Ps2: Tourist Trophy
Published by SCEA
Developed by Polyphony Digital
Rated E for Everyone
Polyphony Digital, creator of the highly successful Gran Turismo series, takes a step into the motorcycle realm with Tourist Trophy. Can they pull off the same with Tourist Trophy? The answer, for the most part, is yes. Combining the environment of Gran Turismo 4 with plenty of motorcycles to choose from makes for an exceptional motorcycle simulator. However, a few things do hurt it.
The gameplay is set up the same way as all Gran Turismos with a few variations. You have Arcade Mode and you have a simulation mode which is referred to as Tourist Trophy Mode in the game. In Tourist Trophy Mode you start out by obtaining your licenses. There are only four licenses in this game to obtain: Novice, Junior, Expert and Super. Each license requires you to complete ten tests. Each test contains three ranks of gold, silver, and bronze with a certain time limit to achieve each rank. Tests range from short accelerate-and-brake tests all the way up to full lap time trials.
The most significant difference in Tourist Trophy is that there is no money system, there are no days, and to get more motorcycles you just have to win races. Where you will get most of your motorcycles is from completing the challenges. With the challenges you have to complete a task, which is either passing an opponent in a certain amount of laps, or by doing a time trial. For completing the challenge you win the motorcycle you rode to complete that challenge. Even with all of this Tourist Trophy is on short side with the amount of time it takes to achieve 100%. One major factor is that most of the races are not too long. There are no endurance races and the longest races in the game are only ten laps. In addition only a maximum of 4 motorcycles, counting your own, are in a race so there are hardly any opponents to contend with. The photo mode also makes an appearance in Tourist Trophy and set up the same way as it was in Gran Turismo 4. The only difference is that after a race you can select the Best Shot option and the game will automatically come up with what it thinks to be the best 16 shots of the entire race.
The graphics are stellar as the environment of Gran Turismo 4 serves as the base of Tourist Trophy. The tracks and the motorcycles, all 130+ bikes, are shown in fine detail. The riders are even animated as they are able to tuck down, sit up, and look back. With races involving the maximum number of opponents it can be noticed that your rider’s movements do tend to show some lag compared to races with only one opponent and individual runs. Although this isn’t much of an issue it just shows how much the PlayStation 2 is being pushed. The courses, over 35 of them, are also shown in fine detail. Although the tracks are recycled from Gran Turismo 4, with Circuit de Valencia being an exception, a few of the tracks are setup with alternate configurations not available in Gran Turismo 4, which can provide for a slightly different experience at these tracks.
The sound coming from Tourist Trophy is just as good as its four-wheel counterpart. The people in the grandstands all over the track can be heard as a cheering crowd every time you pass by. The rush of wind can be heard once a fairly quick speed is obtained and is amplified further if the rider is not tucking down on the motorcycle. The motorcycles are also given their own distinctive sound as they rev up to engine speeds upwards of 16,000 revolutions per minute with some models.
Overall Tourist Trophy is a great game to play and enjoy even with its blemishes that bring it down some. It brings that Gran Turismo touch to the motorcycle world and provides an excellent way to experience motorcycle racing. Whether it is a small scooter-like motorcycle or a full-blown racing modified motorcycle you can enjoy a nice lap around a variety of tracks, ranging from the very short Beginner Course all the way up the monstrous Nürburgring. As for buyability, if you enjoy racing simulator games and want an excellent motorcycle simulator, or even if you just have a slight interest in motorcycle racing and just want to experience it, then you should at least give this game a shot.