SEGA GT 2002

Review

posted 10/20/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Haven’t we been here before? Dozens of licensed performance vehicles, closed tracks, the need to earn money for upgrades. Seems a little familiar if you ask me but you know something? It’s a formula that never does quite get old.

SEGA GT 2002 is a game out of the same mold that begat Gran Turismo and its successors. The ideology behind the game is simple, start out with just enough cash to buy a scrappy vehicle, win your races and to earn more cash, use cash to purchase more vehicles and fabulous upgrades. As you progress, your competitors will become tougher, forcing you to upgrade your vehicle to remain competitive.

The career mode (complete with Gran Turismo-esque navigational music) is the meat and bones of the game. You’ll start out with an inferior vehicle and have to work your way up the rankings by outdoing your competitors. The game has a fairly generous learning curve, you should have no problem taking the first few races with minimal sweating. The game does harder though and that’s when the option of upgrading becomes a necessity. You can even buy used parts in this game but at lowered performance of course. The upgrades in GT 2002 seem to be very minimal, however, featuring only the basic upgrades such as Stock and Racing models for most parts.

Deviating from the norm and perhaps setting a new standard, SEGA GT 2002 has a different way of earning licenses then what we have become accustomed to. You’ll have to win three races first and then you’ll be able to try out for the license. This is an ingenious way of making the gamer earn the license, not to mention far more difficult. I applaud SEGA for doing this.

GT 2002 features some of today’s most popular and desired vehicles. There are some oddities however, some of the vehicle models seem to be incorrectly identified. For instance, the new Acura RSX is identified as the Honda Integra Type R. I realize that the Japanese don’t have an Acura division for their Hondas, but this is an American game. Gran Turismo 3, a game that is nearly a year older than GT 2002 has no problems getting it right, neither should GT2002. The rest of the models seem to be identified correctly and the roster even includes some of the new kids on the block like the 2003 Nissan 350Z.

Each of the vehicles appear to be accurately modeled to their real life counterparts. I’ve driven an RSX and the same gripes I had with it in real life appear in GT 2002. They all have a realistic feel to them and more importantly, are fun to drive. They don’t just play the part, they look the part as well. Each of them are beautifully rendered. You can tell from the replays that a lot of man hours were put into making these vehicles look as realistic as possible. The levels look nice as well, they’re rendered well enough to the point where they look great, but they don’t detract from the on-road action. Races are not only fun to partake in but look great as well. They’re beautiful to watch and if you’re not careful, you just might mistake the replays for the real thing.

Speaking of replays, they look downright amazing. Thanks to the Xbox hard drive you’ll be able to save each and every one of them so that you can show them off to your buddies later on. You’ll want to watch each and every one of them too because after a victory, you’ll have the opportunity to take a snapshot (sponsored by Canon of course, because Canon is the official camera supplier) to place in your garage. As you progress your garage will become filled with snapshots and trophies, an excellent way to show off your winnings.
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