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  1. decript

    OP decript A melon a day, keeps t3h monkey away

    Nov 6, 2004
    Driv3r (GBA)


    This is the second Driver game for the GBA. Driver 2 was somewhat ok, but driv3r lacked an overall feel of the driver series where as Driver 2 didn’t. In a few aspects, driver 2 was in fact better, but only gameplay wise. Velez and Dubail are the developers and are known for their great graphics engine which was used for games like Stuntman and V-Rally 3 which boasted some of the best graphics on the GBA.
    Note: I will do some comparing of Driv3r and Driver 2 just to see the overall improvement and sequel-like quality.

    Story 6/10 [​IMG]
    The story is introduced at the beginning with some static pictures and text. Throughout the game, its mainly just dialogue with your choppy character and others. I personally, after playing many driver games, never gave a hoot for the story and this one left me in the blue, I didn’t know who was who and so forth, but that’s just me. Of course, I slowly got it.
    The story is a bout a guy called Tanner, who is an undercover cop. The beginning starts with him facing death, and then he recounts his story six months ago. From then one, its Justin your face fights and chases with gangs and getting in trouble, typical Driver action.

    Graphics 7/10 [​IMG]
    The graphics are good, at least far better than Driver 2 where your character has some shape instead of some boxy stick. Tanner also has more fluid and better animation. All the cars are sprites, so each car has different sprites for different angles. There is now some variety to scenery and buildings along with different heights allowing for a not so boring ride, as compared to Driver 2 which lacked scenic variety and was boring to drive around.
    This game was also able to pull a sensation of speed, which Driver 2 lacked totally. Most cars can reach a good speed and it feels like your going fast. Though because of the rather short draw distance, things can pop up and impede your path, if you know what I mean.
    But what brought the score down from an 8, is the graphical glitches and possibly shortcuts which the developers took to make the game run decently, though there are drops in frame rates at times. It wasn’t brought down any lower because I don’t feel it impairs gameplay or hinders the enjoyment of it that much. Things like clipping from when looking from different angles at cars and buildings. Also clipping of the collision of cars, sometimes you go through the back of another car and it doesn’t recognize it, thank god, as I will explain later. Also the fact that walls ‘warp’ when you approach them, or turn the camera angle near them, its like its being sucked in.


    Sound 7/10 [​IMG]
    I would say the music sounded bad and wasn’t that good anyways. It sounded a bit…well crappy. But you get used to it and hey, it’s GBA. One song sounds ‘evil’, ‘dark’, however you want to put it, like someone is going to die, maybe you? But I’ll give it an “eh” or maybe a “meh”, something along those lines
    The sound effects are ok some of them but they sound a little unrealistic and crappy, but better than the music. Especially when bumping into things and the ‘hunnh’ sound that Tanner makes when he jumps the height of a car., it gives you a feeling of “lame” and constipated, well, “lame” at least.

    Gameplay 6/10 [​IMG]
    Here is where the game generally fails; most of its gameplay. The first thing you notice when you first play the game, is that there is three save slots and only two things in the menu, Undercover and Credits. Though the Undercover mode is more liberal and in some ways includes some of the minigames and the free roam mode from previous Drivers. You always start at Tanner’s place and you have to drive to the mission, which can be annoying if it’s on the other side of the map. Between missions though, you are free to drive around and do minigames marked by different coloured dots. But with the games physics, who wants to?
    The missions are a little boring at first, like following cars and shooting some people, or going from point A to point B. Later on it starts to vary a bit but usually it’s the same formula. Some missions can be frustrating thanks to the games physics engine.
    Cars can’t really turn, they slide to turn making obstacle driving missions very hard and dodging traffic very annoying. Its like driving on ice, the car rotates and slowly begins to slide into the direction you want. The sad thing is this happens even at low speeds. Also the collision effect sucks. You bump a car and spring back, like you’re in a bumper car. Missions where you have to follow another car are very hard because if you bump another car, you come to a stop and mission failed. Also because of the turning, making last minute turns, which the AI does making you play the mission a couple of times and slowly memorize the path, makes you screw up, sliding right into a lamp post, building or another car, bumping you in the opposite direction.
    Though the cities are of a reasonable size with some variety. You can also swim and jump which is a nice addition. Though if you drive a car into water, it blows up, of course killing you. In this game, there are cop cars but essentially no cop AI, so its just total anarchy. Also cars don’t have hit points, only you do which you will have to find life around the city as well as ammo which is hard to find. To target, you just strafe around until the target sign is on an enemy and only an enemy because you can’t shoot civilians, but you can run them over. The AI on foot isn’t the greatest, they run around shooting and occasionally stopping, allowing you to fire the three shots required to kill them. Variety in vehicles comes later in the game, such as motorbikes and boats but at the beginning, these only like 6 or something.
    This is why it doesn’t feel like a driver game, because it lacks elements that made other Driver’s more enjoyable and successful.


    Replay Value 6/10 [​IMG]
    There are 2 cities of moderate size and variety and 25 missions with parts or stages to them. There are also secret kiosks to destroy scattered around but I have not been able to find them. There are 32 missions which consist of minigames and secrets but I have not been able to find any secret missions, and I am not the only one. Also there should be more weapons but I haven’t encountered them. There isn’t that much to do and free roaming isn’t as fun as other games of this genre, but the painful but sometimes enjoyable missions will take some time.

    Overall 6/10
    (6.4 average) [​IMG]

    +2 decently sized maps with variety
    + a variety of vehicles
    +a good sense of speed
    +good graphics

    -choppy draw distance
    -minor slowdowns
    -graphical glitches
    -terrible collision physics
    -bad AI
    -lack of gameplay modes

    T3h Warp!

    I see you! I must have X-Ray vision.

    Note: I will congratulate the team (Atari or Reflections Interactive) who was responsible for naming the third Driver instalment, Driv3r. Notice the ‘1337’ness of the way they implemented the ‘3’ to replace the ‘e’ and it represents its numerical value also. Truly genius and an incredibly intellectual approach to naming a game which will boost the sales of the game, all of the version that is, which includes: the PC, PS2, Game Cube, Xbox and the GBA.

    Statistics show that, of the people who were going to buy Driver 3, they were presented with two exact copies, one named Driver 3 and the other Driv3r, however the last one was priced $10 more. 70% of the people got the Driv3r one and were naturally attracted to that one first when they saw it and were willing to fork out even more money for it. One man said “it was love at first sight”.

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