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Why I love Gran Turismo


Sam P
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This was originally a response to this topic, but halfway through I realized I was going to hijack someone else's thread (yet again... :oops:).

 

In addition to not finding the appeal in the pop-culture influence, I'm really not big on the modified vehicles theme that's so prevalent in recent racing games. That includes NFS Underground (the title says it all), where modified cars a la The Fast & the Furious make their first appearance in the series.

 

I can't think of any reason why modified cars by their very presence will have a negative impact on the game, so it's just a personal preference. Just don't like the sort of flavour their inclusion suggests, is all.

 

You know what, I'm just not too big on arcadey racers. I really like hardcore racing sims, and here's why:

 

I'm a huge Gran Turismo fan. The entire experience, from top to bottom, screams of something concocted by racing drivers. And that alone turns me right on.

 

I enjoyed all the meticulous depth GT offered. I liked the Driver Liscensing tests, which put much emphasis on things like the effects of road dynamics on weight transfer. In those tests (and in the races), GT punished dearly for mistakes but rewarded excellence, it brought the essence of driving at the limit to a video game, and you could experiment with the physics in all sorts of ways (by means of suspension alterations) that still produced faithful recreation of the real world. I loved that GT was a no-compromise car racing sim, through and through. It even had bona fide several hour long endurance racing! As a car enthusiast and motorsport fan, I really couldn't ask for more.

 

I've got some genuine recreational track driving experience behind me, and while I am by no means an authority on the subject, I feel confident in saying GT makes a superb model of the reality.

 

Everything from dry weather tire breakaway characteristics, to the on-limit tendencies of each layout (front-drive, rear-drive, or all-wheel-drive), to the reproduction of things as esoteric as lift-throttle characteristics, GT delivers.

 

And that's just it. It's just occurred to me that even for those who are hardcore into games, and not hardcore into cars and fast driving per se, it all adds up to be a bit much. And that's perfectly ok.

 

I just felt like voicing why I'm so in love with the series.

 

I really can't wait for GT4. That new steering wheel package (with 900 degrees of rotation) sounds delicious.

 

P.S. Good as it may be, the GT series will still be no match for real track driving. I wish I had more money.

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I have purchased every Gran Turismo game thus far. I get really, really excited right around the relase date and even plan which cars I'm going to purchase in which order. On release day I'm at the store as early as possible. I rush home to pop the game in and then it happens: I get bored out of my mind.

 

That said, I can totally see how one could become a hard core fan of the GT games. They are serious, serious driving games with a physics engine second to none.

 

I have the utmost respect for anyone who really masters GT games. I just can't sit through it myself.

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Hardcore fans like you should probably get ready to plunk down some $$ for the HDD drive, if this GT4 Rumor is true:

 

Recently at the Sony Gamers Day, Gran Turismo 4 creator Kazunori Yamauchi was overheard confirming that his latest game will utilize the Sony Hard Disk Drive and will allow players to download new content for the game. Details are sketchy at this point, but we'll keep you posted as more details are announced.

 

So Sam, I take it you ONLY play with a steering wheel periphal. I have never bought a wheel, but I did borrow one once and enjoyed the game much more with a steering wheel.

 

For those who don't have a wheel yet, would you recommend waiting for this "900 degree" wheel?

 

Carlos.

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I just felt like voicing why I'm so in love with the series.

 

I think that's admirable, and I'm not kidding. It's good to laud games you have a passion for.

 

I don't share your enthusiasm for the game, although I certainly respect it's technical achievement. In fact, this is really the game that got me to buy a PS2, but similar to Camp's experience, after the initial afterglow of driving these cars around, I just kind of got bored.

 

What really floats my boat is rally games, the rally tracks on GT3 were my favorite part of that game (although the were pretty basic). What I like about rally games is the constant surprise, the need to be on the edge of losing control in order to do well, the twists and turns.

 

Where GT seems to be your holy grail for racing games, mine is CMR3, and almost certainly CMR4. In terms of pure gameplay (ignoring the serious lack of options in CMR3), CMR3 is almost perfect, very challenging, FAST, amazing courses, great car models, fantastic physics (not perfect, but really great).

 

Of course there's no right or wrong here, just opinions. I do appreciate your love of GT, it's certainly a worthwhile game. I'm really looking forward to GT4, especially the rally portion :) which looks to be beefed up this go-round.

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For those who don't have a wheel yet, would you recommend waiting for this "900 degree" wheel?

 

The current Logitech GT wheel that many people have used only has 180 degrees of rotation. So you never have to take either hand off the 9 and 3 positions. And that's fine, if you're in a Formula 1 or other open-wheeled race cars.

