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Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo Gran Turismo
by Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform: PlayStation
ESRB Rating: Everyone

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Editorial Review: Gran Turismo is the new definition of a great racing game. With wonderful graphics, TV-like replays, and an entire host of cars to chose from, this instant classic goes beyond a driving game into the realm of driving simulator. You can choose between the arcade version (featuring classic cars such as Corvettes and Aston Martins) or the simulation, which is the true heart of the game. The simulation starts you on an entire racing career beginning with a cheap used car and second-rate tracks. You will find yourself longing for the Dodge Viper as your sad $10,000 starting fund puts you behind the wheel of a used Honda Prelude or Mazda RX-7. As you win races, acquire money, and earn advanced licenses, you are able to buy better cars and race in more competitive matches right up to the GT World Cup.

Complete with cunning renditions of actual car models and a very playable interface, this game is great for the serious racing simulation fan and the casual gamer. It promises instant action and the kind of gradual advancement that keeps gamers playing for weeks. While the license tests can be hard, the fun track design and sheer number (140-plus) and variety of cars to choose from makes this an exciting race experience. --Allen Stewart

Great graphics
More than 140 accurately modeled cars
Awesome replays--actually looks like a TV race

Steep learning curve

GameSpot Review: The US release of Gran Turismo has been a much-awaited event. Sony made some changes to the domestic release, but for the most part, it's still the same game. Gran Turismo is about as close to driving a car you can without, well, actually driving a car. Whether that's a blessing or a curse, however, depends on your point of view.

There are two main modes to choose from. The arcade mode is a quick and dirty race, which lets you pick from a number of cars right off the bat and features slightly simplified physics for more arcade-style play. There is a two-player split-screen option in arcade mode, but the frame rate takes a horrible dive, making it almost totally useless. The arcade mode easily rivals most arcade-style driving games, but the simulation mode is where the meat of the game is. You start the simulation with enough money to buy a used car that should be good enough for the first few races. Of course, you can't actually enter any races until you've earned your license. There are three licenses in the game, each one more difficult to attain than the last. There are eight segments to each license test. Most of the segments involve taking a set of turns in a certain amount of time. These segments are supposed to teach you the proper way to corner and make you a better driver. Unfortunately, all they really do is block your path to the interesting races and tracks in a very frustrating way. You'll probably have more than one episode involving you wanting to place your foot through your TV, all because you're half a second above the required time to pass. The worst part about it is that half the time you don't even know what you're doing wrong. A post-test critique of your performance would have helped greatly here. The license portion of the game would have been better as a tutorial segment that wasn't a requirement to race.

Once you've toiled through the licenses, you're cleared to race. From here you can select from an array of races, ranging from the fairly easy Sunday Cup all the way up to the GT World Cup. There is also a collection of special event races, such as US vs. Japan and front-wheel-drive cars only. Racing earns you money, which you can use to buy one of over 140 real-life cars. Several different manufacturers are represented in the game, including Nissan, Chevrolet, Honda, Dodge, Toyota, and Mitsubishi. The only glaring oversight is the lack of any Fords, but I assume there's some grisly licensing story behind that. Once you've found a car worth sticking with, you can purchase parts for your car, including new engines, brakes, tires, suspension, and turbo. You can also have your ports tuned and undergo different weight reduction techniques to further streamline your ride. Whenever you fit a custom part to your car, the change in horsepower is displayed, keeping you from accidentally installing worthless parts. Lastly, there is the car wash, which gets rid of the road grime accumulated in everyday use.

The graphics in Gran Turismo are unmatched on the PlayStation. The replays look especially realistic. There are a few problems with polygons dropping out at the beginning of the race (the camera does a wide swing around your car), but once you're off, there's rarely a problem. The sound effects are perfect, and each car is represented with accurate-sounding engine noise. The music is pretty good and includes a track from the band Garbage, among others. However, I miss the goofy car wash music from the Japanese version. The game's control is very good with the Dual Shock controller; the standard pad doesn't do the game justice.

All in all, Gran Turismo is the most complete driving game on the market. The license tests may be extremely annoying, but behind them is a pretty realistic driving game with scads of options. Fans of arcade-style racers will probably become easily frustrated with GT, but it will surely satisfy people looking for more of a simulation-styled approach. --Jeff Gerstmann

Customer Reviews:
Excellant..., December 13, 2002
Reviewer: Kristina Mechelle from Rome, Italy
Why I love the game: because I love cars, driving and racing. This game is addictive and feels so real. You get to learn how to drive and race all sorts of vehicles. What I love the most is winning races, building my own car, and having to take the license tests. What more can a car addict want in a game.

