+++ Awesome 80's Soundtrack
++ Best Health system in any Sandbox game
++ Play as Tony Fucking Montana
++ Moderately difficult
+ Excellent Intro Mission
+ "Grinding" is fun and profitable
+ Islands don't have cops, just infinitely respawning goons
+ Henchmen offer unique missions with differing weapons
-- Cops are irritating as hell
-- Actual missions are fairly annoying
-- No Autosave
- Grinding is actually more fun than most of the game
- Game occasionally crashes if you don't save often
As previously stated this game is the first memorable game to feature a "swear" button, swearing at wounded opponents nets you "Balls," one of the game's main collectable currencies. This humorously named stat is derived from this quote: "All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don't break them for no one." After you get ~ 1500 Balls or so your meter fills to max and you can go into a Cocaine fueled blind rage and murder everyone with ridiculous auto aim like the final scene in the movie. In addition to being awesome every dude you kill grants you 200 health so it's basically a 10 second nuke that fills your HP, provided you're using an automatic weapon. In addition collecting Balls eventually lets you get "femmes" (I guess getting the Power doesn't get you the women in this), which are women to adorn your awesome mansion with who also grant you health upgrades. Tony still wants Elvie though.
In addition to Balls there are two other currencies in the game, the much beloved Cocaine which isn't disguised at all and Money. Money you collect is automatically "dirty" and the act of laundering it will cost you a percentage from the Bank's cut for the vast majority of the game. I only found one real way to farm all 3 at once. Balls pretty much require you to be continuously killing gangs assuming you're not the greatest driver ever or something and never crash into people. About 2/3rds of the way into the game you can get away from Miami to go to the conspiciously named "Islands" wherein there are infinite respawning gang hideouts and no cops whatsoever. This is where the game gets fun when you're grinding, just put on the awesome soundtrack and zone out whilst killing hundreds of dudes.
Every hideout grants anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 cash and roughly 1/3rd of that in cocaine (eg. if you get a million you'll have 3.5 kilos of coke and selling that grants you 350,000). Unfortunately if you do this nonstop for a very long time the game will eventually crash since you'll be using that cocaine rush about a hundred times, I could do it every 2 minutes or so on good runs between gang spawning points, this is fairly extracurricular so I don't count it against the game too harshly. However not having autosave is what really hurts this experience as you pretty much have to go launder your cash every time your gang heat fills to full (granted me approximately $800,000), so it combines to make this otherwise amazingly entertaining grinding a tad fruitless. This method is also very dangerous if you screw up where exactly to farm, as you will die in relatively short order even with a bunch of health upgrades, though once you get decent at it it's not too hard to dispatch 4 dudes and afterwards deal with the larger gangs with the coke rage of wonders. Additionally when the gang heat fills to full they will "retaliate" in some way which if you're in teh islands just means blowing up your car when you send for it, which is pretty awesome looking and surprised me when I saw it again (unlikely to actually kill you).
Fortunately this game has such a great soundtrack you could still just play it to listen to it. The guy who does Tony's voice sounds just like Al Pacino's cuban counterpart, but he does get a little spazzy with the swearing over time so generally I turn down all the inferior auto and crank up the music volume. You can find a list here, but I present you with several of my favorites: Let's Groove, Push it to the Limit, Right Combination, Cheap Thrills, and Killed by Death, along with several other songs I've already linked in the past. I lost 2.5 million or so and around 10 kilos of coke in the one crash and death I had in replaying this for a few hours but still had a ton of fun just with the music.
There really is a ton of different things to get with cash and getting it never really gets old, so while the storyline and certain missions are tedious at best the open world facets of the game are unmatched for the almighty fun/profit ratio. What the game actually wants you to do is go on coke running missions where you get 30 kilos for a quarter million and later sell it off for 2.5ish, but these missions are very painful and take just about as long as my method, albeit there's not much chance of the game crashing meanwhile. At some point I'll 100% this game out of respect for the soundtrack, but meanwhile it's still one of the most fun sandbox games in existence.
Final Score: 8/10