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Gran Turismo 2 (PS)

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Arguably considered the best ever racing simulation game on Playstation, Gran Turismo 2 features a great choice of cars and tracks, combined with stunning realism. Customisation and multiplayer options keep it fresh.

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    103 Reviews
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      18.12.2011 21:28
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      Shows its age in places, but still extremely playable and enjoyable

      ** Introduction **

      Those of us interested in retro gaming have to blink a bit when we realise that the original Sony PlayStation (PS1), which at the time of its launch felt like something coming to us from the distant future, is now well into the second half of its second decade of life. However, that can be seen as an opportunity rather than something depressing, since it's now possible to pick up a console and some excellent games for an absolute pittance; my local branch of Cash Converters regularly sells PS1 CDs for 50p a time. Many of them are terrible, as with any other system's games, but there are some real gems in there as well - and Gran Turismo 2 from 2000 (they'd had it since 1999 in America, as per usual) is most assuredly one of these.

      ** Arcade mode **

      There are two distinct modes of play in GT2, of which Arcade is both the easier to pick up and - to my mind at least - by far the less interesting of the two. As its name suggests, it takes a fairly simplified approach to the game, offering you a choice of cars - some of them, such as the Chevrolet Corvette - pretty powerful beasts and a choice of tracks, asking you whether you want a "Racing" or a "Drifting" setup and pretty much leaving you to get on with it from there. Extra options, such as more tracks, open up if you have completed certain tasks from the other disc, so if you just opt for what you think is an easy life and stick entirely to Arcade mode, you'll be missing a lot. Still, it does allow you to drive cars you'd have to work hard at to obtain in the other mode - and multiplayer, such as it is (actual net play is only possible via certain emulators) is found here too.

      ** Gran Turismo mode **

      You might see this referred to as the "Simulation disc", since that's how it was sold in North America. The European title is rather more accurate, since although the cars handle in a less arcadey way than in, well, Arcade mode - and the position of a car's engine and driven wheels certainly do make a big difference, which is a very welcome factor indeed - they're still a far cry from a real simulation. Even some other PS1 driving games - Need for Speed: Porsche 2000 comes to mind - have more sim-like handling, and the PC game Grand Prix Legends, which was roughly contemporaneous, is on a different planet in that regard. This is probably sensible for a console racer, given that (at the time, at least) PlayStation gamers tended to be less hard-core than PC racers.

      Although there are a number of races (especially the manufacturers' one-make series) that you can enter freely, for the "career mode" events you'll need to have attained your licence. There are six of these - B, A, International C, B and A, and finally Superlicence - though the last-named isn't initially shown. Getting hold of the lower-level licences is pretty easy for the most part: I've played this game on a PC emulator using only the keyboard and got my International C licence with few problems, and only failed to get the International B because it includes a couple of slalom tests, where it's almost impossible to get into the requisite smooth flowing rhythm with such a crude control method. Mind you, some of the high-ranking events are things like a two-hour endurance race (yes, in real time!) and could you imagine using a keyboard for that?!

      The big let-down in the races is one imposed by the PS1's old-school hardware: only six cars compete in each race, including your own. One of the most enjoyable feelings in a circuit-racing game is that of being part of a 25-car pack jostling for position, but that's not possible here; consequently the tracks can feel a bit empty. The artificial intelligence isn't terribly good, and it's often too easy to keep a faster car behind you simply by weaving about a bit and using it as a movable barrier when doing rapid cornering, in a way that more realistic games might well punish you for. The AI cars do race each other, but they also tend either to stay bunched up or to let one car disappear into the distance; again, it's a tad predictable.

      ** Cars and tuning **

      In Gran Turismo mode, you start off with a mere 10,000 credits, out of which you must buy your first car. To get more money, you'll need to compete in races, and to get the most you'll need to win them! So, it's off to the city to see about a new motor. Actually, an old motor, since you won't be able to afford a new car. For some reason, only Japanese firms offer used cars in this game, so that's where you'll have to start; however much you may be lusting after a TVR Griffith, one look at its price ticket will convince you that you're going to have to be doing a fair bit of winning before you can even consider showing up at that company's dealership!

      GT2 has an enormous range of licensed cars, over 600 of them, although some are merely very slightly tweaked versions of others: there's not a great deal of difference between a '98 Subuaru Impreza and a '99 one. Even so, the variety on offer is one of the game's principal attractions and helps give it its wonderful longevity and replay value. Makes in the game vary from the humble - Daihatsu, Peugeot, Mini - to the very much less humble such as Aston Martin and the French supercar marque Venturi. There's no Ferrari, sadly but perhaps unsurprisingly, and no Porsche either - though you can get close to the latter with Ruf, a (real-life) German company who take unmarked Porsche bodyshells and build their own cars around them. One drawback is that there's no visible car damage, unlike in some other games such as TOCA 2.