 

Everyone knows their real car doesn't steer like that and the 900 degree wheel (in the finest GT tradition) will try to simulate road cars even better. What it will mean for the racing experience is more work - you're gonna have to twirl that wheel, especially if you start to go sideways! But what it will also mean is much finer control, more finesse, and generally a more realistic experience. I have really high hopes for this wheel. I hope they don't skimp out because I'm willing to pay for quality.

 

Anyway, I've got Colin McRae Rally 2.0 for the PC, and while I'm not the biggest fan of Colin in real rally racing, I enjoyed the heck out of that game. I can definitely see why it appealing - it's fast, it's slick, and yeah, you're always on the edge. I think Rallying is just one of those forms of racing I won't do well in even if I had the opportunity in real life. You gotta push it consistently hard, risk it all around blind corners, with absolutely no frame of reference. And it's always, always in slick, unpredictable surfaces. That takes serious cajones!

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I too am a fan of the GT series of games. The one thing I really wish they would hassle the car mfgr's over is the damage modeling restriction they get put on them (at the same time, the lack of damage modeling allows me to do incredibly cheap/fun things like using other cars for braking during turns :green:). Also, GT3 made me realize just how cool having USB connectors on the PS2 was. Imagine my surprise when my Logitech Wingman Formula Force GP that I'd bought for my PC for ~$40 before GT3 came out, worked impeccably on my PS2 with GT3 (seems like its the exact same as the GT wheel that was selling for $75+ at the time, just with red rubber instead of blue). 8)

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I love the GT games, and will be rushing out to get GT4 the day it comes out.

 

I'm trying to justify purchasing the "900 degree" wheel for it as well. Does a guy really need two steering wheels that are only really used on one console for one game? Answer: Probably not but I know I'm going to end up buying the bloody thing anyway :P . Just think, I could swap between the two depending on what kind of car I was driving. I wonder if there'll be any pro steering technique tips?

 

I hope there are more real tracks in the game. It's really cool to race a track that you've seen on TV, or watch a race on a track that you've 'driven'.

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So will this wheel be PS2-only, or universal, or?

 

Haven't heard any word on that, yet. But I'm certain the GT4 software will be optimized to work splendidly with the wheel, as opposed to simply mimmicking the analog stick like most wheels do.

 

I hope there are more real tracks in the game. It's really cool to race a track that you've seen on TV, or watch a race on a track that you've 'driven'.

 

As do I! I really, really want Nurburgring Nordschliefe (the old circuit). If there is one track in the world that'll do justice to the Gran Turismo physics engine, it's this track.

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I'll add another vote to the "I love GT" section. GT3 has caused me to buy 2 of my 3 PS2's and the first one it wasn't out at the time. I can understand the getting bored with it after the first few days because later on the tracks get pretty tedius but playing with a wheel helps tremendously. The biggest downside to wheels is mounting them. I'm still looking for a good way to do it. The TV Dinner tray just doesn't do the trick. I would like to get a racebase but they're a tad spendy.

 

The thing thats going to push GT4 over the wall for a lot of people is the online play. Being able to do your basic money making races online(according to rumors) would be awesome.

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Without wishing to sidetrack the current debate too far, I can highly recommend to gear-heads that they check out Live For Speed on the PC. The free online demo is pretty comprehensive, the actual game is only ?12.99, and the handling model makes GT3 look like Daytona once you're using a wheel. Lots of CPU (around a GHz min.) needed, but graphics cards don't get pushed much.

 

As for GT3 itself, I go in fits and starts myself. Some days I really like it, because the handling is mostly fun, some days I really hate it, as they messed up the handling of the Lotus Elise (one of my fave cars) completely, and the opposition might as well be replaced by time attacks.

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Originally posted by Sam P@Sep 22 2003, 05:34 PM

What's wrong with the Elise in GT3?

Its spongy as hell, and feels nearly twice the weight of the real one, unfortunately. As one of the rare sports cars I've actually been in (my uncle has the Exige racing variant, and my neighbour has a normal one), its a big letdown that the GT3 version is so uncompetitive. The real things corner like they are on rails, when both GT3 variants are just all over the place. I suspect, actually, that its not so much the amount of weight, as the distribution of it, as if they've not accounted for the Lotus having a far lower centre of gravity than the sedans they are modelling most of the time.

 

It basically robs the Elises of their whole point, as in a straight line they don't compete with the big boxy Subarus and Mitsubishis that I'm not keen on - you need their cornering abilities replicated to get anything like a competitive laptime.

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Wow! An Exige :shock: ! Your uncle is hardcore!

 

Though I can't comment on whether the GT3 version resembles the real thing, I will agree that it is "all over the place". It was uncharacteristically understeery, compounded by the fact it didn't have much overall grip, even with proper tires. I skipped out on using the Elise for the later, tougher races, resorting instead to a well-tuned Ruf RGT. That is, of course, before the bona fide race cars were readily available.

