Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Official PlayStation 2 Strategy Guide Corrections

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Although the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Official Strategy Guide for PlayStation 2 is probably the least error-ridden volume in BradyGames' Grand Theft Auto strategy guide series, it does contain a few errors. BradyGames hasn't (to my knowledge) released a corrected-version, but they have released some corrected information on their site (which has since been deleted):

Page 9: Robbing Shops
The correct location of the Deli is as follows: Deli (Cafe Robina) - The cafeteria in Little Havana where you receive the CUBANS: Umberto missions.

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Page 144: Pizza Delivery Missions - 150 Max Health
During this side mission, you're tasked to complete a certain number of pizza deliveries. It starts out with one delivery, followed by two, three, all the way to 10. Successfully complete all 10 separate deliveries (from 1 to 10) in one attempt to unlock Max Health of 150hp.

Page 147: Having trouble finding the PCJ Playground Odd Job?
First, check out our Odd Jobs map on page 133. See where it says "Street Race 2"? Now find the little orange square just below the word "Street" on the map. That's where the PCJ Playground mission takes place (on a corner where Washington Beach becomes Vice Point). The PCJ cycle is parked right beside the wall of the apartment building on the NE corner of that intersection. If it's not there when you arrive, then perform a jump on the nearby ramp with any vehicle. When you return to the correct spot, the PCJ 600 will definitely be there.

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Page 172: Having trouble finding Hidden Package #43?
It is still located in Studio C on Prawn Island, but there isn't a bathroom stall. In the movie studio lot, enter the first building on the right. The hidden package is located just inside to the left.

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Page 175: Airport Hidden Package #97
This hidden package is located in Gate 1-8, not Gate 8-1.

Hidden Stat Line: Keepie-Uppy beach ball
Visit Starfish Island and go to the house across the street from Diaz's mansion, then find the beach ball in the empty pool in the back. Run into the ball to knock it into the air, then get it to bounce off Tommy's head. This adds the line "Highest score with Keepie-Uppy beach ball" to the Stats page.

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100% Completion
If you are stuck at 99% complete, try the following: Return to shooting range downtown and get a score of 45 or higher.

All info and images came from the old BradyGames website.

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 Flintstone Flyer Warner Bros. TV Premiere DVD Review

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This review was originally written on April 5, 2007
Good Episode, Cheaply-Made & Over-Priced DVD

This DVD contains just one episode, "The Flintstone Flyer", which aired on 9/30/1960, and has an exact runtime of 26:23. Although this was the first episode to air, contrary to what it says in the upper right corner of the packaging, it is NOT the pilot episode (that would be "The Swimming Pool" which aired two weeks later - and can be found on the "Cartoon Crack-Ups" DVD). I know that this episode and many more can be found on the Season 1 release, but I'm not that big of a fan of the show, so I'm happy with just this one episode (which I previously taped from Cartoon Network). I also have no qualms about the video and audio quality as it looks and sounds good.

My issues with this DVD are in regards to features that are apparently prevalent in ALL of the titles in Warner Brothers' "TV Premiere DVD" series.

-- The disc does not come in a plastic case, but rather in a cardboard sleeve which opens on the side. I've purchased $1 public domain DVDs from no-name companies that came in plastic slim cases, so it's appalling that a $6 DVD from a big-name company would be done so cheaply. Also, the sleeve has a hole at the top in the center where the peg would go for it to be hung on a rack like an action figure or toy. The hole has been edited out of the promo photos that Warner Bros. gave Amazon to display for the DVDs.

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-- The text on the disc is very faint and hard to read - another way Warner Bros. skimped on production costs.

-- The cheapness doesn't stop at the packaging. The DVD does not contain a menu, not even a plain one. Because of this, there's an interesting glitch that happens if you let the DVD play past the episode. You see, after the episode plays, it goes to a FBI Warning on title 3, which then goes to the non-existent menu, so the player just hangs on a black screen.

