Review by NES4EVER
"The BEST racing game for Playstation.. EVER"
This is by far, the best racing game ever created for the Playstation console. I have never had such an experience with any other game. I bought this game in January of 2000. Expecting it to last me for about 6 months, like the last one did. Boy was I wrong! I still play this game every day, and it’s over 2 years later! No other racing game has given me the same experience, not even Gran Turismo 3. GT2 was just so good at letting you pick up the controller, play, save, and carry on with your life. Another great thing about GT2 is the amount of cars. It’s unbelievable!!! Over 500 cars to choose from. Please tell me when another racing game gets even close to that. That amount of cars lets you take so many different paths in the game its unbelievable. You can start off with a small car and dominate the small car leagues. Or you can buy a used rice burner (Japanese import car) and upgrade it into a thoroughbred racer. With a total of 36 car manufacturers, the possibilities are endless.
This game offers 2 different modes to play. Arcade and Simulation. Arcade is the portion that you can have single races in and time trials. Simulation is like a whole different game. You start off with ten thousand credits and an endless supply of cars to choose from. Unfortunately, just like in real life, high performance racecars don’t cost peanuts. So you’re forced to search for a small or used car. You do a few races, make a bit of money, and customize your vehicle. That’s another great thing about GT2. There is just so much in depth tuning to be done, that you need to be some kind of car expert to figure it out. If you have trouble, there are FAQ’s at GameFAQs that will certainly set you straight with what you’re trying to do. Once you have established yourself on the track as an eager newcomer. You can get licenses that will be key in later races. These licenses teach you how to race in the 4 leagues. GT League, Special Event League, Endurance League, and Rally Racing League. The GT League requires you to participate in races that are specific to the country a certain car is from. So say you were driving a Ford Mustang. Ford is an American car; therefore, you would participate in the American races against other American cars. Later in the GT League, you must take part in more important races like the Euro and Pacific leagues and eventually to the world tournament. Once you beat the world tournament, the game goes all razzle-dazzle. But you haven’t even skimmed the surface. The Special Event League holds most of the guts in this game. There are about 24 different events consisting of 3 to 5 races each. So you wont finish this part of GT any time soon. The Endurance League sports some of the longest and hardest races in the game. These races range anywhere from 31 laps to 99 laps or 45 minutes to 2 hours. That’s a heck of a lot of time to be accelerating, braking, and turning. Just hope your fingers last longer than your car. Rally Racing isn’t too hard. You are only required to race rally cars on a dirt track for one lap, against a ghost car. There are about 30 or so races in this league so you should be here for quite a while. And just when you think you’re done… Your wrong! There are still the manufacturers events. These events challenge you to drive a specific car against others that are identical to it. For example, the Dodge Viper event consists either a street legal version race, or a race modified race. If you finish all of this, you just spent well over 100 hours with this game. Now how many racing games do you know that sport 100 hours of excitement.
Another category where GT2 dominates its predecessor and the competition. Not only in music, but in sound effects as well. With artists like Rob Zombie, Moby, Fear Factory and Gearwhore, you’ll definitely love driving your cars while listening to these tunes. I only have one problem with the music. When you participate in an endurance race, there is no play list to speak of. Only one song is played over and over again. And trust me, listening to the same song for 2 hours is about as much fun as working in the manufacturing line of a puzzle factory. I suggest turning on a radio station or listening to your favorite CD while doing endurance races. The sound effects in this game are truly amazing. Every single car sounds like its real life counterpart, no joke. I can’t imagine how many weeks it must have taken to get the sounds of all the engines of all the cars. Although, there are a few parts in this game that could have been improved. The screeching of the tires sounds almost the same every single time, and when two cars collide, it sounds more like the clunk of toy cars together than the clash of metal. Also, the sound of cars when they touch is louder than it should be. Usually the sound of the roaring engine would muffle the brief clashes of metal. Overall, the wide variety of artists in the soundtrack and the vast amount of engine noises far outweighs the cons.
This is one category where I feel like a minority. Most people think that this is a major flaw in the game, but I beg to differ. I believe that it’s not BAD handling, but realistic handling. Something that most other games don’t bother to deal with. I mean what is a driving simulator without realistic handling. Sure, the controls take a little time to get used to because you need to learn the different techniques like power sliding, under steering, over steering, it all comes into consideration when trying to become a better driver. The level of difficulty that this game sets forward might be too much for some gamers tastes, but those looking for a challenge should enjoy this game to the fullest once they get the controls down pat. The buttons for the game are laid out very well, and become almost natural over time. And if you really feel like an expert, try driving with a manual transmission. Because then, not only do you have to worry about when to brake and turn, but shifting as well. I suggest you only try the manual transmission once you know the controls. Trying manual on a dominantly straight track is another good idea if you want to get a feel for it, otherwise, it will overwhelm you.
I would have to say I am satisfied with the graphics in this game. They are not what anyone would call “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking”, but they are good. The cars take up most of the detail because it is after all a simulation game. However, it feels like too much attention to detail was directed towards the cars. That left the tracks looking like a watercolor painting. For example, on the Tahiti track, the pavement looks like it’s moving, even when you’re not. The trees look like something out of a super Nintendo game and the sky looks like someone took a picture of a half mixed baby blue paint can. There are a lot of cases where pop up and aliasing affect the look of the track as well. I’m not saying that you should despise this game because of lackluster backgrounds, but I don’t understand what was keeping them from detailing the tracks. I do understand that it’s only the Playstation, and that Sony had to work with almost 5-year-old technology. But I still think some of the pop up and displeasing backgrounds was avoidable.
You’ll be playing this game until the day you get carpel tunnel syndrome!!! There is just so much replay value that you’ll never get sick of this game. If the fact that this game takes a considerable amount of time to finish (around 100 hours) isn’t enough, it makes you want to play it again, and again, and again. I have already beaten Gran Turismo 2 three times, and as of right now, im working on the fourth time through. I may be an extreme case, but I’m sure that most other people have played through this game more than once. And if it takes 100 hours to beat, then two times through still isn’t bad at all. Congratulations to Sony SCEA for making such an addictive game.
You will not be disappointed with this game. From the time you pop it in to the disk tray until you simply wear out the disk like I have done. There are very few racing games that have achieved, or will ever achieve what this game has created. I strongly urge anyone who likes racing games to consider this game. You will NOT be let down with the experience that Gran Turismo 2 offers. Right now, you can probably find this game in most stores for 20$ which is almost a steal when you consider what you’re getting. A simulation racing game with an arcade game tagged on. If you own Gran Turismo 3 but not 2, I still urge you to buy it because this is the one where the series launched itself to legend status.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/02, Updated 06/15/02
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