Since GTA 3 was released, nothing has been quite as appetising as a large portion of car theft with a side order of casual violence. But strip away the flashy 3D graphics, the side-missions and the radio stations, and what have you got?
Without the vibrant urban landscapes of the PS2 games, surprisingly little. The missions are all about fetching and carrying, with a bit of shooting in the middle - drive to point B, have a fight, return to point A to earn your reward. Well done.
A similar concept worked brilliantly a few years back in the GBC version of Driver. This time the developers have stretched the capabilities of the GBA until the machine chugs like a beaten-up old Cortina.
The 3D effects on the buildings are a nice idea, but they make the action annoyingly jerky - nowhere near as bad as the woeful Payback, but rough all the same. The camera zooms out a bit when you get up to full speed, but never far enough to prevent you ramming into obstacles.
If you don't give cars a wide berth, you'll stop dead if you scrape the sides. The annoying stop-start driving and flick-book graphics make this a spin-off that will never last the distance unless you're a die-hard fan.
Without the trappings of the PS2 games, the ability to slaughter random pedestrians seems somewhat less desirable on GBA.
Grand Theft Auto Advance is out now for GBA