Gran Turismo 2 Review by: EX PalenRace to the finish!
Japan, 1992. Kazunori Yamauchi wakes up with an idea that excites him so much: creating a racing videogame. The project was long to complete due to the excellence wanted in the game, featuring nearly 150 cars from all over the world, although Japan was clearly dominant. It also included fictional race tracks, totalling 11 circuits. Back in the 90s, this meant a lot of effort, even more considering that Yamauchi wasn't the chief of some established company (Polyphony Digital was established after the game was released in Japan, but before the worldwide release), so not many people were working on the game during its development. However, the game was finally completed in 1997 and named Gran Turismo. The game was very well received, up to the point that now, more than fifteen years after, Gran Turismo is the best sold series of the Playstation consoles, and also the best sold racing game series.
This game, sequel to the original Gran Turismo, was completed a short time after. The game was meant to be even better than its prequel, and for sure, its numbers are remarkable. The car roster was expanded enormously, including a lot of non-Japanese very special cars, like the one-off Renault Space F1 or the TVR Cerbera Speed 12, the most powerful front-engined car, and also the most powerful naturally-aspirated car until the recent LaFerrari, to have ever existed. The car roster featured more than 600 cars, almost four times bigger than the original. It also included more than two times more tracks, and also included, for the first time, rally tracks, such as a portion of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Now that Gran Turismo 6 is so close to become a reality, let's analyze what one of its five predecessors looked like fifteen years ago.Graphics:
The graphics are very spectacular for its time. Compared to how the games looked like in the N64, this one doesn't look that much polygonal. The cars are very defined, and not as away from reality as you could expect. The tracks are also very elaborated, very few things have changed on the tracks used in this game that have returned in later games. True is that the racetracks, excepting the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, are all fictional, mostly in closed racetracks, although a few urban racetracks can be found. Anyway, I give graphics a 9.Sound:
The background music is very good, the series has gained popularity for the good quality of songs and artists included in the soundtrack over the years. This game in particular featured songs from artists such as Moby, The Cardigans, Fatboy Slim or Foo Fighters among many others. As for the in-game sounds, it's just amazing the way the sound of a car changes through the many modifications you can make. Changing the exhaust makes the car roar as a beast, while adding the turbo adds that special whistling to the engine, both when accelerating or down-shifting. It can also be heard very clearly how the engine revs up, either if it takes some time or happens almost instantaneously. There's only one big flaw, and that is that the NPC cars don't sound as the actual car does, which leaves me confused over why it was made like this. For this reason, for cutting the engine sounds a car lover adores, sound doesn't get the maximum rating, but a 9 instead.Addictiveness:
This game has a lot to offer. First off, is the Simulation Mode, where you compete against the NPC to win all trophies and championships. Each one has its own restrictions, either for the type of car, the transmission or the highest power output. S
electing the best car and adjust it to your driving skills will take some time, as will do obtaining all cars needed to beat the game, and also the rest of cars you're not going to use at all. Second, the Arcade Mode, where you just race with a car of your election or a car from your garage. You can race against the computer or attempt to beat your best lap on the rally tracks, a feature also available for asphalt tracks. Moreover, remember that all racetracks can be played in reverse, that means, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, adding even more races to complete to the already big s
election. Clearing the game is hard, and getting the garage of your dreams takes even more time, and don't remember to tune your cars' performance to the max to extract the highest efficiency of each car. Addictiveness has earned a 10.Story:
Nothing to say here. Just complete the game at any pace you want, without a clear destination. Be careful though that you must sometimes get struck because you haven't got the right car to participate in more challenges, so since this game lacks story you can repeat any passed event at any time.Depth:
There are a total of four categories of races. The first are the Special Events, where you will face a s
election of challenges requiring lots of different kinds of cars under a variable amount of highest power output. This means that you could either tune a weak car to beat the strongest ones, or directly buy another car to tune it far away the weak car can and ensure your win. The second is the Gran Turismo League, where you will face cars from determined countries, or even the whole world at higher levels. The third one are Rally Events, where you must equip your car with dirt tyres in order to start. Either that, or buying a specifically designed rally car. Beware though, because the last race is against the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak, topping at 981 HP, and the race before is another Suzuki at 750 HP, just saying because the rally cars will not let you touch them. This means that nothing more can be obtained from them, and the last races are a showdown of two Suzuki Pikes Peak pitted against each other, the one with better skills or better adaptation to the race will win. Finally, the Endurance Races, which get up to two hours of racing non-stop. Careful here with the tyres you mount before entering, the tyre will always be the same type when doing a pit stop. Here, race cars, not street cars modified to race are the best choice, although some really fast street cars can also be used. Just if this wasn't long enough, then there are manufacturer races. Each manufacturer, although not all of them, have special races for one or more of its models, where you must drive that said car. The races can be under normal circumstances or after applying the racing modification to the s
elected car. A race modified car can't enter the normal race, so beware of this races when acquiring new cars. Tuning is still allowed, and there's no limit on power output. Very very deep game, no wonder why I rate depth with a 10.Difficulty:
The game isn't difficult at all, It's true that, in order to do the best lap times and go faster than your opponents you need both skills and knowledge in tuning your car, as mere power output isn't enough. You must know at least a little about the gearbox, to adapt for longer straights or more twisty circuits, this can grant you a great advantage over your opponents. Also, learning how your car can gain more grip is also necessary when driving high-powered rear-wheel drive cars, as they tend to oversteer very much, up to the point of losing acceleration from 0-60 mph just because you want the car to have more horsepower. Some tracks are also very tricky, with very short straights and continuous turns either to left or right, although tracks with long straights and also one oval and one semi-oval tracks are available too. If you tune your car properly, the game isn't difficult, but tuning the car sure is, and in the majority of events your car won't be tuned enough, leaving you with the choice of keep tuning it or buy a new, more powerful car and start all over again. This is the greatest difficulty, once in the track the game rarely has any difficulties. For this, I'm giving difficulty an 8.Overall:
Awesome game, one of the best games ever created for the PSX. Gran Turismo 6 is coming out very soon, and I look forward to obtain it. This game wanted to be in a higher level than other PSX games, almost demanding the creation of a new Playstation console to really show the mighty of Gran Turismo. With Gran Turismo 6 it has been said the same, that game is designed more for the PS4 rather than the PS3, although now we know that the PS4 has seen the light before that game, so those words have lost any value. I really loved this game in my childhood, on my white tiny PSX, so I really hope Gran Turismo 6 can surprise me as much as this game did fifteen years ago.