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Gran Turismo vs Forza Motorsports: A few more cents.

Friday, November 20th, 2009

(this is an update to the following post)

Well, in the time since i’ve written another post about the two games. I got a PS3 and Gt5 Prologue. On the 360 end, Forza 3 also came out. so now… drumroll please… i can weigh in about the two.

Forza 3
Wow. Forza 2 was one thing, but Forza 3 definitely stepped it up. More of everything… cars, tracks, series. From the beginning, every car is available for purchase, granted you have the credits. When you win a series of races you get a pretty good amount of money so you don’t have to spend too much time racing for extra cash to keep ‘moving up’. You don’t win prize cars (so far, i’m a level 13) at the end of series, instead you get them when you level up. You level up pretty quickly early on, and the cars are actually useful (i’m looking at you GT).

Along the lines of race courses, there is a pretty good amount to choose from. You have everything from tight training courses, up to full international circuits. Some real, some fake, but each one has its own thing going on. Fujimi Kaido is an incredible windy road to hone your drifting skills on, and even get an acheivement like i did.

(i choose the video mostly because of the great song, but the drivings good too. POS – Optimist)

The car selection is quite diverse, from dinky sub-compact/city cars, boy racers, sports cars, and even some stock cars. I bought the ‘VIP’ version of the game which got me some exclusive cars and a couple free cars gifted to me by the developers. One of the cars they sent me was an incredibly fast Acura Le Mans car. Instead of having 6 different versions of the same model, they’ll chose the 2 best ones. Tons of modifications and upgrades are available, including the newly added option to change your cars drivetrain… aka turn an all wheel drive to a Rear wheel drive car. The amazing livery editor is back, and has been refined. When you load a vinyl group, it actually ‘groups’ them together into one layer instead of just importing all the layers from the vinyl group over. Tons of paint color available, but it would have been great to be able mix your own, and also a choice of matte finish would have been great.

I haven’t raced online yet, I’m waiting to get a beefier, diverse garage first. I’ve bounced into the auction house and picked up a few bargains. but beware, some of the cars i thought i was getting for a steal, ended up being prize cars you get when you level up. I ended up with two duplicates, but luckily i put em back up for sale, and got rid of em.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
What can i say, its fucking beautiful. When a developer takes their time to learn how to take advantage of the PS3 powers, this is what you get. This is one of those rare games that just could not be done exactly the same on the 360. But, with things like damage, and custom paint/design missing, there’s less to bog down the system, freeing it up for more rainbows and unicorns.

The physics engine has been greatly improved over GT4. The cars are not as ‘dive-y’ as they were in GT4 when you brake hard. One thing i noticed, you still cannot flip a car over like you can in Forza 3 (i still haven’t been able to flip one yet). I slammed a car into the wall going really fast, spun out, hit the wall again. It was then that the car started hitting these invisible walls keeping it from flipping end over end. You no longer bounce off walls any more, and you also get thrown off when you hit a car too.

Cars…yea, there’s some cars in it, but not much. Usually 2-4 per manufacturer, but some of them get incredibly pricey. You cannot tune them, supposedly the option to change ride height is in there, but i have not been able to find it. Your limited to the colors that the manufacturer made the car in… no custom colors… WTF!

This whole colors thing really annoys me about Gran Turismo. In real life, you can take you car to get painted another color, colors the manufacturer does not offer. Why the fuck can you not do that in Gran Turismo. I’m not asking for a livery editor like Forza, but i just want to be able to paint the car whatever colors i want. Its bonus points when you can paint different parts different colors like Forza. In forza you can paint the rims, hood, mirrors, and even the spoiler. My signature paint job ALWAYS includes a carbon colored hood. In Gran Turismo the car never feel like they are mine, instead i’m just borrowing them from the museum for the day.

Heres comes another bummer… theres only 6 different race courses available, each one has 2 versions. 4 real world courses are available, and 2 fake ones from the GT universe. They are pretty good, just, not enough. The Developers released another course a while ago, but it would be cool if they could drop a couple more for us to race on. you know, to whet our appetite.

Conclusion
Considering GT5 Prologue is just a demo and Forza 3 is a full game – Forza 3 is the current leader in the race. GT5 has potential, but they are not showing anything new in Prologue, just nice graphics and improved physics. There was more than just a car/course update when it comes to Forza, everything seemed to be even further refined or improved.

In the end it boils down to what i want to play when i want to play. Do i wan to just jump in race, and i’m done? ok, then i’ll play Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Do i want to put some time into modifying and tuning a car? then Forza 3 is the way to go. each one is great, just depends on what your looking for.

since we’re on the subject of Forza 3

Monday, September 28th, 2009

heres some videos…

according to Turn 10, Forza 3’s developer, the following video is composed of clips of people actually doing these maneuvers in game…

and same here…

ODST and me, or how learned to stop worrying and melee a brute.

