the back), it covers EVERYTHING (except cheat codes) about the game and with much more detail. Even if you own the Playstation 2 version of the game, you'd be better off buying the PC guide. The only difference gameplay wise are the controls mentioned in the book and a few little things like rewards for some of the vehicle missions.

Here is an excerpt from the author in the Acknowledgement's section of the PC guide:
"Beyond the satisfaction of playing the game a few more times, I was even more delighted to add features to this guide that I didn't have time to include in the PS2 guide. And with Tim Cox's phenomenal assistance, as well as his passion for the game, time was no longer the enemy. We are proud to bring you the most comprehensive Grand Theft Auto III guide in existence."
So, that explains why this guide (PS2) sucks. The author was rushed to complete the book, in time for the release of the game, no doubt. Right there in black & white the author of both guides tells you that the PC guide is the most comprehensive guide, and thus the best one. (I have no idea if the X-Box Double Pack guide is based on the PS2 or PC versions, so proceed with caution when getting that one.)

BradyGames posted some corrections on their website a long time ago (they have since been deleted). Luckily, I saved the text and the images.

Unique Jump Correction
(PS2: Page 14, PC: Page 230)
Sorry, the Callahan Bridge from Portland overlaps the Staunton Island map and obscures the location of the Unique Jump at the Newport Docks near Asuka's apartment. It's the jump near the docks on the mound of dirt found near the shipping area where all the truck trailers are located.

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Missing 1st Rampage Location
(PS2: Page 15, PC: Page 226)
Waste 20 Triads with a shotgun. Trenton - in alley beside Mean Street Taxi.

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Wanted Blu-Ray Easter Eggs

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I'm gonna do something a little different today. Instead of a plain old review, I'm going to give you a detailed list of all of the Easter Eggs found on the Wanted Blu-ray (also sold in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack and a Blu-ray Gift Set). I found a lot of these on the DVD and was able to re-find them, without any help, on the Blu-ray.

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(image courtesy of DVDActive)

CODE OF THE FRATERNITY
On the Main Menu, highlight "Play" and press UP (or "BD-Live" and press DOWN) to reveal the hidden "Code Of The Fraternity" option, press ENTER. Here you enter eight-digit binary codes (zeroes and ones) to unlock hidden content.

* CODE 1 - 01010111 (binary code for W), unlocks a clip of James McAvoy on set (1:56).
* CODE 2 - 01000100 (binary code for D), unlocks a clip showing filming of the knife training scene (1:55)

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(image courtesy of DVDActive)

VIDEO GAME CHEAT CODES
Various hidden screens containing cheat codes for the Wanted video game can be found in the menus and after watching certain videos. The ones in the menus show a hidden icon that can be selected to see the code.

- HIDDEN IN THE MENUS -
* One Shot One Hit Kill Mode (01110010): Chapters menu, page 3, highlight "Chapter 11", press UP 2 times, press ENTER.
* Invulnerability (01001100): U-Control menu, highlight "Motion Comics", pres UP, ENTER.
* Super Weapons (01001111): Extras menu, page 2, highlight "Making of the Game", press DOWN, ENTER.
* Unlimited Ammo (01101111): U-Control menu, highlight "Chapter 8, press Up 3 times, press ENTER.
* Close Combat Mode (01100101): Setup menu, highlight "Francais 5.1", press RIGHT, UP, ENTER.

- AFTER WATCHING VIDEOS -
* Adrenaline Rush Mode (01110100): After "Stunts On The L Train" video.
* Unlimited Adrenaline (01101101): After "Special Effects: The Art Of The Impossible" video.
* Headshot Mode (01100111): After "Through The Eyes Of Visionary Director Timur Bekmambetov" video.
* Special Suit Mode (01100001): After "The Making Of Wanted: The Game" video.

Now go enjoy watching them.

The Fairfield Company Target Wrestling Mystery Repack Box Review Break

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Undoubtedly, if you've been to a Target store, you've seen the "cards and collectibles" section at the end of the checkout lanes. It's where you'll find all of the sports cards, Garbage Pail Kids, Wacky Packages, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and all of that other overpriced junk. I almost always look at what's there, but rarely every buy anything as I can't justify the prices - especially considering the "blind bag" nature of these things. If I'm gonna spend $4 to $5 on a few measly cards, I at least want to know what I'm buying.

