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What can be said about Cars that has not already been said? This kid friendly, family friendly, and loved by millions (upon millions) movie has spawned quite a few products. There are stuff cars, hot wheel style cars, clothes, and at some point the DVD will be released. The Gameboy Advance (GBA) version of Cars is actually way better than I thought it would be. After all there has been a long history of video games based on movies that were a waste of money. THQ is a well known publisher, who worked with Buena Vista Games, Disney, and Pixar. If the marketing blitz, movie, and video games did not reach your ears, Cars is about Lightning McQueen (a race car), and how he learns to help out others. The GBA game takes place after the movie, and Chick is the main protagonist. Many of the characters from the movie make appearances in this game, and even some are competition. Pedal to the medal as the goal is first to the finish line.

The car models in this game are huge for a Gameboy Advance Game. It was actually shocking to see such huge graphics on this little machine. Many of the races re-use some of the graphics for different tracks. The little cut scenes certainly show the limitations of the hardware. The colors are very bright and colorful. The artwork is decent, and completely themed with Cars. Wholesome images are used properly in this game.

Sadly as good as Cars on the GBA is in the graphics department, it really is lacking in the sounds department. After hearing the awesome music in some of the other versions of this game (on the Nintendo DS, Xbox, PSP, PC), I really expected some rocking car related tunes. The menu screens has decent tunes, but the races themselves are silent except for the track related sounds (i.e. peeling out). Obviously too much memory was used on the graphics, and that left little memory for the sounds. While this is not a big issue, it certainly is notable, and worthy of mention (as you make your decision on purchasing this game or not).

There are a fair amount of tracks in this game to unlock. Some of them require the player to beat a specific time, whereas others require the player to beat other cars. Races can also be run again to collect certain items which unlock some really cool pictures from the movie. This is a fun little racer that is worth ten to fifteen dollars in this humble reviewers opinion.
The racing action in this cartridge is simplistic, but fun. There are quite a few curves that shake up the action. The game gives the player a guide to upcoming curves. In order to master the gameplay quick memorization is required. At times it is too easy to spin out, but it is extremely easy to get going again. The designs of the controls work well. Cars GBA is a fun little game with one major flaw. It is too short. Yes this is a Gameboy Advance cartridge, but I expect more action than this.

Cars GBA is a game that is safe for the entire family. There really is no reinforcement of the lessons from the movie. Chick, and Lightning banter a little bit, but nothing offensive. Mainly competitive bravado. Doc helps Lightning learn a better driving technique that many will remember from the movie. For those that have a Gameboy Advance, and looking for a cute little racer, this is certainly where to start your quest. I would love to see a sequel to a game like this, especially if they could make a few improvements. All in all a good game, but not stellar.
- Paul


Graphics: 90%
Sound: 77%
Replay/Extras: 84%
Gameplay: 85%
Family Friendly Factor: 80%
System: Gameboy Advance
Publisher: THQ
'E' for Everyone

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