soap's Gran Turismo (PlayStation Portable) review

Suprisingly enjoyable

As a fan of the Gran Turismo series, I've been keeping an eye on the PSP version of Gran Turismo since it was announced all those years ago, but as the game came closer to launch and I saw more about it, I became very indifferent to it. I put this down initally to the videos I saw online, were the textures looked really rough and only the cars themselves looked good.
I eventually folded and bought it off the PSN, the first thing to note is that this game looks incredible on the PSP screen, dont let any videos seen on a PC monitor fool you, on the PSP screen itself it looks incredible, the frame rate is solid and the gamplay is Gran Turismo to the core. 
It's not a perfect product however, considering all the effort that has gone into cramming Gran Turismo onto the PSP I'm suprised that the pretty simple idea of a career mode hasn't made it on board, instead your given free reign to go between driving challenges and simply picking a car and a track. Every time you finish a track your rank on that track increases, giving you slightly harder competiton for the next time you play it. 
The menu system itself feels like an after thought, there is literally NO reason why you shouldn't be able to access all of the car manafactures and browse through the incredibly detailed and unique handling 800+ cars but instead, you are limited to 4 shops at a time, with a maximum of 10 cars in each. This sounds ok in practice but if you are like me and have very specific favourite cars it can take a long time for them to appear in the shop, especially as you have to race at least once for the 4 shops to change.
Over all Gran Turismo for PSP was a suprisingly good purchase, especially as the driving challenges and usually short races are good for pick up and play gaming, but  the lack of a real career mode and absolutely appauling shop system really stop it from achieving greatness.


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    Incidentally, Long Time Coming is my favourite Zutons song... As most of you will no doubt be aware, Gran Turismo for the PSP has been a long time coming. I remember back when the PSP launched, and Sony were touting a portable version of Polyphony Digital's driving simulator as a potential launch title. Rumours began to circulate concerning the game, which was said to be a complete port of Gran Turismo 4, featuring over 700 cars and a hefty Career mode. Somewhere along the line that plan fell th...

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