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North America

Driven GBA

by David Trammell - February 2, 2002, 5:19 pm EST


The movie that this game was based on was not well received by critics. Unfortunately, the GBA game doesn’t look to do much better.

The arcade-racing genre is a very crowded place on any platform. I suppose there is something about making a racing game that is appealing to publishers. It probably has something to do with getting a higher return on their investment than usual. In the case of Driven they must have really been excited about the sales potential since the game is based on a movie that shares the name. However, neither the movie nor the game is very good.

Perhaps one of the only high points in Driven is that the game is a third person racer. In other words, you look at your car from a 45º angle (much like the perspective in Tony Hawk 2 for the GBA). This perspective worked pretty well in Rare’s classic NES title, R.C. Pro-AM. Even in that game the controls were a pain to adjust to. In Driven, they controls are not nearly as touchy, instead they are too loose.

If you do adjust to the controls, you’ll find that there isn’t much depth to the gameplay. Mostly, you’ll be required to simply drive as fast as possible while avoiding other cars and sometimes looking for items that are scattered on the track. If you drive well enough (improve consecutive lap times or take a lot of turns well) you will go into "the zone". This restores your cars damage, and gives you extra speed and the ability to plow through other cars as long as you continue to drive well. When you're not in the zone, crashing into other cars (or walls) is a great way to see the silly crash animation and get left in the dust by the other racers. Some races have creative obstacles, like giant truck trailers that you have to drive under (avoiding the wheels of course), but ultimately the game just didn't draw me in. In the story mode you’ll have different goals (simply beat a race in a certain time limit, or actually race other drivers, etc.). The story is told in pages of text between the races.

Driven’s graphics are probably the lowest point in the game. Aside from the fact that they don’t look very good, they also manage to cause framerate hits on certain courses. Similarly, the music isn’t worth talking about either. The sound effects aren’t anything special, but I can’t really say anything bad about them.

If you’re a big fan of racing games, third person racers in particular, then you may want to rent this game to see how you like it. Otherwise, steer clear of this one.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
5 6.5 7 6 7 6

Mediocre art combined with actual framerate stuttering makes for a poor visual showing. I remember when 2D games had slowdown instead of framerate problems. If one of these two has to be present, I’d really prefer the slowdown.


Mostly uninspired tunes are complimented by passable sound effects. Sometimes a decent game can be made much more enjoyable by great music, but the music in this title does nothing like that.


Nailing the controls in a third-person racing game is not an easy task, and I regret to say that it was not nailed in this case. The control isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not good either.


If the controls were better, the limited gameplay (which consists of driving in circles, dodging cars and rolling over bonus pick ups) might be more interesting. Too bad.


If you do happen to like the game, there are a few different modes to play (story mode, single races etc.), but the gameplay is basically the same for each mode.


It’s like R.C. Pro-AM only the controls aren’t quite as good, there are no weapons, and there’s a story mode for those who enjoyed the movie on which this game is based.


  • Story mode is interesting for a racer
  • Third person racing perspective isn’t seen often
  • Framerate stuttering
  • The controls should be a little tighter
  • Third person racing perspective doesn’t work very well
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Racing
Developer Crawfish Interactive
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Driven GBA
Release Nov 28, 2001
PublisherBAM! Entertainment
jpn: Driven GBA
Release TBA
PublisherBAM! Entertainment

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