Claude's Closing Credits: The Lost and Damned

I thought I would try a new series of blogs to supplement my Claude's Candy Corner. These blogs will be for games just finished and having saw the closing credits.  

I recently purchased Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City for the Xbox 360. As you know, there are two games on this disk; The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. It's weird how you get a feeling to play certain types of games or games from your past. I really wanted to revisit Liberty City and see the sites of this grand city with these once only DLC titles. I knew after four years it might feel strange going back to this land, but I felt the need for GTA.
 
I just finished The Lost and Damned, wanted to play the two games in order, and boy was it a shock going back to these controls after all these years. I wouldn't call the controls clunky as they are more sticky if anything. Now the driving on the other hand works like a charm after a short learning curve. But the characters and the city are what drive this game and in that regard they do not disappoint.

 Damn girl, good luck.
 
Once I was introduced to the characters, hey there's Niko Bellic in the opening montage, I knew this was going to be pretty damn cool. Johnny Klebitz "who you play and vice president of the Lost" really doesn't like Billy "the president of the Lost" barging back in after a stint in the pen and going off on whatever whim he finds necessary. The story basically follows the idea of brotherhood, betrayal and revenge. I'm not going to dwell on the story, but needless to say, the story and the characters served their purpose well.
 
Bullet thoughts on the game. 
 Niko! What up dog!
 
*Seeing Niko Bellic and other cast members from GTA IV after four years was pretty cool. I really liked how the game overlapped some of GTA IV's moments.
*Man these shooting controls feel odd, old or something. Oh yeah, they feel sticky, just like the camera control.
*Raced a few races, moving on.
*Fought a few turf wars, moving on.
*Played some pool, hungout a couple of times, moving on.
*Saving the game and then creating hell on earth for those around me, priceless.
*Cool radio stations, finally got bored and turned it off.
*A wonderful feeling of satisfaction after completing a mission with little health left.
*Fuck you, you, you video game, when receiving another mission directly after completing a mission with little health.
*Putting a bullet in a member's head that I couldn't stand never felt so good.
*Putting a bullet in another member's head to end the game got a fist in the air. Yes.
 
Favorite Moments  
 Haha, well, hello kitty.

Seeing a penis in digital form. I had heard about it, but seeing it was funny as shit.
 
Early on I had to drive a bus full of criminals to the docks. I screwed up and ran off a high bridge onto a water tower. I thought I was done for, but the bus kept falling upright. Actually, the bridge and water tower incident helped me get away from the cops. That bus was smoking like hell when that mission ended.
 
I'm not sure if this scenario was triggered by me or the game. I was on a mission and had to ride on the back of a motorcycle and shoot stuff to get away. At one point three cops were on our ass as they went through a gas station. I hit one of the pumps and BOOM!!! My god it was glorious watching those cars flip and burn. I had a shit eating grin after that one.
 
The ending was cool and then you watch some interesting moments from GTA IV while you watch the credits roll. Then you're back in the game if you want to continue to play. Awesome. I've barely touched The Ballad of Gay Tony, but I already like the characters. Should be fun.
 
Hey, thanks for reading. Until next time.
28 Comments
28 Comments
Posted by Claude

I thought I would try a new series of blogs to supplement my Claude's Candy Corner. These blogs will be for games just finished and having saw the closing credits.  

I recently purchased Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City for the Xbox 360. As you know, there are two games on this disk; The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. It's weird how you get a feeling to play certain types of games or games from your past. I really wanted to revisit Liberty City and see the sites of this grand city with these once only DLC titles. I knew after four years it might feel strange going back to this land, but I felt the need for GTA.
 
I just finished The Lost and Damned, wanted to play the two games in order, and boy was it a shock going back to these controls after all these years. I wouldn't call the controls clunky as they are more sticky if anything. Now the driving on the other hand works like a charm after a short learning curve. But the characters and the city are what drive this game and in that regard they do not disappoint.

 Damn girl, good luck.
 
