Top critical review
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A more sober judgement.
on 25 July 2004
Like a lot of people, I loved Gran Turismo when it came out, and was fully expecting to love GT 2 even more. More cars, more tracks, supposedly better graphics, what was there NOT to love?
Well, plenty as it turned out.
The game was released in an unfinished state, the manual spoke of an option to change the speedo from KPH to MPH, it wasn't in the game. Record times weren't saved so there was no point setting lap records. Some players had their saves wiped by visiting the test track and saving their Top Speed records, losing a GT save is a big deal when you have spent weeks buying, tuning and customising cars.
The game also suffered terrible slowdown and frame dropping at times, most notably on the Seattle circuit, where having a load of cars in your rear view mirror could hack things down to an appalling 5 fps or less, not to mention the pop-up which meant that some bends magically appearing 50 feet in front of you when you were doing well over 100mph, not really adequate braking room and even when I knew the tracks like the back of my hand some of these still caught me out every time.
There's a lot of good things in the game, so many new cars to own and play with, a vast number. And some of the new tracks were well worth the addition, but as for the graphical improvements, they are barely noticable, and must contribute to the poor frame rate and general graphical glitchiness, also evident in pop-down in the rear view mirrors, leaving some pursuing cars driving in mid-air.
The worst thing for me is the awful understeer that a lot of the cars seem to have, and as this game was the basis for GT 3 it has carried into the beautiful PS 2 game and spoiled it a little for me. Using cars you have found handle sublimely in GT mode and then finding they refuse to turn into a corner in arcade mode is very frustrating.
The extra cars make it worth getting (especially the excellent Ford RS 200), and I played and finished it to the end, but I feel the original Gran Turismo is the more complete product, and is still the one I choose to play when I want vintage GT thrills.