Gran Turismo 3: A-spec

aka: GT3, Gran Turismo 2000, Gran Turismo 3: The Real Driving Simulator - A-spec
Moby ID: 3910
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Description official descriptions

This is the third game in the Gran Turismo series of racing games.

The game is now an even more realistic driving experience with lighting now having an effect on the game, such as buildings blocking the sunlight. There are smoke effects caused by skidding and even heat rising from the road.

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

541 People (379 developers, 162 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 92% (based on 47 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 106 ratings with 10 reviews)

A whole new experience, and a sign of things to come...

The Good
The amazing amount of realism: Light flowing through cracks in the tree branches and bouncing off the roof; headlights lighting the way through the rain; sun sets blinding your view; logo's on the cars. Everything has been taken care of.

The tracks: Updated looks for classic tracks from GT1 and 2, and new tracks with plenty of winding roads and tight turns, making for some great passing moves.

The Cars: A great selection, including some new models (and my personal fav, the Ford Tickford V8 Supercar, marking the debut of Australian cars in the GT series).

The Rally mode: Bigger and better then GT2, and just as good as any other stand alone Rally game out there.

F1 Cars: Yes they are in there, somewhere, although not the latest versions, but still this makes for another good reason to complete the game as best you can.

And finally, the sound. Plug in your surround sound system, and you'll be in heaven.

The Bad
A few things missing in the latest version:

Online: It's a pitty that an online mode hasn't been included, but that makes GT4 all that more important for the PS2. The i.link modem meanwhile, does a good job of bringing heaps of people together at a time.

The Cars: Not as many as the previous title, but then again, it wasn't all that much fun racing in a VW Beetle, was it? So the lack of a huge amount isn't that much of a worry.

Car Damage: Thank the car manufacturers for this loss, as they do not wish to see their cars damaged. This would have added a lot more realism to the game, and a bit more strategy in buying new parts, etc. So hopefully GT4 will change that.

No Drivers: Not that I didn't like this, but it seems funny driving these super realistic cars without a driver inside them!! Makes it look like radio controlled cars!

The Bottom Line
The only reason (for the time being) why you should save up and buy a Playstation 2. Amazing detail, and a sign of great things to come over the next few years, considering this is a 1st/2nd generation title. You must get this, if only to watch the sun set.

PlayStation 2 · by Kartanym (12419) · 2001

The biggest, cutest, most fun racing game available on any platform, EVER.

The Good
Incredible Graphics - On first inspection you think, "Yeah, they're not bad", however after a bit of play you really appreciate how great they are. There are heaps of subtle touches - heat haze, track glare, smoke, environment mapping, shadows... it's all there. It amounts to something that could almost pass for real life video at some moments and really good computer graphics the rest of the time. Still impressive after a year or two out of the box!

Size - This is one big game, LOTS of tracks, LOTS of cars, LOTS of options and multiple modes of play. This game is the best value for money I've ever gotten from a game (maybe with the exception of 'Doom'). If only all games were this size we could justify the high cost!

Sound - Again, awesome. Sound effects are good, and each car has it's own growl. While not exactly the same as the real things, it's close enough, and closer than most other games have ever come. The music is also a good rock selection and while none of it is really well known, it all fits in with the atmosphere of the game and furthers the adrenaline rush.

Engine - The car handling is great and feels very true to life. At the same time you don't have to find tweaking minor details and studying stats and lap times fun, to do well - the emphasis is on the racing (as it should be!) - other games take note!

The Bad
Not Much - There's not much wrong with the game at all. All I would say is that the "Gran Turismo" (career) mode could have been balanced a little better. By that I mean that it is very easy to work into a corner where the only races you are likely to win are ones which you don't quite have a car that meets the criteria. This requires you to repeat previous races in order to get the money for new vehicles and/or parts. After a while this becomes a drag - but this is only a minor thing, and better that than have the whole thing mapped out linearly for you.

The Bottom Line
A game worth buying a PS2 for. Simply awesome.

PlayStation 2 · by Tibes80 (1543) · 2003

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.

PlayStation 2 · by CoffeeCrack (20) · 2012

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Development

Although Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec is more advanced in the graphics department than Gran Turismo 2, GT2 featured around 500 cars and 27 tracks. GT3 has 19 tracks and around 150 cars. This was due to time constraints; the extra detail that developers went to when developing vehicles and tracks for GT3 made the scope of GT2 an unrealistic goal.

Sales

According to developer Polyphony Digital, Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec sold 14,890,000 copies worldwide since its original release, making it the best selling title in the franchise at the moment of writing.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2001– Best Simulation of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – PS2 Racing Game of the Year
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #94 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Analytics

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Related Sites +

  • GT Planet
    Covering the World of Gran Turismo
  • GT3Times.com
    A site for submitting your race/lap/licence/time trial best times and see how you compare to the rest of the world. No driving up against walls or off-track allowed.
  • Gran Turismo 3
    Sony's official portal for Gran Turismo 3.
  • Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
    Official website
  • IGCD Internet Game Cars Database
    Game page on IGCD, a database that tries to archive vehicles found in video games.
  • Racing-Line
    A lap times database. No wall-riding or off-course times are allowed, but there IS a specific hybrid section
  • The House Of GT
    Online racing centre. Also the source of mk's GT3/GT Concept garage editor.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3910
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Brolin Empey.

Additional contributors: Macintrash, Matthew Bailey, Tibes80, Famine3h, Zaibatsu, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger, Titan10, Pedro Cunha, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added July 14, 2001. Last modified February 5, 2024.