Advance GTA Hands-On

Advance GTA is a Gran Turismo-styled racing game for the Game Boy Advance. We sat down with an import copy of the game and got a taste of the GTA action.

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Advance GTA is a GT-style racing game from MTO, developer of such Japanese games as Card Captor Sakura and Option Tuning Car Battle. The game features real cars, parts upgrades, and copious amounts of Mode 7-style scaling and rotation.

The game features 48 licensed cars from Daihatsu, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. Each car is rated in acceleration, top speed, and handling. As you progress through the game's multitiered championship mode, you'll unlock parts, such as mufflers and air filters, that can be used to enhance your car's performance. Aside from the championship mode, there are also quick race, practice, and link mode options.

The game seems a little easy at first, but once you get past the beginner cup, the pace picks up and the game becomes a bit more challenging. Most of the challenge is found in trying to corner at high speeds, as you fight against spinouts by tapping the D-pad and letting off the gas a bit. Once you've gotten used to the controls, the high-speed vehicles become a breeze to drive. We were able to start whipping around corners almost at top-speed after only a few races.

Graphically, Advance GTA looks pretty nice. The cars look great, and they have a bit of shine to them. The track is rendered using SNES-style Mode 7 effects, making the track look a slightly blocky and hard to read at times. Still, the game moves at a pretty decent pace. Soundwise, the game won't win any awards, but there are some nice effects. Equipping a different muffler, for instance, will change the engine noise of your car.

Advance GTA is currently on shelves in Japan. No plans for a US release have been announced.

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