Review by VmprHntrD

"Imagine Grand Theft Auto III in overhead view and you're basically there."

Well what can be said about a game like this, except that it's true to it's roots. Grand Theft Auto Advance (GTAA for now on) is the great melding of the original flavor from GTA1 but with all the added gravy from GTA3. GTAA is set in Liberty City but a year before the events in GTA3. Quickly players should feel right at home as the town has been mapped out incredibly well to the original. Visually speaking the game is amazing for the system. There is a great mixing of 3D which all the structures in the game consist of (as in shaded/textured polygons and tons of them) with 2D (3D rendered) sprites for all objects in motion. Every 3D visual ranges and has high quality texturing for what is possible to the system. The 2D effects are just as impressive with the shadowing and color shifting to cars say as you pop a hard turn to simulate the angling of the auto. Obviously it's an M game, M as in mature and murder, and there is plenty of blood to go around on the ground, in your footsteps, or in your cars tire tracks. Everything is very very well detailed on this game. The audio package of the game as well is astounding for the most part. As with GTA3 the game will on the police band call out where you are and other stuff such as when you're their prey. In each car in the game you'll get a different radio station, some with verbals some not with a single tune done pretty smoothly.

Control would be the big issue here along with the camera. Well it is safe to say the control works better than it did in GTA1 or 2 of old. Your player has free range of motion, added is a strafing ability so you can get the drop on people and even walk backwards firing your piece at them. The ability to hop over the top of a car is in place so you never end up trapped, and also helps to get you a quick shield from gunfire. Gone are the angering moments of being pinned in a car or in a bad angle due to the camera. The camera is just like before, dynamic, and from up top, though you can also set it to 3 height limits for a constant range. At first it will take getting used to moving about in cars and the camera because of the rate the cars can go against incoming traffic, but in a 15min lapse of learning your paces you'll be fine.

If there are really any issues with the game they are not what I'd call grand destroyers. For one the plot isn't as so intriguing and in depth as the one in GTA3 with it's huge mob ties. Second to that there is no grand city map on the pause screen, though the circle map on screen keeps the icons up more so you don't get lost if the paint n' spray is 20blocks off. A third problem is there is only 1 save location per island (there are 3), but GTA3 did that, but I mention it for those spoiled on newer stuff. And finally the fourth issue is just that when a ton of cars turtle shell and blow if there are a good deal of warm bodies in the area, the fps may and likely will shutter, but not in a game ruining rate.

Overall I don't think the negatives in the least bloody bit hurt the title and for what it tried to achieve it did all that and bag of cement for some victims shoes. 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/27/04

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