There seems no end to the capabilities of the GBA. We have a Final Fantasy style RPG in the shape of Golden Sun, a Star Fox look alike in the shape of Star X and now in the shape of V-Rally 3 we have a quality rally game that is not too dissimilar, in terms of appearance anyway, to the original V-Rally on the Playstation.
The game offers you a choice of modes. There's V-Rally mode, V-Rally Cross and Time Trial modes on offer. In V-Rally mode you choose a team to drive for. Initially you can only choose to drive for Renault or Volkswagen. As you progress through the game, the races are point-to-point, and become an accomplished driver you'll be offered contracts from Ford, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat and Opel. After you've agreed a contract it's off to the first rally. The order of the rallies seems to be random as the first time I started a game it was France first and the second time it was Kenya. Just like in other rally games you get to alter the gears, steering and tyres etc. The game is automatically saved after the completion of a rally. Each rally consists of five stages. After the second and fourth stages you get to alter the car setup and repair any damage that you have time to.
In V-Rally Cross mode you race wheel-to-wheel with three other drivers. There are ten races in all. There are two races for each licence and 5 licences for you to win. Each licence has 2 races that are raced on the same track. The first one is the semi-final and is raced in the normal direction and the final is raced in the reverse direction. Time Trial is the self explanatory attempt to beat the lap record time.
Again we have a GBA title that visually is very impressive. The circuits look great. A variety of weather conditions are contained within the game and all will impress you. In V-Rally mode you can even switch to a driver's view where a pair of hands move the steering wheel. There are a couple of visual glitches though. The worst of these is in the V-Rally Cross mode where the cars occasionally appear to overlap with each other, it also must be said that it is annoying when you bump into one of the AI cars how your speed slows to a crawl and theirs seems unaffected. Pop-up also rears it's head but in fairness it is no worse than the original Colin McRae on the Playstation.
V-Rally 3 is fine for deaf gamers. The only speech in the game is 'Checkpoint' when you pass through a checkpoint and 'Finish' when you pass the finish line. These comments are not subtitled but in the case of the 'Checkpoint' comment it could have obstructed your view and this would have been a pain. There are no co-driver comments and just the directional icons are used. Vehicle damage is displayed on the right side of the screen. Icons are used to show damage to the steering, engine, body, suspension etc. The icons begin green and end up being black when they are in a terrible state and need desperate attention. The text that is used in the game is OK although it could have been a little clearer, but it is still readable.
V-Rally 3 is an impressive rally game for the GBA. The game is visually impressive, handles great and offers a decent amount of variety.
Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10 A must for GBA owning rally fans.
Deaf Gamers comment: The game is absolutely fine for deaf gamers.