March 03, 2005

Gran Turismo 4

by peterb

My friend Nat and I were talking about Gran Turismo 4. He was saying that the vibe he got was that they had cut most of the cool features out of it when they realized that even without those features they would still sell a kerjillion copies of it:

Really, they could put a vaguely car-shaped turd in a box and
people would not only buy it but write impassioned fifteen-page essays
about how it was the best game ever and shriekingly deny any rumors of
turdness.
This was after I had been playing the game for a few days. Upon reading this, I decided that my entire review of GT4 was going to be "It's a vaguely car-shaped turd in a box."

I've played a little more since then, and have a little more to say about it. But if you want the short version, it is this: Gran Turismo 4 is a stunning $50 argument for spending $12 on a used copy of Gran Turismo 3 and then using the $38 you have left over to buy pizza and beer.

There are things to like about GT4. Most of them, however, were things that one could like equally well about GT3. But let's not talk in generalities. Let's get down to brass tacks.

There's been much said about the graphics in GT4. All of it is a damnable lie. I'm one of those lucky people who has an HDTV, and the best you can say about GT4 is this: in 1080i mode, it is merely unimpressive, and not actually utterly hateful. It only shimmers a little bit. The textures are only somewhat fuzzy. The jaggies are not the worst I've ever seen.

When you step down to 480i mode -- the mode 95% of all players will see, day in, day out -- the full uglitude of GT4 is revealed. In 480i, the game is a dog, uglier than a Brittany Spaniel whose face has been half gnawed off by a badger. In all seriousness, the previous edition of the game looked better on a standard TV. If what you care about is good looks, this is not your game.

"But the screenshots look so good!" I hear you saying. Yes. They do. In a stroke of what can only be described as evil-scientist level genius, Polyphony provided a nifty feature in the game, "Photo Mode." This lets you take photos of "your" cars in various scenic locales -- most of which are not in the game, except for the photo shoots -- and then lets you export the photo onto a flash drive in super-high resolution. Then you post the photos on the Internet to deceive your friends into thinking that GT4 doesn't look like ass. It's a brilliant idea. But it's got nothing to do with how the game looks while you're actually driving.

Graphics aren't everything, though, and the game definitely plays somewhat better than the previous edition. Gone is the "driving through a vat of butter" feeling, replaced instead by ludicrous amounts of understeer on every vehicle (including front-engine, rear-wheel drive monsters) at speed. I was ready to declare that the handling in the game was psychotically wrong, when I decided to play around a bit with the settings. It turns out that the default settings for every car in the game have "active stability management" set to counteract oversteer at the highest level. This makes the cars handle like no car anyone has ever actually driven. If you turn off the ASM, the handling of the cars becomes much more accurate, and the game becomes much more fun.

I should say a little more about the ASM. It has independent settings for "protecting" you from oversteer and understeer, which doesn't really make a lot of sense. The basic implementation of ASM in the game is this: Let's say you're coming in to a corner a little too fast, and you hit the throttle too early. The ASM system says "OH MY GOD. If I let you turn this much, you might OVERSTEER! Then the car will spin out! HAVE NO FEAR. I WILL SAVE YOU." And it prevents you from oversteering by keeping you from turning so instead of spinning out you go in a straight line off the course, and hit a wall.

I'm not sure I have the words to accurately capture how completely brain-dead this is.

On the one hand, you could argue that "tuning the car" is an essential part of the game, and isn't it great that the developers let me discover this for myself? I can hear you getting ready to argue that. The problem with this argument is that it's silly for me to "tune" a car to make it act like it would when I drive it off of the dealer's lot. If anything, tuning is about making a car act less like its stock model, not more. So this is just a stupid decision on Polyphony's part. With ASM on the default settings, the game is completely unplayable (especially amusing are the license tests that encourage you to "drift" around turns on dirt courses, which you can't actually do well if the ASM is deliberately defeating your oversteer).

Polyphony replaced the boring and confusing single-screen menu system of GT3 with a boring and confusing side-scrolling menu system in GT4. 2.5 engineers probably worked full time on that menu system for 11 months. Their next project will probably involve little animated menus for DVDs that keep me from watching the movie as quickly as I'd like.

The menus are a mishmash of choices superimposed on a fairly abstract map of the world. So if you want to buy a German car, you go to Germany and navigate through the car manufacturers and find the new car dealers. If you want to race a specific race, you have to hunt around in various "stadiums" until you find the one you want, except for the races that are sponsored by manufacturers, which are somewhere else. It's not the worst menu system I've ever used. It does, I guess, get the job done.

GT4 has detailed information on every car in the game, but frustratingly presents that information via a side-scrolling marquee view that prevents you from actually reading the items in less than 10 minutes. So the game might have, for example, three paragraphs of text on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. And you really want to read them, because they're interesting and well-written, but in order to read them you have to suffer through their scrolling into view like a stock ticker, 6 words at a time. The Japanese version of the game just gave you a screenfull of text that you could read like a normal human being, but apparently because the localization team hates me I have to suffer. It is to weep.

There are more cars -- 700 in total -- but as in previous games, a large percentage of them are Skylines. I happen to like Skylines, but if you care more about, say, American muscle cars than obscure Nissan models, you might find yourself a bit chagrined.

