Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gran Turismo Review

Platform: PSP
Genre: Simulator

"I did it for the cars. Canary yellow, Marlboro red, begging to be plucked."
[Memphis Raines "Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)"]

If you read the quote (hard to miss it) and you know the Gran Turismo series, I think you look a bit puzzled. You'll see why I chose it.

To be honest this is the third time I play Gran Turismo. First time I played it on a PS way too long ago to remember anything, then on the PS2 at Baku's place. But now I have the PSP version all to myself.
Sometimes it is best to describe a game by giving a step-by-step information of everything you did in it. Don't worry, I'll restrain it.

So, after a rather nice intro movie, I got to the game menu ... where the only career-ish thing I saw were the driving challenges. Not in the mood for them I went to a single race where I could only choose a Vw Golf 3. My cash balance was 0, and i had 3 shops from where to buy cars. Also in the menu there's a counter that keeps track of your virtual time spent in the game (1 race=1 day). So I started to look how to get money... Of course I could do races for them but I thought there had to be a career mode somewhere so I started to do all the challenges. These vary from taking a corner, to setting really good times, overtaking and so on. Each one of them rewards you with cash depending on your time. If you get off the track or hit a opponent (in the overtaking one) you fail.

After doing most of them I raised a small fortune so I went back to the shops. But they changed, now there were new ones. The game offers different shops each 2 or 3 days. So you should check them often and plan your races so you can raise the money to buy ... whatever you wanna buy.
After the challenges are completed you can only attend single (and multiplayer ofc) races. After choosing the type of the race (drift, time trial, single race) comes the track and the car.

Why would you do these like a maniac ?
Because the game offers 850 vehicles from all over the world. From Mini to Ferrari, from tuner to muscle, from minivan to SUV or pick-up, and a whole lot of concept cars. If you are a car enthusiast it will be like Christmas just with the variety of stock classic cars, or those that made a difference sometime. Besides these, there are the rally versions of some, everyone who didn't live in cave his whole life will recognize (audi quattro, toyota celica ... and the list goes on), and some highly-tuned cars by pros like RUF. You can also quick-tune up to 25 of your cars selected as favorite. Every car in the game has a detailed description plus a full history with the ups and downs of the model (I found some really interesting things there).

At the beggining of the game every track is set at D rank, but winning races will increase it all the way to A then S. With each rank you will earn more money. Also the amount of cash you get is determined by the number of the laps ... so it's no wonder I did a 99 lap (maximum amount) oval track for a few times.

The game looks awesome for a PSP one. Nothing can compare the feeling you get while driving around the Nurburgring in a Ferrari Enzo, or struggle to keep a Dodge Charger 440 R/T in a straight line on dirt while blocking you opponent's view with gravel and dust. You can even set a cockpit camera ... but it's not rally detailed, only a black frame to imitate the shape of the car.
The sound is great also ... besides the noise of the engines, the tracks (if one of them doesn't enter a infinite loop) are catchy and pleasing to the ear. I also heard a pretty interesting remix of The Omen from Prodigy.

One thing I really HAVE to mention is that the silly-floppy air-brake from the Bugatti Veyron really works... it actually raises up when you brake (not seen by me in any game till now).
Well my point is ... if you really like cars ... if you get excited just by the thought of a Lamborghini Countach or you imagine yourself cruising in a Shelby GT350R ... buy it ... play it... treasure it ...

p.s. every car you buy will be already purchased in the up-coming Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3.

the bad: Repeated music, no career
the good: OMG 850 cars !!!, long life, fun

i do not own the screenshots. all rights go to theyr respective owners.