PS2 Previews: Gran Turismo: Concept Preview

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Gran Turismo: Concept Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2002

  Let's get one thing straight, Gran Turismo Concept is not a sequel to GT3: A-Spec, nor is it an add-on of some sort. In Japan the game retails for a mere $23, and is played as a stand alone game, rendering the term "add-on" useless. GT series director Kazunori Yamauchi calls this a spin-off, and that's exactly what GTC is. The whole point of Concept is to allow PS2 owners to drive newly revealed concept vehicles, many of which were featured at the Tokyo 2001 Auto Show.

   GT Concept's selling feature is of course the ability to drive some of the hottest and most beautiful cars, like a Suzuki GSX-R/4, Nissan GT-R Concept, Nissan Skyline 3000GT, Toyota RSC, and even the Toyota Pod! For those who don't know, and I'm sure there are many of you, the Pod is a car like no other. To put it simply, this car has feelings. It's exterior is composed of a face that is made out of LED lights. These lights change color if you were to, say, hit a wall (red), or pass an opponent (blue). The car is a quirky little thing, almost like a Tamagotchi on four wheels. GT Concept features a total of 51 cars. A few have appeared in GT3, but most have not and are completely original. The cars are kick ass, and look sweet too. The game is still based on the same game engine that made GT3 arguably one of the best looking games of 2001. The interface has been completely changed though; the car selection screen is unbelievably gorgeous as the car detail is flawless. It looks like the visuals have been touched up, but I wouldn't want to speculate, as I feel my eyes may be playing tricks on me. But I am sure that all of the stages have been slightly reworked, as the roads are a bit wider and there are more objects in the background to be seen.

   GT plays the same, so getting acquainted with the game will not be necessary. The game does feature a total of 5 tracks (10 if reverse ones count in your book). GT3 courses such as Tokyo, Midfield Raceway, Tahiti Raceway, Swiss Alps, and the return of Autumn Raceway are included. While there is no GT mode, the game does retain the licenses (not quite hard), and an arcade mode where you race to win cars. The goodies chart is completely different than the one in GT3; see the screenshot to know what it looks like. Perhaps, some of the coolest things in GT Concept are cheats for GT3. Yes, actual cheats. If you get to a certain point in the game, or complete a certain race, the game will award you with a GT3 cheat-save, which can be saved onto a memory card and then loaded via GT3. One of the cheats is 100,000,000 credits; neat, huh? If Sony brings the game out to the US, you can be rest assured it'll retail for a mere $20, and if that isn't a steal, I don't know what is.

1/11/2002 SolidSnake

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10/25/01 Gran Turismo: Concept SolidSnake

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