If it ain’t broke, add to it. Review

Gran Turismo 2 Info


  • N/A


  • N/A


  • Sony


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PS


If it ain’t broke, add to it.

All right – everyone who is a fan of Gran

, let go of your mice and raise your hands. I can’t see them… There,

that’s better. You are the ones who have been playing the game now synonymous

with racing perfection. You are the ones who have invested in extra memory cards

to save your high-performance vehicles and to record your thrilling digital races.

Perhaps you have even been temporarily lured away from your prize racer by the

allure of Need For Speed: High Stakes,

or R4: Ridge Racer. But no! You resisted

temptation, and have spent your energy acquiring the 166 different car models,

and racing them until your brain ached. You taunted your friends who own N64’s,

knowing that the closest they could settle for would be Mario

Kart 64
. Shame on you.


now, after a long wait, comes your reason to rejoice: Gran Turismo 2 is

here, and it’s better than before. Though not significantly different from the

first, GT2 adds rally racing and more than doubles the car selection.

Put your tongues back in your mouths. You may now lower your hands.

The game is now split up into 2 CDs: Arcade mode and Simulation mode. The

Arcade disc contains the standard 2-player head-to-head competition, along with

Time Trial and Road Race. The only addition is the Rally Race. These races are

run on dirt tracks with rally cars designed with dirt wheels and special suspension

to sustain control through the often hilly and rugged tracks. Rally races are

a fun change of pace to the normal asphalt driving, but I was hoping for more.

For one, the tracks are plain, only being run on dry dirt. The inclusion of

mud and snow on the ground would have made rally more interesting from a gameplay

standpoint and would have made head-to-head matches more exciting. However, arcade

mode is merely the appetizer.

As in the first game, GT2‘s Simulation mode begins gamers with 10,000

credits, which can be used to buy a car and enter different races as long as your

car fits the performance limits and you have the required license. The tests needed

to earn licenses (braking, accelerating, cornering), are still as tedious as in

GT, only now in order to enter all of the races you must earn two ‘extra’

licenses (International Class A and B). The original charm of acquiring licenses

has worn off since GT, and now seems more like a time-wasting chore.

In general, the designers of GT2 chose not to mess with the meat of

GT. The same multitude of car upgrades (sport brakes, computer chip upgrades,

and turbo kits) that gave GT its unique depth are all present in GT2.

Aside from the aforementioned inclusion of the rally mode, there is little new

in the way of race types.

The GT league and the special events mode (with some races lasting over

30 laps) are back in GT2. The same amazing camera replay feature that makes

races almost as fun to watch as to drive remains in GT2, as well as the

ability to make your car look its best during the replays by washing and detailing


Based upon this description so far, you’re probably wondering why you should

fork over $50 for the game. Isn’t it almost identical to its predecessor?

Although the core of GT2 is unchanged, the components of the game are

enough to overwhelm even diehard fans. Once you begin playing simulation mode,

you’ll realize why the game now takes up two discs. GT‘s immense number

of cars (166) used to be the most of any console game. GT2 manages to make

that look pathetic, including over 500 different car models. One

second, let me repeat that… 500 DIFFERENT CAR MODELS. The old Japanese-centric

lineup of cars is better balanced now, containing cars from manufacturers such

as BMW, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, and Volkswagen.


race this fine repertoire of worldwide-engineered beauties, the number of tracks

has also been increased. Rather than the original’s skimpy 11-track selection,

there are now close to 40. Great care was put into the design of the new

tracks, which are every bit as good as the ones in GT (a few are identical).

My particular favorites are the twisty streets of the Seattle track and the high-speed

intensity of Laguna Seca.

The sheer number of tracks and cars and the large number of races guarantees

that you won’t be putting down this puppy for some time. In case you’re wondering

how you keep track of your progress, there’s a percentage complete check included.

Graphics and sound in GT2, like the game design, aren’t very much changed

since GT. Though the graphics are slightly smoother on the whole, most

gamers won’t be able to notice the difference. This means that you get the same

fantastic rendering of the track and cars. Unfortunately, this also means that

the background objects, such as trees and signs, still look like 2-D cardboard

cutouts. Also, while the car detail is good, it isn’t up to the standards of R4:

Ridge Racer

On the audio front, we are given the same type of alternative rock to accompany

the race. It’s great at first, with a whole bunch of big-name bands like Stone

Temple Pilots
and Beck. However, it gets old. I would have preferred

simple, high-energy instrumental music to the noxious effect of listening to Garbage’s

“Paranoid” for the 20th time.

The only major complaint I have is the collision physics of the game. As in

the first game, there are still no crashes. When you come into contact with the

wall or another car, your car stops or slows down, based upon your speed at the

time of the collision. Supposedly there are no crashes because the car manufacturers

feel this will hurt their images, but this is difficult to swallow. Need For

Speed: High Stakes
lets you race and crash the Chevy Corvette and the BMW

M3 — cars that are also in GT2. If it was truly impossible to simulate

crashes, then GT2 should at least have included semi-realistic collision

detection. The cars should lose control or fishtail when they hit other objects.

This is a racing simulation, right?

Gran Turismo 2 is a fantastic game and a no-brainer purchase for fans

of the original as well as any videogame racing fans. The enormous number of tracks

and cars on top of the realistic Gran Turismo gameplay gives this game

some of the best replay value there is. Just remember to keep a stash of CDs on

hand, unless you consider the Foo Fighters‘ “My Hero” to be good driving

music, over and over again.


Same great game design as the original
An amazing number of cars - over 500!
Almost 40 Tracks!
Still the most realistic racer in the console market
Nothing much added
Still no crashes, collision physics are all screwed up