Since the creation of the first Playstation console (the PS1), the Gran Turismo franchise has produced some of the most world renowned games of all time. The creators of the Gran Turismo series have prided themselves with producing games of exceeding quality, surpassing that of any other racing games produced at that time. Even today, with games such as Need For Speed or Forza MotorSport, the Gran Turismo series of games still lead as the most realistic driving simulators ever made for home entertainment consoles. Although, Gran Turismo is exclusive to Playstation (as Halo is to Xbox), so you must own a Playstation console to play it.
Of the 4 games Gran Turismo has currently produced (not including demos and prologues), Gran Turismo for PSP has been one of the most widely anticipated. What many people have been wanting to know is if it's as good as the the previously made console games. Or, if Gran Turismo's transition to a portable console has been an unsuccessful one. Hopefully this review will answer any questions you might have.
To begin, and for those who don't know, Gran Turismo is a game centered around professional, grand prix type racing. (And since the production Gran Turismo 2, rally racing on dirt and snow courses have been added). The new PSP version has a good side, and a bad side. Here is information on each:
The Good Side (Pros):
Gran Turismo PSP, like its predecessors, has stunning graphics that top almost any other PSP games I have seen. And its physics engine is just as impressive, running at a smooth 60fps (frames-per-second).
Its line-up of cars is also quite amazing. It has over 800+ vehicles to choose from, ranging from powerful muscle cars, to insanely fast formula racers. (Including my personal favorite, the Mazda Furai!) Along with the vast variety of cars, you will have plenty of room to drive them on. There are 45 tracks with varying conditions, that include the classic Gran Turismo tracks, as well as real-world circuits and dirt/snow rally courses.
This game has a couple of neat features such as: If you have your own MP3 music saved to your memory stick, you will have the ability to play them as background music during a race! (You will have to unlock this feature first before you can use it, which isn't hard to do.); For those who have plans to buy the soon to be released Gran Turismo 5, any cars you have earned in the PSP game can be transferred from your PSP garage, to your GT5 garage on the PS3!
The Bad Side (Cons):
Even though this is an impressive game, it has a dark side...
One of the largest disappointments I encountered, was that Gran Turismo PSP did not have a career mode. In previous GT games, there had been an extensive career mode that allowed you to buy, sell, upgrade, even wash your cars. The new game has none of that, and simply put, seems like one big game permanently set in arcade mode.
As you can guess, since there is not a career mode, there are no championship races. And even worse, you can't actually win prize cars like in all previous games.
There are three main race options you can choose from:
> Single Player- This allows you to choose a track, a car from your garage, and one of three race modes. You may choose between a Single Race, a Drift Race, or a Time Trial/Practice Race; each of these have unique settings for your car, opponents, and others.
> Multiplayer- This option is a huge incentive to get Gran Turismo PSP. It allows you to connect with other players via Ad Hoc or internet connections, to race, trade, and share cars! (I live way out in the country, and there aren't too many internet connections, so I have not had a chance to experiment much with this option yet.)
> Driving Challenge- This mode is basically a series of tests meant to teach you progressively more advanced driving techniques, so that you can become a much better driver. Aside from teaching you how to drive, you are rewarded with money for completing each test. Although entertaining, it pretty much looks like a combination of the License Tests, and Driving Missions that were in the previous games. (If you are a good driver, this is an easy way to make large amounts of money quickly.)
This is definately a good game, but it could have been much better. Its graphics and driving quality are still as superior as ever, but it lacks the depth and feel that its predecessors had.
To some it up, Gran Turismo PSP is a great pick-up-and-play arcade style game. I recommend taking a first hand look at a friend's copy before making the decision to buy.
(I have included a few pictures, and the opening video of this game in the review.)