Review by Shadow Edge

"The racing game that started it all! A must-have!"

I've never been really a racing type of gamer. Back then, I prefer games like Final Fantasy and Megaman. I saw this game on the shelves. People say this game is a PSX masterpiece, but it's a racing game. Oh well, I just bought this and boom, I liked the racing game genre.

Graphics: 9/10

Graphics almost deserves a full ten! For a PSX game, the graphics were impressive!

Cars looked incredibly detailed, and they shine the way they should be. Racetracks looks awesome too, some tracks were real-life ones. You'll be seeing a lot of highly-detailed licensed cars in this game... favorites like Mitsubishi Lancer or Subaru Impreza (yes, this rally car is in the game).

Polyphony (the one who produced this game) believed in the phrase "simplicity at its best". The menus were simple, therefore, easier to navigate and looks better than the overly detailed ones. Saves time on loading too.

The cars look the way they should be, colored the way they should be and shines the way they should be. The tracks look smooth and sleek, and one of the best in its time. The game also has a replay mode, so you can watch how good (or how bad) you drive! Camera angles in the replay are great too.

With everything, graphics gets a niner.

Gameplay: 9.5

Gameplay... the meat of the game. You can play in two modes: Arcade Mode and Simulation Mode.

Arcade Mode is just like a Quick Race mode. You have a set of cars to drive on a set of tracks already available. To unlock more goodies, you must beat a certain track three times on Difficult Mode. The flow goes like this, select Arcade Mode, select a type of race (single, time attack, etc.), select difficulty (easy, normal, difficult) then you can select from a wide range of licensed cars all from big name car companies like Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, etc. etc. After that, you can also select transmission (automatic or manual), then you can select a racetrack. The racetracks well were designed, some have more straights, some have more corners, while some blends them both. Unlock more goodies by beating a track on Difficult three times.

"Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator"

The Simulation mode is fun, and very realistic, as the title also speaks.

So when you start a Simulation, the first thing to do is get a license. Licenses grant you freedom to race and teaches you the know-hows of driving. The lowest License is B, highest is International. To earn your license, pick the "License" icon on the map. You'll have to undergo a series of driving situations, and you must meet the requirements (mostly, time-attack style). They'll provide you with a car for each license test, so don't worry. These tests will teach you the know-hows of driving, from the basics (starting and stopping; simple cornering) to the advance skills (multiple cornering, stuff like that). However, bump too hard on the walls or drive on the grass and you'll have to start that certain test again.

So let's say you have your own license now. You should buy your car. You already have 10,000 credits from the start. You can pick your preferable makes like Mitsubishi, Honda, etc. etc. With that money, mostly you can buy are second hand cars. Don't just pick by the looks, pick by the power and the drivetrain of your car. FF cars tend to understeer, FR tends to oversteer, and 4WD tend to be heavier, making you fly off to the wall when you steer too much. are After purchasing, you can now race. Each "special" or "event" races requires a level of license or certain stuff on your car (being FF, FR, MR, 4WD, untuned, etc.). Races are mostly, if not all, series races. Before the actual race, you need to qualify for a position. Pole position earns you bonus credits. You can also opt to skip qualification. So you race.

Gran Turismo was and is always noted for its realistic physics. Yes, physics are very realistic, unlike other games where steering is just too easy and brakes were rendered useless. In real life, brakes play a very important role in steering, especially at tight corners.

After racing, you will be awarded points depending on your position at the end of the race. The same goes to the next races. At the end of the races, points are added up. You earn money depending on your rank. Being champion earns you a championship bonus and a new car.

So you have money now. You have many things to think about: "Should I save for a better car?", "Should I upgrade my car now?". The choice is yours.

Upgrading the the fun-est part of the game. You'll have a lot of upgrade parts to choose from: mufflers, stabilizers, suspension, turbo, tires, etc. etc.... practically every interior part. And those parts have levels, like sports-semi-racing-racing (for many parts); or soft-soft, soft-hard, etc. (for tires); soft-medium-hard rear or front (for stabilizers) and stuff like that. To make your car look cooler and allows you more options, you can make it undergo a Racing Modification, making it look more like a racing car than a city car.

Lots of cars, lots of parts, lotsa tracks. The only thing I could ask for was more racing events.

Story: N/A

Racing games normally have no story, so I won't add this to the average.

Sounds: 8/10

Everything in the sounds is great!

The sound effects were very realistic. The "vroom vroom" sound of the engines of each car is unlike the other. The tire screeches have a great deal of variety, and the soundtrack is just great. The menu sounds aren't too noisy either. Arcade mode's background music is very catchy too. Every music is just fit for a racing game.

Controls: 10/10

Controls are simple and realistic (this time, I'm counting physics in the controls)

Left and right buttons of the d-pad for steering. You can also use your left analog stick to steer. X for accelerate, square for braking, triangle for reverse and O for emergency brake (shift down). L2 and R2 are for gear shifting on manual transmission if I remember correctly, L1 for back view and R1 for camera view change.

Driving has realistic physics. Controls are simple. A perfect ten for controls.

Lifespan: 7.5/10

After beating everything in Simulation Mode and unlocking everything in Arcade Mode, there will be a bit little incentive for you to start all over. But before you can do those, you'll have a long, long way to go.

Ratings
Graphics : 9
Gameplay : 9.5
Story : N/A
Sounds : 8
Controls : 10
Lifespan : 7.5

Total : 9 (8.8) (Remarkable)

PROs:
- Very realistic physics
- Great graphics and sounds
- Lotsa cars and tracks
- Great replay options

CONs:
- Could use more racing events

RENT OR BUY?
A must-buy, even if you're not a racing type of gamer! If you are then this game deserves to belong in your collection!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/31/05


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