TITLE: Group S Challenge
DEVELOPER: Digital Studio
DATE RELEASED: Dec 2003
"Start with an empty garage and a small number of credits to buy car. Drivers then can enter the Championship or the sub-modes; Line-Line or Duel to compete for prize money to buy parts and upgrades, or simply the chance of winning cars outright. The aim in Championship mode is to progress from driving in C-class through B-class and A-class up to the supercharged S-class"
When I read it, I automatically remember Gran Turismo. Being a Gran Turismo fan, and has spend hundred hours with GTO, EVO, Skyline, and FTO ® playing that game on PS, I just has to picked this game. Gran Turismo for Xbox? Sounds too good to be true. Well, in a sense, it is.
The game consists of two modes; Arcade and Circuit. Arcade is as what the name is, straight forward to the game. It has 1 Player, 2 Player, Time Attack, and One Make. Everything is basically same as any other racing game, except for One Make. In One Make, you'll race with 5 others same car as yours. The choice of car are categorizes by their ability. Group-C is for the normal car. Group-B is for the sports car. Group-A is the racing car. And Group-S is the supercharged car. In addition to that there's another category, Aero-Car. When you win a modified car in the Circuit mode, the car will be available in the Aero-Car group.
Circuit mode is where you'll make a career out of it. You'll start with 50,000DP (credits). Don't think that's really a lot, a lowest car such as Toyota MR-S will cost you 50,000DP. There are three types of races in Circuit mode. Championship, Line-Line, and Duel.
In Duel, you'll races with the car that's modified by names such as Abflug, APEXi, D.speed, and Blitz. You'll get their modified car if you manage to win when races with that car. But that's too easy ain't it? Well, there's a catch. You have to use 3 different car models that have been specified to beat that car in order to obtain it. Once you beat the car with the 3 specified models, the car will be delivered to your garage and you can use the car in Championship race. But you can't use that car to compete in Duel. Let's say you win a modified Supra, then there's a Duel that required you to be driving Supra. You can't use the modified Supra that you won, instead you have to buy a Supra from the Car Shop. In short, you have to buy all models in order to complete the Duel.
Line-Line is really a training rather than anything else. You'll follow a line of coins(?), the more coins that you get, the more credits that you'll earn. If you bump into a wall, you'll lose some coins. If you manage to drive all the way following the line of coins, VOILA! You now have mastered the track. Well, that's what the developer think. I find it is easier to drive when there's a line to follow, but when in the Championship, there is no line to follow. So you're back driving the way you think it's the right way.
Now comes the Championship, you'll either love it or hate it. Group-C and Group-B is quite easy for any experience racing gamers. Even novice will quickly master it. Group-A is where the frustration developed. In this Group, you'll have to be perfect when driving. That's mean no wall bumping, over-steer, spin-out, or too slow when taking corner if you want to finish first place. If you manage to do this, then there's no problem to win this race, even when the mighty Evo or Skyline are also racing. The Group-S is where you'll lose your mind (I did). Even thought you are racing with 5 others car, in reality you only are racing with either one or both of this cars; CTR2 and S7. If you are using other than these two cars, you'll never win the race even when your car is using turbo Level 3. I bought the Viper and all it's performance parts thinking this would beat that 2 cars but only ends up 1++MillionDP broke. Ok, ok, you can still win if you're not using those two models. But the only way to beat those two cars is by having perfect laps and some dirty playing/luck. When I manage to make the CTR2/S7 spin-out and then proceed to have perfect cornering till finish, I'm guaranteed to have the 1st place. But that's easier said than done. I have to retry 5-10 times for a track just to bump that car so it will spins-out and then having perfect cornering. The wall is another story, it seems to have glue all over it. When you bump a wall by your front bumper, your car will completely stop and sticks to it. The only way out is you have to reverse your car before align back your car to the road. And while you're doing this, you'll watch hopelessly as all the others car cuts by you.
In conclusion this game is only for hardcore racing gamers that want to play ala "Gran Turismo" on their Xbox. Other gamers will finds it to be too frustrating and too long to master it.
Will take weeks for a novice racers and quite some time for a hardcore racers. The Group-S racing is another story. Maybe the developer has a thing for Porsche 911, but it is ludicrous to have a car so perfect that no other car can beat it.
Very beautiful. With the reflections on the car body, the smokes when you drift, and quite realistic surrounding. The only drawback is some cars seem to have too thick lacquer on their paints job. You almost can't see the car's curves.
Sounds are good with all the stretching and engine sounds. The music also is not really loud so it doesn't really distract your driving. But it is disappointing to not have the hissing sound for the turbo car. And the fact that the game will play the same song each time you retry a track also could be a nuisance.
Lasting Value: 4/10
There are only 5 races for each group, which makes it only 20 races to compete. The Duel race gives it some longevity, but in order to have all the required car to compete, you'll need DP (credits). So you'll back racing in the Group-S (coz it gives the most credits) using either CTR2 or S7 (coz that's the only cars that can win). After a while it gets dull.
So there you have it. I know there's a lot more that I didn't mention, such as the irritating pop-up info that's seemed to be everywhere every time. To any other gamers that have played this game, feels free to add your opinion here.
This post has been edited by xbox nkotb: Dec 27 2003, 02:42 PM