Gran Turismo PSP
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Released on 01/10/2009
Gran Turismo features more than 800 vehicle models from the world’s top manufacturers (over 4,500 total paint variations) and more than 30 tracks (60+ total layouts), including famous world circuits, city courses and other environments.
Featuring exciting gameplay and game modes to suit all levels of play, Gran Turismo is a great introduction to the best-selling series for newcomers. Additionally, seasoned Gran Turismo fans will recognize the depth of content and unparalleled visuals the series is known for, including graphics running at a stunning 60 frames per second. Gran Turismo is truly a next generation PSP title.
Players can progress and acquire cars in Challenge Mode throughout more than 100 events in, or they can explore different tracks and circuits in Arcade Mode. Additionally, players can race online in Ad Hoc Mode against up to 3 others (4 total) via the PSP’s built-in ad hoc functionality. The first in the Gran Turismo series is the ability to trade and share unlocked vehicles with others online via ad hoc mode. This feature is not available in any other racing game on PSP.
- Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc. for PSP – Gran 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 favorite 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 favorite environments from the Gran Turismo series have been optimized for racing on PSP.
- Share and Trade Vehicles with Others – For the first time in the Gran 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 Gran Turismo is played, the in-game calendar will change the dealer car lineup seasonally.
- Available via UMD and PlayStation Network – Offering convenience, choice and options for owners of the original PSP or the newly announced PSP go.
The Big Race
Gamers are used to waiting, it's a fact of life. Big name games are so complex now that they can take years to develop. Well, when we say years, we sort of mean one or two. Maybe even three if it's a particularly tricky project.
Gran Turismo on the PSP has been in development for more than five (count 'em!) years years. It was first announced way back in May 2004 and a series of delays and a trickle of information has kept us all thoroughly frustrated ever since. It better be good after all that development time. We'll come back to the question of whether or not it's any good in a moment, first let's take a look at exactly what you'll be getting for your money.
Disk or Download?
The game is available as both a UMD release and a download for the new PSP Go. It features an enormous amount of gameplay for a title that's been squeezed into a little over a gigabyte of memory. That said, it's not quite the full GT experience that players of previous console versions might be expecting as it's been significantly retooled to fit on the portable.
GT PSP is every inch the real driving simulator that Gran Turismo is supposed to be.
One thing's for sure, GT PSP is every inch the real driving simulator that Gran Turismo is supposed to be. At its heart, the series has always been about enabling players to climb inside the cockpit of hundreds of stunning sports cars and 'feel' exactly what it's like to drive them, and that is totally true of this version of the game. There are a staggering 800 vehicles featured, which is all the more surprising when you take into account that they all handle realistically and in their own unique way. Also, supercar fans will be particularly pleased as the roster includes vehicles from top marques Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bugatti.
35 Course Feast
GT PSP is no slouch when it comes to challenges either. Somehow developer Polyphonal Digital has managed to crowbarred in 35 courses, all of them playable in reverse providing a total of 70 tracks. Even on the PSP this remains a big, big game.
One of the reasons given for the long development time was the difficulty the developers had in getting everything into such a small space, memory-wise.
One of the reasons given for the long development time was the difficulty the developers had in getting everything into such a small space, memory-wise. And indeed, when you're dealing with a driving game that's more of a simulator than an arcade racer, it's easy to imagine the scale of the problem.
So something had to give. First off there's no damage model so trashing cars is not a pleasure you'll be able to experience. More importantly, though, there's no career mode. Instead, players simply choose a car, choose a track, decide how many laps they want to race and pick a mode (whether it's Time Trial, Drift or Single Race). In this way the player accrues money and can buy additional vehicles for his garage. If you're not expecting it, this could be a big disappointment, as it doesn't provide any real progression or structured rewards system. But if you treat this not so much as a game, but a comprehensive race simulator, then you're much more likely to appreciate the considerable bang you get for your bucks.
- Enormous number of vehicles
- Loads of tracks
- Realistic handling
- No career mode
Its long been a reason to own a PlayStation console and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of its genre, but Gran Turismo has also caused controversy and met with its fair share of criticism over the years. In anticipation of Gran Turismo's next-gen debut with GT5 Prologue, we take a look at the franchise's highs and lows, in this full in-depth retrospective on gaming's greatest driving sim. Ladies and gentlemen, casual and hardcore gamers, race fans and car fanatics... start your engines!
History of Gran Turismo
Gran Turismo is one of the most divisive series in gaming. For car aficionados it's automotive heaven. Fuelled by a vehicular love that borders on obsessive, it has consistently raised the bar for racers, delighting digital drivers with realism, detail, handling prowess and visual polish. For many players, Polyphony Digital's hardcore driving template has been oft imitated, but never bettered.
To others, Gran Turismo is just a great racer. For them, tons of tuning options and a succession of increasingly obscure, exotic car models mean less to than the sheer triumph of passing a license test or making it first to the finish line by mastering gaming's greatest handling and most painstakingly detailed car models.