      Not all the cars in the game will be at the dealerships at any one time, so if you're looking out for something specific you'll need to keep checking back. You can also sell off your unwanted cars (at a big loss, naturally) and this is necessary if you want to complete the game, as only 100 can be stored in your garage at any one time, though you can effectively double this with careful use of memory cards. This is also where you'll need to come if you want to enter the various one-make series most of the manufacturers run, which is a bit of a trip into the unknown since they race on random circuits. You can't just cheat by backing out if you see a circuit you don't like, since the game treats that as a last place (with no bonus, either) and so it worsens the win percentage in your stats!

      A car in showroom condition ("stock" as the Americans might say) is likely to struggle to win many races, and that's where tuning comes in. The range of upgrades on offer differs slightly between cars - you can't upgrade the turbo on a supercharged engine! - but it's always pretty big, and understanding what type of tuning suits different models is a vitally important skill to learn. Some are obvious power-boosters, such as fitting a "Sports ROM" (engine mod chip) while others, such as weight reduction, help a car's handling. When you get really good at the game there are upgrades marked "for professionals" which may make a car very much faster but at the expense of making it harder to drive. Again, it's no Grand Prix Legends, but it adds a good deal of depth for a game on a console like the PS1.

      ** Graphics and sound **

      Remembering that the system they're being presented on is not far short of its 20th birthday now, Gran Turismo 2's graphics are really pretty decent, and as long as you don't use a ridiculously large screen the inevitable blockiness isn't really a problem. Some of the tracks are worse than others - the mountain Grindelwald circuit, for example, seems pretty easy on the eye. There is rather more pop-up than I'd have liked, and just occasionally that can be a slight distraction from the action (hey, that rhymes!) but again, you soon get used to it. The race replays work pretty well, with fast-moving action and smooth animation carrying the day. Menu design is a bit of a mish-mash, and it sometimes looks a bit thrown together (for example in the detailed car descriptions) but it's not too awful.

      This is a console game, and so the whole thing is suffused (or infested, if you prefer) with constant music. This may be to your liking, of course, at least if you happen to enjoy the likes of Fat Boy Slim and The Cardigans. (Should you be interested, the former is a PAL exclusive; Americans got Garbage. With a capital G!) Personally I find music in a racing game a distraction, so always turn it off as soon as I can. The sound effects are okay: engine notes are hardly realistic, but are pretty well distinguishable from each other and don't grate too much during a race, at least in the shorter events. In the menus, it's just a bog-standard collection of beeps and bloops. So, not a world-beater on the audio front, but not a disaster either.

      ** Differences from the North American version **

      I include this section because the majority of the guides you'll find online are American. There are differences between the two versions of the game, beyond the usual PAL/NTSC graphical tweaks. For example, we get speeds shown in km/h whereas the US sees them in mph; unfortunately this can't be changed (either way) in the game menu. There's also been some translation into British English, though this wasn't done all that assiduously: "tires" has indeed become "tyres", but you're still told about options to change a car's "muffler" rather than its exhaust. There's also one minor point within the PAL disc: if you select English as the game language, you'll get Vauxhalls, but if you choose another language they become Opels. Win the one-model series for both and you can in theory score over 100%!

      ** To get you started... **

      I don't claim to be any sort of expert in GT2, but I've found that this isn't a bad way to begin: with your initial cash, buy a used Honda Prelude, and then spend the rest with a couple of mild tweaks in the tuning shop. (Many online guides suggest a used Toyota Supra instead, but I find the Prelude much more controllable.) That should allow you to win a Sunday Cup race or two to get a few thousand credits. A little more tuning should make the car fast enough to win the first event in the Historic Cup - yes, I know it's not really a historic car, but the game only checks for drivetrain and power levels, not authenticity! Win that, and not only do you get a cool 7,000 credits, you also get a prize car: a nice little green Mugen (the racing arm of Honda) sports car with pleasant handling even at the start.

      Trick that car out a little and you should be able to win here almost every time - and you'll get another new Mugen each time, which can be sold for 3,000 credits, making your effective profit 10,000 credits per race. You can tune your original car (don't sell that one!) up a bit more, but watch you don't go over the horsepower limit for the Tahiti Road race. After a while you should have enough for a Subaru Impreza WRX, which - again with a modicum of tuning - will be fast enough to win the Impreza one-model round. Winning that earns you 10,000 credits, so a few victories there and you'll be opening up a lot more options. Make sure you have at least your B and A licences, and preferably the International C as well, and that will do you for quite some time. Good luck!

      ** Buying and verdict **

      As I mentioned right at the beginning of this review, PS1 games are now amazingly cheap to buy, and while this particular title may cost a few pounds rather than a few pence thanks to its popularity and reputation, it's also incredibly common: the game sold well over three million copies in Europe alone. It's certainly a better game than the original Gran Turismo, not least because of its vast range of cars, something which the first PS2 game in the series (GT3, amazingly enough) couldn't remotely live up to. Of course the PS1's old-tech nature does limit it in places, most irritatingly in the small fields possible in the races, but there's such a lot to do in Gran Turismo 2 that it remains a supremely playable and enjoyable title, and is heartily recommended. Four and a half stars, rounded up to five for that massive car list.

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        21.10.2010 13:08
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        Not a fully realistic game, but definitely one to buy nonetheless.