On a recent visit to my local Target, I saw these red Wrestling mystery repack boxes from The Fairfield Company (a division of Excell Marketing), which I expected to be priced at $15 or $20 each. Imagine my surprise when the price checker showed them to be a mere $4.99 each. I bought all four boxes that my local Target had, as well as another box at a different Target. So, five boxes in total, at a total cost of $25.00 (plus tax). The big draw for me were the Teenymates packs, which my Target was also selling individually for $3.99 each. Getting TWO packs for $4.99, PLUS three packs of cards, and two packs of erasers was a much MUCH better deal than just one pack of Teenymates for $1.00 less. (Note: The photos accompanying this review were taken at different times, so they may not show everything I mention in my text.)

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Each one of these boxes contains the following:
  • 2 packs of WWE Teenymates (2015) (regularly $3.99 each)
  • 2 packs of WWE Eraseez collectible puzzle erasers (2015)
  • 2 packs of Road To Wrestlemania 2014 cards
  • 1 pack of random WWE cards (2010/2013/2014 series, in my case)
That's not a bad haul for the price, but did I really get my money's worth. Let's crack these open and find out.

Full story »

I'm A Crapper, She's A Crapper, Wouldn't You Like To Be A Crapper Too?

Wrestlecrap.com,the internet's premiere wrestling humor site, has chronicled the worst in professional wrestling since 2000 (which still makes it younger than Spook Central). Regular visitors to the site and its forum are called Crappers, and I'm proud to admit that I'm a Crapper. I even own all three Wrestlecrap books. This should all come as no surprise considering that I've written about wrestling on Spook Central and have a category dedicated to it here on The Corner Penthouse.

Over the years, I have made many submissions to the site. I had my letters appear in the now-defunct RD's Mailbag/RD's Ramblings column on January 9, 2004, May 14, 2004, and December 10, 2004. On February 17, 2012, a video link I submitted, which I never thought would ever appear on the site, was published in the "It Came From YouTube" column. It actually surprised me to see my name up there. I literally thought, "Holy crap, that's me!"

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Yikes! Three in one year, then it took me over seven years to make another appearance on the site. However, it wouldn't take long before I showed up again. On September 28, 2012 I guest wrote a "Someone Bought This" column on some bootleg WWE coloring books I bought. RD Reynolds, the cool cat who runs the site, nor anyone else asked me to write it. I just bought the books and thought it would be fun to write about them. At the time, I didn't have The Corner Penthouse site/blog to write about non-Ghostbusters stuff. I submitted it to RD hoping he would like my writing enough to post it. There was no guarantee it would be "worthy". I assume that my article is in the Wrestlecrap archives somewhere, though I'll reprint it at the end of this article.

One years and one Hurricane (not Shane Helms) later, and the George "The Animal" Steele video I submitted would appear in the April 11, 2013 edition of It Came From YouTube. Fast forward three years to April 29, 2016, and my photos of a really unique bootleg TNA jigsaw puzzle was posted in the Someone Bought This column by the new editor of the column (and fellow member of the Paul Patrol wrestling faction) Paul "The Big Cheese" Kraft.

I found/bought more crappy wrestling merchandise, and just made two more submissions to Paul about a really creepy Brock Lesnar children's play outfit I saw recently in Toys R Us, and a Road To Wrestlemania 2014 Topps trading card I bought that goes out of it's way to pretend that Chris Benoit was never in the Wrestlemania 20 Triple Threat match. If/when they get posted, I'll link them in here later.

Full story »

Audio Format Sound Qualities

I made this little table for my own personal use, but I thought I'd add it to this page in case anyone else might find it useful.

Audio Format Sound Qualities
 
CD
NEAR CD
FM RADIO
TELEPHONE
Wave (.wav)
44.1 kHz, 16 Bit, Stereo
N/A
32 kHz, 16 Bit, Stereo
11.025 kHz, 8 Bit, Mono
MP3 (.mp3)
192 Kbps, Stereo
128 Kbps, Stereo
96 Kbps, Stereo
16 Kbps, Mono
Window Media Audio (.wma)
128 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
96 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
64 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
16 kbps, 22.05 kHz, Mono
(this information was taken from the conversion settings of TuneSpark CD Maker)