Gran Turismo Concept Review PS2

Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva Review
Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva Reviewed On PS2
Gran Turismo Concept is not the sequel to Gran Turismo 3 and it's not really an expansion pack either. This is an arcade version of GT 3 that features some very nice and sometimes strange concept cars that could maybe hit production in Japan or Europe at some point. It was originally planned for release in Japan only as a branded showpiece for some car manufacturers.

Since then a change of heart took place and GT Concept was bound for Europe with a collection of cars from the Far East and Europe.

One thing that people who play GT Concept will notice is that it is tiny in comparison to the original. It features only five tracks of which one has been taken from GT2 and three of the others have been taken from GT3 leaving us with one new track. All five tracks, Midfield raceway, Tokyo R246, Swiss Alps, Tahiti Maze and Autumn Ring can be raced in reverse too.
This is a disappointment really but the GT Concept tries to be different to the rest of its family. As I said before GT Concept is at heart an arcade game based on the GT engine. When you start the game you will have to take some simple tests that consist of you racing round a track in the quickest time possible. For this you may have a pace car drive in front of you for the whole lap but it's really best not to, as it hinders your performance. You will be able to complete these test laps and win a bronze of silver medal on your first attempt without too much of a problem. It feels more like a formality than a challenging test.

This is where your GT fanatics will be deeply disappointed, the Gran Turismo mode. Instead of having to complete qualifying, buying you own cars, tuning them up and then winning races in return for hard cash you will simply be presented with ten single races, each track forwards and backwards, in two difficulty brackets. I finished these two difficulty brackets within a few hours.
It really is quite easy until you get to the point where you have finished the first two difficulty setting, you are awarded a third difficulty setting, you are then able to compete in the same races but on a much harder level. This is much more of a challenge. Along the way you will be able to participate in some odd extras, one being the Toyota Pod race, which consists of a very short slalom oval track, at the end of each lap you must stop at a controlled braking point and then carry on after you have stopped for the allocated time. Although this is slow, it is pretty good fun as it offers a change to the normal high-speed nature of GT.

Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com
Gran Turismo Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva Reviewed On PS2 @ www.contactmusic.com

The simplicity of GT Concept is not just the thorn in its side, it is also one of the reasons that people will buy it. The pick up and play factor is great, for novices that found GT3 too much for them GT Concept is the answer to all their dreams, a great racing game that is realistic, looks great, sounds great with no excess messing around. Simply pick a car and have a great race in beautifully rendered racing environments. The negative side to this is the longevity, but if you look at other arcade racers they also have very few tracks and they are easily completed in a couple of hours and you can get board of the same old cars, this is not the case with GT Concept, it has in the region of 80 cars to choose from. If you have a friend with you the split screen multi player game is fantastically smooth and even better, you can make use of the i.link should you have two PS2's and two TV's lying around the house.

GT Concept looks fantastic, some of the wrinkles have been ironed out of GT3's graphics to produce some amazing visuals. Unfortunately there is still no damage engine present in GT Concept and the rally cars don't pick up any dirt through the course of the of road races. These are very minor digs and GT Concept is probably the best looking game on the PS2 if not any other console. Coupled together with the fantastic trackside scenery the car models scream past in almost TV quality replays. The best-looking racer I have ever seen.

The sound is also very good, the cars all have their own distinctive engine sounds that are all very realistic as are all the other sound effects like the screeching tyres as you're ragging your car round the tracks. The sound track is not the size of GT3's sound track but it's still pretty good featuring indie, rock bands.

If you have found GT3 too in depth and time consuming, GT Concept is definitely worth considering as an out right arcade racer with excellent handling. If it's a pretty game your after your can't go wrong, the visuals are photo realistic, if someone walked in the room and GT Concept was in the TV they would probably mistake it for a TV transmission. GT diehards should probably stay away, as you will finish it in a matter of hours, GT virgins on the other hand should step up and buy a copy so you can get into the GT spirit of things even if it is a little easy.
GT Concept is a good stopgap until the next full instalment of Gran Turismo hits the shelves and for twenty quid how can you resist.

7.5 out of 10

 

 

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