Grand Turismo Review (PSP) Available Now

 (http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/products/gtpsp/)

 Digital Polyphony had earned itself a place in the racing genre from its Gran Turismo on the original playstation back in 1997. The most memorable experience of the series includes its breath-taking graphics, its detailed driving simulation, and its reality-matching licensed vehicles, just to name a few. Twelve years later, it is still a leader in the racing genre. It had always redefined the genre’s standard with each of its new primary releases, and this game is no different. For the first time in this series, Gran Turismo is coming out on a portable console. While its trademark career mode isn’t present, Gran Turismo lets the player focus more on the driving experience. Its single races are excellent for people who don’t have time or patience to sit through multiple-races championships.

 (http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/products/gtpsp/)

 Digital Polyphony had earned itself a place in the racing genre from its Gran Turismo on the original playstation back in 1997. The most memorable experience of the series includes its breath-taking graphics, its detailed driving simulation, and its reality-matching licensed vehicles, just to name a few. Twelve years later, it is still a leader in the racing genre. It had always redefined the genre’s standard with each of its new primary releases, and this game is no different. For the first time in this series, Gran Turismo is coming out on a portable console. While its trademark career mode isn’t present, Gran Turismo lets the player focus more on the driving experience. Its single races are excellent for people who don’t have time or patience to sit through multiple-races championships.

 

Graphics:

As traditional of Gran Turismo, the game impresses the player from the beginning with a reality-comparable CG movie. Between the visible rock pieces and the individual leaves, the opening CG once again will have the viewer thinking if the makers had actually filmed that.

 

In-game wise, even on a portable console, it is noticeably better than the previous primary release, Gran Turismo 4 on PS2. Using the new graphic engine designed for the PSP, everything from the cars to the environment is a lot smoother. All the car models are once again done excellently, they are proportioned realistically and distinctly that car enthusiasts can easily identify the make and model of the cars just from their shapes.

 

Sounds:

Between the high spirited rock and mind racing techno tracks, the game offers a good variety of songs to race to. Gone is the vocal music, especially of the songs that are frequently on the radio. The larger reservoir of instrumental music is more than welcomed as the vocal tracks often distracted the player and limits the driving experience and/or performance. The crash sounds and adrenaline-pumping realistic engine are distinctly audible, another feature of the Gran Turismo Series.

 

Gameplay:

Gran Turismo offers a gameplay style that defines itself from the rest of the racing games, one which simulate car handling as closely as possible. The game presents much information from fine tuning a vehicle to actually driving on a race track. While the tunings aren’t as extensive as some of its previous installments, it still offers plenty of options to allow the vehicles to adapt to the needs of the player as well as the different tracks.

 

Gran Turismo has a challenge mode in place of tutorials, which includes many short scenarios to help players get used to Gran Turismo’s racing mechanisms. As for the veteran players, there are plenty of difficulty in achieving the higher level challenges as well as obtaining the higher tier rewards.

 

Presentation:

For a quick experience to get to the gorgeous tracks and car models, the most basic mode of this game is the single race and time trial. Simple as what they are, the single race mode uses an intelligent system to select 3 AI opponents based on the player’s vehicle. The system always ensures an interesting race without hassling the player to spend time and effort to select a suitable race for their vehicle. The single race is so convenient that a race is ready to start as soon as the player picks a car, a track, and number of laps. Also the reward is different based on the difficulty of the tracks as well as the number of laps. For those who really have the patience for it, the reward for winning a 99 laps race on the Nürburgring is definitely worthwhile.

 

Great effort is also put into its Ad Hoc wireless multiplayer contents. The game automatically adjusts starting line-up and even start-times based on the players’ performances for its 4-player races. It also has a trading feature that allows players to share or trade their vehicles.

 

Innovation:

Like Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Gran Turismo has a Drift Trial mode to add extra play style to Gran Turismo. In the previous installments of the game, drifting is generally a bad idea as it costs the player precious time as the car loses speed over a drift. However, in this Gran Turismo’s drift mode, there is no one to race against and there is no time limit, the player is instead rewarded points based on the duration of drifts. Furthermore, the points are then converted to credits when the player quits the race, which in turns add even more play value to it. But, even burning rubber has some challenge to it; because the points are not added to the player’s score should the vehicle bumps into the wall or spins out of control at any point during a drift. It is a very creative use of the game engine’s previous unused mechanic.

 

Longevity:

Polyphony Digital had said that Gran Turismo is a primary release, presumably comparable to Gran Turismo 4, Gran Turismo 3: A spec, etc. While it is hard to believe it for a portable title, but it’s also undeniably extensive with its 45+ tracks (including layout variations) as well as 800+ vehicles. Although this game doesn’t have the career mode that longtime fans are familiar with, there is a very good reason to play through the different modes over and over again to earn credits to build up the car collection. Even not for credit earning purposes, drift mode is an addictive addition to the series as a player can easily lose track of time trying repeatedly to gain a higher score at every single turn. As for the reason to earn credits, the players will be able to transfer their vehicles over to Gran Turismo 5 when it comes out on the PS3 on March 31st, 2010. Giving the player a huge head start by the time they get their hands on Gran Turismo 5. With that goal in mind, it is worth the effort to check out the limited given number of dealerships after every race as to not miss the randomly rotated dealerships.

         

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