Review by Whotookmynick
"Prepare to be blown away..."
Gran Turismo 3 continues the line of excellent racing games that we have all come to expect from the name. Prepare to be blown away...
Any game, whether it be a action packed first person shooter or a mind-numbing puzzle solver, relies on its gameplay to keep the gamer glued to their seats for hours at a time. For myself, no game has done this recently as well as Gran Turismo 3 has. Upon entering the in-depth simulation mode you are greeted with 5 different racing leagues - Beginner to Endurance. The first 3 leagues each contain 20, 23, and 22 individual racing events. Of those races, 1/3 to 1/2 of them are championship races of 5, 7, or 10 races, each race being on a different track. These championships are the longest events in a racing game that I have ever seen, save for the 24 hour race in Le Mans 24 hour. Each race of the 10 race series can be up to 20 laps in length, and they will be by the time you have moved up into the Professional leagues. This can cause some of the longer series to take 7-8 hours to complete. Fortunately, Polyphony included a save feature that will let you shut off the game and rest in between races. Once you have all of these races beaten, there are the endurance challenges for you to attempt. These can take between an hour and half to just over 3 hours to complete, EACH. And there are 10 of them in all. Gameplay is just like the previous Gran Turismos, and that is most decidedly an excellent thing. If you hope to complete the game then it can take hundreds of hours of racing. Got the time? Well good for you. If not, like the rest of us, then this game will keep you entertained for the next year. Or at least until Metal Gear Solid 2 comes out.
The controls in this game are exactly the same as the previous games. X to accelerate, ? to brake, and either the analog or D-Pad can be used to steer. Your car will respond flawlessly to your inputs, although at first the game seems rather slow in responding, this is only because of the car. Once you have gotten a decent ride and properly tuned it, the car will become your biatch. From the slow and sluggish FF drive cars the fast and furious MR cars, this game has enough cars to keep you on your toes through each and every turn. And every car handles different then the last, so its a good thing that they provided such rock solid controls.
The audio is decent. That's the best way to describe it. Engines sound relatively good and are believable. I feel the soundtrack is very well composed all though many people seem to dislike it. Luckily, there is a playlist editor so you can tailor the game music to only play the songs which you like. The audio score was marked down because the soundtrack is drowned out by the engine noise. This could be alleviated if there was a volume control somewhere in the game where you could turn down the engine noise and turn up the music but there is no option to be found anywhere. Overall though this is a minor gripe and it shouldn't stop you from experiencing this true gem of a game.
Excellent. Marvelous. Impressive. There aren't enough synonyms for excellent to describe the graphics. GT3 truly pushes the PS2 to the edge of performance and it leaves me wondering if anyone can improve upon it. When you fire up the game and watch the intro, you might say 'Holy $&@!, I wish the in-game graphics looked like that'. Then you keep watching and finally realize that what you are seeing isn't a FMV sequence, its the game engine in action! Everything is rendered beautifully from the tracks, to the cars, to the water and dirt spray. This is the true epitome of graphically beauty. Oh and don't forgot to bring a napkin with you when you play, you know, to clean up the drool that will accumulate while watching the almost broadcast quality replays.
If you ever got 100% completion then chances are you'll never want to drive a car again and even if you did want to replay the game, I hope you wouldn't delete your game file after all that hard work. Since all the races are unlocked, you can just fire it up and replay any one you want. The replayability there is endless. But there is nothing new that you can really do except try to collect all the cars which proves to be a very daunting task. Overall though this is the best racing you can find anywhere, so if you want to race, race here.
Now run out the store and buy this game. Don't think about renting it, BUY IT. You will not regret it. The options are endless and the car can be tweaked and messed with to your hearts content. What's not to love?
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/16/01, Updated 07/16/01
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