When you first switch on your GBA with GT Championship inserted, you'll think you're in for a treat - the intro to the game looks like it's from a full console - the graphics are bold, and there's lots of anticipation of something really special.
Unfortunately this isn't followed through into the rest of the game, and what you find is a basic racer, with only six cars and a number of real Japanese racing tracks - there's also a course editor, which is one of the best features of the game, simply because you can make your own tracks of which you are rewarded extra tiles to use the further you progress in the championship races.
Still screenshots make GT Championship look very detailed and impressive, but it's when you're driving at 160mph that the detail disappears - you see no more than a detailed car, a detailed 2D background and sky, stripey grass and a track made up from patches of grey.
The cars themselves are detailed and look good, but the other graphics such as the repeated trackside signs, "tyre walls", patchy dark track, and the stripey grass makes it look very basic. The framerate however is very fast, and you do get a feel for the speed a the trackside objects flash past.
This is one of the problems though - you have no vanishing point on the horizon, so you can't see corners approaching. All you'll know about a corner is the direction arrow which shows on the screen, at which point you may as well press hard left/right, as you're going to be at the corner a split second later.
GT Championship sadly seems dated when compared with what's possible on the Game Boy Advance - many of the graphics look like they'd be more at home on the Game Boy Colour, or even in older coin-op style arcade machines from the 80's.
Compared with the likes of GT Advance by THQ, this game doesn't have the same feel, and definitely dated graphics - however it's not all bad, and the added feature of having a track editor really does mean that there's a lot more gameplay than if there was just the basic set of tracks.Overall score: 4 out of 10
Players: 1 to 4 (each player needs a copy for linkup play)
Recommended Price: £34.99
Available: June 22nd 2001Buy Top Gear GT Championship at Amazon