This is (one of) the point(s) where I abandoned the game back in '05 or so.
I just played from this point this morning, after waking up at daft o'clock, seeing the new V shots (thanks, Zom), and fancying some GTA antics. Here was my experience - VERY DIFFERENT:
- I managed to pass the flying lessons in two chunks. Played up to 'circle the airstrip and land' in one go, then had a break / pissed around playing music in the game and larking about in the desert. The break gave me the patience to continue.
- I'm playing on the 360 with the Xbox DVD of the game this time. I was on the PS2 back in '04-'05. Apart from the aim/shoot triggers being the wrong way round, and it being 'different' to the GTA IV controls I'm used to, the controls are hands down WAY better (IMHO) for everything with this setup, not to mention the resolution, graphics, and framerate. Helps, somewhat.
- Back in '05, I had no foresight into how the game progressed from this point, and I don't think that I really realised that the flying lessons were REQUIRED in order to progress the storyline. I remember putting MUCH too much effort into trying to complete Zero's horrible shooting missions, and treating the flying school like the other 'schools', which I have never completed to this day despite still having the same launch day copy of GTA IV PS2, saved games, and the same (mostly) working PS2 console in my spare room. In fact, I only decided to venture over to the boat school this morning, after having a play around after completing the flying school at around 6-7.30am.
- Regarding the above point, I think that the game should have made it clearer that the game progresses when the flight school is completed, and not when Zero's missions are completed. I used to laugh at James Woods / Toreno's 'Learn To Fly' phonecall, as it's fantastic acting - but it wasn't enough to drive home the fact that I should focus on this instead of the Zero mission, due to the big Z on the map looking like it was the story mission to carry out next. Never did finish those Zero missions due to the aiming controls. I have the game on Steam now, and got it running at 1280x768 with all of the GFX turned up yesterday. Maybe I'll go for that again to tide me over until V.
- Again, with hindsight, as I never really bothered with cheats for a LONG time after I abandoned GTA SA's missions, I wasn't really clued up on how relatively difficult the 'handling' of the delivery and stunt planes used in the flying lessons was, compared with other planes like the 'Lear' private jet thing. This contributed to me not bothering with this 'school', and therefore scuppered the game. It wasn't even just a mere difficulty spike, as there are loads of those. It was bad signposting, as the other schools appear to have nothing to do with the game's story. I've forced myself over the years not to OCD my games if they feel like chores, as I don't have OCD, and it just felt unhealthy. Fun only, and I don't especially HAVE to complete any specific part of my games to achieve satisfaction. This means I missed out on the story's ending for quite a while, until I picked the game back up a few years ago when I had lots of free time to kill, and a clear mind!
Regardless - in hindsight, and with a 360 controller, the plane missions are, at worst, little more than a short-term annoyance. At best I really found them fantastic fun. Now I'm aged 32 I'm enjoying playing the game without messing with the radio dial until I hear repetition. Those various radio stations are fantastic, and flying those lessons, listening to the soundtrack and generally paying more attention to the on screen prompts and instructions with more patience, means that I've quite enjoyed my Christmas morning flying adventure!
The flight controls and physics are pretty impressive, but some of the manoeuvres require such a light touch and dexterity with my left thumb, that I wish there was a decent 360 Twin-joystick peripheral. I can now CLEARLY see why I (and others) don't enjoy console FPS games. I simply didn't develop the required dexterity in my right thumb, due to my learning how to play FPS games on the PC using M&K in the 90s.
Edited by Ryze at 21:09:17 30-12-2012
#9250778, By Ryze Grand Theft Auto V
Ryze 3,107 posts
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