Aside from the hour or two of GTA 2 that I played on the PC years ago, this was my first Grand Theft Auto game. I don't find that whole gangsta thing terribly appealing. However, mature rated games are very hard to come by on the DS so I decided to try this out. Having finally completed the main storyline, I have to say this one of the best games on the DS by far. The world is massive, with tons of little nooks and crannies to explore and distract you from your main goal. There is just so much attention to detail here. Every corner offers some new sights and sounds. Liberty City feels alive within those tiny screens.
Even though at its core every mission is just about either driving or shooting, there is plenty of variety in things to do. I have finished the game and there is still tons to accomplish. My only gripes are with the mediocre story and dull, trying-too-hard-to-be-funny dialogue. Otherwise, I loved the psuedo 2-D perspective, the music / ambience, and all the crazy mini-games to accomplish basic tasks. Virtual scratch-off lottery tickets? Awesome!