Like its previous version, GT4 makes you trudge through too many license tests and too many entry-level races to "earn money" to make progress. The license tests themselves are interesting, but I wish they were optional.

One feature that is new since GT3 is the addition of "B-spec" mode. Essentially, you are directing a computer driver, gently suggesting that he try to pass an opponent, or that he ease up a bit, or that he come in for a pit stop. If you're one of the intrepid souls who was an early beta-tester of LawnMan 2: Watching Grass Grow, B-spec mode will be right up your alley.

One unquestionable plus about the game is its selection of courses. There are a good selection of city courses -- Paris, New York, Seoul, and Hong Kong have been added, although I do miss Rome. And in addition to Laguna Seca, you can now race on Motegi, Suzuka, Tsukuba, Fuji Speedway, and the Nordschliefe at Nürburgring. This, more than anything, is the best reason to buy the game if, like me, you need your racing games to have a good sense of place. There are also about 10 "original circuits" that are utterly bland and forgettable, but given the faithful rendition of Suzuka, I'm willing to cut them some slack on this issue.

The AI is indistinguishable from that in GT3, which is to say it is disgustingly horrible, an abomination of Biblical proportions. If there was an option to win races by simply turning off the stupid, irritating, useless, and utterly unchallenging computer cars and just racing against the clock, I would turn it on in a heartbeat. I have nothing positive to say about the rubber-band AI in the game. It is a complete travesty from top to bottom.

The rear-view mirror in the game is still useles in that the perspective it gives is somehow pointless -- cars look about 6 times further away in the mirror than they do when you look behind you. Can this possibly take more than 3 lines of code to fix? Gotham got it right. Gran Turismo doesn't.

So should you buy it? Well, if you want to buy my copy for $45 and save yourself about $10 on what it would cost you at Best Buy after tax, drop me a line. Otherwise: it depends on your motivation. If you're looking for car porn, and the USB photo feature sounds appealing to you, and you like the idea of having a semi-interactive catalog of cars from around the world, I think you can justify the purchase. If you're looking for a good driving simulator, I think you will be disappointed, and perhaps you should wait a few months until prices start to drop. If you're looking for a good racing game, no, you should not buy Gran Turismo 4.

That there are so many people who consider the Gran Turismo series to be the pinnacle of driving games just serves to reconfirm my prejudice that there are a lot of people out there who think they know how to drive, but don't.

Posted by peterb at March 3, 2005 06:31 PM | Bookmark This
Comments

Thanks for saving me the disappointment. I wasn't very impressed when a friend brought over his then new PS2 and GT3 a few years ago. I even brought up one of my Recaro seats out of an Alfa I was working on... it was cool sitting in a real seat in front of the big screen, but still GT3 just didn't do it for me. It seemed to have all the driving realism as the old coin-op Outrun.

With all the new reviews I thought they might have fixed things. I guess not. Although it does sound like the new Logitech wheel, with 2.5 turns lock to lock, is a significant improvement.

Posted by Mark Denovich at March 4, 2005 10:06 PM

Great advice.

I had put in some time and i was really enjoying the game. Reading this review made me think really critically about it, and I realized I hate this game. I need to have higher expectations. While the game is more fun and looks better than anything else on the PS2, it's just not enough. It's not enough like real life. I also need an HDTV, so I can see the jaggies, which will be very annoying indeed. Also, with so many Skylines, there really isn't very much variety in the cars. I hate this game. Thanks, Peter.

Posted by Jeremy at March 7, 2005 02:22 PM

I live to serve. I'm glad I could help.

As long as I'm at it, that ice cream you're eating has tons of preservatives and is really crap, that movie you liked was a mindless update of the Hitchcock classic _Notorious_, only with less talent, it's outrageous that you are willing to pay $3.50 fo a starbucks cappucino, and that beer you like so much is actually kinda gross.

Regards!

Posted by peterb at March 7, 2005 03:06 PM

Geez, do you dislike everything this much, what did you want this game to do, wipe your ass too. Maybe you can't enjoy the game becuase your too busy thinking of reasons not to enjoy it. I believe this game is very entertaining. Wasn't classic Nintendo fun, I mean did you complain about how the games werent real enough. If your old enough I think you would just appreciate how the game is, compared to NES and Genesis. Such strong words too...

Posted by Ken at March 17, 2005 11:30 AM

Peterb - Not a happy bunny are you. Got issues?
Still at least you can chuck the game out of the window and release some of that pent up aggression eh?

Wouldn't want you bursting a blood vessel over a......computer game!

You make me laugh.

As for Jeremy, sitting there quite happily playing and enjoying his game.
Decides to go on the net. Sees this page, reads a few lines and thinks - nope actually I agree - I dont like that computer game.

People like him are dangerous. They are led too easily and by my reckoning will most likely end up in the slammer. (being slammed.)

Peterb - grow up. You bought the game - if you dont like it - deal with it and go and sit in the toilet and cut your wrists quietly and leave the rest of us in peace!

Posted by matt at March 18, 2005 08:33 AM

Matt,

Thanks for your enthusiastic yet strangely incoherent comments.

I don't really understand the attitude that thinking that something sucks, and writing a review that says so, is "aggressive," and that I'm somehow disturbing your peace of mind by giving my opinion.

