It takes a lot for a game to be great.
First off, it has to obviously have some sort of past merit to receive ridiculous pub before it even hit the streets. Second, when it has proven it's worth, it has to be able to prove it over and over again. It's like marrying somebody you know you'll want to sleep with for the rest of your life.
GTA IV is that perfect bride. It looks spectacular, plays so brilliantly, has depth you wouldn't believe, and even has a physics engine that challenges your manhood.
However, it came with one fatal flaw:
Lack of stupid fun.
I harped as loud as anyone possibly could leading up to the days of GTA IV's release. I got my copy at midnight, prompting me to make a 7-Eleven snack run and positioning myself in my Queen Alien eggsack-thingy for an all-nighter. I spent the next couple of days immersed in the re-awesomeness of Liberty City. The final product was so smooth, sexy and oddly...realistic.
I heard it on this site somewhere, stating that realism doesn't always constitute fun.
I posted a lot of man-love related blogs and talkback in all threads relating to GTA IV. The love was strong, but the wifey proved herself to be void of ignorant fun, which is what I need and the previous versions provided.
I feel embarrassed for how much I almost went Joker with my promoting my love for this game. The feeling has thinned out to me not even having finished the game yet. I finally caught that dude that beat up your gay friend in the park. How sad is that?
The best/worse part is that I finally broke down and got a copy of Saint's Row. I'm having way more fun on this far more flawed game than I did in GTA IV. Creating my character to my own design and doing everything San Andreas-esque. Maybe the thuggish/hip-hop style is more appealing, but that is so not the case. The realness of Liberty City almost makes you too nervous to go out and do the stupid stuff. It almost makes you too embarrassed to do anything stupid, in fear of someone catching you dumbing-down the game experience.
GTA actually feels too fancy for me, and that's sad. I almost killed my taste for console gaming, as I ran to City of Heroes for like two months. Thankfully, with a fall-full of awesome games coming out, and me finally deciding to get Saint's Row, I'm a happy gamer again.
Screw you, GTA IV. You're not better than me.