gta
... With "tasteful" minigames. Indeed, Nintendo Power has published the first comprehensive preview of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, according to details provided by NeoGAF poster botticus. The relayed information (in handy bullet-point format), describes Chinatown Wars as a "true GTA game," which is to say, a Mature-themed sandbox game concerned with all things criminal (just like the survey said). The DS technology limits gameplay to an isometric camera angle with cel-shaded visuals, though the load times, draw distance and frame rate are reportedly sound; and weather effects, along with a day and night cycle are in tact. The preview claims there are plenty of on-screen pedestrians and cars -- speaking of: there are multiple radio stations, mostly juiced with instrumental tunes. All in all, "800,000 lines of hand-optimized source code" are packed into the tiny cart.

What else? Chinatown Wars is said to return players to a sizeable portion of Liberty City (wild guess: Chinatown?), though the map has been altered from the console version. Missions will also be shortened and can be easily restarted upon failure. The D-pad is used for aiming, while the R-button activates auto-targeting; and there's "subtle" auto-steering built into the driving controls. The touch pad will be used for the aforementioned minigames, in addition to navigating the PDA-like UI, which includes email, contacts, the map, a music player, GPS, and stat-tracking (stats can be Wi-Fied to the Social Club). Now, how about some, uh ... scans? (Or better: screens! C'mon Rockstar, with this game scheduled to release in mere months, throw us a friggin' bone or two!)

Update: Gamekyo's got some scans right here. [Thanks Fernando!]

[Via GoNintendo; thanks, Frank]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.