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Gran Turismo is simultaneously one of the most comprehensive portable video games ever made, and yet something of a let-down. Coming from a distinguished line of driving simulators long-revered for its pin-point driving physics, supreme track design and immense depth, the series' first portable foray has all of the above in spades, though its open-ended nature and loose structure are both a blessing and a curse.
Its Career mode is all very different from what's gone before. Whilst previously you'd have to slave away earning licences before even thinking about competing, buy a cheap car, scrounge away for a while until you could afford a better one and then move on from there, Gran Turismo on the PSP does away with structured tournaments, in favour of single races. With each circuit you're tasked with working up from Rank D to Rank S, and you have the freedom to race any vehicle in your possession for however many laps you should so choose.
It's understandable that series aficionados may be put out by the lack of focus. After all, the heavy mix of tournaments, endurance races and model-specific cups are the meat and potatoes of the average Gran Turismo experience. However, what's often overlooked in such circumstances is that the game offers accessibility without sacrificing the depth of its racing - it is, after all, GT-on-the-go, and being able to fly through a couple of three laps races is more ideal on a train journey than perhaps a seven race series. There are genuine positives too - the eternally tiresome ritual of Licence Tests has been replaced by a similar though crucially non-mandatory set of "Driving Challenges" which are a nice means of getting used to the game with the added bonus of monetary rewards for good showings.
What should be recognised off the bat though is how great a technical achievement the game is. Bearing in mind the PSP's relatively modest specs in comparison with its home-console contemporaries, it's awesomely ambitious. Developer Polyphony Digital pulled no punches, basing the physics engine on the PS3 GT5 Prologue, resulting in a game that, but for a few periphery sacrifices, runs beautifully.
The frame-rate is silky smooth, the action blisteringly quick, the handling challenging but fair. The cars are typically outstanding; both in terms of how they look and in the way they pitch under braking and warble when traversing curbs. Even within its deficiencies, there are signs that elements have been cleverly prioritised. The road surfaces look fine and close scenery looks grand; prominent backdrops such as those seen in the Grand Canyon course have been beefed up and look great, whilst some of the trees, which appear flat on the replays, don't give such an unflattering impression when whistling past them at speed. Most of the uglier-looking buildings and advertisement hoardings have been kept out of the player's primary visual focus - although tracks with tonnes of the above - most notably the Monte Carlo street circuit, find it more difficult to sweep mediocre visual elements under the rug.
The odd bit of low-fi visual design is likely due to data compression, as what Polyphony have managed to cram onto one small UMD is almost beyond belief. That there's an incredible 800-plus car roster is almost taken as a given these days, but it's still worth noting that this includes the likes of Lamborghini and Ferrari, after their Need For Speed exclusivity rights presumably lapsed, and elsewhere everything from Fiat Pandas and Volvo Estates to Bugatti Veyrons and Dodge Vipers. But it's the tracks which are really special; there's a staggering 45 individual circuits in total - ten more than even the game's box gives it credit for - some of which are admittedly alternative or shortened versions of the main tracks (Suzuka and Fuji for instance), but the number still doesn't take into account mirrored courses. The vast majority of the racetracks on show featured in GT4 but there's also the eminently appreciated appearance of the Valencia MotoGP course from Polyphony Digital's motorcycle sim Tourist Trophy.
Course design is, as ever with GT, almost flawless. Real-life racing royalty such as Suzuka or Laguna Seca allow you to appreciate what makes them such unique challenges, whilst GT's own creations, such as the colossal Grand Valley Speedway, Autumn Ring and Trial Mountain, all seem to get better with age, presumably as the technology allows all of their little nuances to feel that little bit more "real". Not only is the player spoiled by the array of race tracks, there's all manner of dirt, snow and ice rally stages to powerslide around. Markedly different but in many ways just as engaging, you'll be scrabbling round corners desperately searching for a purchase, allowing you to put the power down and catapult away. Virtually every WRC-winning car of the last twenty years is present, including many of the infamous Group B/S supercars of the eighties like the Lancia Delta, Ford RS200 and Renault 5, which are bags of fun to drive. Suffice to say, there's something to test every facet of your driving ability here.