-- They were even cheap in the placement of the chapters marks, which are placed every ten minutes (0:00, 10:00, and 20:00) no matter if it makes sense in the episode content for one to be there or not.

-- From what I've read, most (if not all) of the titles in the "TV Premiere DVD" series were originally released on VHS and/or laserdisc, with these DVDs being done from the VHS and laserdisc masters. The quality of The Flintstones DVD definitely appears to be better than VHS, so either it came from a laserdisc master, or not all of the titles were done from old home video masters.

Although at first I didn't mind paying $6 for one 26 minute episode, that was before I knew that the DVD didn't even come in a plastic case. Now that six dollars really seems like a rip-off.

Warner Bros. "TV Premiere DVD" Series (10 titles)
* The Flintstones - Flintstone Flyer
* The Jetsons - Microchip Chump
* ER - Pilot
* Babylon 5 - The Gathering
* Taboo - Tattoo
* Gilligan's Island - Two on a Raft & Home Sweet Hut
* The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest - Escape to Questworld
* Gilmore Girls - Pilot
* The Waltons - The Foundling
* Kung Fu - Pilot
---
END

Tales From The Crypt - The Complete First & Second Seasons DVDs Review

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This review was originally written on September 6, 2005 (updated February 14, 2007)
Bad Security Sticker Placement, Incomplete Episodes

I've been eagerly waiting for Tales From The Crypt to come to DVD in season sets. Unfortunately, there were a few bad decisions that kinda ruins the Season 1 and Season 2 sets for me.

(1) Who's brilliant idea was it to put the security sticker BEHIND the plastic disc holder and right on top of a photo printed on paperboard? Not only was it hard to get off without breaking the case, but the sticker glue ripped off part of the photo.

(2) Each episode is INCOMPLETE, as each episode does not have it's own series intro/title sequence (which featured the journey through the house accompanied by the Danny Elfman theme). They had only one intro/title sequence for all six episodes (at the start of the disc), and they even ruined that with a "Kill Intro" graphic overlay and having it go right into the menu (technically that intro is part of the menu). There is plenty of room for each episode to have it's own intro/title, as they didn't have to cram all six episodes onto Disc 1. They could have put episodes 1-4 on Disc 1, and episodes 4 & 5 on Disc 2, along with the two Disc 2 bonus features (which only total an hour or so).

If you're curious as to why the episodes on Seasons 1 and 2 are missing the title sequence, read this article.
Tales from the Crypt - Missing intro - Studio Explains
Posted by Gord Lacey (8/27/2005)

Some fans were upset with the first season release of Tales from the Crypt because the episodes didn't feature the standard intro to the series; a journey into the creepy house, down the stairs and then an encounter with the Crypt Keeper.

I called Warner Bros to ask about season 2, and whether we'll see the intro returned to the episodes. The second season will not have the intro, so I asked why. The removal of the intro was a specific request from the producers of the series for the season 1 set. Warner went back and asked about season 2, and the producers still wish to have it removed; no further explanation could be obtained.

The intro isn't missing from the set completely; it's featured in the menu for the disc. The intro is the same for each episode as well.

(source)
What the hell were the producers thinking! Why on Earth would they make such an odd request? What benefit could they have from not having the intro at the start of each episode? The same theme and almost all of the same footage appears under the end credits, so it can't be because they don't want to pay Danny Elfman for his theme music.

The series of videotapes released by HBO Home Video and Time-Life in the mid-1990s, featured an intro/title sequence on EACH of the three episodes contained on each tape. If it was done before, there's no reason it can't be done now.

Thankfully, enough fans complained to Warner Bros. to make the producers see the error of their ways. These two problems are now only resigned to Season 1 and Season 2. For Season 3 and onward the crappy Digipak packaging was replaced with slim cases in an outer sleeve, and each episode has its own series intro/title sequence - though it's missing the first two seconds showing the text "Home Box Office Presents" (white text on a black screen) over the low whisperings of the theme song.