Friday, September 25th, 2009

So, Halo 3:ODST came out this week, and i picked it up, yes, at midnight with all the other nerds. I played through the campaign mode pretty fast with a friend. With guns blazing, grenade lobbin and alien beatin, all in all it took us about 5 1/2 half hours to clear through it all.

What i was hoping it would be, and what it ended up being was pretty different.

Hopes: a stealthier, slightly more tactical shooter based around an ‘open world’ city in the Halo ‘Universe’. If you knew there was a mass of enemies in a certain area, then you go around a different block, and avoid them. If you couldn’t go around them, then you can just get in the dark, and wait til they had their backs turned to go to the next dark area. Weapon wise, i was ok if it was the usual selection of weapons in the Halo universe… you know… sub machine guns, assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers. Pretty much covers all the bases for when it comes to kickin ass.

Reality: Yes, there was some stealth elements. Playing on my own, i was able to find a dark spot, do a quick take down, move, wait til they came to where they thought i was, rinse, repeat. Now, its not that it didn’t work, it just ended up taking up quite a bit of time. Usually i would just take out on of the lil guys, because they’re not too strong, but, they still had a brute giving orders to the rest. Now, if i took out the brute first, it leaves the lil guys with out command, and after that they just freak out, some attack, some run away. But taking down a brute takes a bit of firepower.

This is where weapons come in. You are equipped with a silenced pistol, and silenced machine gun, both capable of zooming in on targets. On a brute though, the pistol did not do much damage until its armor had been destroyed, the machine gun also, was pretty weak, but where it lacks in power and accuracy, it compensated with speed. Usually i held onto the pistol, and picked up one of the alien rifles or machine guns that the enemies leave.

The usual Brute encounter went like so: throw a grenade near the target brute, and get rid of his armor. next you go in, empty your clip and done. If you’ve got good aim, and hes not wearing ‘chieftain’ armor, then you could stick a plasma/spike grenade to him and be done with it.

Theres one more type of enemy that they throw at you, and taking them on single handedly is pretty challenging. The ‘Hunter’ is bigger, stronger, and pretty heavily armed. They are the same as they’ve ever been in the other Halos, but this time around, your not the indestructible tank that is Master Chief.

Getting around New Mombasa was pretty linear, usually only one route was made available to you, so evasion was made tougher. When you play through it you start to unlock doors that grant you access to the building interiors which help you hang low or escape a hairy situation, and also pick up a few ‘premium’ weapons like the shotgun, sniper rifle or rocket launcher.

Disappointments: The non-Open Worldness of the game. You couldnt just wander where you want, only certain doors were open for you depending on what ‘level’ your playing. Levels… the next part i don’t like. Instead of the entire story taking place with you going around the city, instead, you would go from check point to check point, then finding something that triggers a ‘flashback’ level. Taking place in and around the city, one thats in the outskirts, and another at a sort of airport/shipping dock area.

The superintendent. All the trailers, and developer documentary talk about the superintendent role in the game. But, it doesn’t really do much, other than point a sign in your direction every now and then. Story wise, it fits in because it has recorded videos of all the events that have transpired in the city. I was under the understanding that it would help you out by ‘hacking’ doors, maybe killing the lights in an area, so you can sneak up on the bad guys.

Lastly, it ended up being just an normal Halo game. This time around you play as different people, who are not the super soldier that is Master Chief. Your weaker, and can’t take huge jumps, thats it.

But as a bonus they threw in Fire Fight, that pretty much makes ODST worth the money. Your stuck on small level, with endless waves of bad guys coming at you. each round you advance, the difficutly gets cranked up. The bad guys will start to throw more grenades, they start to dodge grenades, and have stronger armor. Its hard, its fun. fuck ya.

so ya, ODST, mostly its good for a rental (and easy acheivements/points), purchase it if you want fire fight mode, and the groovy stand alone Halo 3 Multiplayer disc with all all the DLC levels, and 3 new levels.

the beginning of an obsession.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

as i mentioned in an earlier post, i finally started to play Ikaruga. I’ve been reluctant about playing the game since, until yesterday, the only version i was able to get a hold of was the Xbox Live Arcade version.

So why not play that one? for that sort of game, i dont like using the xbox 360 control, something about the d-pad, and its ‘not good’-ness. But then, i found out it came out for the gamecube. I waited for it to come from gamefly and gave it a run.

Perfect. the controls were spot on… now i can start getting into this game, and see about finding a copy of my own, since the one from gameFly was not available for purchase. Sounds easy enough, fired up an internet search. Wow, on amazon new copies were going for over $100, used as low as $40. Then i started a search of all the local stores, avoiding gameStop. Nothing, either they’ve never heard of the game, or knew about its rarity. About ready to give up, i called a local GameStop. The guy answered, i asked, he said “No.” shocker. then, he said “but the store in alhambra has copy.”

No Way. All this time, a city away. I swooped down, scooped it up. its mine.

its not easy, i’ve only been able to make it to chapter 2, and as you can see in the video below, it gets pretty nuts.

and in the end

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

the love you make is equal to how fucking awesome your animated clips are…