Gran Turismo 3 A-spec
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10  |  Best All Around Racing Game For It's Time (Gran Tourismo 3 Reivew, PS2)
Shevy , 4/8/2005 7:34:23 PM
PassedThis review is compliments of Shevy from Short. Honest. Kicked In The Face. The original can be read here:

In all of video gaming history, never has a racing series emerged that has blown away all the competition like Gran Turismo. Sure, games like Turbo, Test Drive, and Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing made a significant mark, but absolutely nothing could reflect the gap left by Gran Turismo versus everything else. The first Gran Turismo for the Playstation 2, Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, is nothing short of spectacular. Granted, the controls are the same and there are a lot of carryover, although updated, tracks...but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. If anything, it just makes the game that much easier to get into for veterans of the first two.

The game is still split up into two modes of play: Arcade and Simulation. The Arcade mode, while lacking the amount of cars available in Simulation, is the best way to just sit down with some friends and start racing with some serious horsepower. Simulation mode is really the meat and potatoes of this game. With a mere 10,000 credits one is forced to buy a car and race it for more money. Use the money to make upgrades to your car or to buy a new one and race for bigger cash. There are practically endless modifications and tweaks one can make to their vehicles ranging from re-gearing the transmission to adding custom alloys.

The biggest compliment to Gran Turismo 3 is the beautifully detailed graphics on the cars, tracks, and background. Pop-up is practically non-existent, and with six unique cars racing around the track, there is also no noticeable slow down. Unfortunately, the soundtrack to compliment such amazing detail falls far short.

With the good, one is expected to take the bad. After all, no game is absolutely perfect. Actually, the soundtrack is one of the lesser concerns with this game. The biggest problem with Gran Turismo 3, and all the Gran Turismo's for that matter, is the inability to take damage. You can do everything from ramming cars off the road to grinding the side of your car the full length of the track to running straight into a wall at 250mph, yet your car still looks like it belongs in the showroom. With such obvious attention to detail and physics, one would think somebody might find this to be a bit of a problem on the designing end. It's by far the biggest flaw of any racing game, however there are small wear and tear items that one must keep their eyes on...namely, changing one's oil and pit stops during certain tracks to change the tires. It hardly makes up for the potential damage a car would take after being downshifted from sixth gear to first and plowing into the side of a boulder.

Other smaller problems with this game include the computer AI, which is suspect at times. It would be nice to see different driving styles from different cars, for instance: Some would race dirty; some would cut corners; and some would race squeaky clean. On top of this, there is a serious lack of American cars available. Not only that, there are far less cars than Gran Turismo 2, although that's not exactly a bad thing as the worthless used car selection has been done away with. Overall, the casual racing fan might be intimidated with the physics and in-depth tweaks one would make to their ride, but for the those that take their racing seriously, Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec is about as good as it gets.

* If you have played Gran Turismo 1 or 2 previously, the controls on Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec are going to be a snap.
* Awesome physics and controls (even with just the regular PS2 controller).
* Incredibly detailed car modifications.
* Takes a lot of time and dedication to actually complete.
* Graphics are amazing.
* Replay mode is something actually worth watching in this game.
* No slow down regardless of the amount of cars on screen or the detail of the tracks and background.
* The horsepower qualifications/restrictions are gone from Gran Turismo 2.
* Hands down, the best racing game of it's time.

* With the exception of oil changes and tires in some races, there's still no damage when you hit another car or ram into a wall at high speeds.
* Much less cars available than from Gran Turismo 2...although the quality of cars are much better.
* Serious lack of American cars.
* In order to get better cars or to pay for some of the pricier adjustments, you're forced to keep racing the same tracks for money which can become quite a chore...much like leveling in just about any given RPG.
* Even though the Arcade mode is nice for the casual player, there are only a small number of cars available to play.
* Simulation mode can get very tough for those not familiar with racing.
* Computer AI can be downright retarded.
* Some of the races actually take a few hours to finish.

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