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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gran Turismo 2 Review

John Marine | 1:53 AM | |
(UPDATED: April 6, 2012)

This is the same review from John's Blog Space, but edited specifically for this blog. One of the toughest challenges in multiple iterations of anything is to have a proven sequel. The final Gran Turismo of the 20th century and the old millennium was Gran Turismo 2. In history, Gran Turismo 2 is the ONLY Gran Turismo to come on more than one disc. Gran Turismo 2 took everything about Gran Turismo 1 and tried to expand and make the game as in-depth as possible with many more cars, tracks, racing events, and more.

--- Gran Turismo 2 Overview ---

Gran Turismo 2
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Over 30 manufacturers and some 600 cars await you in Gran Turismo 2 along with a host of tracks worldwide.

Gran Turismo 2 comes on two discs. Arcade Mode gives you a tour of the entire landscape of Gran Turismo 2 using bone stock cars. The Simulation disc is where you build your career as a racer in the Gran Turismo universe. You are able to compete in Arcade Mode with cars you've bought/won in Simulation Mode. You can race almost every track either in forward or in reverse in Arcade Mode. Simulation Mode is the first to include a new option- wheels. Purchase a new set of wheels to dress up your car. With so many cars, the cars are all divided up into cities. You still have to earn your licenses to have a chance to compete. Learn new driving techniques as you try and acquire your licenses. There are five regular licenses. Get all-gold in any set of licenses, and you win bonus cars. It was the debut of rally racing. Rally racing in GT2 was simply a one-lap time trial on mostly rallycross-style courses. However, you do get to race up Pikes Peak (albeit abbreviated). More money is available for you to get to purchase some of the better cars. It was the debut of high-end GT cars and a few prototypes (namely the Toyota GT-One). So many things debuted for this title, all to provide an experience that will blow you away if you're a veteran of Gran Turismo 1.


Gran Turismo 2 took the count of about 170 cars in the first GT and bumped it up to a ridiculous 600 or so cars. Many more cars from many more manufacturers debuted. It was the debut of nationalities of cars from Germany, Italy, and France. To help you be better able to sort them out, cars are divided up into cities.

• East City features Japanese cars. This is the ONLY place where you can get used cars.
• West City features Italian and French cars.
• North City features British and German cars.
• South City features American cars.

The American car scene gives you plenty of muscle cars for you to enjoy. This game debuted lots of Kei cars from Japan as well as a few small cars from Europe. The most important aspect of this game is its look at history. You can drive many cars across various decades of automobiles. It was the first Gran Turismo to have a focus on modern AND classic cars. Unlike in Gran Turismo 1, not every car has Racing Modifications. On the other hand, some cars give you many more Racing Modification options than the two different color choices in Gran Turismo 1. Some even feature different kinds of paintschemes. Want an example? Purchase any of the Volkswagen Golf models in GT2 in Simulation Mode, then select "Change Type" to see multiple color styles.

Certain manufacturers have One-Make Races. One-Make Races only allow one make or one model range to compete in racing action. All series come with series only requiring Normal (as in cars without Racing Modification work). But many others have a One-Make Race welcoming Racing Modification models.


Many of your favorite tracks from Gran Turismo 1 return in Gran Turismo. GT2 even featured the courses based in real places. You can race around the streets of Seattle, Rome, and Grindelwald. You can even race in Tahiti. Tahiti was smartly featured since Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, and you race in the French Nationals here. More on the race types later in this blog entry. The first-ever real-life course was featured in this game- Laguna Seca (nowadays Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca). New original tracks include Red Rock Valley Speedway, Apricot Hill, and the first proper oval in series history- Super Speedway. I say proper oval because Test Course is more like a high-speed oval for high-speed testing rather than a proper oval. Rally courses include the two Smokey Mountain tracks, the Tahiti dirt courses, and more.

Race Types.

The race types are much more diverse for GT2 than in GT1. You can compete in official GT events, Special Events, Rally Racing, and Endurance modes. If you don't know what kind of car to bring to a racing event, you can check out a small preview (new for the series) which gave you a look at what kinds of cars will be racing in a certain series.

• Special Events takes you into races ranging on car type and even with horsepower limits. So you can't bring in super-powerful cars to compete in this series. So you need to bring in a car within spec and horsepower limits if you want to compete. Race types in Special Events range in car type (drivetrain, wagons/estate cars, NA or Turbo, etc.). Each championship has a minimum of three races across various license levels and up to a maximum of five races. Only two championship series are in the Special Events category.

• Rally races are essentially one-lap time trials. Can you beat the other car's time?

• There are seven endurances in GT2, which is four more than GT1. There are horsepower restrictions for most endurance races, and most last anywhere between an hour to almost two hours.

The really interesting mode is the Gran Turismo League. This has the most intricate GT World Championship (called the Gran Turismo World League in this game) trail. You must clear all National Level races before moving on to the Euro-Pacific races. The Euro-Pacific races make you compete against some capable cars in three-lap races. For the chosen few that survive that, it's on to the Gran Turismo World League, where the highest honor of Gran Turismo racing will be handed out in a five-race championship, each lasting five laps with some of the game's fastest cars.

--- Why Should You Get This Game? ---

This game literally provides an experience you simply don't get in GT1. This title features many more race types, many more styles of racing, and just more to enjoy overall. More to love, basically. My favorite songs... "Super Bon Bon" by Soul Coughing, "Cold Rock the Mic" from Apollo 440, "Dragula" by Rob Zombie, and "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots.

--- Negatives of This Game ---

As much as I've given GT2 credit, I must say that this is the Gran Turismo game I criticize most. While it's a great game, I personally think this is my least favorite GT because it lacked execution on so many levels. Rome-Night rarely gets used, and it isn't like it's a completely sacred track. There are two drag racing cars, but no dedicated drag racing course (unless you count the 0-400m and 0-1000m challenges). If you want to tune your car, you HAVE to be at some track. It gets cumbersome to go from multiple menus to eventually go to the title screen in Simulation Mode. And as a whole, the racing action seems slower than in GT1.

However, don't let my bickering tell you otherwise. I think you'll love Gran Turismo 2 if you're a racing game fan and want to relive the older days of Gran Turismo. Enjoy this game and all the manufacturers and races this deal has to offer. You can even get the Gran Turismo 2 soundtrack, featuring most of the songs from the game including a disc including some bonuses for you in GT2. Thanks for reading! Buy the game here:

Thank you for reading!

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