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About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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'Smashing Drive' (GBA) - Screens

by Judy on July 9, 2004 @ 7:27 a.m. PDT

You're in the cab and have to deliver passengers all around New York City, using all kinds of daring driving maneuvers and assorted power-ups. You compete against an AI driver or a buddy. So you may be racing to reach Little Italy or Wall Street and other cool areas in NYC. Read more for details and screens ...

You're in the cab and have to deliver passengers all around New York City, using all kinds of daring driving maneuvers and assorted power-ups. You compete against an AI driver or a buddy. So you may be racing to reach Little Italy or Wall Street and other cool areas in NYC. To help you in the traffic that can be found on the streets, there are several power-ups along the way. The power-ups include the Cutter, Sonic Blast, Glider, Turbo, 4x4, Repair and Crash. There are also shortcuts along the way to add more fun to the experience. Most of the time you will need to use shortcuts to find the cool power-ups and you'll need certain power-ups to access certain shortcuts.

Key Features

  • The Goal: "Smashing Drive" is an arcade game from Namco, also available for Xbox and GameCube. The goal of this project is to convert the title on the Nintendo Game Boy® Advance, bringing the same "arcade" spirit of the original game.
  • The differences: it's the first Game Boy Advance driving game to have 3D graphics both for the cars and Environments, full interaction with the scenes and real damages on the cars.
  • GamePlay: a perfect mix of fast paced driving arcade action, reflex and skill.
  • Game structure: a mission based driving game. As a taxi cab, you have to deliver passengers all around New York City, using all kinds of driving maneuvers and assorted power-ups.

Type: action driving game.
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy® Advance
Target: 10 – 16.
Graphics: 3D real time, with
plenty of special effects.
Players: 1 or 2.

There are 3 different game modes:

  • Arcade: The arcade mode is the standard game in which you race against one computer-controlled cabbie, in three different levels and their three sub-routes, picking up such items as the turbo boost, 4x4 tires, glider wings, and the crash bumper. There are three shifts to play through, corresponding with the easy, medium, and hard difficulties. Beating all three of the standard courses unlocks the final bonus stage.
  • Survival: basically the same as Arcade, but you are no longer in the race as soon as you destroy your cab.
  • Two player mode: The head-to-head mode lets you and a friend challenge each other.

Game Principle

The missions: the gameplay take place in the city of New York. Once the game starts the player has to drive at full speed, using shortcuts and crazy power-ups to accomplish the mission objectives: delivering passengers around several NY locations.

Environments: the game has a full interactive environment, this means that everything in the game react to collision with the car and the car itself get damaged. The player will drive along NY areas such as: West Central Park, 5th Ave to 34th Street, Sea and Air Museum, Brooklyn, Time Square.

Vehicle: the cab is completely damageable, so be careful driving it around (don't smash too many times!). You can use power-ups to transform your cab in different ways and access to many shortcuts.

Power Ups: there are several power ups in the game to help the player in the chaos of NY.

  • Sonic: gives your cab a powerful sonic horn which can be used to lay waste to all vehicles in your path. It lasts for a limited time.
  • Turbo boost: ignites the turbo boosters on the back of your cab, sending it at breakneck speed.
  • Glider: activates the wings on the side of your cab that allow you to get more distance on jumps.
  • 4x4: morphs your cab into a massive truck allowing you to drive over all vehicles on your way.
  • Cutter: activates the cab's saw blades for slicing through obstacles.
  • Crash: activates the iron plate on the front of the cab allowing you to smash through vehicles without loosing too much speed.

Game Controls

The game controls are pure arcade and very simple, this allow also to un-experienced gamers to enjoy the game since the beginning.
Horn/Power up

Cab control pause game brake accelerate

Control Action
D-pad left and right Steering left and right.
A button Accelerate
B button Brake
R button Horn
Start Pause game
Select Not used.

Game Strengths

  • A fun and enjoyable game that mix perfectly real action and exhilarating arcade experience.
  • Completely destructive, fare-driven gameplay.
  • Leave a path of destruction behind you as you deliver customers to their destinations.
  • 3D graphics as never seen on the Game Boy Advance, great details and smooth frame rate.
  • Complete interactive environment to drive into.
  • Crashes truly affect the vehicle with real damages.
  • Get power-ups including boosts, wings, special horn and a battering ram
  • Multiplayer game to share the fun with another friend.

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