Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 06/06/06 | Genre: Driving
Despite all the films to be released this summer year, Cars has been the fan favorite. Tying in with the movie, THQ has put out a Game Boy Advance version. However, for everything that THQ did right with Cars for the PS2, Xbox, PC, and GameCube, they did the exact opposite in Cars for the Game Boy Advance. That isn't to say Cars is a terrible game... I just was left wanting more.
First it is common knowledge that the GBA is nowhere near powerful enough to generate realistic 3D worlds or models. To compensate for this, the Developers were forced to use a 2D isometric view of the gameplay. On top of this, the gameplay was made super-simple by limiting players to only sixteen events, no multiplayer support, no voice clips from the actors in the film, and a weak soundtrack. There aren't even any weapons of items to pick up on the track except a nitro boost that can be obtained by tailgating opponents on the NASCAR races.
Despite this, the game actually looks pretty good on the aging GBA hardware. Each race can contain up to three cars when they will all kick up dust when riding over dirt surfaces, models are as detailed as possible for the hardware they appear on, and there are a few engine and skid sounds that fit in nicely with the gameplay.
Unfortunately for the gameplay, players must constantly tap the left and right d-pad buttons in order to make turns. This is very annoying and frustrating. Why can't I just hold down a the left or right d-pad button to do the same thing? But the biggest annoyance of the game is the lack of multiplayer support. While the game is relatively simple, I would have preferred to play against a friend rather than just race against the AI.
Overall Cars is something that only the biggest fan of the movie will enjoy. The game's sixteen modes take so little time to get through that most players will finish it within two days. With no multiplayer modes to give the game replay value, there is very little reason to go back for more. This move tie-in is pretty sloppy and not up to the quality of the big-screened console versions. For most, this title isn't worth a rental.