Grand Theft Auto Advance - GBA

Also known as: GTA Advance

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Grand Theft Auto Advance (GBA)
Viewed: 2D Top-down, Multi-way scrolling Genre:
Adventure: Free Roaming
Combat Game: Driving
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Digital Eclipse Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Rockstar (GB)
Released: 29 Oct 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: GameCube Game Boy Player


For those who don't already know, Grand Theft Auto Advance has a troubled history that dates right back to 2001 where it was moved from studio to studio before finally being completed by developer Digital Eclipse under the watchful eye of Rockstar North.

Released to coincide with the hugely anticipated console version of San Andreas, GTA Advance, because of obvious technical limitations, revisits the top-down perspective seen in earlier PSOne and Game Boy games. The game world itself is based around PlayStation 2's GTA III, and has even retained, to an extent, the feel and depth of its 128-bit counterpart.

The first portable rendition in just over four years, players of this version will assume the role ex-mafia goon Mike, who quickly becomes the city's most-wanted when he is accused of the murdering his best buddy and mentor Vinny. And so the controversy begins once more...

Though not as graphic or explicit as Vice City or San Andreas, GTA Advance has still managed to earn itself a 16+ age rating due to its subject matter and the virtual crimes that will be committed by its players. Story-driven missions are offered to the player from the very beginning, but the option to roam Liberty City freely is also available. Free to do as they wish, players can wreak havoc though hundreds side-missions that have players parading as paramedics, taxi drivers and of course vigilantes. Upset who you will, just be prepared for the consequences.

There are countless hours of fun to be had here. GTA Advance is faithful to the Rockstar franchise in its entirety and is no doubt one of the greatest handheld offerings we've seen for a long time.