As to which of us is angrier or needs to grow up, let's remember that only one of us is suggesting suicide over a video game, and it ain't me.

Regards,
peterb

Posted by peterb at March 18, 2005 11:35 AM

It is curious to me that so many people feel that one man's opinion on a game they happen to like is a personal affront of some kind. You'd think that Pete had personally insulted your Great Aunt Betty Lou, calling her a crack addict whore or something.

Besides, it's not like he's alone in his position. Consider this fabulous evisceration

http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/gt4/review-gt4.htm

Posted by psu at March 18, 2005 02:53 PM

I just recently purchased this game. I see nothing wrong with it as it is. Yes it could look more appealing graphically, every game could. Hence the technological advancements game companies make on a regular basis, but even when "better" looking games hit the shelves there will be critics. Opinions are awesome and i respect them. This does not mean i agree. The cars ARE tuneable. Does this mean they are tuned for the better prior to the players intervention? It doesnt matter, as i said they are tuneable, so tune a car you dont care for to your liking. The game keeps me entertained so i suppose i got my moneys worth. Dont be led so easily people, by either agreeing or disagreeing. (been said to death, but here it is once more) "arguing on the internet is like being in the Special Olympics. Even if you win you are still retarded."

Posted by orion at March 22, 2005 11:26 PM

i think gt4 rocks ass, just like i did to your mum last night

Posted by arrle at April 1, 2005 10:28 AM

This guy has some major issues huh? I am proud to tell you that I own every Gran Turismo game out there, including the impressive new GT4. I think it is very challenging and definitely worth buying. I have barely completed 60% of this game and I have spent hours and hours playing this game. So itís not like I spent $50.00 and beat this game over the weekend. It is worth buying this game. I donít think the graphics can get any better than GT4! If there is a game with better graphics please let me know because I would like to see that game. My point is that this guy needs to stop bitching about this game, start massaging your swollen labiaís and move on! Dont hurt yourself over this game dude. There is help out there for people like you! CALM DOWN!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Kid at April 6, 2005 10:07 AM

I'm a big fan of all the Gran turismos; however, this is by far the least revolutionary GT ever made. The physics are improved from GT3, however, this is an incomplete game. Once someone tells me how to save two player replays, I might be inclined to change my opinion. I've only played 12% of the game I don't want anymore. Also, I don't understand why courses like "El Capitan" do not work on 2 player mode (maybe more resource hungry than the 13 mile Nurburgring). Anyways, I would not recommend buying this game unless you really want improved physics (which are still limited because the car has no visible damage and doesn't even flip over).

Posted by vash at April 9, 2005 02:28 PM

i agree with vash. this has been a fun game, but nothing to write home about. let's face it, driving games/simulators are all about amazingly repetitive (almost hypnotic) scenes and scenarios that we can interact with in a limited manner.

the graphics are getting better, the physics are getting closer and the ui evolves with every release. is this version perfect? no. of course not. if it was, no company on earth would even try to release it. what would they follow such a release with? could they do better with current technology? yes, but this is what they released. i for one choose to enjoy what i can, when i can.

Posted by sol at May 3, 2005 04:55 AM

Nit: Traction control and stability management are always off on dirt courses. Thus, ASM does not impede drifting on them.

Also, that world of stuart review is absolutely terrible. It's the kind of review my "cars are absolutely boring" friend Ben would give if he was forced to play the game.

GT4 has a huge set of problems. Most of them minor, but they all add up. SOMEONE needs to make a better simulator. (While remembering that even simulators can be fun too.)

That said, it's still taking up a couple hours of my life every day.

Posted by Chad at May 22, 2005 10:29 AM

Id have to agree w/ Peterb here, except in my opinion the game is good for about the first 10-20% then it does become very boring and unchallenging. By that time your ultimately forced into pointless rally races and licensing tests that frankly last for way to long. Re-doing the same track but with more laps isnt some stroke of creative genius its flat out laziness on the designers part. Often with these games it seems that they run out of things to do and add, so they try and reinvent the wheel, rather poorly at that. the only reason it reaches the 700 car mark (729 in the US version if memory serves me correct)is because they have about 10 versions of every popular japanese car. having that many skylines, as peterb mentioned, is pointless. not to mention that if you read the PDF on all the cars in the game they have several consecutive years of select models that were all the same. the integra is a great exaple of this. 3 years all the same body style and performance specs. Granted the game has its highlights but theyre so greatly outweighted by the negative aspect. Gran turismo 4 is ultimately a carbon copy of 3 w/ some added features to make you think that its "heightened the racing game bar" when in reality it hasnt. Its the exact game weve come to expect from Polyphony, only that isnt something to be appreciated. The differences are far too lacking from GT3 to GT4, at least with one, two, and three there were differences-but this time GT4 is GT3 with a b-spec feature. On a positive note though the Bspec is great for getting through all the absolutely horrid races in the game, so u can be even more disappointed by the ending when u reach 100% and get a car u already won several times over.

Posted by BETTEROFTWOEVILS at June 8, 2005 06:46 PM

yes gt4 didnt change too much from gt3 other than better physics and better graphics, but its still better than all the other competitions out there. shouldnt ur critisms be based on comparisons between gt4 and other games instead of to real life? i admit gt4 could use fresher ideas other than just advances in technology tho. lets just hope gt5 will not let our hopes down. and also to those harsh critics out there, its really not necessary to hate a game that much, is there? why write so much about something you hate so much?