What I didn't care for: the lack of good music. I got tired of hearing the same few songs over and over. :)

Gran Turismo 2, December 24, 2001
Reviewer: A gamer from DeMotte,IN
it is really fun but needs to Lamborghinis and ferraris along with the new C5 Corvette.

A racing classic!, December 18, 2001
Reviewer: barberryman from Northfield, MN United States
I was looking for a racing video game for my new playstation, and everyone I talked to told me to get Gran Turismo. And now I know why. It's so fun! It's challenging, but not impossible. The graphics are good and realistic, and there are tons of cars to choose from. I really like the simulation mode where you can race for money and buy new cars or upgrade old ones. I'm a huge fan of my Dodge Viper with racing stripes.

One thing that's not so great about this game is the space that it takes up on your memory card. Just to have a simulation mode game going, you need 5 empty blocks. If you want to get into saving replays and stuff, it can use up to 15 blocks. Memory cards are expensive... I'm not willing to devote an entire memory card to one game, no matter how great it is.

Good Game---but needs work, December 18, 2001
Reviewer: A gamer from USA
I bought this game LAte 2000
And I loved it but the international A class license.
was way to hard to get.
but if you want a great game with smooth gameplay
get this game ------ but if you want an awesome game with awesom
gameplay get GT2.

Great game and better than GT2, July 28, 2001
Reviewer: A gamer from Los Angeles, CA
First of all, I'd like to say that this game, the original Gran Turismo, is much better than Gran Turismo 2: the graphics are noticeably cleaner and sharper, the game menus and races seem to load faster, and the game itself is not bogged down with so many complexities like GT 2. All in all, this is simply a better game than its successor, and possibly the best racer I've ever played on any system. Sure, the graphics aren't like what I'm used to on my Dreamcast, but the game is so fun, the animation so fluid, that that's not even an issue for me. Come on, people -- graphics alone do not a better game make.

If you don't have Gran Turismo and like racing games, buy this now!

Memorable, fascinating racing game., July 20, 2001
Reviewer: Hannibal from New Zealand
Graphics: 8/10 - You can see some of the computerised effects you crash or something, but all of the graphics in this game look good and give feel to the competition.

Sound: 8/10 - There could be a bit more commotion when you crash or flip or something, but the engines vrooming gives you a thrill and the creaking sound of the breaks is eye-widening.

Value: 10/10 -This game is seriously worth the money. The word value is essential when buying a game and you get your money's worth and more. In short: get it now!

Overall: 9/10 - Fabulously entertaining and complex car game that really lives up to its reputation. You'll be playing it in your sleep!

A Classic!!!, April 26, 2001
Reviewer: A gamer from NJ
Ive had Gran Turismo for a while, and even though i have the second one, i still play this one. Why? I dont think any game will ever put an impact on gamers like Gran Turismo did. Even though there are new games coming out with slightly better graphics, this game is still a killer. its always fun to play, and experiment with new cars. i will never give away or sell this game. if you like racing/cars, then you'll fall in love with this one. that is, if you dont have it. if you do have it, you cant argue with me. theres no sense in trying, because this game is the best.

Is that a televised race? Turismo!, February 25, 2001
Reviewer: A gamer from Pennsylvania, United States
This is one of the best games I have! It has amazingly awesome graphics, and looks like a real race. This game is the best racing game ever!

gt1, December 17, 2000
Reviewer: canadarocks from British Columbia Canada
great game, 140 perfect cars, good grafics and great game play!

The best game ever...period!, October 25, 2000
Reviewer: joverholts from Cincinnati, OH USA
There is no other way to describe this game than calling it the best video game of all time. I have owned almost every game system out there, and I can't ever think of a game I have enjoyed playing more than GT. The first night I had this game I played it for eleven straight hours, and I probably would not have stopped if I did not have to go to work. The graphics and realism are unbelievable, and even though there are not a ton of tracks, each one takes a good while to really master. The Arcade mode allows you a chance to take a peek at the real deal, but once you are building cars in the simulation mode you will be hooked. If you are even remotely interested in racing games this is a must have, and it even blows its sequel (GT2) out of the water. My only real complaint about the game is that some of the license tests are a little long and difficult to pass, but if you are having trouble there are always some good "cheater" web-sites out there where you can get the codes.

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