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Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo (GT) is a racing video game series developed by Polyphony Digital for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable gaming systems. The producer for all four games is Kazunori Yamauchi. more...

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Gran Turismo is partially responsible for the US introduction of cars once available only in Japan and other right hand drive markets, such as the Subaru Impreza WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution series, and the the Nissan Skyline,under Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti as the G35. The game has also increased US awareness of such companies as Aston Martin, Ruf, Venturi, and Alfa Romeo.

The appeal of the Gran Turismo series is largely due to the meticulous detail evident in the simulation of driving and racing the licensed vehicles in the game. Every car sounds and handles according to real-life driving impressions. Vehicle tuning is similarly realistic, suspension settings affecting handling as they do in motorsports. Although Gran Turismo has a beer-and-pretzels arcade mode, the real heart of the series is its simulation mode, which guides the player through a circuit of increasingly difficult events—building up their cash, skill, and stable of cars all the while.

Although Gran Turismo is widely considered the best racing simulation available for the PS1 and PS2, it is not without its drawbacks. For example, the game contains no damage-modeling whatsoever—partly due to licensing agreements prohibiting car damage and partly due to the fact (as observed by developers) that many collisions during normal gameplay would completely destroy the cars involved. This lack of damage modeling has prompted many players to quip, "Who needs brakes? That's what my opponents are for!" Indeed, using the AI cars as impromptu barriers is a time-honored Gran Turismo tactic. This does not, however, undermine the realistic physics in simulating the actual driving.

Additional problems include the presence of only five AI cars in any given race, and the apparent lack of demonstrable "intelligence" in the driving abilities of the AI cars. The sparse number of cars creates a lack of variety and excitement in races; generally the five cars travel in close proximity, and if the player's car is even slightly faster than the AI, then there will be little dicing with the AI drivers, as the player drives off into the distance after the first corner. On the infrequent occasions the player does contest the AI for position, he/she often finds that the AI seems not to be cognizant that the player's car is even there, usually driving into the player from the side or from behind in an instinctive effort to keep on the racing line.

Also, there are certain glaring vehicle omissions (despite a vehicle count of more than 700 in GT4) that leave many enthusiasts upset-there are no Ferraris, Lamborghinis, or Porsches to be found (although Ruf, which is available, builds its cars on Porsche chassis); likely due to an inability to get the licenses which are currently held by EA. Another aspect of the game that has been criticized is that many of the cars are variants of the same Japanese sports cars; there are 48 varieties of Nissan Skylines and 20 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.

The Gran Turismo series has been wildly popular over its lifetime, appealing to an audience spanning from the casual gamer across the spectrum to proponents of comparatively hyper-realistic PC racing sims.

Gran Turismo

For the original PlayStation. Gran Turismo contains eleven courses, three endurance courses, and multiple time-trial events. The game's simulation mode is not as fleshed out as in later releases, and the structure is really sort of formless, but the basic features of the game are present, including the ability to win vehicles for your garage by winning certain events. Also introduced the license-testing system, which qualifies the player to compete in certain events. The player starts with a certain number of credits, which are used to purchase used or new vehicles from a number of manufacturer-specific shops (e.g., one sells only Toyotas, one sells only Mitsubishis, and so on), or from one of 3 used car dealers, and then can tune his/her car at the appropriate parts store for best performance on the circuit. Players may apply prize money won in events to further tuning their existing car or buying a new one. Certain events are open only to particular vehicles, or to drivers with a particular license earned. The opening song for the US and European versions is a Chemical Brothers remix of the Manic Street Preachers song "Everything Must Go".

The North American version of the game itself had a small selection of songs, none of which can be turned off. these include 'Lose Control' by ASH From the album 1977, 4 songs from the Swim era of Feeder (Chicken On A Bone Reworked instrumental, Shade Instrumental, Tangerine Instrumental and Sweet 16).

The European release also featured 'As Heaven is Wide' by Garbage and 'Oxyacetalene', 'Skeletal', 'Autonomy' and 'Industry' by Cubanate.

Gran Turismo 2

Also for the original PlayStation. Gran Turismo 2 (GT2) contains 22 courses, 6 endurance courses, and the first rally event courses, including the famous Pikes Peak hill-climb course. GT2 comes on two discs: an arcade disc and a simulation disc, of which the simulation disc has a "scratch and sniff" cover, which disappeared when the game joined the Platinum range of best-selling games. The separate discs are testament to the amount of depth added to the simulation mode in GT2, nearly doubling the number of available vehicles, adding new tracks, and structuring the events in a more logical fashion. GT2 also reorganizes the license system accordingly and keeps track of the player's completion percentage. The game itself bears nearly 650 licensed automobiles. Early releases were noted for having many glitches.

Gran Turismo 2000

Gran Turismo 2000 is the early name of Gran Turismo 3, shown in E3 2000/2001. The name was changed because the game was delayed and could not be launched in that year.


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