A couple of long-standing criticisms linger on however. There's still no crash damage, and whilst it's still questionable whether the inclusion of such a feature in an already-challenging game would necessarily enhance the playing experience, it remains the one glaring omission from a game that aims to ape real-world physics so minutely. A broader trouble is that GT more than ever paints itself as a driving simulator rather than a racing game. Fans will know the real satisfaction of the game lies in mastering both car and course, but the fact the competitive element is so negligible doesn't help matters. The number of competitors in a race has been trimmed from six to four, and though the A.I. is marginally more conducive to close racing than before (they're given cars that roughly stack up against your own choice), they still chug around like automatons. Loading periods are just a little too frequent for comfort as well.
Elsewhere, GT's recent struggles to associate itself with a soundtrack of any distinction continues with another incidental selection of rock songs buzzing along harmlessly in the background. Nothing terribly unexpected there perhaps, but more disappointing is the lacklustre quality of the sound effects - engine notes in particular sound whiny and not up to the series typical high standards.
A lot hinges on whether you enjoy the mechanics of driving in GT, because if you do, it's the kind of game that a player could quite easily dip into for months on end. It's hard to see gamers playing it solidly for any great duration of time however as, aside from saving up enough credits for a dream car and attempts to reach Rank S on all the circuits, there isn't really a concerted, motivating factor to play long term. It is however one of the PSP's best exponents of WiFi play, and with adjustable handicaps, they ensure superior, close racing between you and a friend - provided you race each other in the same car, that is.
If you're looking for bumps 'n' scrapes, wheel-to-wheel racing then in truth, this is unlikely to leave you fully satisfied, though when it comes to a wealth of cars and superbly-designed tracks; it's a veritable trove of driving delights. It's mostly stunning to behold, though with the odd graphical concession, you can't help but wonder whether the mountainous amount of content was a case of Polyphony Digital biting off more than the PSP could chew. Nevertheless, with tuning options and structured progression traded for accessibility, it still feels every inch a Gran Turismo, even if a couple of troubles stop it from being as defining as its forebears.
if you like cars, or racing games, then this is an essential game for you. it is the latest in the gran turismo franchise, and is here to wet our appetites before Gran Turismo 5 gets here on Ps3.
The first thing you will probably notice about this game, is that the graphics are stunning. they are hindered by the psp's resolution and processing power, but it still manages to provide a brilliant picture.
there are about 800 fully licenced cars in the game, which is quite incredible. also there are a few dozen tracks, which have been recreated for the game, all looking stunning.
obviously the main feature of a racing game is how the cars handle, and using the psp's analogue stick, racing and drifting cars around tarmac, dirt, and snowy circuits is a real treat.
the is no "career" mode to the game, but there are a series of over 150 challenges, in which you can score either bronze, silver or gold on. with the money you earn on the challenges, you can buy your dream cars from the dealerships, and once you have your desired ride, you can take it for a spin.
unfortunately, you can only race against 3 other drivers, but its still an enjoyable experience. it doesn't matter if your just going to pick up and play the game every now and then, or sit down and play it for hours ( which i do), you'll be having fun.
== Grand Turismo (PSP) ==
== How I came by it ==
Well the husband was always going on about how amazing Grand Turismo was so when I noticed it for sale at Christmas on the PSP I decided to get it him as he no longer owned a the various other Grand Turismo titles or they had become damaged, so it was an ideal present for him. Anyway one night he left his PSP at home and it was a Wednesday night or football night on ITV as I prefer to call it, which I personally loathe but I am a major fan of cars and racing so thought why not give it a go, as I have nothing better to do.
== What is it ==
Well Grand Turismo is the first release of the much loved racing series on to the hand held portable games console the PSP by Playstation. This gaming series has been going pretty much since the PlayStation 1 first came out many moons ago, but 2009 was the year that Grand Turismo finally came to the PSP console.
It features real car manufactures and some make believe ones, it also features tracks from around the world and from the previous game series. Also this game and any other of the Grand Turismo family is only sold on the Sony PlayStation label so if you own a Nintendo DS or an Xbox you won't get chance to try this game. A little annoying as the owner of both of these consoles!!!
== Does it get my engine revving? ==
Well I popped the disc into the slot at the back and sat down to see if this game was any good. My first impressions where very good the graphics and realism where amazing for such a tiny handheld device to pack such a punch, I felt like I could reach out and touch the cars. I really was sucked into the world of Grand Turismo. I found it so easy to go racing just literally buy a car and away you go so- easy.
If you wanted to improve yourself then do some of the licence challenges!
I was so excited, I decided to phone my husband announce yes for once in his life he had been right this game was good, but my joy was soon short lived after a quick phone call to the husband he also agreed it was a great game but too easy compared to the other titles of the same series on the console.
