In case you haven't noticed, the PSP is getting its game on--or trying to, at least. With a solid software push this year and a revamped PSP Go, Sony's solidly performing yet still second-place handheld is trying to reinvigorate its flagging game library as of late. And, sensibly, the focus is remaining on successful PS2 and PS3 ports. Gran Turismo and, more recently, the MotorStorm franchise have been great examples of first-party Sony success. They're A-level titles, and at last both are making their debut in PSP form in just a few weeks, costing $39.99 and being made available in both UMD and downloadable formats. We received download codes for both titles and gave them a thorough go here at the office, but the results may surprise you.
Scott: I had heard tons of hype for years (since the original PSP launch in 2005, in fact) about Gran Turismo going mobile. This long-expected virtual vaporware became incredibly tangible for us this week, and will be available to everyone else October 1. I was excited, even though I'm not utterly wild about the hard-core tuning that lies at the heart of GT's automotive fetishism. I do like racing games, and the PSP hasn't had a really good one in quite some time.
As a result, it surprised me to find that Gran Turismo was pretty boring. That's not a knock on the car models or the race tracks or the graphics in general: they're all crisp and smooth and well above average. The problem is that the game itself, in trying for realism, moves at a pace that on a small screen feels like a crawl. Watching your Audi slowly accelerate to 60 mph and take gradual turns with proper braking is the anti-Mario Kart, and not in a good way. It can be soporific, even hypnotic. While the casual nature of the races could amount to a nice mobile break from a busy day, the intensity of Gran Turismo feels like it's moved completely off the map.
That's not to say the game isn't without some great features.… Read more