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Posted: Oct 5 2009, 05:48 PM
IDW Prime Member
Group: Advanced Members
Member No.: 27,007
Joined: Oct 12th 2007
Location: Fuji Heavy HQ
This is it. My longer review. It probably could have been written in a different format, but, meh.
The controls in this game are standard PS2 style controls, but tweaked since you only have one analog nub and only one set of shoulder buttons. The best news of that is you can actually customize every button to do anything any other button could do, save for the analog nub. it can only be used for steering. This translates to custom setups like mine, Xgas,[ ]brake,Oebrake,^reverse, I have my bumpers up top for shifting gears and use down on the D-pad for a rearview every now and then. For real multiplayer fun, switch the controls on the D-pad and symbol buttons for steering and throttle/brake so you can play, "upside-down", I had to shift with my pinkies in this "Mode", good times.
But aside from the layout being different it really is the same as GT4. Scary I know. So, if you had a hang of how to drive in that game, you should feel pretty confident in this one. The only real problem you'll find yourself in, is how to use the analog nub effectively. I haven't felt comfortable using it at all while playing, and I even bought an attachment to get a better grip on it. I think it has alot to do with how tight the snapback of it is. PS2/3 dual analog controllers have always been loose feeling, this nub is even tighter than an Xbox controller.
I'm going to start off with being honest, the in race background music just sucks. It didn't have GT4's awesomeness, or GT2's dull simplicity for heartthumpingness. New word thanks to boring music. It pretty much is horrible until you unlock "User BGM", aka, Custom Soundtracks. If you use WMP, do not sync the unit and do the drag/drop. It will place the music file in an album file, in an artist file, in the Music file. All music files MUST be in the Music folder's root section. It will not play any in an artist or album folder.
I was pretty much annoyed with all Main Menu music and sound effects, so off they went for me. Though you can just lower them to dogs-only level if you want. I just kept the in race sound effects on, engine noise baby. It's still weak engine noise, again the Game shows it's roots of being more of a GT4 port.
The oddest sound you'll hear is Mr. Jay Leno. He does a bit of voicework, but it's seldom heard out of the "Challenges", so it's really a waste.
The car models are decent enough, better than GT2, not quite perfect as alot of them have some blurry spots, system limitation. Camera angles are comprised of the standard chase, front bumper(think FPS), roof position, and a very interesting region dependent in-cockpit view.
The in-cockpit view will either have you on the left or right depending on where that car was sold, (GT-R SpecV '09 is right handed), and you even sometimes get a pretty useless side mirror that does work. There are no wheels or hands or instrument panel in here, just a blacked out space of nothingness, I'm going to go with system limitation and being a damn near port of GT4 so none of the cars have that modeled out.
Replays are also available, standard controls for them, ability to see from fixed position cameras like in 99% of all real life racing or from the front bumper view. You can also view the car's data, even on the AI cars.
The Non-Career mode is really just that. An open-ened choose what you want to race kind of deal. You set it up pretty much like this, pick a race type and number of laps, then your car and do any setup work (tires and traction control are reall the only options), then the course, and off you go. How much you earn for the race depends on the number of laps and the course.
And on the topic of money, you start with 100,000 credits to pick a car or cars in my case. Espicially since the dealership is only 4 manufacturers and it shuffles through them and their stock pretty randomly. After 50 in game days, I've yet to see a Chevrolet dealer, and I am a HUGE Chevrolet fan. There is a solution to this however, see the Car Sharing feature. So really, buy a car if its there and you really like it, it just might not be back until the game shuffles through the other 799 cars.
The other half of the game is the Challenges. This is where you find your "license" tests (sans licenses). 54 different challanges from rudimentary starting and stopping to high-speed cornering on Circuit De La Sarthe with a R390. My biggest gripe about these aside from having no added bonus to completing (except for custom sountracks) is that there are 1-Lap Magics. Except they're actually 1/2-Lap Magic...I'll leave you to ponder the idea of that one.
You can watch a demonstration of these as always, with Mr. Leno's semi-decent voice acting, and while good for being not so mundane 4 car racing, some of the times they require you to churn out are downright rediculous. Example: B2, my best time is 12.407, seven thousandth away from gold. Silver by the way is 12.500 seconds. That's right, the difference between gold and silver on this one is a mere .1 seconds. The learning curve on this game is pretty steep on some challenges.
Multiplayer has so many neat features, you really got to check it out for yourself, that and I've yet to see a friend so we haven't raced yet. Sorry folks.
A nice PSP system ability is present, thank god really. If you pause it during a race and turn the system off, the game will hold that spot just like it does on about every PSP game. This'll help keep you from going insane when trying to beat a Nur-Hell. 99 Laps(the limit) on that crazy track. It's essentially a 7-12hour race depending on the car. Good luck.
Car sharing, a nice feature that pretty much first appeared in Pokemon if I'm not mistaken. In that game you shared records of monsters seen/owned, savuing you the trouble of trading 30 or so to complete your Pokedex. In this one, you get a copy of every car your friend has purchased and he gets a copy of the ones you bought. Some are restricted from this ability.You don't lose your cars in this mode, so share with as many people as possible to "Drive 'Em All!"
Cars can also be traded on a 1-per-1 level. Really only used for exclusive car models (like the pre-sell cars) and some random awesome cars for no real reason. When doing this, the cars are permenently removed
If you buy this game as a download, the entire Manual is in the game to read over. It's actually a better manual than the one that comes with the UMD version.
Most of the cars from this game are from GT4, as an example, there is only 1 new Chevrolet despite there being about 10 awesome new models since GT4 came out. The Corvette ZR1. The cover car. No Turbo Cobalt, no new Camaro, no Aveo...
This is where you really see how delayed this game is. It feels alot like they had the car models ready to go, but didn't have the system or coding skills to fit it onto the system properly. Or maybe they just got tired of waiting for the PSP to handle 6(+?) cars at once and just dumped it to 4 and threw in some new ones. That's my theory on why it was never released, they really had to give us something to increase new PSP(go) sales.
Things that irked me-
Car Data Transfer??? I have no idea what this does, or where you connect it with a USB cable to? GT5P??
The standard in race music...can't stress that enough.
Not finding Chevrolet in the dealer section after 50 different lineups.
Lack of new cars.
AI cars bumping into me causing me to fail on the 1/2-Lap Magic races.
The in-game manual is better than the one in the box.
No game-share feature to race with cars in your garage. It really is that tasking on the system's processor.
Well, the gist of it is, if you want to make a single race with any car for up to 99 laps (Nur-Hell anyone?), and do it at any time without having to switch cars or settings on the car (tires/engine upgrades), or really worry about anything else, this is the game for you. It is unequaled in that right, but it falls very far from being a Gran Turismo game because it lacks the series' traditional career mode. Whether that's a good thing or not, is dependant upon who you ask. For a portable game with awesome physics and visuals, it is certainly a plus when you don't have hours to sit around practicing your apexing through the Nurs' ga-billion curves.
Control: 4.5/5 (custom controls are awesome, nub feels awkward)
Audio: 3.5/5 (standard music sucks in this one, no Papa Roach cover songs)
Video: 3.75/5 (words are blurry on most cars and you can see some discrepancies on some courses)
Gameplay: 5/5 (2/5 if you have no friends)
FINAL: Buy it.