As I've cg'd, I broke back out GTA:SA. When I left it nearly a year ago, there were two storylines where I was having trouble completing the current missions. Though I'm sure taking a break help me return "fresh", I was surprised when I finished them both in successive nights of relatively quick gaming.
What changed? I'm pretty sure I had the dual action gamepad last year, almost positive. The rest of the machine's the same. I did, however, add two gigs of memory to the box this year to help with some programming tasks that got mem intensive. I wonder if that did the trick.