Gran Turismo (PSP) Review
- Posted October 2nd, 2009 at 11:19 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 30 Comments
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Gran Turismo is a fine racing simulator and offers car fans an enormous amount of killer vehicles to collect. Ultimately, the game is marred by the lack of a career mode and online play
- The frame rate and visuals hold up great for a handheld game
- The enormous amount of vehicles at your disposal
- The fact all tracks and cars are available out of the box
- The limited replay value due to the absence of a career mode
- Not being able to add aftermarket parts to your ride, lack of overall customization
- The lack of online play
In the racing and driving simulator genre, few games offer up the same allegiance amongst fans as the Gran Turismo series. After an arduous wait, the game was finally skimmed-down for its own PSP release and let loose for fan consumption on October 1, 2009. The game’s launch coincided with Sony’s new PSPgo, and you can purchase GT in UMD and digital forms. While playing Gran Turismo for this review, we had to keep reminding ourselves that this is a PSP title, and right from the beginning we were blown away with the sleek graphics. But beyond the visuals, we felt a little disappointed at the lack of a career and online game modes.
You’ve likely heard the basic specs regarding Gran Turismo on the PSP; it features some 800 vehicles, about 60 tracks (if you count driving a track backwards as a separate track), and this all occurs while running at 60fps. For people who don’t play many PSP games, you may not consider the graphics all that great. However, you shouldn’t forget that this is a PSP, not a PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3. The graphics are smooth, and the video replays are pure eye candy. The vehicles look realistic and the different track settings come to life as you cruise down straight-aways at 150 mph. Chances are you won’t have all that much time to enjoy the scenery as you’ll keep your eyes focused on the road ahead. The game flows beautifully without the slightest worry of graphical lag or hesitations.
Gran Turismo is exactly what you’d expect from the PSP iteration of the series. This is not a ‘dumbed-down’ version of GT; it’s simply a thinner version. Without the power of a DVD or Blu-ray, there’s only so much Polyphony Digital can squeeze in to Sony’s handheld device. Unfortunately, what Gran Turismo loses in its transition to portable heaven is fairly substantial. There is no career mode, making the desire to progress through the game fairly weak. It’s unfortunate that the game lacks this most basic feature.
The game offers two main game modes, Single Player and Driver Challenges. You can think of the Single Player mode as a quick play option, with drift challenges, time trials, and standard race as your options. All of the 30 tracks are available right from the beginning. You can ‘progress’ through these tracks by increasing your driver rank, but all this really does is make the AI better. You’ll gain game currency that allows you to purchase new rides by winning races. The higher your driver rank, the more money you’ll earn on each track. You’ll also earn more money depending on the type of track, its difficulty, and the number of laps you race.
Your single race experience is limited to competing with three other vehicles. The PSP likely can’t sustain many more vehicles per race, but having only four vehicles on a track at one time doesn’t feel very competitive. The game’s drift trials are a lot of fun, though, and are a welcome break from the standard single player races. Here, players are judged on how well you can drift through a turn and earn points accordingly. Still, this mode lacks the progress we hoped for, as there are no rankings to beat. The other game mode, Driver Challenges, is the one part that resembles a career mode. The various challenges are designed to teach you how to play the game, but again, there isn’t all that much incentive to play through the entire challenge.
All of our complaints about the game’s progress will not necessarily translate into a negative feature for every gamer. It’s important to remember, again, that this is a PSP game. Sony’s handheld device is intended to offer you quick, high quality gaming experiences. That’s exactly what Gran Turismo offers; it’s a great driving simulator that you can pick up and play for 10 minutes, have a great time, and put it down for a day or two without feeling like you are missing some sort of progression.
If you are a driving and a vehicle fan, you are going to love this game. With 800 vehicles to buy, you’ll spend a large amount ... (continued on next page)
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- 6:27am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
I want this on PS3 in nice Hi Def
- 6:32am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
hmm 7.5 seems abit low! but im still tempted to buy it :D
edit: on side note are the forums down?
