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TOCA Race Driver 3 (PlayStation 2)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Big John WV (25282)
Written on  :  Aug 26, 2008
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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Summary

Wow...simply wow!

The Good

I haven't played much racing games these days, unless you count NASCAR, but I have played Need for Speed: Most Wanted and got a nice taste for that, but other than that racing games like Gran Turismo, Enthusia and others like that just didn't appeal to me.

Now with this game on the other hand, it does have elements of Gran Turismo, so I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw this game, but the graphics and the price ($9.99 used and in perfect condition) along with boredom won me over, so I bought this and popped it in and was mesmerized by this game.

The graphics are simply amazing, the detail to the cars is simply gorgeous and the sounds are awesome to the point where you can actually get lost in the sounds and actually could think you're actually in the real thing.

The choices of cars and leagues you can compete in is phenomenal, from the classic silver arrows of the early 20th century, monster trucks, dune buggies, stock cars, classic cars such as mustangs and corvettes, GT cars, Go-karts and so many more including the Lotus cars from the 70's and Formula One cars from the 80's and 90's....whew, and there's much more.

The control of the cars, making it as easy or as hard you want, tuning the car if you wish or having your "mechanic" tune it for you is a very nice touch as well. The level of realism just blows your mind along with random things like radiator's blowing, engines missing a cylinder just to name a few and can dramatically affect your handling, giving it a true sense of realism.

The computer opponents you face are incredible as well, they will make you work for your victory which is perfect for me, but beware though, they are all computer sprites, but they can act human, spinning out in front of you, panicking and slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident causing a bigger accident or stopping at the top of the hill because he can't make the turn and he is near the front of the pack and before you know it a certain somebody can't see what's happening and SLAMS IN THE BACK OF HIM AND DESTROYS HIS CAR......sorry bout that, experience talking, LOL.

To put it bluntly, there is a hell of a lot to love about this game.

The Bad

Yes, there is some bad elements to this game, one of which is the repetitiveness it has, in drivers and courses being reused over and over and over, I can't tell you how many times of raced at Silverstone in so many different configurations with god knows how many series. Sadly this really hurts the overall feel of it, there is still a lot of course don't get me wrong, but they use so many of them over and over, just with different configurations and there is not a lot of drivers to choose from.

Also the lack of creating a character or creating a car really puts me down, I would have loved to create my own character and see him rise through the ranks or create a car and see it out there for all to see in all its glory. Alas, another feature I wish they would have implemented.

Another thing that bothered me is when you race in Pro Career Mode, when you choose a series and begin racing in a series of races, usually six or seven at times, when you finish a race, you only have the option of saving it, replaying or continuing on, with no option to return to the main menu or back to the Pro Career Mode, the only way to do this is to finish the entire series or save your progress and reset the game which is a major drag.

The Bottom Line

All in all, this is a hell of a racing game, beautiful graphics, realistic sounds and true to life handling really make this game stick out among its racing brethren. The only things that were wrong was the constant reuse of the tracks and drivers and no way to create any new cars, which would have been cool. If there is a next-gen version of this series, I'm pretty sure series like Gran Turismo and Forza will have a fight on their hands, until that time, this will remain the last-gens classic racing title.