Posted by someguy at June 16, 2005 04:42 AM

think of it as constructive criticism in the hopes of the company finding all these and refining what needs to be corrected.
yaa it is better than its competition but what those of us complaining about is that we waited so long for a game that promised so much and is nothing more than a rerelease of its predacessor.

Posted by BETTEROFTWOEVILS at June 20, 2005 06:05 PM

I don't have GT3 and if I did I think I would agree with this review. I agree with the driving aids, but I just turn them down. Next time they should make it a tunable upgrade to your car or something.

Does anyone have any suggestions for better racing games? I think that's the big problem no ones steping up to the GT games so they can afford to just re-release the same stuff and people will buy it.

Posted by mag at July 13, 2005 01:08 PM

Bottom line, this game is only what it is, and better or worse are relative terms. What you think of this game after you watch your friend play it for five minutes rather than playing it for 30 hours will be different. If you want to know how this game is, go rent it, not read someone else's comments about it. Reviews are only someone's interpretation of a game, not what YOU should think about it.

Posted by Danny at July 13, 2005 04:11 PM

Wow, you make the game sound horrible. You forget about the 600 cars and like 100 tracks you can choose from, and the graphics ARE good while driving. If you get really close to something you can almost see the pixils, but thats about it. Personally i love the game, you make it sound horrible.

Posted by cory at July 13, 2005 04:17 PM

If your realy upset about this game, look at the challnge aspect of the game. Its fun because its hard. the graphics are better than most games, and dont blame the HDTV thing, its the first HDTV game on PS2. If the person on Fifth Gear likes GT4, i think its good

Posted by Dude at July 14, 2005 10:39 AM

I think you hate this game because you like to perform angsty angry rants. I think you should take up crying in a corner as a hobby instead of taking large, steamy dumps on video games.

Posted by FEAGIT at July 14, 2005 10:47 AM

PeterB,

Just out of interest, what are your favourite driving games?

Laters,

s/.

Posted by Josh Stix at July 14, 2005 12:38 PM

I think you've written so badly of it for one of two reasons;

1. You aren't very good at the game.

2. You haven't put enough effort into playing it.

If you're expecting a game that is perfect in everyway, then I think you'll be waiting for quite some time. Unless of course, you're willing to have a crack at making one, which I'd like to see.....

Posted by Coley at July 14, 2005 04:10 PM

It's always cute to see the Low Self Esteem Brigade come thundering in to scream bloody murder because someone dared to dislike a game they like. Apparently they're just so fragile that it deeply and personally hurts them when their cherished toys get criticized.

Okay, he doesn't like your favorite driving game. So what? Does that mean *you* can't like it? No. Does that hurt the game in any way? No.

So, y'know, get the hell over it already and stop whining.

Posted by Nat at July 14, 2005 05:07 PM

just out of curiosity how many of the recent people to comment actually read what peterb and others said about the game? cory mentioned he forgot to talk about the 600 cars and 100 tracks, if you wanna get technical he did - because he said 700 cars. as well did i when i commented. the tracks havent been mentioned much but they just repeat themselves over and over. granted theres only so many race tracks in the world but in a game that prides itself in being top notch its lacking enough new tracks, and the ones that are genuinely new you ony get to do in the rally's. but what genuinely disturbs me in discussions such as this are people like FEAGIT. Its a persons opinion, whether you agree or not comment on that. Not blatently bitching that the person likes rants and should cry in a corner, if u want to kno what rants are listen to dennis leary, george carlin, carlos mencia and any other comdeian thats made a name for them self by ranting. and if u still want more read my bidyprofile in aim for the hell of it. all that mterial should give u an idea of what a rant is. Crtiquing is not ranting. and about the graphics, yaa theyre good but didnt really imporve much from GT3 leaving more to be desired. and Nat i commend ppl like you that are willing to tell others, to loosely paraphrase here, shut the fuck up. if you dont like what ur reading stop, its not too fuckin hard.....

Posted by BETTEROFTWOEVILS at July 15, 2005 01:57 AM

Really, people can have their opinions no matter how unreasonable they are. Here is a review written in great depth, although I personally do not agree with the comments, I am not here to bash the reviewer in any bit, rather provide my views on the review and critisism. Mindful of grammatical and spelling errors, but no swearing included(looks up).

One Comment however, is about approach to games. Far as I can tell, several poster, as well the reviewer did not come with an open-mind when playing upon the game, and took a biased view of the game and the review.

As a reviewer, the first rule is not bashing the game which was very clearly broken. Secondly, some information are somewhat inaccurate, exaggerated which led to misinterpretation of how it really is. Some of the opinions or personally are treated as facts when they are not(Oversteer, ASM as prime examples). Why this may be? Because on your mind when writing this review, you have the intention to persuading us to think it is bad. Thats a major problem with reviews, arguements are too one-sided, there is hardly a review that gives an un-biased opinion true, but save the bashing. Is not essential, makes bad reading and of course reduce your otherwise deep review to something more of a "whine" if I may.

