Gran Turismo for PSP


In recent years, it's become more than apparent to me that there is a definite void in the market when it comes to quality racing games. Sometimes it feels like there's nothing to play but bargain bin OutRun ripoffs with no depth and super-immersive racing simulators that are too realistic. It's gotten so bad that I've had to resort to playing a portable game from 14 years ago.  But I was surprised with how much I enjoyed playing, almost more than any other racing game I've ever played.

Gran Turismo was announced for PSP on May 11, 2004. Initially conceived as a portable version of Gran Turismo 4, It took more than five years to be released on October 1, 2009, becoming one of the best selling PSP games throughout its lifespan. Adapting the game engine from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and borrowing the track selection from Gran Turismo 4, It provided all-new cars from manufactures like Ferrari and a full era-appropriate soundtrack, It had all the hallmarks of any console Gran Turismo game... except for a career mode.


This exclusion alone is enough for any Gran Turismo fan to disregard it entirely as a total gimmick, and in some ways, it definitely is. Without a proper singleplayer campaign, all you can do is race around GT4's map pool with three other CPUs, and complete the "driving challenges" accompanied by Jay Leno's disembodied narration. Along with the lack of car modification and a limit of only 4 manufacturers to purchase from at a time, there isn't much incentive to play this game alone.

In my eyes, the true greatness of Gran Turismo for PSP is its brand new wireless ad-hoc multiplayer mode. For the first time, players could race locally on their own system with their own garages in a variety of modes, all with a jackpot system that raised the stakes and rewarded the victor heavily. And you have to remember - GTPSP contains most of the excellent tracks from the Gran Turismo 4, of which had a severely limited LAN multiplayer mode with very little in the way of car selection.


And it gets even better when you factor in emulation: By using the PPSSPP emulator and a LAN hosting service like Hamachi, you can play GTPSP online with friends. When you factor this online multiplayer aspect in, the game becomes incredibly fun to play, while still being very lightweight (the ISO for the entire game is only a single gigabyte) and relatively easy to set up on PC. The quality of the 3D models is not half bad, especially when rendered at a higher resolution.

Polyphony Digital did a pretty good job considering the circumstances. Packing in more cars than previous entries and featuring some of the best tracks ever made for Gran Turismo, it's by no means a poorly made game. In my personal opinion, I think it strikes a great balance between a more arcade-like racer and something more simulation based, creating a very simple and accessible racer that anyone (even my modern game loving friends) can enjoy. But I'm still not happy.


I wish I didn't have to play games like Gran Turismo for PSP. It's honestly absurd how much I enjoyed this game over anything else I've played in the last few years. I really wish the PC could get some quality racing games that are accessible for everyone. There have been rumors of a new port of Gran Turismo 7 to PC, but I wouldn't hold my breath. And don't even get me started on Ridge Racer.

Jan 14 2023

Madville Neocities

Madville. I don't own jack!