Once I was introduced to the characters, hey there's Niko Bellic in the opening montage, I knew this was going to be pretty damn cool. Johnny Klebitz "who you play and vice president of the Lost" really doesn't like Billy "the president of the Lost" barging back in after a stint in the pen and going off on whatever whim he finds necessary. The story basically follows the idea of brotherhood, betrayal and revenge. I'm not going to dwell on the story, but needless to say, the story and the characters served their purpose well.
 
Bullet thoughts on the game. 
 Niko! What up dog!
 
*Seeing Niko Bellic and other cast members from GTA IV after four years was pretty cool. I really liked how the game overlapped some of GTA IV's moments.
*Man these shooting controls feel odd, old or something. Oh yeah, they feel sticky, just like the camera control.
*Raced a few races, moving on.
*Fought a few turf wars, moving on.
*Played some pool, hungout a couple of times, moving on.
*Saving the game and then creating hell on earth for those around me, priceless.
*Cool radio stations, finally got bored and turned it off.
*A wonderful feeling of satisfaction after completing a mission with little health left.
*Fuck you, you, you video game, when receiving another mission directly after completing a mission with little health.
*Putting a bullet in a member's head that I couldn't stand never felt so good.
*Putting a bullet in another member's head to end the game got a fist in the air. Yes.
 
Favorite Moments  
 Haha, well, hello kitty.

Seeing a penis in digital form. I had heard about it, but seeing it was funny as shit.
 
Early on I had to drive a bus full of criminals to the docks. I screwed up and ran off a high bridge onto a water tower. I thought I was done for, but the bus kept falling upright. Actually, the bridge and water tower incident helped me get away from the cops. That bus was smoking like hell when that mission ended.
 
I'm not sure if this scenario was triggered by me or the game. I was on a mission and had to ride on the back of a motorcycle and shoot stuff to get away. At one point three cops were on our ass as they went through a gas station. I hit one of the pumps and BOOM!!! My god it was glorious watching those cars flip and burn. I had a shit eating grin after that one.
 
The ending was cool and then you watch some interesting moments from GTA IV while you watch the credits roll. Then you're back in the game if you want to continue to play. Awesome. I've barely touched The Ballad of Gay Tony, but I already like the characters. Should be fun.
 
Hey, thanks for reading. Until next time.
Posted by NegativeCero

I never got to finish GTA IV because my 360 red ringed as I was getting close to the end. I guess I never cared to play it all again, which is okay since I've had it spoiled for me long ago.

So are these stand alone or do you need the game? I know they released them on disk separately. Otherwise I'll have to go dig up my copy. I heard good things about them back when they were out.

Posted by Contrarian

@Claude said:

Favorite Moments Seeing a penis in digital form.

The Ballad of Gay Claude.

I have had this game on the shelf for over a year now. I got it really cheap and used. You have inspired me to give it a go this weekend Claude. I will report back to you on my thoughts. I am not expecting to give it more than a couple of hours though. I really got bored with GTA IV.

Posted by Claude
@NegativeCero said:

I never got to finish GTA IV because my 360 red ringed as I was getting close to the end. I guess I never cared to play it all again, which is okay since I've had it spoiled for me long ago.

So are these stand alone or do you need the game? I know they released them on disk separately. Otherwise I'll have to go dig up my copy. I heard good things about them back when they were out.

You can just buy the disk and both games come on it. You don't need GTA IV to play it. And I can safely say that they're worth it. There's a little learning curve or relearning curve, but there's a lot of content in this package. I think I clocked in at around 17 hours in The Lost and Damned.
Posted by Claude
@Contrarian: Be prepared for a slight jolt. When I first started playing, the controls threw me off. It took a while to get into a groove with the game.
Posted by KosmoK

If you liked TLAD then you're in for a real treat with Ballad. I was not very fond of The Lost, mainly because I really don't get along with bikes in games in general. Although I have to say that they tweaked the bike mechanics quite a lot for that DLC. Besides that I thought the story was a little flat and quite short.

The Gay Tony story on the other hand was really nice, mainly because it has a lot more throwbacks and intersections with the main game story arc. But then again it's been a while since I played those DLCs-gone-full-retail-disc (which was an awesome idea by the way) and remember it as being better than it was.