 

I suspect that though they claim accurate modelling for every car, that is far from the case. The developers might have had a few track sessions for a few select cars, but the rest of the physics models were created almost entirely from assumptions based on its layout, technical data, interpolations, and comments made from professional drivers.

 

Which isn't all that bad, considering the sheer amount of vehicles available. And anyway, you can always tweak the settings yourself.

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I still haven't gone back to complete all the events in GT3 - as someone who struggled with the game in the very early stages, winning an F1 (or CART, or whatever it is) car very early on in one of the endurance races was both a blessing and a curse. It was fun for a while to be able to blow through the races and win a lot of cool cars without any real competition, but after doing this for a while it became a little boring.

 

Part of me believes this was because there are no consequences to reckless driving in GT - my F1 car should have shattered on impact from all the crashes I put it through. But I could always just come to a dead stop, accelerate out of it, and lap the competition over and over. Considering how much the game prides itself on realism, it really detracted from the overall experience.

 

But anyway, I love GT, I love the models of the cars, and I love the sheer variety of cars to drive. I can't wait for GT4.

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Part of me believes this was because there are no consequences to reckless driving in GT - my F1 car should have shattered on impact from all the crashes I put it through. But I could always just come to a dead stop, accelerate out of it, and lap the competition over and over. Considering how much the game prides itself on realism, it really detracted from the overall experience.

 

That's a very good point. How much you enjoy GT3 largely depends on how you play it. There are many little exploits like that which the player can take full advantage of - if you have a tight hairpin right after a long straight you can ignore braking altogether and simply slam into the armco, you can use other competitors as braking barriers, you can take strange shortcuts in some tracks, among other things. And you would never see any of this in real racing.

 

However, if you're after the lap times and constantly trying to best yourself (not just the competitors) as I am, then GT3 really shines. It's just a matter of whether you take it seriously. Slamming into the armco, thankfully, doesn't produce the best times.

 

However, I do agree that a good damage model should be implemented - and not just ones that wreak havoc on a car's wheel alignments.

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Count another person who bought a PS2 specifically for GT3. A Logitech FF wheel as well.

 

Darious, I bought one of those coffee tables that lift up and towards the couch/chair and it works perfectly as a base for the wheel. My recliner turns into my driver seat :green:

 

I almost always race a race with the same car types the computer uses. Check out the race first to see, go back to the garage and get my choice, set up, and race. Much more fun. Probably my main exception is that I love to race the AWD Beetle and one of my Skylines. Just a hoot.

 

I also found it fun to race with the least HP upgrades I can get away with. Doesn't hurt that I believe there is a sweet spot for any of the cars and it is rarely at a high HP setting.

 

Can't wait for 4

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bad news.

 

Word is GT4 is delayed till Summer '04. Not that I didn't expect it, but my anticipation was really was starting to build for a Jan. release.

 

Oh well. I'll give them as much time as it takes to do a good job.

 

P.S. This wheel makes me drool. Perforated leather (or fake leather), nice looking cross section, hopefully it will be substantially large diameter-wise. Most game wheels are too tiny to resemble real ones.

 

Edit: That link for the wheel pic won't work. To see it, just go to the second last image in the gallery in the first link.

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While GT4 is delayed, I just read that "Gran Turismo 4 Prologue" will be available in Japan on December 4th. It's available at about half the price of a regular game. Of course, you'll need a PS2 that can play Japanese games...

 

Four modes are built in into the GT4 Prologue: racing, free run, driving school and time attack. The Prologue disk will feature the complete graphics engine and physics engine to be used in the final version of the title and will also include five courses: New York, an Italian city, the Grand Canyon, Tsukuba Circuit and Fuji Speedway.

 

On top of this is a huge list of cars that includes old favorites, concept cars debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show, and cars set to hit the market next year. Prologue will not have the online battle mode. The online mode will be ready in the final version of Gran Turismo 4.

 

Hong Kong looks sweet:

 

gt4hk2.jpg

 

gt4hk5.jpg

 

gt4hk6.jpg

 

gt4hk9.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Holy crap!

 

I'm getting one. Thanks for the heads-up, Scott!

 

But I have to wonder how well it will work with GT3. After all, there is no software optimization for it. It remains to be seen how well the existing software does, considering it's designed to work with the current Logitech wheel, which only has 180 degrees of rotation versus 900.

 

EDIT: Found my answer. Look here for the list of supported titles. Note that the only game supporting 900 degree mode is GT4. So really, having the wheel early isn't doing too much.

 

EDIT #2: EB Games currently has GT4 slated for April 30th.

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