Another point I might point out is the lack of hard evidence(well I admit my little post lacks as well, but is not as though I'm giving a review). Example is the AI, you grace us with a vivid description, but no idea on why it is bad. Is it AI smash into you? Is it too slow? Follows a track? This was not told. Your comment on unchallenging I notice, but are you using a overpower car? If so, I can just tell directly, you did not know how to play the game the way it is meant to play. If not, you must be a good at it, which raises the question why would you be so good if you did not like it. This may put a merit to your review that you play through the game even if you did not like it thoroughly. However this case is hardly ever true.

Comment on your views on B-spec and photoshop. Just to let you know you should not call something useless or unessential when they are optional extras where in some perspects are "useless" or "unessential". On the otherhand however, it adds a new dimension to the game making it less repetitive. I would not comment on the merits of these 2 modes, but certainly there is nothing to gain by bashing these 2 modes when it is not the core. If your review is to be taken seriously, you should describe fully then place your opinion on it.

Tuning is NOT essential. buying parts might be to certain extent, but you could easily complete 70% of game just by racing and not touch anything. Tuning just gives you boosts when you could find alternatives.

Okay, might be misconception they claim to have 600 cars by PD when there is a lot of versions of same model, talking about the number of Skyline shows you are not looking at the big picture. In my mind, the variety I got given is pleasurable, muscle cars are plentiful enough and I appreciate the number of Le mans race cars, as well as including Holden and Hyundai as such. Don't mind the number of skyline, the vaeity of cars is enough by itself. Narrow visions, another sign you are trying to bash the game I'm afraid.

Graphically, okay, you can say putting it in 1080i is poor quality, but how much percentage of gamers would actually play at that level? 5%? Not main stream targeting. Now at 480i mode? Okay I get how you are disgusted at it but where is the proof? I'm not saying that you need to place pic and fully descirbe although the way you describe it I think you should as it is interesting to see the points you pick out. Without convincing evidence(comparing is not enough, gives idea but no image), this highlighted your biased view.

A point of interest is that by your brief touch on GT3, you clearly did not like it more than GT4 much, so why buy the sequel?

Another comment, I have a reason to believe you actually own the game, or rather just a brief ownership or playing time. Too many vague description, more or less the messages on boards or other reviews.

Conclusion: (well this look a review itself in some ways)
Review is too vague, and biased to be treated seriously enough to make descion to whether you buy it or not(same as you should never trust a fanboy's review). Too much bashing, but lots of effort, but some comments just leaves a bad taste. Too many comments on little things as well. So this review, in conclusion is not reliable, those who took the information in must read somewhere else before making decesions.

Posted by Eddo at July 15, 2005 12:19 PM

granted we're not the best speller in the world but most of us do make an attempt to correct what we manage to notice. as far as gramatical errors theres some that you've made as well, but as long as its easily understood why try and make a point out of it. But my main reson for responding to this is the fact that you single me out for profane language. considering theres already been sexual innuendos and talk of suicide i shouldn't be the only one singled out in this field. Last time i checked, if were playing the editing game here, the FCC held suicide w/ the same contepmt as such choice words that i used. if u want some examples on that then i think we can all remember the editing done to the song "last resort" by papa roach. if not find the lyrics and edit every time they say cut, bleeding, and any swearing. i also seem to remember the word life being edited as well since it was in refferance to taking his own....

back towards the actual game though. you make a comment that basically says that if you dont like something then your not good at it. quite franky, that isnt true. i hate, therefore dislike, poetry but when i had to do it in school i aced it every time. sorry to disprove that concept.

also i thought the point of playing a game was to enjoy it and complete it. that said if you have the option to use a car w/ an edge over the oponents why not take it. I understand the argument that its more fun to use lesser cars but the gameplay is still failry easy even with this train of thought. unless you use a dihatsu against jgtc cars your still pretty much guaranteed a win since many races have restrictions that prevent you from entering an 800hp supercar against a line up of puegeots, granted that is an extreme example.

regarding the ASM comment peterb is actually right w/ that as well. with asm even the wonderful F1 car has horrid steering. that doesnt seem right (if you've used it) since in gran turismo mode it handles flawlessly and can take most any turn (within reason) at 70+mph. yet in arcade w/ asm and tcs as the default setting u cant even take the simplest curve in the fuji speedway 80's track. which if u notice has less than 10 turns all of which can be taken at very high speeds w/ tcs only. but w/ asm forget even making the 1st turn. if u manage to get out of the sand and make it to the next turn (which is more of a curve), before quitting in amazement that you cant make that turn in arcade yet did in sim, you most certianly will go speeding off the track into the wall. now i used that car as an example since it pretty much out handles and out accelerates most any car in the game, so a good rule of thumb would be that if it makes a car that good handle that bad itll do it to any car.

and while theres some great selections of cars many truely do repeat themselves several times over. one or two variations is fine as long as the statistics are different and they arent indentical aesthetically, but to have handfulls of every car defeats the purpose. I know you want to get away from the skyline comment but in nissans line up (excluding the used cars) theres 7 R34's all with the same rating give or take a few hp at most. theres also 3 legacy b4's common sence would generally tell you to use the better one, thus making the other 2 unnecessary. frankly there are pointless cars as well.. id like to know how many people actually used the ford ka? or the focus st170 when the rs is a far better choice and is only 9-10k more (which can easly be won in a single race for 2 laps) and as far as cars that truely are useless theres many cars such as the caterham, nike one, and the pre 40s cars that cant be used in any race throughout gran turismo mode. i understand you can use them in arcade but then its purely for "shits and giggles" since arcade mode doesnt count as game completion in GT4 like it did in GT3.

