Review by MKim

"A good PlayStation game needs a lot of tweaking"

When Sony first released Gran Turismo back in the first quarter of 1998, it changed the way we played racing games forever. Not only this game features authentic (Yes, only real-life AND authentic) cars, but this game featured something different that I've never thought would come to mind. At first, I gave GT a bad rap but later on understood the game's strength when I mastered it. For the first time you can tune up your cars and create racing ''kids'' on a car that you own so that your odds of winning can increase. Sony and Polyphony thought that 145 cars would be enough until now...

Again, Sony and Polyphony join forces once again to bring you Gran Turismo 2, featuring 66% more cars than the first one. Gran Turismo 2 shares the same gameplay that we loved from Gran Turismo, but there are some noticeable changes worth looking at.

The most noticeable change in the game is that you are now allowed to throw a car into the dirt tracks (often called Rally Races). This means that you will have to learn a few new tricks in order to survive these dirt tracks.

Also, there are about 5-8 new tracks, which tests your ability as a competent driver rather than on speed. Like the original, you can test your driving skills in either the Arcade Mode or by playing throughout the massively in-depth Simulation Mode.

But what Sony and Polyphony wanted to do with Gran Turismo 2 (as with the original) is to make sure that the gameplay (the driving feel) was close to real-life driving as much as possible. Controlling the car is much like the extension of the palm of your hand. You have to drive very carefully like you would in real life and always drive smoothly. Basically, this game lives for play control because the control response depends on what car you choose to use, and whatever modifications you place on the car. For example, a front-wheel drive car may have great handling, but poor acceleration whereas a rear-wheel drive car might have good acceleration, but poor handling antics. Gran Turismo 2 shares the same exceptional controlling feel as with the original. This time, the gameplay is a lot more interesting because GT2 has about 66% more cars than the first one.

The only complaint that I had was that GT2 is more of a modification of the original Gran Turismo than a brand-new game. There are certain cars (that I love to see in GT2 or any Gran Turismo game) that are not portrayed. Also, even though the game is quite realistic as far as the driving feel is concerned, it becomes quite too easy after a while.

While some ''rehash'' games might be disappointing because it's just a modification of the original, the increased amount of real-life cars really saves it. Overall, I was only expecting something a little better with this game, but it's still worthwhile to play. I highly recommend that you rent this game to see if there's any improvements over the original. To close this hard-to-make review, I highly recommend that you wait until the US PlayStation 2 comes out (along with Gran Turismo 2K) if you want brand new tracks and an even more vast variety of real-life cars.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/27/00, Updated 04/07/02

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