A part of my old review archives, as Sonic Gems Collection was the beginning of the new ones)
To start off this review, I'm going to admit that I'm not a fan of the Gran Turismo games. I know that to some it is appealing, and some some of it is very valuable (there is a lot of software and even some videos out there, and a lot of this merchandise was only in japan), especially since quite a bit of it is quite rare. This is a cheaper title, (depending on the version you get) and it's quite fun. Dare I say, more fun than GT3.
Graphically, this game is comparable to GT3. I wouldn't be surprised if this game used the same models as GT3, too. It looks very nice, too, since the GT3 models looked very nice too. This game, while it doesn't have a 480p or 1080i selection, has a 16:9 option, and from what I can tell, it doesn't cut the top and bottom of the picture (which was common for games to do) to make it widescreen. Overall, this game looks pretty nice for a 2002 PS2 game.
Soundwise, it's the normal GT music and sound effects. I can't make too much of a fuss about it, especially since it sounds fine. nothing sticks out to me as good, nor does it bother me. The sound as a whole is just OK.
Controlwise, this game is fine, but more often than not, the cars turn like they're on butter. That is really good, since there are quite a few tight corners. The only one that was a problem was the Tahiti Maze, because right at the end, I made some donuts when I didn't mean to. The drifting around corners is pretty good, but I'm just going to say that they made turning around some corners easier than they were in GT3. I'm going to say that I enjoyed the controls more here, and they were pretty good, especially for turning around corners.
Stuff I've unlocked since I last moved my save over to PCSX2.
The gameplay has a really good improvement for one thing, and that was removing (and I know this isn't really tied into the main series, but it betters the game nonetheless) the license tests.
This makes the game SO much better, and I like to play it more in that case, because I loathe the license tests in the Gran Turismo games (especially 4) and this feels really nice to just play without being told that you don't have enough licenses to play the other tracks.. The gameplay is pretty good to, since it's racing with cars that you've unlocked as well as some bonus challenges that you unlock, and the one that I had tried which was the Toyota pod, it was an interesting distraction that was a challenge, even when I finally figure out what I was supposed to do. I know I keep mentioning Gran Turismo 3, but that's because this is based on GT3, including the engine, the menus, and other various things. It came out after GT3 was released, and I've been told that this is supposed to be a sort of GT sample, but that doesn't seem to be the case, as this feels like a full fledged game. Others say it's a spinoff, and I agree with that more. There are 10 tracks in total, not including the unlockable challenges (there are 4 in total), and 5 of them are just the same track, but in reverse. you shouldn't have too hard of a time with them, since the tracks are some of the easiest ones they could pick. I really enjoyed this game, truth be told.
As a whole, I would recommend this game to most. It's not everyone's piece of cake, but it is sure worth a try.