There are those, of course, who altogether don't 'get' Gran Turismo - don't go for its lifelike physics and sophisticated seriousness - while others still seem bemused by the lack of vehicle damage. But even amongst these gamers you'd be hard-pushed to find one that disputes the overall quality and value-for money packed in each edition of this seminal series.
The Real Driving Simulator - Gran Turismo (1997)
There really was nothing like it, and it's difficult to imagine the gaming landscape had GT not hit when it did. Released in 1997, Gran Turismo followed Sony's award-winning 'double life' PlayStation marketing, waving lifelike visuals and a commercial licensed soundtrack in the collective faces of a 90's culture still pigeonholing videogames as hi-tech children's toys.
A symbol of gaming's growing mainstream acceptance, GT soon became the poster plaything for a new generation of teen and twenty-something lifestyle gamers. Where WipeOut and Ridge Racer piqued interest, GT did away with the fantasy and made driving games at once ultra accessible, and completely cool.
Predicated on the type of tinker-happy, wideboy-pleasing authenticity found in Max Power magazine, Gran Turismo's 178 cars, 11 tracks and myriad modification options set a new standard. The feeling of accomplishment at collecting a garage of world-beating beasts was similar to that in developing a character in today's MMORPGs. The seemingly mundane license tests, meanwhile, ingeniously drip-fed the intricacies of GT's handling mechanic, gleaning a new appreciation for the subtleties of each individual auto.
And controlling them was a masterstroke. Gran Turismo's release coincided with the launch of Sony's first Dual Shock Controller, giving gamers total mobility and a new appreciation for the bumps, twists and collisions of racing real-life cars.
That reality-check shows why GT endures. The goal may be to amass a garage of juggernaut autos, but you began in Gran Turismo with the kind of ride ran by many a fresh-faced 17 year-old boy racer. A GT career was a slow, believable rags-to-riches tale of hard gameplay graft, meticulous motor tuning, real racing skill and hours of watching replays and committing tracks to memory. Revolutionary at the time, Gran Turismo remains today a how-to dossier for driving game design.
The Real Driving Sequel Gran Turismo 2 (1999)
Inevitably, Gran Turismo's follow-up soon saw the light of day. Rushed to retail, it arrived shortly after Christmas, helping draw attention away from Sega's impending Dreamcast console. Due to this, GT2 was found to have some notable bugs, and despite receiving universal critical acclaim, didn't sell quite as well as its fantastic forebear.
Nonetheless, Gran Turismo 2 went on to be another huge smash-hit for Sony's market-conquering console. Offering a bigger, better, enhanced take on the template, Gran Turismo 2 was enormous by PSone standards, delivered on two discs and boasting over 600 fully licensed cars, a grand total of 49 tracks, and six license tests of which the first three could be instantly bypassed by upgrading old GT1 save data.
Despite the short development time, the term 'fan service' comes to mind with Gran Turismo 2; in which Polyphony encapsulated the game's schizophrenic appeal and tailored its offering to GT's two core audiences.
The first disc of Gran Turismo 2 delivered arcade and multiplayer modes, replete with unlockable cars, aimed squarely at the casual gamer. The second gave hardcore car nuts a refined, fleshed-out Simulation mode, with cleaner menus and all-new off road rally racing amongst the biggest draws.
Where GT had polarised opinion, GT2 delivered far-reaching racing nirvana. With handling still spot-on and visuals pushing the PlayStation to its limit, Gran Turismo 2 is regarded as arguably the finest technical tour-de-force on Sony's original system.
The Third Place Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (2001)
Two steps back, three giant leaps forwards; Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec hit PS2 with less cars and tracks than its predecessor, but realised jaw-dropping visuals, a focus on the world's most exotic motors (hence the subtitle), and a few notable brand new features.
A-Spec's 185 car selection allowed Polyphony to present their most polished Gran Turismo yet. Gone were most of the everyday vehicles, meaning this GT lost some of its real-life feel but it turned out to be a triumphant decision, delivering the freshness the franchise needed and with it branching out to offer new and exciting challenges.
In came a selection of speedy retro F1 cars. In came multi-hour endurance races. There was another reworking of the famous front-end, now categorised by country and manufacturer. Driver A.I. was criticised for hugging the racing line, however, meaning Arcade Mode's later stages were more of challenge than Gran Turismo mode itself. A lack of online play, meanwhile, was only partially made up for by a six-console system link option. In all though, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec was a sensational shift onto Sony's second hardware, and a must-have for the fledgling console that is second only to Grand Theft Auto 3 in the system's all-time best sellers list.
Bright Ideas Gran Turismo Concept (2002)
Polyphony then turned the GT3 engine to making a racer based around concept cars. Following releases in Japan and South Korea than contained cars from the from the 2001 and 2002 Tokyo and Seoul Motor Shows, 2002's European release was the most complete version, adding a further 30 cars from the Geneva Motor Show and going on to sell a million units.
