Firstly, this is Gran Turismo, there is no mistaking that. The fine handling, sense of realism is all here and intact, they just left the rest of the game out, which is NOT the PSP's fault, if the Playstation1 GT games can have career modes, why can't this? Hint: It's a rush job so Sony had something to push alongside the PSP Go.
If you played any of the prologue games you know exactly what to expect here, endless time trials and single races, that's it. No substance, no real tuning, no sense of any real accomplishment, which kills the experience. It may make a BIG issue of having 800+ cars, which would be great, but the fact is there really isn't. Sure the car count is over 800, but they forgot to mention that it means you have 4 slightly different versions of several cars, you have a 2004 Ford GT, and a 2006 Ford GT, what's the difference? Damned if I know. The actual car count is probably around 300.
Same excuse on the tracks, half the number you see on the box because mirrored tracks hardly count. It's all clever tricks to pretend the game is more than it is.
I seriously cannot believe any of the 5 star reviews harking about great graphics have actually played it, the game is not a shocker by any means, the car models are generally very nicely done, but it's very, very bland and uninspired, with some horrible detail off the track. Throw in some slowdown and some bad clipping issues, this should have been a lot more. Ridge Racer was a launch game several years ago and still looks prettier, and the Burnout games truly put this to shame, much prettier, and much busier with hardly a hitch, why does Gran Turismo struggle so much? It's hardly doing anything to warrent slowdown.
I was really excited by this, I really was, but to expect a full Gran Turismo game and get this is a massive letdown. At least when a prologue game comes out, the actual GT game is just around the corner, but this is all you're going to get for now, and it's as shallow as they come. The only people I can recommend this to, is those who don't have much time for it, the occasional race or 2 on the bus/lunch break, then the lack of career mode isn't as much of an issue and if you can fogive the graphical issues, you'll still find a solid racing game lurking underneath. The problem is the lack of anything properly resembling progress and achievement, sure you're collecting loads of cars but for what? You don't care about them like you would a proper GT game, you can't tune and upgrade them, they're just a number, rather than something you feel for, making this the most souless GT game I've ever played, which is a real shame.
For now, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a proper sequel, and stick to Forza 3 or GT5 for that proper racing experience, the handhelds just aren't getting any love yet.