Colin McRae Rally 2.0
System: Game Boy Advance
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Developer: Codemasters
Released: October 2002
Genre: Racing
Capabilities: Game Link Compatible for up to 4 Players (Multi Pak Play)

Review Written: November 21, 2002

The Game

There are loads of racing games on the Game Boy Advance. Unfortunately not too many of them are going to get any awards, unless it breaks your record for how fast you take it to the pawn shop to sell. Colin McRae Rally 2.0 plans to change that with one of the first rally racing games to appear on GBA. Colin McRae Rally 2.0 is endorsed by the worldís top rally racer, Colin McRae. Letís see if the big license will prove any good to the game.

Graphics

The console version of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 contained some of the best graphics then any rally racer out there. The developers at Codemasters did a damn good job on this handheld version too. The vehicle models are small from the standard point of view, but the developers tried to cram as much detail on them as possible with paint designs and decals being noticeable. The stages look decent , Codemasters did a marvelous job on the road textures, but the rest of the environment (trees, bushes, etc.) look rushed in an early NES game sort of way.

The cars do have some cool animations. I was shocked when I saw the rally cars rolling over for the first time. The physics for these crashes are surprisingly realistic. Youíll also see splashes of mud and water appear on the screen whenever you drive through the puddles. The menu design has a unique approach where you see letters spelling out Colin McRae warping into different shapes as you select the various modes. For some damn reason, it reminds me of the futuristic menu design in Wipeout.

Sound

The background music is your standard stuff for the Game Boy Advance. Most of the tunes are dimmed out during game play so you barely hear them. This is due to your co-driver giving you audio commands on what is ahead of you. His voice is clear, and heís a tremendous help as he tells you how sharp the turns are and if thereís any road hazards ahead. The sound effects are also contain nothing noteworthy. It's made up of your usual effects that you get for accelerating, braking, and crashes.

Game play

The game engine for Colin McRae 2.0 takes a bit to adapt to. I wasnít expecting the cars to maneuver the way they do in most console racing simulators like Sega GT or Gran Turismo, but thatís what occurred. The steering is tricky, and the shoulder buttons that operate as your handbrakes take a bit to adapt to. Most of the turns result in me going backwards or flipping my car. After plenty of practice I found myself taking most of these turns with ease, but donít assume this to be one of your average racing games you can pick up and play.

Thereís a decent amount of official cars in Colin McRae Rally 2.0. Vehicles manufactured from Subaru, Ford, Toyota, and Mitsubishi are in here, among others. They are all scored in several categories like RPM, weight, and handling. Itís not too often the publishers shell out the money for the hot licenses in portable games, but props to Ubi Soft in this case.

There is a plenty of game modes at our disposal. There are some great ways to spend time getting used to the controls. The time trials will keep you trying to learn every trick in order to get the fastest track record, Single Stage mode is similar to a ďfree raceĒ mode so you can explore and get the feel of the tracks in the game, and the main way to play is Championship. You select Championship from either Rally or Arcade game modes. The only difference is that in Arcade, there are a few less countries to race in. In Championship mode, you race in six tracks in six different countries (three in arcade mode), and you gather points on how good you place. You also get money you use to fix any damage parts for your car, or to buy new upgrades for your tires, engine, and so on.

Replay Value

If you beat the intermediate levels of championship play with no troubles, then you unlock an expert difficulty that is insanely tough and will provide a big challenge. The roster of four cars initially available won't be that satisfying for you, but there are plenty more you can unlock by completing the main mode a few times. Colin McRae Rally 2.0 is compatible with the GBA Link Cable so you can gather up to a total of four people in for some multi player action. This is fun, but Iím disappointed that no single-pack multi player is supported. Itís always an easy way to show off the game to your pals so they can buy the full version.   

In Brief

+: Superb car models, clear voice commands from your co-driver, plenty of stuff to unlock

-: Controls take a while to adapt to, the audio is mostly sub-par, the ugly stage designs donít mix too well with the stellar car models

RATINGS 

Graphics: 8.0
Sound: 5.2
Game play: 6.4
Replay Value: 7.3

Overall: 6.7

Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 7

Comments

Colin McRae Rally 2.0 isn't your common racer on the GBA. You donít come across too many rally games on the GBA, and while this one does contain some serious gripes, itíll still appeal to fans of the sport. If you enjoyed Rallisport Challenge, or the Sega Rally series on console, then I suggest you check out this portable racer. However, if you got to have one racing game on the GBA you might want to wait a while until something better comes out.

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