4-Play - Gran Turismo 4: Prologue (2004)
With Gran Turismo 4 failing to make its original Christmas 2003 release, GT4: Prologue was issued as a budget-price stop-gap taster for hardcore fans. Putting together 50 cars, five courses and including cut-down version of GT stalwarts like license tests, a Free Run mode and early renditions of GT4's courses, GT4 Prologue whetted appetites, but ended up being less representative of the final Gran Turismo 4 driving experience.
4 To the Floor - Gran Turismo 4 (2005)
After an agonising year and a half wait, Gran Turismo 4 finally arrived and was instantly hailed as hands-down the most comprehensive title of its type.
Not even GT2 had been this big or well-polished. 50 tracks, including real-life circuits like the famous Nburgring, and over 700 cars from 80 different manufacturers, made GT4 the most good-looking, well-balanced, finely-tuned, minutely detailed, compulsively authentic and accomplished driving simulation of them all.
In realism stakes, GT4 was a stellar success. Indeed, Sony even invited auto journos to try real life vs GT4; same track, same car. Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson commented that Gran Turismo 4 'would only be more real if a big spike shot out of the screen and skewered your head every time you crashed'.
As a racer, however, GT4 met with criticism. Polyphony's obsession with the minutiae of car technology granted Gran Turismo 4 a far less forgiving edge; this was less an exhilarating race experience, and more about tinkering for maximum track performance. With GT4 the divide became even more pronounced; car nuts adored it, but casual gamers were left a little alienated.
A more sophisticated arcade mode provided some relief, extending GT3's three speed variants to a whopping 21. But the real draw of GT4 was that the career could be played in two modes, with A-Spec your usual progression, and B-Spec letting players speed up races by three times (reducing endurance races to a manageable playtime) and step out of the car to give direction to an A.I. driver. In effect, this meant the game played itself, players allowing the game to simply achieve wins on its own, earning them prize money for parts and cars with little of the original GT's invested grind.
Lacking the planned online mode (apart from in Asia, where an online test version was released), retaining computer A.I. that blindly followed the racing line, and boasting a novel but superficial Photo Mode, GT4 is considered the apex of videogame driving, yet fixed few of the franchise's existing problems, and felt to fans like an Nth-degree refinement of what had gone before instead of the revolution begun nearly nine years prior.
GT Goes Next-Gen - Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Beyond (2008 - ???)
Having whetted PS3 player appetites with the free-to-download Gran Turismo HD demo (20 vehicles, Time Trial and Drift Trial modes, one course also playable mirrored, and online leaderboards), Polyphony's first retail PS3 GT presents a succession of three's.
Three years; three home PlayStation consoles; and three promises of online play later, and we finally get Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, delivering long-awaited 16-player head-to-head races, as well as two-person split-screen play, to a console capable of eye-bulging HD visuals and more sophisticated driver intelligence.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is a low-cost precursor to the first full next-gen GT. 71 cars are present, playable on six courses, with mirrored versions taking the total tracks to ten. A new high-detail in-cockpit view, Quick Tune facility and Dual Shock 3 compatibility make it more realistic than ever, boding well for a final version of GT5 that promises the Top Gear test track amongst its course quota.
Community events, online leaderboards, and the automotive program-providing GT TV channel give Gran Turismo 5 Prologue a sizeable amount of content for a budget release, really giving gamers a flavour for the upcoming final version of Gran Turismo 5.
One thing is an absolute certainty; With existing and prospective PS3 owners all eagerly awaiting a triple-A system-seller, fans demanding a sequel that exceeds GT's own high standards, and seemingly everyone expecting GT's next-gen debut to have a massive impact on mainstream lifestyle culture, Sony and Polyphony Digital are pulling out all the stops to ensure Gran Turismo 5 redefines the term 'The Real Driving Simulator'.
Article by: Mark Scott
Kazunori Yamauchi is one of the greatest game designers in the world. He the man behind the Gran Turismo series for one thing, and he been proving he as good at racing real cars as crafting videogames about them. How? He been racing around the Nburgring. In real life.
Yamauchi was part of a four-man team that recently competed in the Nburgring 24-hour race, according to DualShockers. He drove a Nissan GT-R and capped a time of nearly seven-and-three-quarter hours. Not bad!
"The Nurburgring 24 hour race was dramatic and a lot happened during the last leg," Yamauchi wrote on Twitter. "Class victory goes to the GT-R. Thanks a lot for the congratulatory messages. Time for the awards ceremony now."
If you want to see what Yamauchi like when he at his day job, of course, you can check out Gran Turismo 5. The game a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and will probably go down in history as one of the greatest sim racers ever made.
Gran Turismo PSP (02/10/2009)
Gran Turismo Portable…
Its long been a reason to own a PlayStation console and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of its genre, but Gran Turismo has also caused controversy and met with its fair share of criticism ove…
Kazunori Yamauchi is one of the greatest game designers in the world. He the man behind the Gran Turismo series for one thing, and he been proving he as good at racing real cars as crafting videogames…
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