All in all I enjoyed both quite a bit. Hey, it brought me back to Liberty City. What more can you ask for?

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Good stuff, Claude. I never got much into GTA IV, but I liked the look of The Lost and the Damned.

Moderator
Posted by Claude
@KosmoK: I've already dabbled in Ballad and I like what I see. I love golf games in general and I'll be if there wasn't a golf minigame in Ballad.
 
@Sparky_Buzzsaw: It was weird coming back to the GTA IV universe, but it was well worth the relearning curve. The city even smells the same.
Posted by InfamousBIG

@Claude: I didn't think they had released GTA IV on the Wii...!

All joking aside, I played BoGT and TLaD back to back back in the day (back back back), and I enjoyed TLaD much more. Maybe that's just cause I like the Sons of Anarchy vibe more than the Vice City one, but I just felt it had a much more coherent tone. I have Saints Row for my craziness, I'm fine with GTA being serious (cause God knows, Rockstar is one of the few studios who can actually pump out a good serious story). Good blog, interested to see how you feel about BoGT. Very different.

Also, that machine pistol is fucking badass.

Posted by Claude
@InfamousBIG: I've read many different opinions when it comes to the Damned and Ballad. We'll see. As for Saints Row, Saint's Row 2 can be had on the cheap now and I do love my open world games. But there again, I have The Saboteur on my mind. My future of open world games on the cheap never played seems endless. Game on.
Posted by dankempster

Nice write-up Claude. As a couple of others have said, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on The Ballad of Gay Tony, if/when you get around to playing it. I'm one of the apparent minority who prefers The Lost and Damned, so it'll be interesting to get your take on it.

Also, "sticky" is the perfect adjective to describe GTAIV's controls. The camera control in particular can feel really unresponsive at times, and there are points where, if you're in cover at a certain angle, the camera stubbornly refuses to move past a certain point. I still enjoyed the shooting in GTAIV and its episodes, but damn if that wasn't frustrating to deal with.

Posted by believer258

How often does it show the whacker in Ballad of Gay Tony? I'm not insecure, but I really don't have any interest in seeing another fellow's dangly parts.

Actually, I have yet to buy GTA IV. I still haven't even beaten Saints Row 2.

Online
Posted by Arker101

@believer258: I believe it's just one scene, but the Bombcast crew way back, made it sound like they let the scene linger for a while.

GTA4 was fun and you should check it and SR3 out, especially with GTA 5 sounding like it might come out 1st quarter 2013.

Posted by Claude
@dankempster: Thanks Dan. I'm a couple of missions into The Ballad of Gay Tony. I'm sure I'll finish it. I really want to base jump.
 
@believer258: I don't believe there is any penis in Ballad of Gay Tony. I haven't played through that yet. The penis can be seen in one scene as Arker mentioned, but it's in Lost and Damned. It's not a very long scene. Hehe.
Posted by believer258

@Arker101 said:

@believer258: I believe it's just one scene, but the Bombcast crew way back, made it sound like they let the scene linger for a while.

GTA4 was fun and you should check it and SR3 out, especially with GTA 5 sounding like it might come out 1st quarter 2013.

Despite not finishing SR2, I picked up SR3 yesterday as I walked in to pre-order Mass Effect 3. Why? I don't know, but it's nuckin' futs and thus far renders SR2 obsolete.

@Claude said:

@dankempster: Thanks Dan. I'm a couple of missions into The Ballad of Gay Tony. I'm sure I'll finish it. I really want to base jump.

@believer258: I don't believe there is any penis in Ballad of Gay Tony. I haven't played through that yet. The penis can be seen in one scene as Arker mentioned, but it's in Lost and Damned. It's not a very long scene. Hehe.

Oh... I thought it was the Ballad of Gay Tony where a dong was displayed? Oh, well.

Online
Edited by Brackynews

"When a book is called 'No Pants' I don't need to read it."

Posted by RiotBananas

GTA IV was an almost poetic game. Dark seedy people in a dark seedy city. Pretty to look at but murder to live in. So awesome. Rockstar know how to make you FEEL in their games. Always have done.

