Review by enacting

"Grand with a capital "G""

Introduction

If you've played the Grand Theft Auto series, you pretty much know what to expect from its latest offering on the hand held - lots of open-ended game play, endless replay value, and tons of fun.

Game play - 9/10

The objective of the game is to complete missions in whatever way possible, however you please. That means there's no single method of accomplishing a task, and that's what makes this game shine. For example, as part of a simple early mission, you're required to get to the weapon shop. You can simply choose to stroll there, or hijack a vehicle and ravage through streets to get there in classic GTA style. Between missions, you can choose to earn extra cash by playing taxi driver ferrying passengers around in time constrained situations, among others. To add challenge, the levels get tougher as the time limit is reduced and the distance to your destination increased. The game play is simple, yet addictive and fun.

Graphics/Sound - 6/10

Not the best aspect of the game, but certainly worth over-looking due to the superb game play. The graphics resemble that of early console games, where characters look linear and the lack of colour depth made up with bright, simple eye-catching colours. However, it can be seen that effort had been put in to model and design the cars (which is your main mode of transport around the city). There's a variety of vehicles that look decent and realistic enough. The music, though somehow varied, get monotonous after awhile. The sound effects are loud, and not in sync with the animation (eg. when you fire a gun, it takes a few split seconds later to actually hear the gunshot).

Replay value - 9/10

You can play GTA Advance over and over again, and not get sick simply because of its high replay value. Upon completion, you can attempt the missions in different ways. The taxi, police and ambulance side-games will also keep you busy, as they're just as addictive as the main missions.

Final Verdict

If you haven't tried it yet, now is the time to buy or rent it. The addictive nature of this game will keep you on edge as the pump of adrenaline increases through the missions. Despite its shortcomings visually and audibly, the game play and replay value more than make up for them. Whether you've been a fan of the series or new to it, this is definitely a must-get game of the year for the GBA.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/04


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