Speed 3 Grand Prix isn’t your average Grand Prix game. It has much more in common with Burnout 2 than, for example, with F1 2021, so you can pretty much forget about your R&D planning, shelve your team strategy, and just let the cars do the work. Everything happens on the racetrack. And you are in charge of what happens.
One characteristic of Burnout and Speed 3 that goes hand-in-hand is the use of intense visuals. This is almost a game in itself: you must direct your car through numerous tight curves and numerous round obstacles while also maintaining a set speed. Every corner you come upon will present you with new opportunities for maneuver. Because this is the basis of motor racing, it is easy to see how these games translate incredibly well into the field of competitive racing.
The driving experience in Speed 3 Grand Prix was criticized upon release for being too short. Still, it soon proved that this aspect was simply a lousy interface to the game’s underlying challenges. However, the great thing about this is the various side events and challenges that occur during play. You can spend some quick race times practicing these rather silly tasks, or you can enjoy the full version, which has no time trial option. Either way, you’ll have a fast pace to play with as you try to beat your high score. These quick race sessions add up to a reasonable amount of time in-game, which can be used on the track to learn more about your car or to earn some cash.
As a sequel to Speed 3, the focus is squarely on getting you prepared for the next round of racing. It takes a few seconds longer to complete your first attempt in this game, but that’s the case regardless of difficulty. As you improve at playing the game, you will start to find your racing style, as well as your favorite track and cars. The goal with Speed 3 Grand Prix: PlayStation 2 is to find a balance between your driving skills, your ability to complete challenges, and the overall difficulty of the gameplay.
This title offers a somewhat simplified version of racing. The colors are a bit lighter, and there aren’t as many moving parts to look at. The streamlined look is a nice break from the more colorful graphics you’d expect from a driving game, but it doesn’t make the game less enjoyable. Speed 3 Grand Prix: PlayStation 2 offers one of the best overall presentations of any game in the genre. Graphics are clear, clean lines that don’t get lost in the clutter of an actual racing scene. There is no question that this version of the game looks much like the official PlayStation 2 release, but there are noticeable differences you’ll want to take into account.
Unlike the previous incarnations of Speed 3, this game features split-screen racing. This change was made to make the gameplay more enjoyable for all players. You can now race against a second player using a dual console, allowing you to pit and re-pits without having to pause the game to do so.
Another difference you’ll find in Speed 3 Grand Prix: PlayStation 2 is the amount of gameplay you’re given to perform during each round. As is the case with all driving games, there are a limited number of actions that you are allowed to perform throughout a race. Each vehicle has its own set of actions it can perform, including turning left or right, making a pit stop, and jumping out. The amount of activity each vehicle can take during each round is limited, but the overall result is much longer than in previous versions of the Speed series. There’s still a fair amount of time between actions, but the step is much more frequent.
Overall, the change to split-screen gameplay offers a very fresh perspective on the Speed series. Playing against a second player gives you an advantage that hasn’t been found in previous versions. The action is more frequent, the courses are more varied, and it provides a more significant challenge. If you’re not interested in a full-fledged racing game, you might not appreciate the differences that this version offers, but Speed 3 Grand Prix: PlayStation 2 will prove to be a fun and entertaining game if you’re a fan of the Speed series. Most importantly, however, this version of the game is a speedy race, meaning you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for your car and trying to perfect your racing techniques.