but a primary thing people need to remeber and realize is that a review (on anything) will still always boil down to a persons opinion. (remember that movie you liked that critics said sucked? - guess there isnt any biased there since ebert and roper are "masters of the craft") if they dislike it theyll generally tell you and give some supporting detail, not a 13 page essay (unless its a college assignment) peterb doesnt go into the greastest of detail, yet if he did the review that hes written (which ive found to be a very good overview of the entire game) would be far to long for anyone to even want to consider reading.....

and i appologize for any spelling and gramatical errors that i might have made in this post or any past posts. as well do i appologize if i actually managed to offend anyone by saying a few profane words. -have a good day.

Posted by BETTEROFTWOEVILS at July 15, 2005 06:02 PM

Despite being a huge Gran Turismo fan (see my Gran Turismo site - www.gtseriescenter.com) i'm actually quite disappointed in GT4. After *nearly* giving GT3 a 10/10 on my homepage i was hoping to be able to easily give GT4 a 10/10, but now it looks like it will be lucky if it gets a nine!

I'm going to write a review of it soon (http://mmws.netfirms.com/pcreview.htm) so you'll know what i do and don't like about the game.

I still play it every now and then, but i'm just so disappointed - it could have been better.

Posted by Andrew at August 16, 2005 08:10 PM

Erm, Peterb, the reason that the oversteer thing comes on is that you actually have to press the BRAKES. They're the things that are used to slow down the car, the button is the pink square next in between the X and the Triangle. You can't tell me that the physics are wrong, imagine going round a hairpin at 100mph in a Viper, you'd absolutely trash the car. I'm not saying that GT4 is perfect, games won't be perfect for another few decades, and yes, the lack of damage does annoy me, but what annoys me more is people who complain about the game when they haven't even mastered it yet. GT4 is a game for people with patience, sadly nearly no one in the world has patience. But for us few who will happily sit infront of our tv for 24 hours just so we can finish the Nurburg, this game was made.

Posted by Jezza at January 13, 2006 10:45 PM

jezza, maybe you havent played in arcade mode much. but when you do an arcade race the cars automatically have asm on. this makes the cars handle like crap. using the brake is obviously needed but with the asm your car is equivalent to a top fuel dragster - turning is NOT an option, even at a crawl.

i like how you choose a car with rather poor handling to being with as your example though. go try it with the F1 car that i talked about, youll quicky find out the ASM is useless. maybe you missed it, i dont know, but the asm counteracts oversteer thus not allowing your rear end to slide out even the most marginal amount to get around the turn easier. so the F1, viper, or any other car will slam nose first into the wall on ANY turn.

maybe this game was made for someone with a lot of patients, but if youve played and beat the previous 3, this game is a pain in the ass. theres no need to have 30% of career mode dedicated to obaining licencing and doing various other driving tests. theres also no challenge after youve gotten the licencing. i beat the game 100% in a month, a week and a half-two weeks of which was strictly completing licencing, driving tests, and the rally races.

Posted by BETTEROFTWOEVILS at February 19, 2006 07:31 PM

Hear are the facts.

99% acurate to real driving.

Every real wourld track is acurate to with in 15 milliliters.

BMW uses the physics engine to test there prototypes.

Profesional drivers use it to experament with new lines.

These are non biast facts that i have read from credible sources.

P.S. Arcade Mode is a simpilzed physics engine, so if you want simulation go to "gran turismo mode"

Watch link below

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1429991638986419092&q=Gran+Turismo+4

Posted by Erik at February 28, 2006 11:10 AM

*millimeters

Posted by Erik at February 28, 2006 12:39 PM

ok any of these Re Re's typing praise about this game is either in 8th grade or were smothered by theyre mothers vagina at birth. This guys origional review was great and dead on accurate! i applaud his reveiw cause everything else i have seen online about this game has been written by either the creators of this game or the people that suck on theyre tiny asian penise's. the only thing peterb did not touch on was the most frustrating part of the game for my friends and I which is the fact that you can not race in two player mode with the asm or traction control on! what is the point in racing your freshly tuned 600 hp car with no traction control? what the fuck were these morons thinking? now no one wants to race against eachother and totally kills any replay value the game might have had. just like in GT2 when you could not load 2 different garages from 2 different memory cards. fuck GT4 fuck it up its stupid ass!

Posted by evan at March 2, 2006 08:22 PM

Idiot Reviewer,

Go Drive a real car, and test with Traction control.

Traction Control = Hard to steer at HIGH Speed
Without Traction = Real Fast

Posted by Narun at March 23, 2006 11:18 AM

Idiot Reviewer,

Lol really, u suck ^^ and Stop review great game. hehe Practice Practice ^_- one day, u will master car with traction control

Posted by Narun at March 23, 2006 11:21 AM

No problems here and there for me when I first touch GT4. My only beef is that there isn't a D1GP AE86 car. But like any game, I'd do stupid things with it like drifting on tracks and even used a sports car and won an all-GT race event!

