Sega GT 2002 (Giant Bomb|Wikipedia) is a simulation racer released for the original Xbox. If you’ve played the more popular Gran Turismo 3, you should know what to expect. There are several modes available when you start the game, including a replay theater, quick race, chronicle mode, and the main campaign. I only played the main campaign as that’s the only mode that is interesting to me personally in these types of games.
In the campaign you are given $13,000 to purchase your first car (which won’t buy you much) and then it’s off to the races. The races offer fairly realistic physics and have a difference from Gran Turismo – your car takes damage. This damage is automatically repaired at the end of the race by deducting from your winnings or any money you have in your account. There is no modeling of the damage you take, just a meter. This makes the game play much more cautiously than Gran Turismo – you don’t want to smash into an opponent to get a head as it’ll cost you money. When you’re not racing, you can upgrade your car, buy new cars – of which there are quite a few from at least a dozen manufacturers- and view your trophies in your garage. This was also a difference from Gran Turismo and one I wish that game had. Your garage has the trophies from your wins displayed, but when you win you are allowed to snap pictures from the replay of the race and have them appear in the garage. It’s a nice touch, and makes you feel like your a real racer.
Controls are good, if a bit touchy, and that’s exactly what you need in this type of game. I will say it was a bit strange to be accelerating using the A button instead of a trigger, but I got used to it quickly. Sound is good for the most part, but the drag racing event had some horrible notes in the background music. The music on the menu screens is very serene and I liked it quite a bit.
Graphics are a mixed bag – while they look good, especially for an early Xbox title, there is an expectation that racing games should look good – and by this standard they are simply OK. Gran Turismo 3 looks as good if not better, and that game came out a year before this one on a ‘weaker’ system.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Sega GT 2002, but if I’m going to play a simulation racer from that time period, I’m going to play Gran Turismo even if it’s just nostalgia talking.
Verdict: Back on the shelf. This is a competent racer, but I have better ones available in my collection. If you don’t have a PS2 and only own an Xbox then this is a great alternative to Gran Turismo 3.
Images courtesy of Giant Bomb