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Archive for November, 2009

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.

so this is what the other side is like.

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

i finally got a PS3.

The chances of that happening looked pretty bleak for a while. When the system first came out, it was too expensive and there wasn’t anything i wanted to play that i couldn’t already play on my 360.

But, things have changed. The price went down, and the hard drive sizes went up. The huge change though was PS exclusive games that i actually want to play. Little Big Planet, Katamari Forever, Flower, the Last Guy, WipeOut HD, and Modnation Racers.

Before i get into my experience so far, let me make a few statements. I have an Xbox 360 and Wii, so put your fanboy torch away. Most of the comparisons i’m going to make are going to be with the 360, since, lets face it, the Wii is just a Gamecube with waggle.

and away we go…

Likes:
Graphics – Its not that they are too far off from the 360. But, it seems the PS3 can handle more objects/particles on screen at once. WipeOut HD looks better, in-game, than the opening cinematics of any of the PS2 version of the game, its amazing.

Independence from proprietary hardware – You can open it up, and upgrade the hard drive, there’s even instructions in the manual on how to do it. You can charge the controls by plugging it into the system with a simple USB cable. You could never do either of those with a 360. You have to buy a special cable and battery pack to charge your controller from the system. You have to spend $150 (at time of writing) to upgrade to a measly 120gb hard drive (the hard drive alone can be purchased for $30-$40). From what i’ve read you could also use a regular bluetooth headset with it, but i haven’t tried it out, so i dunno.

Mehs:
Updates, always with the updates
– I got the system home, set it up, and turned it on. What was i greeted with? an update. an update that took 45-50 minutes to download. After i downloaded that, i decided to try out Little Big Planet. Another Update, another 30-40 minutes of downloading before i can even play it.

Sixaxis – I’m pretty whatever about the whole ‘waggle’ thing that the Wii forces on you. So when PS3 decided to add that, i was also, not impressed nor looking forward to it. But having played a few games, i love how most don’t even use it, or if they do its optional or just for the lols.

Dislikes:
PSN download speeds – Yes, i know its free, i shouldn’t complain. But damn, i’ll pay $50 a year to get some of that download speed that Xbox Live has. Part of what made downloading all the updates, demos, and games such a pain was how slow they downloaded (~2-3mb a minute – most updates were 100-120mb, 1 game was 1.2gb). Some downloads you can set up to download in the background. But when its an update for a game you about to play, you can’t set it up in the background. You just have to sit there… and wait…. and wait…. and turn your 360 on and play something else for 40 minutes.

Demos and Purchased Games – Lets say i download the demo for a game you can purchase off of the PSN store. You download it, play it, and decide “hey i like this and want to play more.” So you go to the PSN store, buy it, and then you have to download the WHOLE thing again, except this is the entire game, and since its PSN its uffing slow. On Xbox Live, you download the whole game, and if you buy it, all you download is a ‘key’ that’s roughly 100kb in size, a quick download and your up and running.

By the way what have i played?

Demos
Metal Gear Solid: stupid long title
– sucked, i dunno, just not into the whole Metal Gear thing. Each one that comes out seem to keep piling empty crap upon empty crap. until you dont know whats what or what going on. NEXT!

Killzone 2 – Controls are wonky, checkpoints/objectives were vague, and the controls suck. Its the same old Killzone from PS2 with shiny graphics. Boo! … oh and the controls are fucking wack!!!! who uses R1 to shoot a gun when you have a FUCKING TRIGGER right under it!!!

Motorstorm Pacific Rift – pretty cool, nothing amazing, liked the multiple paths available, but all the vehicles handled weird.

Katamari Forever – pretty cool, only two levels, and lets face it, its Katamari so it can’t be bad.

Fat Princess – i dont get it.

Full Games
Little Big Planet
– fun. i like the creative aspect of it. Only problem is with how basic your movements are in the game. You got run, jump, and hold. You can grab on to certain types of object, and drag them around. But if you holding onto something, you can’t jump off of it, or climb up it. You just let go, and hope your momentum is enough to get you to where you want to go. Now, if the characters moved like they do in N+ that would be insane… Little Big Planet: hyper edition.

The Last Guy – old school game play with a modern twist. You play as the ‘last guy’ who runs around an area of a city, shepherding survivors back to the rescue zone, while avoiding all kinds of bad things. Its fun, and the pseudo-satellite image look of the levels is really cool.

WipeOut HD – the good old wipeout you know and love, with better graphics, more ships, and more tracks. whats not to love?

Noby Noby Boy – just weird pointless fun.

so, conclusion time. I like it, but the 360 is still my ‘main’ system, but the PS3 is very close in the running, i just need something to play.