Review by THAguyINgta3

"What else can you ask for?"

A few years back, a company by the name of Polyphony Digital brought to us one of the best racing games of all time. Who knew that this would later trigger two follow up sequels to one of the best racing games ever created. The second one was great but had a complicating map/menu feature of the world. Even though, that game would live up to the hype. And now, Polyphony again has delivered us a fine racing game. This title is Gran Turismo 3 A Spec. Who the heck knows what the word “Spec” means in the title but who really cares? This third installment delivers magnificently well and even dwarfs the last game of the series. This particular game became the main standard for all the other racing games to come. If it didn’t look, play, or sound like Gran Turismo 3, it basically isn’t worth your purchase. This is the game video game magazine, websites, and other types of periodicals were using this game to compare other racing titles.

Basically, the main reason people took notice of this game was the outstanding visuals it portrayed. This is the trademark or this game; the visual appeal. But the real appeal of this game is the excellent car physics the development team was able to input in this title. The visuals were just eye candy for all. You can basically adjust any part of the car to your pleasure. From camber to spoiler settings, this is every racing fans dream game. Adjusting one tiny little setting will or can change the performance of your vehicle. The only thing, which is very ironic, is the fact that you can’t change the color of your car. It’s amazing that you can change every other little aspect but you can’t change the color. Who really cares huh? It still plays great and is very original.

Gran Turismo 3’s real meat, other than the customizable parts, is it’s game play. You are given a mode, which is a simulation. You start off with a few thousand dollars and work your way by winning more races, money, and licenses. You progress by gaining newer, faster, better handling and looking cars. You can either use your money that you have won by buying new cars or upgrading your jalopy. As the game progresses and you have your new or upgraded car, the races start getting harder. Tire ware is added to more difficult races and a must have pit stops is 95% needed. This new flow will add more difficulty to a game with mediocre AI. All though the other racers fighting for the lead is pretty average and even sometimes easy, they will still try to force you off the road and into the dirt or a dead end. You think all this game play is a lot but the developers still added a few more modes. One such mode is your typical Arcade mode. I’m assuming you know what this is already. Then a Time Trial mode is also available to play which is very hard but with a little practice, it can be mastered. Here all you do is try to beat the computers lap time in a given circuit.

The sound in this game is very authentic to every last engine sound. The sounds of breaking and power steering sounds also very authentic. All in all, this game could not have had a better sound engine since it’s perfect the way it is. You are also given a few tunes to rock on by while racing real long laps. Songs from Poppa Roach, to Goldfinger, to Judas Priest, and to the Cardigans are all here. Even the hip-hop gangster rap artist mad ea song of his own about the game and is featured in the soundtrack.

Visually, this is one of the best titles to come out for PS2. The sheer amount of detail in this game is endless. The real time shadow effects are awesome and the details in the car look phenomenal. Even the rims of the tires you can purchase look really authentic. The dust effects, from racing in the dirt, also are amazing. Even the circuits themselves are fantastic and life like. Some of the real circuits from real life are portrayed like how they really look. The replays actually look like you are watching television. Polyphony deserves an award for a great achievement in the visual department.

Aside from all the cars you unlock or all the trophies you win, this game will keep you occupied for years or at least till the next game in the series is released. And even some F1 cars have been added giving you an unlimited lead in every race you use this beautiful puppy in. That should keep you playing more at least months. Plus, acquiring the dream cars such as the Ford GT40’s is a blast. Even though that car isn’t as good as the F1 cars, it still looks great in your virtual garage. All these things are packaged into one little disc. Trust me, you could not ask for a better game. This is the true package for racing fans. You will not be displeased from buying this game. It lives up to all the hype it is getting. Gran Turismo is really the best racing series there is.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/23/03, Updated 03/23/03

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