Moto Racer Advance

Moto Racer Advance

Written by Charlie Sinhaseni on 1/16/2003 for GBA  

Booting up Moto Racer Advance brought up flashbacks of Pro Rally, another Ubi Soft produced racer that failed to grasp my attention. The menus were eerily reminiscent and the locking of some of the core gameplay modes was all too familiar, but unlike Pro Rally Moto Racer Advance actually manages to be entertaining and in that respect, provides one hell of a handheld rush.

There are three racing modes available, dirt, street and traffic. Dirt curtails exactly what its name would imply, racing around dirt tracks with (you guessed it) dirt bikes, street is where you race on those high performance bikes and traffic is a race through streets that happen to be populated by (that’s right) traffic. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what this game is all about and in many respects, that’s the beauty of the game. It’s the perfect pickup for the gamer on the go that’s looking for a quick hit of gaming goodness.

Why is this game so much fun? Simple, because it does something that many other GBA racing titles have failed to do. It gives the gamer an accurate sense of speed, a feat not easily accomplished on the GBA. Games like Advance GT had a hard time reproducing breakneck speeds on the GBA as often times it felt like you were going a leisurely 40 mph as opposed to a brisk 150mph. In Moto Racer Advance you’ll feel the difference between 50mph and 180mph, and since the name of the game is speed (not literally of course) it makes the game all that more entertaining.

You’ll need some tight controls to keep up with the game’s breakneck pace; thankfully this game has those too. Your controls are limited to the usual, you know, accelerating, braking, steering and the turbo boost. In order to gain an advantage on the competition you’ll be able to utilize a turbo boost. Pressing the R button will cause your biker to perform a wheelie and then its turbo city. Now I’m not exactly the authority on motorbikes, but I found this to be a bit odd. I’ll make sure to make a note of it just in case I’m wrong though, I wouldn’t want to look like a buffoon in front of those rad bikers.
The tracks take place in a wide variety of locales but the truth is they all feel a bit too similar to each other. So the scenery changes a bit but that’s about it, nothing really differentiates the next track from the previous. Pretty soon everything starts to feel the same, even the bikes. You’re offered a choice of bikes before the race but they all feel exactly the same. To be honest I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the bikes (appearances included) had they not been labeled at the bike selection screen. Thankfully the tracks are pretty fun and entertaining anyways, kind of like Outrun. The entertainment isn’t in the variety or complexity of the environments, just the simplicity and addictiveness of it all.

The game looks pretty good from a visual standpoint; you’ll even be able to see more of the track off on the horizon. Each of the riders is rendered quite nicely; you’ll even get a side view of the bike when you’re approaching very sharp turns. That wheelie animation still looks a bit ridiculous and out of place though.

I really enjoyed the multiplayer although I really wish that the designers could have included a single-cartridge mode. Having to have four game paks could prove to be a very pricey endeavor. It was still a blast though, especially the traffic mode. Nothing beats pushing one of your buddies in to a cable car and receiving instant feedback on the devious deed.

If you’re looking for a handheld racer that looks nice, handles well, and does an admirable job of recreating a sense of speed, then you should definitely pick up Moto Racer Advance. While it’s not without its problems, it manages to have a firm grasp of the some of the concepts that still manage to elude the console games.
If you’ve been looking for handheld racing, this is it. No other GBA game out there does a better job of replicating the feel that comes with being behind the helm of a high-speed vehicle.

Rating: 8.8 Class Leading

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.

It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.

It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.

When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."

As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.

When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.

Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile

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