a great racing challenge with plenty of excitement,
variety and strategy, Racing Gears Advance is one
of the best games of its genre. Unless it gets its
ass kicked in the next nine-and-a-half months this
will be up for 2005 GBA game of the year. It's that
face it, 3D GBA racers are decent but they've never
been perfected and probably will never be due to the
inherent limitations of the GBA. Racing Gears uses
an isometric perspective which has a slightly tilted
perspective which gives us the 3D feel with the luxury
of 2D processing. The tracks and cars are easy to
see. The environments scroll smoothly and naturally
with plenty of twists, turns and other obstacles.
You'll forget that you're actually playing a 2D game.
race features eight licensed vehicles from the likes
of Ford, Chrysler and GM. Each vehicle handles great
with tight steering, good traction and powersliding
abilities. Money earned from successful races can
be put towards upgrades - both for defensive and offensive
purposes. Each car has a special ability which will
give it some kind of advantage whether it's equipped
with missiles, an oil slick dispenser, speed boosts,
or the ability to steal points away from other vehicles
you come in contact with. Upgrading your vehicle with
different features will alter your style of racing
- hopefully for the good. The fun comes with experimenting.
are 12 real-world tracks which will take you from
the countryside to the snowy mountains. There are
plenty of twists and turns to negotiate as well as
hazards, roadblocks, trees and oncoming traffic. The
tracks also feature bridges, tunnels and hidden shortcuts.
If you lose sight of your car there is an arrow indicator
which will pinpoint your location. The shortcuts are
often hidden so you'll have to take some chances in
this game. It's best to look for them when you're
so far behind that you have nothing to lose. They
can be put to your advantage in the next race.
performance will be affected by the elements. You'll
find yourself slipping and sliding around the ice
and snow stages. You'll also need to compensate for
your traction when it's raining. The rain effect is
almost transparent in that it doesn't obscure your
view of the track but you'll know it's raining. The
AI is very aggressive and will require you to make
the best of your upgrades. If you choose good tires
to improve your traction the AI may not be able to
keep up with you around the corners but they will
try to stop you by using whatever weapon or method
is available to them which means you'll have to keep
your eye out for what's in front and behind of you.
to four players can take part in the multi-player
mode. The tracks are large enough to keep everyone
(pardon the pun) on track. It really extends the replay
value since the game is so well developed and mechanically
solid. It runs smooth, looks great, features tight
controls and an arcade sense of physics that lets
anyone get a handle on it in a couple of minutes.
The fact that it's challenging and deep leaves room
for gamers to develop their skills, both physical
and mental, over time. Highly recommended for any
gamer that likes a helluva' good race.