Gran Turismo Review
Gran Turismo box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Polyphony Digital 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SCEA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 1, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

While the streamlined controls work great for experienced drivers, they also make Gran Turismo a wonderful starting point for those who aren't big fans. While console iterations have featured plenty of amazing cars and tracks, none of them have felt quite as user-friendly as the PSP version. This is augmented by the presence of the Driving Challenge mode, which is a 9-stage tutorial mode. These stages give players basic instructions for beginner concepts like controlling speed, determining braking rate, and steering to start things off, and then evolve into an advanced technique tutorial that emphasizes concepts like driving through different types of curves and on different terrains. The driving challenge mode is great for beginners, but it is also a welcome refresher for players who haven't fired up a Gran Turismo title in awhile.

Gran Turismo screenshot

Whether you are a newcomer to the franchise or a diehard fan, one thing everyone can appreciate is the visuals. Gran Turismo simply looks amazing on the PSP. Special attention has always been paid to the vehicle design in previous entries of Gran Turismo, and this entry is no different. Cars have an exquisite amount of detail, and everything from the stark lines of the Polyphony Digital Formula Gran Turismo to the sleek curves of the Mitsubishi GTO has been presented with amazing care. The tracks also look great, and while nothing on a handheld could match the track design in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, this one comes fairly close. Each track has its own unique environment, complete with special details like snowy peaks on the Cathedral Rocks tracks to a bustling skyline on the Seattle Circuit. The only issue I noticed with the visuals occurs if you have a vehicle that goes more than 170 MPH. Although there are only a handful of vehicles that do this, once you do, the screen starts flickering and some elements of the track don't render all the way. However, I was only able to see this small issue during my time on one of the game's speed rings, as there is no way you can go that fast on any of the other tracks.

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As far as the car collection is concerned, Gran Turismo has everything a gearhead could want. From middle range racers from Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Toyota to performance-intensive brands like Ferrari and Aston Martin, you are sure to find plenty of vehicles to suit your tastes. The number of cars found in each collection varies, but notable vehicles like the Mitsubishi GTO and the Nissan GT-R are there. One interesting feature included in Gran Turismo is the Favorites Garage, which allows you to quick-tune your favorite cars at the touch of a button. While the quick-tune doesn't allow you to tinker with the inner-workings of the vehicle, you can adjust things like damper and spring rate, which can give you the edge if you need that extra jolt at the beginning of a race or added stability on rough courses.

Gran Turismo for the PSP has been a long time coming. Like many others, I had just assumed that the project had died a long time ago. However, Polyphony Digital has not only delivered on their promise to make a great portable Gran Turismo, they have created the best portable racer this generation. While portable versions of other driving franchises are content to be squashed versions of their console brethren, Gran Turismo has created a brand new experience that is tailored for the handheld platform -not sacrificing any aspect of the blockbuster franchise in the transition. From the monster garage to the tight control and splendid visuals, Gran Turismo stands head and shoulders above any other racing title for a portable platform. Whether you are a diehard Gran Turismo fan or someone who has yet to experience the franchise, this is definitely one title that is worth your time. Whether you download it or buy it on a UMD, Gran Turismo must be experienced if you have any interest at all in driving simulators. You may never pick up another potable racer again!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.9
Graphics
Nearly flawless. From the painstakingly beautiful car detail to the lush tracks and environments, this game looks amazing. The only hiccups occur during speed runs where some seaming and flickering occurs if you push your vehicle past 170 MPH.
4.7
Control
Sim-style controls are tight and intuitive. Though the game's control is a little more forgiving (especially in the cornering department) Gran Turismo enthusiasts won't be disappointed, and newcomers won't be overwhelmed.
4.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music varies from jazzy sounding tunes to energetic pop-style music. Automotive sounds are realistic.
4.9
Play Value
With 800 cars to unlock, plenty of tracks to burn up, and three different single-player modes, you won't be able to put Gran Turismo down!
4.8
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • 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.


  • Screenshots / Images
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