        As you can see from the amount of reviews this game has, it was a massive hit back in the day, and is still fairly popular today!

        I can't say that Gran Turismo 2 was a big step up in the simulation genre, because that wouldn't exactly be true. Sure it was realistic for its time, but it wasn't 'the' most realistic game out there, the TOCA touring car games for the PS1 featured damage, weather and the driving was overall more realistic, but that doesn't mean Gran Turismo 2 is a bad game, far from it.

        GT2 in fact didn't improve on the previous game in the series by much, it shared the same basic graphics as the original GT, it also shared many of the same tracks, all they did with GT2 was add more tracks, a hell of a lot more cars and threw in some extra features.

        The amount of cars in the game were staggering, featuring over 650 cars, a record that wasn't beaten until GT4 came out in 2005 with 700 cars. The game does however feature many variations of the same car, such as the Silvia Q's, Silvia K's, Silvia S14, and a couple of other Silvia's. Despite this the game does a shocking amount of cars, especially considering the developers only had 700MB of space to put all these 3d models of cars and the tracks into. The only problem with having this amount of cars however, is the fact that the game only lets you own up to 100 cars at any one time, so you won't be able to own every car in the game unfortunately.

        Driving wise the game does have realistic elements, powerful cars can be difficult to control under heavy acceleration, and muscle cars quite accurately struggle to go around the tight corners of Laguna Seca. The game features no mechanical or cosmetic damage (unless you play in the 2 player mode, then there is an option for mechanical damage) the only form of damage the game does have, is tyre wear, which does play a part in endurance races.

        Theres a decent amount of tracks, unfortunately most of them are fictional, with only a few ones such as Laguna Seca being actual tracks. As said before, many of the tracks in GT1 where put into GT2, i believe some alterations were made to the old tracks.

        People are in two minds about this game, some feel it was just a remake of GT1 with more tracks and cars added, but no difference to the physics or graphics whatsoever, and some of us are just thankful for such a brilliant game, i myself am one of the latter.

        If you have great childhood memories of this game, like i do, then i recommend you buy it. If your sick of waiting for GT5 to come out, you might as well buy it too! You can pick it up used off amazon for a couple of quid.

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        29.01.2010 01:56
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        Overall for a very cheap price recommended

        This is a great racing game for the Playstation and compares well with the other games that are out of which there are of course loads. There is plenty to keep you occupied in Gran Tourismo 2 with many cars and tracks which you can choose from.

        As you start this game you are given 10,000 credits with which you can buy a car and then modify and customise it to how you like it. From here you can then race in it and win more credits. The more credits you win through racing the more you can buy and modify and therefore can get better and faster cars. As you race the tracks you enter leagues and race against the computer to win even more rewards. It is quite challenging to rise up from novice racer to professional racer with one hundred cars in your garage and you can complete the game by winning all the races,l but that in itself can take alot of time and is pretty hard to do. The game has great replay value as you try to acheive this and although I haven't done that it is satisfying enough to win a few races and put yourself on the map.

        The game features enough tracks from all over the world and enough cars to keep you interested for a while. You can choose from over 600 cars throughout the game as you progress through the ranks of the racing drivers. In addition there are around 20 tracks to compete in. Some of these are based on real tracks from around the world and some are not real. You will be challenged as each different track has different problems to negotiate and you have to find the best way to beat each one.

        There is also an arcade mode in this game where you can race against friends with either a ready made car of one of your cars from your garage.

        The graphics in the game are fantastic as well and push the limits of the playstation. There is alot of detail in the track scenery you race in and the car details too.

        This I found to be a great game not just because of the graphics, but mainly due to the fact that there is huge variety with the amount of tracks you can race and large amount of cars to choose from. You should now be able to pick up this game for around £5 or less if you search about so I would recommend picking up a copy and get racing.

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          16.01.2010 17:10
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          Virtually flawless

          The first Gran Turismo was such a revolution of the racing genre that it was difficult to imagine how Polyphony could find a way to improve upon it, but rest assured that the second game in the series is definitely one of the strongest in the soon-to-be five-strong canon. This is an addictive, lovingly put-together game that's got oodles of customisation and is very satisfying to play.

          For its time, this was an amazing looking game, and managed to blow away even the hugely impressive visuals of the first game. Things are even more photorealistic (a feat not thought possible at the time!), although of course there is still the issue that there's no vehicular damage as none of the car companies want to see their cars be damaged. Aurally, the grinding gears and acceleration noises are appropriately meaty, but the soundtrack songs aren't particularly inspiring.

          Like the first game, the cars handle like a dream thanks to the brilliant control scheme, which isn't as cumbersome as a lot of racing games and makes an art of simplicity. This works hand in hand with the virtually faultless gameplay; the AI of the vehicles is solid and not as robotic as with other racing games (in that they will actually try to avoid you if you crash!), and the comprehensive Gran Turismo mode is a lot of fun as you attempt to amass the cash to buy the car of your dreams. If you're willing to put in a lot of time, it is well worth it, and nobody, I think, will complain that there isn't enough to do here.