Also GTA IV is my favourite driving simulator.

Posted by Seedofpower

Other motherfucker!

Edited by Yummylee

The Lost & Damned and Ballad of Gay Tony are some of the best and most... fleshed (ugh) out pieces of DLC - ever. I love both of 'em, though I prefer L&D because Johnny Klebitz was a cool son'bitch, and I really enjoyed the grungy, dirty aesthetic of it all. Story wasn't well developed in a lot of aspects, though, like Johnny's girlfriend and that Mac guy who kinda just appears for some reason and doesn't have much impact towards anything.

The Ballad of Gay Tony is also of course pretty great too, but Luis is kinda meh. Tony himself is at least a fantastic character; reminds me an awful lot of Ken Rosenberg from Vice City, though the scenes that hark back to GTAIV and the L&D are really jarring because of how Tony randomly reverts to his super-flamboyant portrayal he had for his bit roles--which goes completely against who he is during The Ballad. Brilliant soundtrack too, but overall it never took enough steps to really putting me in the lifestyle of an high-end manager. The clothing options were weak and you only have the single safehouse. But the added weapons are a blast.

Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

I havent played this dlc yet even though I finished the Ballad of Gay Tony.  They introduce a gun near the end of the game and its fucking amazing....

Posted by Claude
@RiotBananas: The City was my favorite part of GTA IV. I'm surprised it took me four years to come back to it.
 
@Seedofpower: I hear you other. Motherfucker out.
 
@Abyssfull: The Lost and Damned was pretty damn good. I liked the ending. I felt a sense of satisfaction when the credits started to roll. Actually, I fired it back up and did a job for Stubbs. It's weird, when I'm Johnny, I can't do anything but ride bikes. Where as for Luis, I don't mind just driving a car around. I did the first mission for Luis's mother and had to kick box or something. I really enjoyed that, might give it another shot. I still have a long way to go in Ballad, but the game not only looks different, but looks more vibrant for some reason. 
 
@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG: If you ever get a chance, you should give Lost and Damned a try. But remember, this game might feel kind of old, but it still packs a punch.
Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG
@Claude: Well, I finished GTA IV this summer for the first time and I didnt think it was too bad....
Posted by Claude
@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG said:
@Claude: Well, I finished GTA IV this summer for the first time and I didnt think it was too bad....
Once I relearned the controls I didn't have a problem. I did feel the controls were kind of sticky but very much playable. You should give Lost and Damned a try. The characters are pretty cool.
Posted by Yummylee

@Claude: I was the exact same; it felt off driving a car as Johnny. But maaan, bikes were improved so much in the DLC that I was all for almost-exclusively riding them across the game anyway. I found it really fun trying to find all of the super sports bikes too.

Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG
@Claude: ok I think I will.  I stopped playing after the intro.  I just got bored of riding bikes.
Posted by Claude
@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG: It took a little while to get used to the bikes, but after a while I found them quite entertaining. I could weave around traffic like no ones business.
Edited by Yummylee

@Claude: BTW, has the Lost and Damned story changed your opinion towards Niko at all? I mean Niko is the reason why a lot of all the troubles Johnny found himself in erupted (though he was just being ordered around of course), and he's also the guy who killed Johnny's best friend Jim. For me it gave a very different perspective towards Niko's actions, and an entirely new perspective towards the massive ramifications of what killing a bit-player could potentially lead into. Playing through Niko's story afterwards definitely gave some of his actions some added weight; what was originally you just gunning down some nobody bikers, was now the catalyst for the downward spiral of an entire gang.

EDIT: Also I really hope the rumour about GTAV featuring multiple protagonists turns up true, because I specifically loved watching these three stories in GTAIV all inadvertently clash and influence one another.

Edited by Claude
@Abyssfull: It's been so long since I played GTA IV I didn't remember that part. I got rather annoyed with GTA IV and the way the missions were structured. I quit on what I would guess was the last mission because I had to start over and over after dying countless times. In truth, I never connected with Niko. But it would be a trip to go back and play GTA IV after finishing these two games. Sadly, I would have to buy it again as I traded it in four years ago.