Try exploring more out of the game, pal. I agree that licenses should be optional but isn't what 'Real Driving Simulation' all about?

Posted by Jayson619 at March 23, 2006 02:00 PM

Well I WAS a huge fan of the series but after a million f%^king attempts trying to get gold out of licence S8 I just realised....

What the fuck am I doing?

This is not fun.

This isn't creative, or stimulating or even really enjoyable.

How can I be 30 years old and yet realistically consider this to me a good way to spend my time?

Fans of this game are just blind to the banality of the experience that is playing it. Where's the fun?

Why was F355 challenge on the Dreamcast more fun? Heck it stil is?

Can anybody recommend a good driving game because this soulless Japanese rubbish just doesn't cut it. Please. let me have them, best driving games - any console, doesn't matter which....

Posted by STEVE at April 8, 2006 06:31 PM

While not a sim, I consider the Project Gotham series for Xbox to be the best driving game on any platform, viewed strictly from a difficulty/fun ratio perspective. It's challenging, but not absolutely impossible. PGR 1 is harder than PGR2. I haven't played PGR3 yet.

The Rallisport Challenge series, for Xbox and Windows PCs, is also fun.

Posted by peterb at April 9, 2006 10:32 AM

Well honestly, I have been a great GT3 fan but I don't think GT4 is that good either.
It didn't impress me with graphics, nor did it with sound, tyre spin isn't realistic at all and thats why you cant do donuts. If you let your tyres spin in a straight line you can drive on safely, while in real life the spin would make you spin to either the left or the right. Thats why supercars dont feel that fast, they dont have the unforgiving edge.
AI IS crap, though the liscences are very hard to gold sometimes.
It's just a game with a huge amount of cars and photomode.
It doesn't have balanced gameplay IMO, you can get to one of the fastest cars in no time and that will win you other fast cars. You dont really progress through the game.

This is not just blow out of proportion, I am just disappointed.

Posted by Niels at April 18, 2006 12:01 PM

Hi!

I was brought here by a link in a Gran Turismo forum. Not really coming as a surprise then, I'm a GT fan from the beginning. I've spent quite a lot of time with GT4, so I was interested in reading your "review". First, I want to say that I'm absolutely okay with you stating your view on the game here. But I must say I don't see this as a review, rather than a summary of experiences you gathered playing GT4. As it seems, you don't like it, which is alright. There are megaselling games I also can't get warm with. Everybody should play the games he likes. Still, I'd like to say some things about the text you wrote:

the graphics:
well ... I agree with you that they are very pixelated, which you can't even get rid of in 1080i. On the other hand, the overall looks are as realistic as it gets no only by PS2, but by every standard. Polyphony Digital has not made the best graphics you can get, but they made it look very realistic. Other games look more detailed and shiny, but somewhat artificial.

the photomode:
I have serious doubts that the photomode was invented to fool people, making them think that GT4 looks better than it does. It simply is a gimmick to play with. I find it quite a nice idea, although I could well live without it.

the ASM:
yes, the ASM is a pain in the ass. I turn it off for every car, which isn't a big deal for me. I agree that it rather hampers than helps. But I don't see the problem in this. Turn it down, and there you go.
It's not active in the dirt track license tests though. Critizising stuff is okay, but you should make sure you got your facts straight first.

car tuning:
I'm afraid I don't see the problem here either. I really like tuning cars (meaning making them drive better, and not ricing them up), and I'm happy with all the possibilites the game offers. I'm sorry, but I can't see anything negative about this.

the AI:
oh well, you can't really say anything positive about this. You hit the nail on the head there.

Like I said before, I spent a lot of time with this game, and I tried to find out everything about it. As a byproduct, I discovered that it was released too early. As it seems, there were so many delays in development that Sony forced Polyphony Digital to release it at the beginning of last year. Unfortunately, they were not quite finished with it, so it has more flaws than it was supposed to have. Additionally, it suffers badly from the PS2s lack of computing power. As a result, GT4 is worse than it should and could have been. Still, I think this is a very good game, and I never regret buying it for one second. In minutes of fun per money, this is on top of my leaderboard by far.

About your "review": There were some more things that bugged me when reading this, but I don't want to go in detail there. I can't help it, but I got the impression that you wanted to say something negative about this game. So, you didn't write a neutral summary of your experiences. Instead, you picked on the things you specifically didn't like, to give the whole story a "don't buy this crap!"-undertone. And I'm not so sure if that is a good basis to start a discussion about GT4 on.

Regards
the Interceptor

Posted by the Interceptor at April 18, 2006 02:01 PM

Hello Peterb.

I was also brought from a link at a GT Forum.
I took time to read this review and found some things id like to say too.

Firstly, no Gran Turismo is a waste of money or a piece of crap. This game is one of the many that revolutionized the PS2, so to speak. Many others have also given the PS2 a boost in reputation.

The graphics are excellent. There is probably like 2% pixelation, but you really have to reconsider because many people have told me "Were you there?" because the photos are so real with photomode or replay.

Oh, and on your last comment. GT4 IS the pinnacle of drivivng games. No other driving game has such nice graphics or even this amount of cars. 722 cars!!

Just leaving my opinion

Posted by IM at April 18, 2006 04:34 PM

peterb, you are a total idiot. I presume your favourite game is Bugs Bunny, no?