          Of all of the racing games, this is one of the best ever made, perhaps only outdone by the excellent fourth game in its own series!

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          27.10.2009 17:20
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          3....2....1....buy!!!

          Being an avid gamer myself (well it beats going outside and making something of myself lol) i will give any game a fair go before passing judgement. However, i have never been a fan of racing games with this whole genre lying outside of my radar. Which is why i was so suprised by Gran Turismo 2.

          Its a lot more involved and a lot deeper than your average racing simulation.
          First off, what sets this whole franchise apart from other racers is its extensive inclusion of Buying & selling cars as well as kitting them out with a plethora of engine adjustments, tune ups and general customisation of your dream ride.
          GT2 should appeal to the car enthusiast and layman alike, it is possible to get in any purchased car and race, right off the bat while at the other extreme you can spend ages tweaking all sorts of stats such as yaw control, acceleration/top speed ratios and so on, before burning some serious rubber.
          There are plenty of cars to choose from with the various manufacturers being broken down into 4 seperate screens

          -North City (British & German Companys)

          Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lister, Lotus, Mini & MG, Opel, TVR, VW

          -East City (Japanese Companys)

          Daihatsu, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Tommy Kaira, Toyota

          -West City (French & Italian Companys)

          Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Fiat, Lancia, Peugot, Renault, Venturi

          -South City (American Companys)

          Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Plymouth, Shelby Vector




          'Special' cars are available from each manufacturer but are much more expensive with some only available in the form of a reward for winning certain races.

          All tracks are not available from the start with different Licenses punctuating the games 95 road races, 27 off road and 7 epic 'endurance' races. It is on completion of each of the six available licenses that you unlock the totality of the games track content. Each license consists of ten challenges running the gamut from single corners to entire tracks. The player must complete these challenges in a certain time limit to earn a bronze, silver or gold cup.
          The game encourages replayability by rewarding players differently depending on which car is used to win which race and a substantial number of racing machines awarded for ten gold cups won on each of the license sections.
          Gt2 combines an accomplished racing game with a deep and varied system of buying, selling and tuning your cars. With a great replayability factor and not bad graphics for the time it was released (1999) Gran turismo 2 is a definate winner and a game that outlives many others in the racing genre.

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            12.04.2009 21:15
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            fab driving game

            As graphics and sound qualities across the various platforms improve, becoming more and more realistic, so the structure of games must also provides realistic settings and scenarios. It is no longer sufficient for racing games to offer a handful of cars and tracks and a vague tournament structure. Gran Turismo 2 takes an inspired, original approach to game structure, one that other games producers would do well to follow and develop.
            The premise is simple. You start with a small budget, enough to buy a low-power, second-hand car which you can enter in various low-cost races earning cash rewards. Victory yields further cash and the occasional bonus car, allowing you to buy better machinery and fine-tune the car of your choice from a vast array of spare parts. As you improve, your capacity to compete at the higher levels is - to a limited extent - restricted by your driving ability. The more glamorous races require high-level licenses, which can only be achieved by passing a number of tests. Unfortunately these tests are often more time-consuming than challenging.

            The system works so well because it allows the player a large degree of freedom. The extensive catalogue of real-life cars (increased many times over from the original) boasts machines from all corners of the earth: Ford to Mercedes via Nissan and Lancia. There are hundreds to choose from, each with fairly realistic individual physics models (if a little excessive on understeer).
            A couple of extras just for fun are included as well. Cars can be taken to test tracks an given 100m acceleration tests and top speed ratings. Of course, it's down to you to tune and drive the cars at the limit, and competing with your friends to produce and refine the fastest and fastets accelerating cars is an interesting challenge. You can also choose from a wide selection of alloy wheels to make your cars look more attractive. A variety of genuine brands including Firestone and Dunlop are present. Finally, you an even take your vehicale to a car wash... perhaps this is going too far.

            Each event can be competed in any number of times, allowing you to accumulate money as you please. Though this does allow you to ultimately afford every car available it can also make the game a little easy. Being able to afford the dearer cars should be the goal of the game and its' biggest reward, but this allows even the less able yet highly persistent players to do so. Specific reward for those who polish and perfect their driving skills is sadly lacking, except for those willing to spend years racking up Gold rated performances on every licence category, and even then the bonus is measly.
            The choice of racing circuits is extensive but not too impressive: only a small number of the tracks offered are based on real-life counterparts. There is the brilliant Laguna Seca track, used by the CART series in America, and the less spectacular Pikes Peak rally course. Other than this the circuits are largely fictitious with some impressive courses (the sweeping turns of Red Rock Valley and tricky twists of Grindlewald spring to mind), and a number of poorer ones, particularly those left over from the original Gran Turismo. Several circuits are also available in shorter or reversed versions which can be fun, especially on the bumpy Seattle street circuit.

