The long wait is finally over for fans of Gran Turismo who have been looking forward to the PlayStation portable version of this game. The numbers in the PSP Gran Turismo are quite interesting with 800 cars, 80 tracks, and 60 track variations, which also include forward and reverse track formation, all running at 60 fps. Sounds impressive for a PSP title, don’t you think?
For the huge fans of Gran Turismo, it’s an excruciating pain to see that this version of Gran Turismo on PSP is a huge disappointment. Unbelievable? Yeah, you would think that of course; with those numbers up there, how can it be disappointing? That’s a valid question. Unfortunately, those numbers are the only things you get with this Gran Turismo version. The game lacks proper career mode. You don’t even have any reason or ability to get a car and slowly upgrade it so you can be in bigger contests. The game is just plain racing and even that has nothing to offer at all, in terms of motivating you to race.
Before actually delving into the disappointing parts of this Gran Turismo, let’s take a look at the good stuff first. On a good note, this game feels a lot more like Gran Turismo 4 which is a very good thing; but feels a little subdued if you have already played GT5 Prologue or Need for Speed Shift. Nevertheless, the game still offers the Gran Turismo driving experience at its best. It remains realistic and smooth while also being gratifying and demanding simultaneously.
The analog controls coming from the consoles – the acceleration and brakes, in particular – have been efficiently transferred over to the PSP. The AI hasn’t improved much, though. It just sticks to its racing lines and continues its business almost as if you were not there. It must also be noted that you can only race up to three different cars. This is pretty disappointing for the game mechanics.
The Gran Turismo on PSP has two single-player modes, the Driver Challenges and the plainly titled Single Player. The Single Player mode is just a quick race mode from which you can choose either a standard race, time trial, or drift challenge. Any one of these can be played on any of the game’s tracks. Take note that all these are just one-off event. When you win, you won’t really get much more than cash. But you can increase your driver rank from a D to an S ranking on each different track. This is a fancy way to say that you are able to race better against an AI on that certain course and you can also earn more loot while you’re at it.
The Driver Challenge is the other part of the single-player experience of the game. It actually offers goals to achieve. Of course, there’s a catch. It’s just an extended set of license tests that you don’t even have any reason for beating them, other than to … well, just simply do it. The mode has a total of 102 events and fans and gamers might think that there is a big prize at the end. But the sad thing is, there really is nothing to get. Well, if you count unlocking a custom soundtrack option and watching the end credits film – that would be it. You get nada from finishing those events.
A lot of Gran Turismo fans might find it hard to believe that this PSP version has come to be such a colossal disappointment. While it still has the driving mechanics you expect from such a famous racing video game, it’s sad to note that a number of presentation issues, such as the total lack of a career mode have rendered mediocre what could and should have been an outstanding game. Let’s just hope they come up with next PSP Gran Turismo that’s a lot better than this one.