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Posts Tagged ‘Racing’

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.

First Impressions: Gran Turismo PSP

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

If you read previous posts, you know i’m a GT fan. So, i was stoked to get a hold of this long-awaited PSP version.

Likes

  • Tons of cars
  • Tons of courses, all the old courses are there, and tons of the newer GT4 courses as well.
  • Its got the usual GT physics, on par with GT4.
  • Quick pick up and play set up. No long races or tournaments that keep you glued to your system.
  • Every race is custom, depending on what car you choose, so you always have competition as well as a diverse set of opponents.

Dislikes

  • Only certain brands of cars are available depending on what day it is in the games world. So one day its honda, suzuki, jaguar and audi… and something else the next day.
  • No performance upgrades. WEAKSAUCE!!!!!
  • Very limited tuning options available, no tunable transmissions! DOUBLE WEAK!!
  • No practice mode to allow you do endless practice laps around the tracks.
  • Physics engine still bounces you off walls.
  • No damage, so you tend to play a lil rougher when it comes to passing.

Overall its pretty good, but would only pass as a 50/50 mix between arcade and career mode if it was on a console… Career lite as i would say. There’s no ‘Cups’ or series, like the other GT’s, so you never win a prize car, or championship money.

All bitching aside, the racing is the solid GT racing I know and love. The cars look great, the game runs smooth, and all my old friends are there… Tsukuba, Autumn Ring, Laguna Seca. I like how you can just buy whatever car you want, and immediately race it. There’s no tuning, no upgrades or shakedown runs to do, which helps with the quick play style of the game.

If your into GT, get it, love it. If your kinda on the fence with racing games, stick the big brother versions on the consoles… GT on Playstation, Forza on XBox.

Gran Turismo vs Forza Motorsports: My 2 cents.

Monday, September 28th, 2009

(this does not take into account any of the ‘demos’ out there, so Forza 3 Demo and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue are not ‘in the running’)

First let me preface this with some history. I purposely chipped my first PlayStation just so i can play the Japanese version of Gran Turismo since the American version wasn’t going to be out for a few months. Yea, the chip ended up breaking my PS1, and I had to start all over again when i got the American version of the game. But damn, those 4 months were some great practice.


this still makes me want to get out there and race. oh the variety of cars, the realness of them… i see them on the road, in the showrooms, THEY EXIST!

I hadn’t tried out too many race simulators. I think i gave a NASCAR game a try once, but got really bored and thrown off by how hard it was. I just thought it sucked, but turns out, its kinda hard to go 200mph into turn, banked or not. I played some of the arcade style racing games, you know, go fast, don’t worry about the brakes, and slide into every turn… wee. But once you figure out how things work, and memorize the courses, the games were just a boring exercise. I used to put cars in 360 spins around corners in RidgeRacer without even getting close to crashing.

Then Gran Turismo came around. Right off the bat, first race, i slam my Civic into the wall. yea, turns out, you gotta slow down to turn, just like real life. I ended up reading the little book that came with the game. It explained the different types of cars, how to takes different types of turns, and also the balance between braking/turning/accelerating.

jaguar e type s1

I played through those pretty regularly all the way up to Gran Turismo 4 on Playstation 2 (which i still ‘practice’ on). Now, GT4 was really good. It had rally cars along with rally tracks which was pretty rad on its own (GT3 first had rally in it). But, in my opinion, was still sticking with the limiting License tests.

You had to beat a seriers of tests, basic ones that have you go, and stop in a small area. Others make you take a set of turns you have to clear in a set time. The last test for each license usually required you to do a perfect lap in a predetermined car. A perfect lap meant you car could not go off the track, nor could you hit any walls.

Yea, it got hard. I soon got to a place in the game where i couldn’t go any further. I had beaten all the races my Licenses allowed me to, and in order to race the rest, i had to get a license whose tests i couldnt pass. I got bored, and moved on. Eventually I ended up picking up an Xbox to play halo, and picked up the first Forza Motorsports for the hell of it.

I dug it, felt a little different from Gran Turismo, a little more updated and weighty. Each one of the Gran Turismo’s physics engine got better, more realistic. But wow, Forza had something going for it. Yea, there was some wonkyness in it. But, it was also the first to simulate car damge, not just cosmetically, but it also affects the performance. If you banged up you left front tire, it would pull. If you bashed the front hard enough, you damage the engine and slow down big time. In Gran Turismo, you just bounced off the wall if you hit it straight on, not a dent.

Then Forza 2 came out. Not only did it have an even more finely tuned physics engine, a newer roster of cars, big, beautiful HD graphics, and custom paint jobs…
forza2handler.jpg
yea, thats my car. A Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec with a custom design, and no, those Volcom logos do not come with the game. I made them out of warped triangles and hexagons. Yea, i’m that nerdy.

This game was like starting all over again, i had to change the way i played. The Xbox 360 control has two triggers on each side, and each one was brake/gas. You couldn’t just floor it all the time anymore, you’d spin out coming out of a turn. Slamming your brakes just made your tires lock up and slide off the track. You had to ease on and off… finesse it. I had these hard pounding races where i was just barely holding on to first place, or spending six laps just to get into first in the last turn. You had to draft, move around opponents instead of just bumping them around (you got a time penalty added to your lap time too). you had to wait for the right time to go in and pass, because if you chose the wrong time to be on the outside, you end up losing a couple places.

But, this was it, this was as close as i would ever to be really racing. I understood what it was all about, what it really took to do it. Anybody can go around the track, but it takes practice to do it fast and elegantly…

this was all from in game footage (not me.). insane, but, thats whats possible.

So, Where do i stand on it all. GT4 and Forza 2 are the newest versions of the game currently commercially available. Graphics aside, Forza 2 is still, in my opinion, the better of the two games.

But, (as of writting) Forza 3 is not available for another month. Gran Turismo 5 is not coming out until March, 2010, if were lucky. Its probably going to get delayed though, GT4 was delayed a year and a half and the developer, Digital Polyphony takes the “its not coming out til its DONE.” stance. so, who knows, my bet… it’ll come out Oct/Nov, 2010.

I’m getting both, i’ve got too, i’ve been too into both of the games to chose one. I’m stoked for Forza 3 for the ol’reliable, but hope that Gran Turismo has some fresh air breathed into it. Its got some great graphics, but the all new ‘damage’ system looks weak, and cars still bounce off of walls. But i’m still keeping my fingers crossed. One of them is going to be great. if both are, well, bonus points.