            The game is compromised most greatly by the hardware limitations of the Playstation. Compared to modern racing games on the PC, or even the Dreamcast, GT2 looks like a remnant from prehistoric times. That in itself is not really a problem, but the Playstation's inability to draw more than six of GT2's accurately modelled cars means that races are woefully short on competitors. This problem saps the competition level from races, making too many seem like a pleasant Sunday drive. Having a 2-hour endurance race with only six cars is a bit of a joke.
            Nonetheless the staggering diversity of GT2 and its' refreshingly non-linear structure mark it out as possibly the best game on the Playstation. However, a great number of its' shortcomings could be rectified if it were to be released on the PC. The superior processing capabilities of the PC would allow more cars per race, maybe as many as 20, a more realistic figure. Even the vast selection of cars and tracks could be updated and expanded via the Internet. It will be interesting to see what they do with 'Gran Turismo 3' for the Playstation 2, due out in 2001.

            As it stands, though, GT2 is one of the best racing games ever made, and a game that all Playstation owners should have a copy of.

            Also on ciao under SkyscraperFanClub

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            27.05.2008 12:48
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            A great effort but seemed more like an update than a sequel

            At the time of Gran Turismo 2's release there was many questions it had to answer, first it's main issue was how can you possibly compete or better the first installment of the game. Which was at the time and still is one of the very best racing/driving games ever created on any platform. So how would Sony be able to top a 10/10 game. Well to be honest they fell a little short of the mark.

            The only major difference was the ability to play this version with the analouge controller and although at the time this was a big deal, just playing it now you can see how unresponsive the analouge was compared to games nowadays.

            Once again you can play in Exhibition arcade races til the cows come home with tons of cars and and tracks to play but the real meat of this game is the career mode. Being able to pass you're racing license and then going on to start your own garage of cars was the real fun part.

            The graphics were awesome, with the replays being the highlight, the gameplay didn't really improve on the last but was still excellent and the sound was top notch for it's time too.

            GT2 still handles pretty good today and looks ok and it's amazing to play this and see how the game evolved over time.

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            23.04.2002 02:50

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            Gran Turismo 2 is one of the best racing games on the Playstation. It has 4 different types, Gran Turismo League, Special Events, Dirt Events and Endurance. GTL is the racing on different tracks from around the world in different leagues each one is harder, Special Events is different events to match specifications on cars, Dirt Events are kind of rallies but you need special tyres to compete in it. Endurance races are over a longer amount of laps, pits stops are needed as your tyres wear down as well. It has over 600 cars and 28 courses.

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            17.04.2002 16:47
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            Once my controller was broken through over use on GT1 I decided that with the vouchers I received from Electronics Boutique the only option was to buy a new controller and wreck it with my newly purchased GT2. More cars, more tracks, harder opponents and alot more fun. Just as GT1 started out I found the interface hard to navigate and getting the first good car hard. Once this had been overcome the game flowed with gracefully. From competition to competition I hopped building up cash and cars as the winnings became more and more. After playing GT2 for about the same amount of time that I had completed GT1 in I found I was 'miles' behind! I had hardly even graced the rally stages. The competitions were harder both in opponents and on my fingers. The amount of cars has been grately increased. The city layout makes the interface more realistic and therefore a more enjoyable game is produced. GT2 is hell on hands, controllers and memory cards. But you knew this was going to be the case after playing GT1. It is everything I expected and more. I can't wait to buy and play GT3 on my newly purchased Playstation 2!

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              15.04.2002 23:01
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              Gt 2 is alot better than the original. this one has over 600 cars from 33 top manufacturers ranging from ford to lotus. yes this game is very realistic with wicked replays and from any angle you want.in the arcade mode you can either have a road race against the computor or your freind OR you can have an ace rally with some of the top rally edition cars. In the GT mode you start off with 10,000 credits and yes those of you who have played the original you do have to buy a second car wich is a bit naff we know ,but it is not long before you can get a brand new car. unlike GT1 where you only have to get b,a,and a international licences, well this one you have to get a b international as well. but there are alot more races and championships. you can also,if you look at ford or toyota (etc) play more special events there as well. apart from the fact that you have to change the disk every time you want to change modes from arcade mode to Gran Turismo mode, i cannot fault this game.overall i think that this game is better than the original GT because it has alot more better cars because lets face it some of the cars in the last one were simply s**t.

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                27.03.2002 16:42
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                This is the experience of real drive in the videogame world. No other game offers one thing so perfectly, natural, fluidly, decidedly realistically and with optimally tracings studied to test incessantly you and to offer always fresh competitions and amusing. The tracks, in fact, that they count of new and old arrivals and many pleasant returns, are fantastic in technique and graphical aspect. Many tracings are rich of unexpected curves, unevennesses, small imperfections in the asphalt that, whit the vibrations of the joypad, offer a sense of extreme realism. Moreover it is useless to try to define the pleasantness on watching the background landscape, the atmospheric conditions, the sun . Idillyacs, nearly, the landscapes that they accompany us in the competitions, and optimally realized under the graphical point of view, like the poligonals models that are found to run on them, in a show of beauty. In your long afternoons in front of the game, while moved and relaxed ,tired but happy after a win, you will have the occasion to see unfortunately that the artificial intelligence of your adversaries is not exactly the maximum. The contenders are aggressive, but too many times return on the same trajectories in many laps,help you to win. For the same effect there are two options (fortunately "on/off"), introduced to favor the new entries. The control system of the traction and the stability allows in fact to face the curves in decidedly easier way, and than to eliminate eventual slidings on the departure grill. But the most expert will decide to eliminate this elements for a sense of driven more real

