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     " Cornelius actually spotted the parking garage we usually stop at to go to Safeco Field. How cool is that?!? "

      Title: Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec by Sony

      Format: PS2 Racer

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: The mother of all racing games comes to the PS2. Really…what more is there to say?

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: You know it’s unbelievable. GT3 was touted as THE great PS2 graphical accomplishment. They bragged about the life like cars. Boasted about the detailed environments. Gloated on the lighting effects. And what do you get instead? Poop smeared across my television screen. It is, hands down, one of the worst graphical atrocities ever devised for view by the human…or Monkey…Eye.
          No, I’m just kidding. The graphics are everything Sony promised they would be and so much more. Vibrant, lustrous, and incredibly smooth- GT3 sets the new standard by which all future games will be judged. It’s so good, in fact, that it makes me want to go back and smack down all of the previous PS2 titles we’ve given 5’s to. Absolutely amazing. 5 out of 5

      Sound: Engines go Vrroooommm, Vrrroooommm, tires go whirrrr and screech, and fenders go crrruuunnccchhhh…All very life like. They even went so far as to sample the car’s real life counter parts to make sure the engine has the right pitch and climb. Add to that an absolutely incredible soundtrack (featuring such artists as Snoop Dogg, Motley Crew, Lenny Kravitz, and so many other big named bands that I won’t even bother to mention them all) and you’ve got one hell of an audio experience. Or, at least, you would if not for one glaring problem: they failed to include a user option for adjusting sound levels. So, it doesn’t matter how good a song is- you’ll barely get to hear it over the overbearing whine of your engine. A cryin’ frickin’ shame. 4 out of 5

      Game Play: Gran Turismo has always been the racing game for car fans, and based on the third installment, that’s not going to change any time soon. Fantastic tracks, an endless game scheme, and literally hundreds of cars means that if you’re even remotely a gear head you won’t get bored any time soon. Add to that infinite customization of your rides, a lifetime worth of cups and races, and unlock-able goodies and, conceptually, you have to most solid racer we’ve ever seen. But the two real accomplishments in GT3 are in exactly the places you would most want them to be: the incredible car physics and the amazing AI.
          The default setting on the game is for a nice, comfortably real, but very manageable physics engine that is, for the vast majority of us, exactly what you want while you’re virtually driving. Recover from skids fairly easy, maintain a tight but mostly realistic grip on the road, and generally speaking cruise like you do in your sick little dreams of high speed driving. Very nice. However, there is also a realistic setting that was probably designed strictly to teach all us half assed wanna-bes exactly how unlike our dreams such driving really is. Think it’s easy taking a 90-degree turn at 90mph? You’ll learn better. Think it’s no big deal losing your traction at 140? Try it here. It is, without question, the most realistic driving experience I’ve ever had on a console- with physics so good that it almost mirrors the precision driving training I’ve had as a stuntman. Amazing.
          Not to steal all the glory, though, what would a good driving engine be without killer opponents to race against…and let me tell you, these guys are killer. Aggressive and skilled, the other cars on the track will definitely give you a run for your money. But, what is most impressive about it, is the fact that unlike most AI controlled cars of yore, these bad boys are also intelligent and fallible! Capable of breaking ideal programming and cutting the inside if there’s a pass opening or willing to play a long shot to shoot around you, they’ll stray far from the predictable course if it means they might win. Better yet, if you skate too close the turf they’ll be happy to give you a good hard bump and send you in…But don’t worry too much- if you can out smart them, it’ll be just as easy to slip the collision and send them careening to a eight second penalty. Beautiful. 5 out of 5

      Level and Environment Designs: Not only are tracks challenging, and beautiful, and everything you’d want them to be…they’re also fairly realistic. Seattle (the only frame of reference I have) is dead on enough that Cornelius actually spotted the parking garage we usually stop at to go to Safeco Field. How cool is that?!? 5 out of 5

      Multiplayer: Split screened or linked, if you want to burn rubber all over your buddy’s ass GT3 will be more than happy to let you do it. Unfortunately, there’s little real incentive to- as there are no additional modes or tracks for multi. 3 out of 5

      Replayability: Replayability doesn’t get a rating on this review. Not because it has a short play life, but because you’ll never, ever, ever finish the game once- much less go to replay it. Even if you get through the several hundred regular races, there are the many-hours-long endurance races and countless re-races for unlockable cars that you’ll have to beat…and if you ever do all that, rather than go back and playing again, you should get the hell out of your house and find a life.

      Story/Dramatics: While, normally, I’m always hard on games without stories…I’d be stunned if there was any more room on the DVD with all the shit they give you. So, N.A.

      Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions are solid and, really, there’s not much to know. There aren’t any tricky extras or hidden widgets…It’s just good solid driving. Easy if you want, seriously challenging if you can handle it. 4 out of 5

      Installation and Real System Requirements: The load times are hefty, but when you compare them to what you’re getting, they really are fantastic. Off a point, though, for giving me nothing at all to do while the loads are running. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       Sony said Gran Turismo would be a solid, killer app and they didn’t disappoint. Smooth, unbelievably beautiful, and ultra-realistic…If you have a girlfriend, buy her flowers now- ‘Cause you’ll be in the dog house for sure after ignoring her for the dozens of hours this game will eat up.

      The Good: This game.

      The Bad: Umm…That you can’t adjust the sound.

      The Overall Ugly: This may be the first real "Killer App"…That game that you have to buy the system for…that the PS2 may have. Add it to your collection now or suffer the unspeakable consequences.

      What it's Worth: Market

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