Top 5: PS2 Racing Games I Bought at GameStop for 20 Cents A Piece (According to My Girlfriend)

Posted: September 30, 2012 in Top 5s
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Recently I took a trip to my local GameStop upon hearing of a sale that was right up my alley. Buy 5 Playstation 2 games priced at $.99 or less for $1. That means, 20 cents each! Also they did a Buy 2, Get 2 on anything $3.99 and less. I took advantage of both offers. For the 5 for a dollar deal, I chose all racing games. I picked out Pro Race Driver, Gran Turismo 3, Choro Q, Ridge Racer V, and Top Gear Dare Devil. For the others, I picked up SSX 3, Soul Calibur II, MLB Power Pros 2008, and Ultimate Muscle Galactic Wrestling. Nine games for about $8.50. Not bad. I figured one of these days these 5 racing games might make for a nice little article. Then something unusual happened.

I’m sitting in my game room one day when my girlfriend decides to pay me a visit. We live together, but she rarely hangs out with me in my room of game. So this was a rare occasion. She is also not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. She’ll play the occasional Professor Layton game or Monopoly on the 360, but nothing more than casual gaming fare and no more often than roughly once every 6 months. So the next words out of her mouth caught me by surprise.

“Do you have any games I could play? Like, racing games? Not old ones, but something on PS2 or something.”

Oh… how the stars aligned for this one.

I quickly informed her of my recent purchase of 5 racing games I bought at Gamestop. Knowing her attention span (or should I say toleration) is short when it comes to video games, I had to work quickly. I asked her to pick a game. Our first game was Pro Race Driver by Codemasters, makers of one of my favorite racing games, GRID.

Well… it would have been, had the disc not looked like it lost a fight with a lawn mower. I decided to cheat a little bit and substitute SSX 3 in Pro Race Drivers spot. But for now, our actual first game is Top Gear Dare Devil! Select comments from my girlfriend will be highlighted in magenta italics.

What? One car? What the f*** is this? This game sucks already!

I have to agree with her on this point. From the outset, this game doesn’t look promising. Only one car and one track are unlocked at the very beginning. I can see maybe one track, but why only one car? I get that you want to get people to play the main career mode or whatever, but imagine if you and your friends sat down to play the new Street Fighter and the only available character was E. Honda. We begrudgingly pick our only options, a Mini Cooper-ish looking car, and the streets of Rome.

This game looks ugly.

Again, I agree with her, but I can’t be as harsh on it because I know that it’s a near-launch PS2 game. Still, there’s something about the cartoony HUD combined with the decidedly UN-cartoony environments that just clashes.

I can’t control this thing.

The controls are bad. Gentle corners require heavy breaking. The car doesn’t turn to the left or right as much as you’d think when you firmly press that button.

I ended up winning the race.

Overall Impression: That game sucked.

Agreed. Our next game is Choro Q. This is the sequel to a game I reviewed a while back called Penny Racers on the Nintendo 64.

What the f*** does “Choro Q” mean?

I have no earthly idea what it means, but explaining the finer points of Japanese culture to my girlfriend would take more time than I was willing to risk.

Hurry up and pick a car!

I couldn’t help but look at all the bizarre names for these cars. I can’t remember any of the top of my head, but they were pretty… unique. I had to scroll through and admire them all, but also admire the diversity of car types. Sports cars, sedans, Formula 1, cement trucks, utility vehicles, and more. She ended up with the cement truck and I ended up choosing a 3-wheeled car. Oh boy.

Ugh. I can’t stop spinning out!

If you turn too hard without hitting the brakes, you’ll spin out. Unfortunately, this is too easy to do, but it’s easy to avoid with controlled braking. It’s easy to forget though in the heat of a tight race.

She ended up winning the race. We both spun out on the final turn, but she didn’t take as long as I did to recover.

Overall Impressions: I guess that game was okay.

I agree. The controls take some getting used to, but I think this could end up being a fun game. I’d love to delve into the single-player mode. Next is Ridge Racer V from Namco.

Wait, why can’t I play?

Because I couldn’t find the 2-player option. Later research indicates there is a multiplayer option, but I couldn’t find it in RRV’s busy-looking menu screens. The game plays like any other Ridge Racer game. It’s fun, but there’s not much to it.
Overall Impressions: That game sucked because I couldn’t play it.

I disagree, because I did play it. It was alright. The next game is Gran Turismo 3.

She actually didn’t have much to comment on during the early part of our GT3 session outside of telling me which track she wanted to play. She ended up picking a dirt course, which meant we were using rally cars. Now, I’ve played GT3 before, albeit a long time ago, so I didn’t remember what rally races were like in this game. If they were anything like, well, any other rally racing game, the controls would be loose and precision timing would be required to corner effectively. I warned her of this.

I don’t care. Let’s play.

Rally racing in GT3 was surprisingly not bad. It didn’t play as loose as some rally racing games. I was trying to drift smoothly around corners and I ended up spinning out a few times, while her style of playing it straight as if she were racing a normal car won her the race. I decided we should play a race on the Super Speedway to capture the essence of GT3. She picks a Peugeot roadster, I pick a Nissan Skyline. My fatal flaw in the setup of the race is I picked Drift style over racing. As a result she blew me out of the water as on straightaways she was 15 MPH faster than me. I started the race over after her big win. I ended up choosing racing style over drift. The result was a bit closer, but with me winning this time.

You cheated!

Shush.

Overall Impressions: I guess that game wasn’t so bad.

Are you only saying you like games you win at?

Yeah.

Our last game is SSX 3.


This is actually pretty easy.

This game controls a lot differently than a traditional racing game, and it actually made it more competitive. We traded the lead back and forth before she captured the win.

Where the hell is the finish line?

We tried a one on one race afterwards and it confused the hell out of both of us. Where was the goal? It felt like we were going in circles.  I happened to find it first by sheer luck. She crossed the line soon after.

Overall Impressions: I liked that 1st race better. Not just because I won, but because we got lost during the 2nd one.

Fair enough.

So that will do it for this article! To summarize, Top Gear Dare Devil is a no, Choro Q is alright, Ridge Racer V is nothing new, Gran Turismo 3 is okay, and SSX 3 is better the 1st time around.

If you didn’t already find this article through my Facebook page, be sure to check it out. I also have a Twitter account! Also, if you’re on Steam, I am too!

 

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