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                  10.03.2002 04:23
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                  Thanks to glowing reviews and a fan base of rabid racing purists, Gran Turismo has built up a reputation as the definitive driving simulation for the PlayStation. While that proved good news for Sony's coffers, it posed a tough challenge for its developers: How can the sequel surpass the original? For better or worse, Gran Turismo 2 has taken the Star Wars: Special Edition approach to tackling this challenge. The bulk of the game's top-notch graphics and gameplay remain true to the original, but this version is packed with extra add-ons - more tracks, more cars, more races and more secrets - that have turned the game into a mammoth two-disc experience. The sequel may not play or look noticeably better than the original, but it's certainly a bigger meal to digest. With that said, prospective buyers will fall into four categories: * Fans who loved the original Gran Turismo and have actually unlocked all the game's secrets: The purchase of this game is a no-brainer. * Fans who loved the original Gran Turismo but lacked the patience or skills to unlock all the game's secrets: The addition of an off-road rally racing mode won't be enough incentive to rehash a gameplay formula all too similar to the original, despite having more cars and tracks. This might not be your cup of tea. * Those who haven't played Gran Turismo but who love cars and seek a pure racing simulation: The purchase of this game is also a no-brainer, assuming you have a lot of free time ahead. * Casual video gamers looking for fun, easy racing entertainment (or for those shopping for a kids' gift): It's a toss-up. The skill needed to master the nuances of this game, as well as its depth, might prove too much for those looking for a less sophisticated, less demanding racer. The arcade portion of the game will still sate most gamers' needs - but a whole half of the game might go to waste in the meantime. For an in
                  -depth review, keep on reading.... Gran Turismo 2: Crunching the numbers A by-the-numbers look at this pure driving simulation shows how much depth this game offers. First off, the game comes on two CDs. The first CD offers arcade-mode racing, which features one-player races and two-player split-screen competition. When a player places first on a track, a hidden car is unlocked. The second CD is the more valuable of the two; it offers the Gran Turismo simulation mode. In this ultra-realistic, one-player-only mode, you earn credits by winning races - credits that you can then use to buy additional cars and upgrades. To unlock more races, you must pass a series of driving tests (at least 50 to start) to obtain licenses. These licenses can then be transferred (via memory card) to unlock new tracks in the arcade mode; in addition, the cars created in the Gran Turismo mode can be raced head-to-head in the arcade mode as well. For those who've played the original, all this will be familiar territory. For those new to the series, it'll be an overwhelming experience to wade through. Back to the numbers: The game features more than 400 car models from various years, covering everything from lowly compacts such as the Volkswagen Golf to muscle cars like the Chevrolet Corvette. There are also special off-road rally cars and high-performance super sports cars (for the wealthy). These are not mere graphical swaps either, as each car has its own unique performance and handling specifications. The attention to and depth of detail imprinted on each car gives this game virtually enough credibility to stand as an interactive encyclopedia on performance racing cars. In addition, you have almost 50 real-life car manufacturers to choose from (including all the big car names known worldwide), and each manufacturer has cars, car parts, and special racing events specific to its brand. In terms of car parts, you get an extensive modification list that ranges from t
                  he engine to the muffler - even hubcaps can be altered. Imagine earning enough money to buy every type of car from every manufacturer - that's the mind-boggling quest that Gran Turismo 2 lets you undertake. More numbers: The game's ads boast more than 40 tracks, although the real number floats just under 30 - the ads count the 20 or so courses that can be driven in reverse as separate tracks. Still, 30 is a grand total most gamers will be satisfied with, given the wide variety of the tracks: everything from the streets of Rome and Seattle to the legendary Laguna Seca. A few tracks are identical to those in the original Gran Turismo, which might not pose a challenge to veterans of the first game. The numbers aren't the only addition to Gran Turismo 2: The most prominent new feature is the addition of off-road rally racing, which lets you slip and slide on mud rather than on asphalt. The developers also added features to address complaints about the original. For the license tests, there's a demonstration mode to help newbies figure out how to pass the tests, reducing the frustrating guesswork that plagued the original. Plus, in both arcade and Gran Turismo mode, "percent complete" screens help you chart how much of the game's secrets you've unlocked. Gran Turismo 2: Maintaining the status quo At this point, you are probably saying to yourself, "This review sounds more like a features list up to now! Where's the review?" The point is, the added extras are what make Gran Turismo 2 better, because in terms of control and graphics, the game plays just as well as the original. Graphically, it appears the Gran Turismo series has tapped out the PlayStation's capabilities. Although the game's ads boast improved graphics, fans of the series won't notice any substantial improvement over the original - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The attention to details, lighting effect
                  s, and car rendering make this one of the most convincing PlayStation games on the market in terms of visual realism. The game reeks of authenticity, from the real-life billboard ads to the elevation changes in the mountainous Laguna Seca track (a track this reviewer actually drove on in real life). Gran Turismo also has mastered the lighting-effect trick that gives cars a shiny sheen as they drive from camera to camera - an impressive visual that's coupled with the speed-sensitive hubcap-rotation effects that accurately portray the "whoosh" of cars going past. Finally, each car that's modeled on the track looks recognizable on sight - no easy feat, considering the 400 or so vehicles to choose from. Such details prove effective because Gran Turismo never suffers from slowdown. The worst effects are polygon dropout, which occurs during isolated camera angles, such as at the start of some races - however, this is only occasionally noticeable during a race, and it never hampers gameplay. The two-player mode also doesn't seem to take a knock in performance and runs smoothly, which will seem a step-up to those who saw flaws with the original. Again, an aspect where Gran Turismo shines above the competition is in its extensive replay mode. Not only can replays of a race be saved (at great expense to a memory card), but they can be viewed from myriad angles, including overhead and beside-the-tire views. More useful is an optional "button display" during a replay that shows you when you've hit the brakes, accelerated, or shifted gears or steered. It turns the replays into instructional videos, so you can learn which parts of a track you must improve on. This new feature makes the replays a bit more than eye candy. From an audio standpoint, Gran Turismo 2 excels in some portions, but may disappoint in others. Perhaps the greatest boast made by the game's makers is that all the cars have unique engine sounds - some even recorde
