Review by Tenshi No Shi
"Racing simulation at its best!"
Games like Gran Turismo have never really appealed to me. I never got into the race circuit simulation games, preferring games like Ridge Racer and F-Zero to give me what I craved in the racing genre. The reason being, I like games that offer a more unrealistic approach to life (which is why, for the most part, I don't play sports games). If I wanted real life, I'd turn off the TV. That being said, I can't say I enjoyed Gran Turismo to the fullest.
There really is no story to Gran Turismo. You race cars and upgrade to better cars and race harder tracks. The end. Its a simulation of what its like to be a professional racer.
There is no questioning just how spectacular the graphics are on this game. The cars and tracks seem so realistic, and the replays are just beautiful. The way everything animates is also very realistic. This game is simply one of the best looking games every made.
In the sound depart, we have a very realistic selection of samples. Engine hum sounds different depending on size and type, tire make different sound due to weight and speed, its all just so dead on you'd swear you were at a race track. You really do have to hear it to believe it.
The controls are where the game starts to fall apart for me. Sure its supposed to be realistic (I know as well as anyone cars don't turn on a dime or bounce off of walls), but I think the game could be just a tad more forgiving than it is. Learning to properly anticipate curves and turn corners precisely is tedious and frustrating, detracting from the fun of the game and making it a hard title to get into. Plus, once you do learn the controls, you'll find playing Rage Racer harder than ever as you have to readjust to the simpler, yet more effective controls.
Gran Turismo really shines in its design aspect. The cars are perfect models of there real-life counterparts, behaving exactly as they should. The track designs are also great, with thought placed in to layout so once you've mastered the controls, you can use the tracks to your advantage in optimizing your speed.
166 cars. that's how may makes, models and body-types you can collect to achieve a full collection. What more could you ask for in a racing game?
Gran Turismo is an excellent game, with very few faults. The control aspect is just a personal problem that I had. Where most people might like the more realistic feel, I still prefer the arcade control approach for a racing game. If you're a serious racing fan, look no farther than Gran Turismo.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/05/02
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