So I thought fairs fair, I would see what exactly he meant and went to my brothers and relocated a copy of Grand Turismo 2 and set about seeing if this newbie was up to to its older brothers, and I soon began to see what my husband was on about.
In the older game you have be at the top of your game constantly you have to able to do licences to progress into the game so your able to earn more money and buy better cars, also once you have a car on the PSP version that's it nothing more nothing less the older one you can tune and tinker with your car to make it the best.
So after my trip to visit one of the older brothers of the Grand Turismo family. I began to look at the PSP version in a sadly different light I also realised it was all too easy to win on the PSP version you needed to do very little to own some very powerful cars so I could see this game having a very limited life span and sadly within a week I became bored and found it no longer a challenge and a bit repetitive.
So to finish in some ways it does set my engine revving because it's a very easy game to get into and not take time and effort but in others you find your self wanting a challenge witch I personally didn't think was there.
== Facts ==
This information is taken directly from the website: http:// boardsus.playstation.com/t5/PSP-General/ Grand-Turismo-PSP-Features/m-p/42644550 and I give full credit to them for this information. The same information may be found on other numerous websites such as Amazon and other gaming sites as such, but this is where I found the information- and this is where I am crediting for the use of the below information.
Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc. for PSP - Grand Turismo's debut on PSP is developed by the internal team behind the world's best-selling racing series. Over 800 vehicle models - Players can race their favourite vehicles from the top manufacturers around the globe, including Ferrari, Nissan, and more. The vehicle model count climbs to over 4,500 when the various paint configurations are included. Over 30 Tracks from Around the World - Famous circuits and some of the favourite environments from the Grand Turismo series have been optimized for racing on PSP. Share and Trade Vehicles with Others - For the first time in the Grand Turismo series, players can share and trade the vehicles they have acquired throughout the game with others via PSP's ad hoc mode. Certain vehicles will be acquired by trade only, so players will want to trade and share in order to virtually drive all of the meticulously designed vehicle models. Dynamic Vehicle Roster - Based on the amount of time Grand Turismo is played, the in-game calendar will change the dealer car line-up seasonally.
== All in All ==
A good game, but if you have been a fan of the Grand Turismo games in the past, you may find this game is much simpler than those, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your personal preference!
The game costs around £25, and can be bought at Amazon.co.uk, Play.com and also many gaming shops like Game Station and Game!
If you have another console (Wii, Xbox etc) you will not be able to buy this game, it is only available on PS3 and PSP- very annoying if you are an Xbox owner!!!
This game is an absolute pleasure to play, and one you will find hard to put down. The opening movie emphasises the rich graphics and attention to detail that you can expect during game play, and it doesn't disapoint. There are plenty of tracks to choose from, including City tracks, Dirt & Snow, Original and World Circuits (which are replecated exceedingly well). The cars (which all have unique and accurate handling characteristics) can be purchased using points which are earned from racing, or by completing a number of driving challenges which test your skills as a driver. Car graphics are are beautifully detailed (although the "onboard" view just shows a black outline of the windscreen) with reflections off the paintwork and fantastic race replays. However cars are only offered for purchase through four manufacturers at a time, so if you want to purchase a particular car, you may have to wait a long time before it becomes available.
The controls are easy to use making gameplay very enjoyable for both adults and children alike. A must have game for any PSP owner.
I was a big fan of Gran Turismo on the PS2 so was very happy when I saw the game coming to PSP. Both the graphics and game play looked good in advertisements.
On getting the game you set up your profile and can start racing. There are a number of practice courses you can do to learn the best techniques and perfect your racing skills for when you are racing against others. You are awarded medals based on how well you do in this practice mode and for each medal purchase new cars with.
The game has a wide variety of cars you can have in your garage. The car dealers available to buy from, and cars available from them will change each day and depending on your progression in the game. When buying the cars you can select the colour you would like for it, similar to the original games.
You can race against the computer or can play in ad hoc mode if you have 2 PSP's and if you both have the game. Winning the races will get you more cash to spend on cars and you earn more cash when playing in ad hoc than against the computer.
There are a number of tracks to choose from, with real life tracks as well as made up ones, including a range of different tracks that require different cars for the conditions.
The controls are very simple to master and the game is enjoyable. For anyone who has played the original games it may seem like there is something missing from this game but it is still a good game in it's own right.
The games retails at around £18.
Gran Turismo IV Mobile at the PSP Console : Gran Turismo 4 Mobile features authentic racing gameplay with new fully-enhanced features that focus on more cars , courses , and race modes.