Maybe you should come visit one of the biggest GT sites on the net (87 thousand members, 13,000 threads about GT4, 400,000 posts about GT4)(click my name)(the Interceptor hails from there too) so we can bite your little obnoxious head off... we'll enjoy it, I'm sure...

Posted by screw you peterb at April 18, 2006 06:42 PM

If you hate this game so much, why dont you just go kill yourself, because there are sooo many other games that are nothing in comparison to GT4, and if you think there is a better simulator out there, then tell me so i can look for the fake game you told me.

- 100% a GT fan

Posted by Peterb is gay at April 18, 2006 07:03 PM

> If you hate this game so much, why dont you just go kill yourself

Er, because the idea that I might kill myself because some random game sucks is stupid?

Is this one of those trick questions I've heard so much about?

-peterb

PS: Actually, I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy a videogame about Bugs Bunny more than I enjoyed GT4.

Posted by peterb at April 18, 2006 07:37 PM

Look "screw you peterb" and "peterb is gay".
why dont you just lay off him? why is it so wrong to do that? peterb, i am ImprezaAddict from GTP, or IM as i put a little up. i totally respect you as a person, although i strongly disagree with your review. so you two mofos lay the f*uck off him, and you must be from GTP.
PETERB IS NOT GAY AND WHY SCREW PETERB FOR THAT? SCREW YOURSLEF MOFO.

Posted by IM at April 18, 2006 08:47 PM

I have no opinion on whether or not GT4 r00lz or sux00rs. On the other hand, I have serious negative opinions about anyone infantile enough to believe that calling someone "gay" is a meaningful insult. It's as if the insulter's mental development ceased in the mid-80s.

Posted by Dr. Click at April 18, 2006 09:12 PM

WOW, Peterb or whatever your nick is, I' amazed at the way you take your frustration on GT4, and u know P. A lot of people hate games with passion mostly for two TRUE reasons.

1: Expected too much from a game and didn't get satisfied.

2: YOU COULDN'T HANDLE THE GAME.

well, whatever the reason is, I hope that you are/were some sort of engineer student to criticize the physics of the game, and suggest how the tunning in the game can dramatically improve. I agree with the interceptor when he said that you only pointed out your bad experiences with the game, and I know that GT4 is probably not "the best" racing/driving game out there (and I would like you to tell me a game that satisfies all of your needs that weren't met while playing GT4) and I know that you probably were expecting a much better game, BUT...if you tell me that you enjoyed more playing a game like NFSU or Midnight CLub or Burnout...please go to your nearest church and pray to God to forgive you of the "review" that you just wrote on GT4 and start playing a real racing game, please...

From GTP...Mr.OzzyGT

Ciao...

Posted by Mr.OzzyGT at April 18, 2006 09:21 PM

"If you turn off the ASM, the handling of the cars becomes much more accurate, and the game becomes much more fun."

Well, that was the only worthwhile sentence I could find in the whole pot of overcooked porridge you threw up there, Peter. Maybe if you had done a little bit of manual reading, you might have come across that bit of knowledge, and you wouldn't hate God and your mommie so much.

I suggest that if you want to write a review, you start off by not being determined to hate things from the get-go. I wrote a comparative review, a side by side comparison of the Mercedes SLR round the Laguna Seca on both Gran Turismo 4 and Forza at the Forza Central board here:

http://www.forzacentral.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11812

You might try something along these lines next time you decide to review anything. Talking like an IRC smacktard might impress your buds, but mostly you'll just get people to think of you as just another grumpy IRC smacktard.

Oh, and the fact that you like arcady games like Rallisport Challenge and Project Gotham says a lot. Chow mein.

Posted by Tenacious R at April 18, 2006 09:31 PM

There's another thing. Even though Gran Turismo 4 is obviously a video game on a now anemic console, and the video is obviously not real, it looks pretty darn real if you aren't looking for the graphic earmarks that it's a PS2 game. I'm still utterly amazed at how good GT4 looks. It really shouldn't be possible to look that good on a game system with a measly 4 megs of video ram.

Posted by Tenacious R at April 18, 2006 09:43 PM

Mr.OzzyGT forgot the third TRUE reason why people hate games with a passion:

3. The game truly SUCKED ASS and the owner played through it heroically only out of SHEER BLODDYMINDEDNESS.

...which explains why I hate Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty. That's 24 hours of my life I'll never get back, wasted just to know how it ended.

Posted by Dr. Click at April 21, 2006 07:18 PM

Why complain about B spec mode if you don't like it don't use it same with photo mode there's people who do enjoy them and b spec mode how many people want to race for 24 hours? I sure as hell don't a lot of the features are there so the game appeals to everyone if the game was just how I would like it no doubt other people would'nt like it.

Also I've had GT4 since release and still play it a fair bit and still enjoy it admittedly the AI sucks but using lower powered cars will bring back the challenge or race ghost replays nothing more challenging than racin yourself trying to screw out that extra tenth tryin new lines just to get past check out GTP forums theres plenty of stuff to do mentioned there and an online race community try joining that plenty of challenge there and the licences are there for a reason if they were optional how realistic would that be because you can go race cars in professional series without a racing licence its there to help increase skill and help the racer through races.

Posted by Leechy at April 25, 2006 09:30 AM

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