- 6:58am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
I hope this and GT5:P can hold me till March.
Where are the forums? I can't get to them.
- 7:07am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
they better add the aftermarket parts to GT5, i dont like the quick tune crap
- 8:20am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
I think the site owners are doing some fixes back at the office, so that's why the forums are down. The site was down for a little while too. Anyway, don't worry guys, forums should be back to normal soon.
- 8:28am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
First thing is they need to change the title of the post. Second, I wouldn't buy this game since it was promised as a launch title for the psp. I hate to be kept waiting.
- 9:21am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
Couldn't care less, would it have killed you to have called it 'Gran Turismo PSP Review'?
-1 Journo Credibility Point
- 9:29am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
^Yea, I'm also getting a little tired of their amateur mistakes. If they want to be a respectable review/news/journalism website then they need to actually have "interest" in the English language.
I don't suppose any of them are even English minors, much less majors.
- 10:01am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
If there is any integration with GT5 and you can kind of understand the lack of career mode. GT PSP would essentially be an extension of GT5 and you just take the races you want from the GT5 career mode on the go to play on the PSP. Anyone know if there will be any integration? Since I remember reading rumors of such at the beggining of GT5 and GT PSP development?
- 10:42am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
I always thought a GT game on PSP is kind of pointless. I mean, how "realistic" can it be playing with that little analog stick. Seems like arcade type racers are better suited to the handheld market. Still though, I'm sure its a lot of fun in spite of this. I guess I will just need to give it a go and see for myself.
- 11:10am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
^ who uses the analogue in gt anyway?
- 11:20am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
Still gonna be buying it, i'm a fan of GT and this looks like GT to me.
- 11:22am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
@11, I do because it gives a more accurate steering.
- 11:26am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
@7 and @8 who gives a damn if they made a minor mistake, shiz happens and theres no need to penalize them - after all they dont claim to be writing works of art here, merely a review of a game for a small percentage of the overall gaming community - I cant believe how far picky pedantics go on this site, honestly who gives one if they have the odd typo or dont layout a title exactly as you want, the news is still readable
- 11:37am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
@14 - I like you, thanks :)
- 11:41am EDT - October 2nd, 2009
no online hmm seems kind of pointless game especially for 40 bucks
- 12:35pm EDT - October 2nd, 2009
What did you play before online gaming? I remember in the SNES days games were still $60 a pop. I still have the receipt from Mario RPG and after tax the thing costed more than a game now.
I have noticed a trend in people's thinking though that goes along with this. That now people get up in arms about games not having an online mode and determining that it isn't worth full price based on that sole conclusion.
The original 4 Gran Turismo games did not support online play and they were all full priced games at time of release and they were great and warrented the purchase.
- 12:54pm EDT - October 2nd, 2009
@2 I have it and if you are a GT fan, I still encourage you to buy it, but...
...listen. I'm a huge GT fan. I have the Logitech wheel and everything. It hurts my heart to say that this is a fitting score for all the reasons stated. I love this site's reviews. Keep it up guys Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaase don't sell out.
- 1:54pm EDT - October 2nd, 2009
Good review,But i do believe this game deserves more credit,i mean c'mon!This is LITERALLY the third or second simulator on the console,a lot of ppl don't realize it,but it's quite hard getting such a heavy physics engine ALONE run on 333 MHz,let alone all the other little goodies,i think we've all learnt one thing and that's that the psp should get a successor in a couple of years,becuz the quality bar is definitely not going up anymore.
Either way me and my bro are having a great time with this game,and that's what Yamuichi was trying to make with this game,a Gran Turismo party game,though i wish that they at least put proper interior next time,as the blacked out one right now,looks like CRAP.
- 3:02pm EDT - October 2nd, 2009
Its a great game, one of the best racing games on PSP....dont let this reviews think bad about it...i have it and its fun
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