Original Soundtrack

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 2: Wave 103

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As with everything involved with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the game's soundtrack is epic in scope and incredibly detailed. Though countless games have offered soundtracks, GTA: Vice City offers a unique twist on the format: its soundtrack has seven volumes, one apiece for Vice City's radio stations. Though games such as Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future also revolved around the concept of soundtrack-as-radio station, GTA: Vice City's soundtrack is the most ambitious -- and impressive -- realization of this idea yet, offering DJs with distinctive personalities, tailored track listings, and realistic bumpers, voice-overs, and commercials. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 2: Wave 103 presents Adam First, a pretentious, right-wing, eyeliner-wearing DJ who plays an authentic set of new wave, post-punk, and synth pop from the '80s, the era in which GTA: Vice City is set. The volume's standout tracks include the Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way," Thomas Dolby's "Hyperactive!," Blondie's "Atomic," and Romeo Void's "Never Say Never." Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tears for Fears, A Flock of Seagulls, and Human League are some of the other usual suspects included on the soundtrack, adding even more authenticity to the set. This volume of the soundtrack is slightly less special than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 1: V-Rock -- though songs like Nena's "99 Luftballons" and Kim Wilde's "Kids in America" certainly add to the soundtrack's atmosphere, they're more typical picks than some of the music on the first volume. There's also no parody band on this collection, which seems like a missed opportunity. However, DJ Adam First is a spot-on send-up of the era -- he's like a cross between Nick Rhodes and Patrick Bateman. The commercials for "Sissy Spritz," an extreme hairspray, and "Synth and Son," a keyboard store, are musically garish enough to be mistaken for actual ads, and also help blur the lines between fantasy and reality. For GTA addicts, there's an added incentive to buy the soundtracks: each disc comes with bonus multimedia content (Windows and Mac compatible), including wallpaper, screen shots, a screen saver, a movie clip, and most importantly, a special cheat code unique to each volume of the soundtrack. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 2: Wave 103's cheat code unlocks the Mad Cars Cheat, which makes all the cars drive even more aggressively, so the game player can be on the cutting edge of music and road rage.

blue highlight denotes track pick