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Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec (PlayStation 2)

92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Eierfratz (13)
Written on  :  Dec 09, 2012
Rating  :  2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars
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Summary

This racer acts like a drug, for better or worse

The Good

It's not hard to explain what gets people hooked on this game. First and foremost, I would say the graphics are quite amazing, even eleven years after GT3's initial release they still look great.

And then there's the sense of achievement once you got your first car all prepped up and once you have won your first championship and got away with a new bonus car plus a decent amount of credits. It is then that you really want to try out more cars and can't racing the same few tracks over and over.

The Rally mode does not yet include the penalty system that pestered GT4. This is a relief because the rallies are rather difficult to master even without penalties.

The simplicity of the menu layouts and the speed of switching between screens are also much more of a relief as compared to the tedious and frequent loading screens of GT4. There's not so much aggravating loading involved in this title.

The Bad

Back in 2001, this instalment may have been the epitome of racing sims on the PS2. At the same time, the GT franchise had always been hyped beyond recognition. There are plenty of flaws and frustrating experiences that come along with prolonged play.

I don't mind so much the smaller range of cars available as opposed to GT2 or GT4, no, it's actually the lack of track variety that makes the simulation boring after a short while. And increasing the number of laps for each difficulty level doesn't help make it more interesting.

A problem that has still not been addressed even by GT4 is the resale value of the cars. No matter how much you invest in any further tuning parts, you'll never get the huge amounts of money spent back. I guess I can live with this, but it's nonetheless annoying.

I also noticed that the computer cars are not only dumb and strictly routine by the way the drive, but they are also unfair towards the player. There are some events that are nearly impossible to win, and I'm not talking about the endurance races. For example, take the MR challenge at amateur level: I got me a nice Honda NSX Type R car, all nicely done up to maximum level and optimally tuned too, and still I can't seem to beat the Elise cars here. It's also that much more horsepower doesn't help when speeding up on straights in order to get a little advantage over the competition, because once you reach the next corner, they're all quite close behind you again, and the AI cars seem to be routinely placed on certain spots on the track where you will get to see them every time regardless of your advantage that you think you should have. That's really a pain in the butt, and luckily, this issue has been addressed in the next instalment.

It may be me, but in the steering, I don't like the oversensitivity of the steering axis, and there's no option to adjust the sensitivity of the controller. I'm not intending to buy a steering wheel. In comparison, the steering sensitivity in Enthusia has been done much more realistic, like driving a real car, and I know because I do drive for real.

The Bottom Line

There's plenty of hours of fun in this game. But once you've seen all of the tracks and you've sensed the computer AI's unfairness just to make things even more challenging, the only thing in the game that may keep you motivated to keep on playing is the percentage of completion on the status screen. You may want to see more cars also, but the tedious gameplay will most likely prevent you from clinging on to the experience.