Monday, November 9, 2009

Gran Turismo PSP - First Impressions

John Marine | 11/09/2009 06:14:00 PM | | | |
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Earlier on Saturday (11/7/2009), I had a chance to play this game on display at a Fry's store. This blog showcases how I felt about playing this game finally.



--- Introduction ---
People's opinions on this game range from this being a good game and this being a waste of money and time. I never had a chance to play this game until recently. I've only done a Single Race. Here's the setup:

Single Race Setup
Race: Single Race
Car: Pontiac Vibe GT
Track: Twin Ring Motegi - West Short Course (2 laps)


My PSP experience is extremely limited, so I'd have to learn on the fly how to operate the cars in a PSP racing game. I had my doubts, but the PSP's "analog" nub handles pretty well in my view. I could somewhat get a feel for the car in the corners. I ended up winning the two lap race there. With all the 100,000 Credits available to you when starting out, you could actually go out and purchase the best-performing sports car within the 100K Credit range. I mean, I could have went out and got me an NSX with this money. But really, I bought the 1999 Nissan Spec-R Aero in preparation for the drift trial. Unfortunately, my mom called, and I had to leave. So I never got to do a drift trial.

Graphics
The graphics in my brief run were pretty good considering this is was a portable device. I really loved to see the information on cars return as the Catalog option. You don't go out saving up money to upgrade your car into the ultimate racing machine. Instead, you can save cars (up to 30) as favorites. Favorites can be quick tuned for various driving dynamics.

Maybe the only real deterrent graphics-wise is that I'm not sure whether to like or not like that there were only four cars to a track. I noticed that when you go into a wall, there are sparks when you go into a wall. Nice little touch.


Control
I actually think the control is pretty good for what it is. The analog nub actually works nicely and feels almost every bit as good as with a DualShock, only not with as much handy control. It's still good for what it is. Bear in mind that I do not have a PSP, so everything will be completely foreign to me as far as PSP racing games go.


Gameplay
From the one Single Race I did, I could have done maybe five or ten laps to test the limits of my endurance and such. But since I didn't have much time, I just simply played that one race at a track I know I could do a quick race at. The gameplay seems every bit as intense as on a console GT. My Pontiac Vibe did pretty well in its race. It took me a while to win my first race in GT4. But in one play of Gran Turismo PSP, I won my first race.

Money is easy to get to. Rather than a whole world of cars available for you to purchase, you get certain manufacturers each day. Imagine having to go through this for GT5. I don't think this game is terrible in any way. I guess I was okay with Jay Leno's voice for this title, but I'd rather just keep things classic. The traditional starting line sounds are fine with me rather than having a human voice supplemented. Even some of the concept cars and those not usually sold in GT are available for purchase. I was never able to do multiplayer or anything like that.

You have no true tuning options. You have to designate a car as a favorite, then be able to Quick Tune them for races.



--- First Impressions Overall ---
I wish people didn't hate on this game so much. It seems fairly fun for what it is. I actually wanted to make a video asking if you would recommend me this game. And if I had a PSP, I'd like to spend more time to really play this game for what it is. But really, I'd rather not transfer my cars over to my (future) PS3 until I'm really ready. And even then, I'd rather just play this game as it is. Just because there is no proper Career Mode (many would argue that GT never had a proper career mode to begin with) doesn't mean this is a game to pass up.

What I like most about this game (at least the single race elements) is that this is more of a free-paced Gran Turismo title. You can't just hate on this because there are four cars to a track. You can't just hate on this because there's no proper sim mode. It's a light Gran Turismo game with all or most of the bells and whistles that have made this one of the greatest racing game franchises of all time. You owe it to yourself as a GT fan to play this game. After all, YOU are the ultimate reviewer. Don't just rely on gaming media to tell you otherwise. Take it from a GT fan- I actually would recommend this game. Where else are you going to get beautifully-detailed cars and tracks on a PSP disc? And also, don't be deterred that there's no damage. Don't let damage be the only reason to play ANY game, nor should you let it be the only reason to get a game. A game has to be great from top-to-bottom.

So I'd go get this game if you have a PSP and love to race.





If I had more time, I'd want to spend more time to check out Gran Turismo PSP. That's all from me here. Comment at will!









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