Moto Racer Advance Review

Moto Racer Advance is a bundle of motorcycle racing goodness for the Game Boy Advance.  For the price of one game you get motocross, GP, and the always dangerous traffic racing.  Throw in smooth scrolling graphics that give you a great sense of speed, several different game modes, and a ton of unlockable tracks, bikes, and combos and you have a great little racer that will please both fans of the genre and those who normally play other types of games.

The starting line.

Motocross racing is like rally racing on motorcycles.  You race against other bikers in rural settings on roads that vary from paved country roads to dirt washes.  Road hazards abound, and you'll have to dodge the occasional animal or tractor and plow through flooded sections of road.

GP racing is done with high-speed racing bikes on paved tracks.  The tracks are not of your racing stadium oval variety, but instead take you through city streets and down highways in locations around the world.

The final racing mode, traffic, is like GP racing on streets that the racing committee forgot to close to the public.  Not only must you navigate the track faster than your competition, you'll have to avoid the cars, trucks, busses, and SUVs traveling the road in both directions.

Before each race in any mode you will need to select the bike that you want to use.  The bikes are rated in four areas: speed, acceleration, braking, and grip, and your bike's handling in the race really does depend on which bike you choose.  Initially there are two bikes to select from in each mode, but as you play the game you will unlock many more.

The French countryside.

The races themselves are a blast.  While the game tends to be more of an arcade racer than a sim, the physics are impressive from the jumps off of hills in motocross races to the high-speed turns of GP races.  The game does a great job of conveying a sense of speed, and flying down a straightaway on a GP bike after hitting the turbo really does feel like you are moving a lot faster than when you are making a turn on a cross cycle.

There are a good variety of tracks in the game set in locations around the world.  The green farms of the French countryside stand in stark contrast to the dry savannah of East Africa, without even taking into consideration the stray elephant that can be found crossing the course in the latter location.  It is not just the scenery that varies, each track presents its own unique challenges.  For example, the San Francisco track starts with a lot of hills and steep down slopes, and then continues on to a winding beach road with a lot of pedestrian traffic along its edges.  Unlocking tracks is exciting since you'll never know what to expect from a track until you race it.  This is a welcome break from all of the racers that present you with one oval after another.