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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec Review

John Marine | 1:57 AM | |
(UPDATED: April 6, 2012)

This review was originally from John's Blog Space, and was edited specifically for this blog. The only Gran Turismo game with a subtitle is "Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec." This was Polyphony Digital's first foray with the PlayStation 2. GT3 A-Spec features lovely graphics and enhanced gameplay. Though this game has about the same number of cars as in Gran Turismo 1, many of the same manufacturers returned along with a few new additions.

--- Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec Review ---

Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec
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Gran Turismo debuted on the PlayStation 2 with the arrival of this title.

Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec features a lot of the same tracks you've grown to love. All courses have been given next-gen life with many new touches. New touches like oil changes became a factor for cars. New tire compound options were available to you as well, but the Simulation Tire from GT2 is gone. All circuits have open pits. You'll need to make an occasional pit stop to keep your car fresh. So the element of pit stops is not relegated to just endurances. You now can win bonus cars for clearing entire event series as well as completing various percentages of the game in Simulation Mode.

A brand-new (at the time) steering wheel was developed just for this game. It was the Logitech GT Force (or Driving Force).


As I mentioned in the introduction, many of the car companies from GT2 have returned, but there are much fewer total cars to choose from. Despite this, two new nationalities of car debuted in this game- Belgium (Gillet) and Australia (Tickford). Companies such as Acura, Panoz, and Pagani debuted in this game. A new element to cars was added- oil changes. Change your car's oil every so often to remain in tip-top shape. There are no more "Special Model" cars, as street cars and race cars are all in one showroom.


Most past tracks from Gran Turismo 1 and 2 return for GT3. There are different weather conditions for tracks in GT3 depending on which direction you're racing a track. For example, you race Deep Forest in the afternoon (as opposed to sunset in the past two GTs) in the Normal direction, but race it in the evening when in reverse. The track used for the Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco debuted in this game. A new city makes its debut- Tokyo. Special Stage Route 11 has a different route as opposed to GT1's layout. The insane Complex String is the ultimate proving ground for you to test your car's (and your) limits. The most special aspect to this game is that this was the first GT to feature wet tracks. You can race Special Stage Route 5 in wet conditions. You have no wet tires, so make sure to drive carefully on the slick roads!


Regular races, rally races, and endurances all return for GT3. New to GT3 races was a spec sheet of all the regulations of a racing event as well as if your car qualifies. Check out previews for all races to see what kinds of cars you'll need to bring if you want to win. The regular races are all scattered across multiple difficulty levels. This was the first GT to feature the Gran Turismo World Championship in multiple levels. The Beginner Events mostly have races lasting two or three laps and features some of the weakest cars. Step your game up for the Advanced Races, as most of these races last about three to five laps with some of the faster cars. You'll need to be ready for the long haul in the Professional Races. Most races last five to ten laps, but there are some races and championships that last well past 10 (or even 15) laps. If you get your Super License, there is one style of racing that made its debut for the first-time ever in GT history. I'll leave it up to you to find out when you acquire your Super License!

Rally races are now one-on-one as opposed to the time trial format. Don't worry about pit stops here. Just use whatever means possible to cross the line as the winner before the other car does.

There are ten endurances in this game. Various requirements must be met to enter certain races, as well as keeping some cars completely normal. This was the first Gran Turismo to feature an endurance race for oval racing at Super Speedway.

An important and helpful feature to Gran Turismo is that you can now save your progress in a championship and go right back to racing when you're ready. However, you will be unable to go away from the championship until it's complete or until you retire from the championship.

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

Even with much less cars, this game features lovely graphics and even more intense racing. The game runs smooth just about all the time. No worries about slowdown or lag. The music selection is pretty good and doesn't really get old.

--- Negatives of This Game ---

I sometimes like to think of this as a prettier GT2. This game lacks a lot of things compared to past GTs, but makes up for them with great racing action and a seemingly endless amount of fun in racing. Now that I look back on this game, this game could have been much better with a lot more added to it. But for what it was when it was released, it's a great title. Again, no damage of any kind and no Racing Modifications either. The title seemed a bit rushed, but still remains a wonderful game. Lots to love if you're a Gran Turismo fan.

Gran Turismo 3 is a game to savor and enjoy for a long time. Severely outdated? Sure. Enjoyable (even today)? Absolutely. So go get this game and enjoy some great racing. Get this game by clicking on the image below:

Thank you for reading!

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