                  d specifically from the actual vehicles. Such nuances will probably be lost on the casual gamer, but it is pleasing to hear that a Honda Prelude sounds much more timid than a Ford Mustang. Even more useful, in terms of gameplay, is that these unique engine sounds can help you listen for a car catching up from behind. The potential disappointment comes with the music: As they did on the original, the game's makers have used tracks from the big names in today's alternative rock: Garbage, the Foo Fighters and Beck, just to name a few. However, for those who hate alternative rock or plan to play 100-plus hours, those songs will get old rather quickly - so prepare to have a stereo system nearby while playing. Still, the sound experience overall is a slick package that fits the game's atmosphere well. While Gran Turismo prides itself on its looks and sounds, its strongest feature by far is its realistic control and car physics, which goes back to the immense variety of cars. Attempting the same turn at the same speed, a four-wheel-drive car will control differently than a front- or rear-wheel-drive car. Now, factor in the different acceleration rates for each car, based on its horsepower - then consider that cars can be upgraded with new parts that alter their horsepower. In total, each car offers a unique driving experience based on its real-life statistics. Veterans will learn that groups of cars with similar stats will tend to drive in the same fashion, but the preponderance of variables translates into ultimate replay value - a huge plus for hard-core racing-simulation fans. However, it also means a steep, almost intimidating learning curve - a tough pill for casual racing fans to swallow. The responsiveness of the game's control, without question, is flawless. Thanks to analog steering and Dual Shock vibration feedback, the controller can never be blamed for failing to keep up with the onscreen driving. The sequel seems better equipp
                  ed to handle cars when they're airborne (no doubt as a result of the rally-mode addition). Although flipping cars over isn't in the realm of this driving sim, the game does as realistic a job as it can while still maintaining fluid gameplay. Still, the control could stand improvement in some instances. The new off-road rally mode control is competent enough, with the muddy, slippery roads adding yet another variable to the control equation and - letting players get a better feel for the ability to slide through turns. Unfortunately, the muddy tracks feel too clean - it would've been better to see mushy, water-filled holes, sand, or dry spots to mix up the cars' handling. In its present state, the rally racing seems a tad basic, in both control and visuals, to match the depth of road racing. Granted, it's a very welcome addition - but it's one that could stand improvement. Bottom line: The rally mode doesn't pack enough punch to sway you away from other off-road titles. In addition, the car physics still seem suspect in isolated instances, particularly when cars get bunched up. In the arcade mode, it's understandable for cars to trade paint when crunched side-by-side and experience no ill effects. However, this anomaly remains preserved in the Gran Turismo mode - when cars brush at high speeds, they experience no ill effects other than a drop in acceleration (such as two cars who've locked tires). The game addresses this problem somewhat by offering the option to turn car damage on and off. Still, one would expect more dire consequences from such encounters, such as rapid loss of control, especially at high speeds. It's the only aspect of the game's physics model that doesn't seem up to snuff with the rest of the game. Gran Turismo 2: Does more equal better? Perhaps the worst aspect of Gran Turismo 2, oddly enough, is the existence of Gran Turismo. Given the success of the original, the game's deve
                  lopers probably had no wish to fix anything that wasn't broken - and preferred to build on the successful formula by adding more cars, car makers, and features, such as the rally mode. Fans of the original and those looking for a pure driving simulation should flock to store shelves without delay, but for the rest, that add-on philosophy may not sit well. Once again, you will have to slog through the prerequisite license tests - not a tough chore, but many of the tests are clones of the original. Wouldn't it have been better to offer instead some sort of "pass/fail" racing school, with a different variety of tests? Also, the game has one night course, but the developers neglected to add weather variables such as rain, ice patches, snow, or fog that might have added a twist to the racing conditions. Plus, the formula of unlocking cars by winning races is great for pure racing aficionados, but the repetition and lack of variety of unlocking cars (arcade mode) or earning money (Gran Turismo mode) may cause some gamers to lose interest. In the meantime, potential innovations for unlocking cars lie unused. Two examples: Why not have a two-player team vs. "evil" computer car team mode, which would introduce concepts such as drafting and cooperative racing tactics? Why not have on-the-side wagers before races in which players can make bets with other drivers? Perhaps these ideas for improvements are just wishful thinking, or perhaps the PlayStation can't handle them. In response, then, this game probably should have been titled "Gran Turismo: Special Edition" instead. It's still a great-looking game, and it's marvelous in terms of depth and realism - it just sticks a little too close to the original's blueprint. As a result, gamers disappointed with the first game will find few changes that'll change their minds - just more of the same. On top of that, the game's depth makes for a high learning curve th
                  at may actually hinder less-spirited racing fans (or younger kids) from taking the plunge - this is a game that will take most gamers months to complete 100 percent. This reviewer's parting words to the developers: Save the "2" for the PlayStation2, and take more chances with the game-design formula before this top-notch series grows stale.

