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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: SCEA
Developed By: Polyphony Digital
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-2 (1-16 online)
Rated: E10 (Everyone 10 and up)
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

The racing genre has always provided racing enthusiast the experience they have been dreaming of. Part of this is due to the creation of the Gran Turismo franchise by Polyphony Digital and Sony Computer entertainment. Ever since its debut on the Playstation, this franchise has brought a since of realism and creativity not seen in any racing game before its release and to this day. With the latest installment, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, Polyphony Digital and the PlayStation 3 console are set to once again blur the line between real-life and a video game, while also silencing the critics who have doubts about the PS3 console being able to compete with the competition.

Before I get down to the nitty gritty, I would like to remind gamers that this isn't a full blown GT title. If you remember, GT4 had more than 700 cars. In GT5 Prologue, there are a total of 71 cars to be acquired and marveled over. 5or those thinking this is a demo, think again. Gran Turismo HD was the demo that consisted of 12 vehicles and one track. This title is more of an in-depth preview to what gamers can expect from the full-blown Gran Turismo 5 title. I wouldn't be surprise of SCEA decided to make it a massive update for those who bought GT5 prologue, thus completing the package. Back to GT5 Prologue; the 71 cars are unlockable by putting your skills to the test within several different races and event types, which help you to earn money to build on your dream car collection.

GT5 Prologue starts you off with 35,000 credits, which you must use to purchase the first of many vehicles to burn rubber on the race tracks with. Those who are experienced GT drivers will analyze the car requirements before making their first purchase, but most will go after the car the feel is the most appealing. For me, I chose the VW (Volkswagen) GTI just because its a site to see and a car my brother has. But once you have selected your first ride, itís time to dive into one of three primary play modes. Within the Arcade mode, you have the option of competing within Single Race, Time Trial and/or the skill tester known as Drift Trials. Within the 2P Battle mode, you are allowed to compete against a fellow friend in an arcade-style race setup. Though you can use single race and time trials to help learn the various tracks, playing against a friend allows for you to learn the track, while competing against an opponent.

Last, but certainly no the least, is the Event mode. If you are looking to unlock all the vehicles, while making a name for yourself, this is where you will spend most of your time. In Event mode, the action is broken down into 3 race classes of ten events each. You will start off in the Class C, trying to ascend the ladder by placing within the top three places of each race (some requiring first place wins). The more races you win the more credits you earn to buy newer and more powerful vehicles in order to compete with the ever increasing competition. If you ever were looking for a game that required you to spend extra time honing your skill and analyzing the competition (move over Warcraft), this is it. After completing each class, you will be rewarded with a unlockable vehicle, and once you have gained access to and completed the Class A, the real fun will begin.

Class S is all about high-speed racing via modified tuner cars. This is also where you will now be able to access the Quick Tune option. Within this option, you can take a regular car and turn it into a supreme driving machine. Changes can be made to horsepower, aerodynamics, gear ratios, weight, toe angle, etc. When it came to this mode, I was soooo lost, it was ridiculous, but then again I'm not all about customizing my vehicles. Also with accessing the Class S division, comes a penalty system that will throw you off for a bit. For some reason if you bump another car, drive off the track, or even just simply nudge a guard rail/barrier, your engine goes dead for a few seconds and your car is now transparent, allowing opponents to pass right through. Though I think this should of either been used throughout the game or not at all, I guess Polyphony Digital expected you to be a driving expert by Class S so these incidents wouldnít take place. However, this penalty system also adds yet another layer of difficulty, which will continue to put your skills to the test.

Taking second place to no one, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue boast visuals taken straight out of real-life. Whether playing on a regular television or on a 1080p compatible HDTV, everything from the cars to the tracks to the backdrops are beautifully designed and rendered, running at a smooth 60fps. However, for those who are indeed gaming on 1080p TVs, you can really see why Polyphony Digitals invests thousands upon thousands of hours trying to perfect their driving experience. If BMW didn't patent the phrase "The Ultimate Driving Machine", I'm sure Polyphony Digital would be using it with their games. As far as the sound goes, each and every car within the game has its own unique and distinctive sound radiating from the engine and how it hands on the tracks. The musical score within the game is well put together. None of the tunes had me hooked, but they all fit the mode of the simulation-style racing experience.

Just like any other racing title to have come out, the replay aspect is dependent upon the gamer. Certainly, becoming the best racing in the world is a good enough reason to spend countless hours playing GT5 Prologue from beginning to end, some gamers may get fed up with the lack diversity (only six tracks) or with losing one too many times against computer opponents and fellow players online. But whether you bought the retail version of downloaded your copy from PSN, there are additional features to keep you coming back for more. The game features an in-depth news section, which provides important Gran Turismo-related updates. There is also the GT-TV (Gran Turismo TV) area that provides downloadable movies and video clips. Through this mode, Sony can offer future updates in the form of cars, tracks, or even modes, which will add to the already massive content within GT5 Prologue.

As the new era of simulation-style racing games has officially begun, this is but only a taste of whatís in stores for gamers as they await the completion of Gran Turismo 5. Racing enthusiasts have plenty of content and features within this package to warrant the $39.99 price point. Now I will admit this game isnít for everyone. If your style of racing games is more along the lines of Ridge Racer, this GT isnít a franchise worth messing with. However, for those who want a true driving experience, there is nothing better than Gran Turismo and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue.


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