Gran Turismo is now an incredible series, not quite ranking up there with the Mario's or Sonic's, but still genuinely unique. Hearing comments about the game, it was disappointing to learn that the same race tracks are being used for a third time. Also, there are less cars in this installment. This leaves one believing that the only significant changes are in the graphical department. Upon purchasing the game, I was even more disappointed. In Simulation Mode, I needed to buy expensive cars and parts in order to win, but I had to earn all of this money through racing. Worse still, all the races rewarded me with small change and wimpy cars. I was sure I would need cheat codes of some kind to make any progress at all.
However, I stuck with it and used brain power to find races that I was good at, and that paid big rewards for first place wins. This took some testing of several different events, but ultimately it was a much better decision than racing the test tracks over and over just to earn a few grand. I still had to earn the money, but it was much easier and more fun to squeak-by in some of the really big races. After a small eternity, I had only completed 12% of the Sim Mode. As addicting as the game is, it didn't take long before I reached 35%. Just stick with it. As frustrating as the game may appear at first, you really do not have to race the same courses over and over.
As for the courses remaining the same from GT1 and 2, all I know is that they feel completely different. I still have them memorized, but the races take on a whole new meaning now. Everyone is sure to have a few minor complaints here and there, whether in the overall presentation or the limited game options. Sure there are a few shortcomings, but not in the areas that count. The controls are perfect for every style and make of car. The physics are incredibly realistic. When competing in the rally competitions, for example, you can see and feel all four tires responding `independently' as you rumble over the terrain. The graphics too, are astounding. The different locations and times of day truly enhance the fun. The shadows and reflections are worked out with great detail, and the sun itself is angelic through the trees. The replays are a work of art, especially in the "music synchronized" mode, taking full advantage of the PS2 capabilities. Not to mention, every time you earn a car (any car) you will want to keep it in your garage, simply because the graphics are so good. If you don't like a certain car's appearance, just have some fun replacing the wheel design, and improve its overall look.
Finally, GT3 deserves a perfect 10. Although, still having some minor drawbacks, there is just nothing else like it. The game is challenging and addicting. And massive. All of the important areas of the game have only been improved upon. It's a dominant series that just gets better with age. The game is so close to perfect, that GT4 needs to contain some serious changes, or there simply won't be a reason to stop playing GT3........ (10/10)
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