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                    15.11.2001 23:14
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                    This is an excellent game all round. The graphics are brilliant, realistic and there isn't a lot of pop up. The handling of the cars is great, they are so much fun to drive. The best thing is power sliding and overtaking at the corners. When the manoeuvre comes off good it's great, but with some rear wheel drive cars it's difficult to control the power slide. The music is quite good, but after a while you might get annoyed with it. The sounds of the engine and the squealing tyres fighting for grip are very realistic. There are hundreds of accurately modelled cars from the Mini to the Dodge Viper. This game will last you for a very long time. First you have to get the licences to be able to compete in the races, and then you've got all the different cups to win. There are two discs to Gran Turismo 2 - one is for the Arcade version where you don't buy the cars with money you've won racing, you just choose a car and race against similar models; on the second disc you get £10,000 and start with a second-hand car, then win races and up-grade your car. This is excellent value for money. The only bad thing about this game is the rally section that is disappointing. Although this isn't a new game it can still compete and win against the most modern games on the PSOne.

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                      01.11.2001 01:10
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                      Gran Turismo 2 is a great game on the playstation. This game has 2 disks one is called Gran Turismo (Disk 1) and The Other is called Gran Turismo Arcade Disk (Disk 2). The difference is that disk 1 is where you have to pass your driving test and then you can buy cars from different dealer, then after you have chosen your perfect car(s), you can race with then against the computer which then you get money for how well you did. Disk 2 is where you can just choose your car from the list (or load one from your memory card) and race (you get no money), or you can battle in two-player mode when again you can load your own car from your memory card you choose any from the list. The graphics on this game are very good at NO point the graphics go funny; this game is a very reliable game. Also in Gran Turismo 2 when you have bought your car (Disk 1) you can change certain parts to make it go faster, also when you buy new or pre-owned cars you get details and specification of that certain car. Finally when you select the certain dealer from the main screen you can either chose: NEW CAR USED CAR SPECIAL You can guess what the first 2 are for but the last one named SPECIAL is where the company makes a very good car and is very expensive (usually 500,000) please note that the SPECIAL function is only available in certain dealers. Overall I would recommend Gran Turismo to everybody who likes racing very good quality cars!! Please Rate This Opinion.

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                      11.10.2001 03:02

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                      I'm being generous here by giving this game a 4 star but that is only because I give GT 1 a 6 star. I agree with most everything from every review. Not as addictive as the first, licenses are indeed easier to obtain, BUT very hard to get the gold. The game is very slow-paced. All you can do with your 10,000 in the beginning is by a used (japanese) car (by the way, why no other uused cars?). I recommend the Nissan Skyline (5,268). she can be boosted to win the Classic car Cup, therefore winnig 135,000. Before she can be boosted though, you must sit through hours of almost winning the Sunday and Clubman cups (which are even more impossible than in GT 1). Very frustrating. I've just played for about 24 hours. All we wound up with in the end before bringing it back to the video store (it's about 60$ to buy in Canada) was a sweet Porshe, boosted to 586 HP, still barely winning the 591 HP races even when driving on the road. A good race sim is a good race sim and overall this is a pretty sweet one. Only a little disappointed... Excellent,Extremely simple. The automatic replays are a little annoying though. What can we expect from Playstation though? The spectators are ugly as is the road. I really like the trees though (especially in Trial Mountain which is also in the first GT). The cars are very nice though. Well done. The game is worth it just for the car sounds (only wish we could honk our horns) but the music gets a little annoying and redundant (listening to the same Garbage song while doing the 50 lap course (almost an hour and a half) is absolutely maddening). There should be different music styles apart from this stereotypical "driving music". some people may like to listen to techno or something else while driving. This game is ok has some bad points and some good points but if you like driving games i recommend you to buy Gran turismo 1!!

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