VIDEOGAME BLOG! Part 1

Yeah not the most imaginative title but it's the content that counts (that's not to imply that it'll be good but fuck it.)

Watcha ya been playin' dawg?! 

Gran Turismo 5

I've spent approximately €280 on this game, first the Signature Edition for €170 (still safely tucked in the cardboard box which makes me wonder why I bought it) and the GT5 racing wheel by Logitech for €100. Right now you're probably thinking that I'm incredibly stupid for spending an absurd amount of money on a rather mediocre game. Instead I could've bought a 360 with a copy of Forza 3 to which I'll say this; you're right/wrong. I'm not entirely sure what went through Kazunori Yamauchi's head for the past six years when he designed this game and it really just baffles me to the point that I just believe that he's been living in a bubble since GT4 was released. Like Jeff said on the quicklook, it feels very anchored to the past and he's not wrong. 
 
There's isn't one glaring problem but rather a plethora of smaller problems that layer on top of each other, whether it'll be the messy (but functional) interface or the disappointing track editor that I rarely used. The lack of events is a major pain on the later levels. They could've just imported the events from GT4 with some tweaking here and there. Hell, GT4 even had one-make race events that almost every manufacturer had and they were fun. But instead, GT5 decides to take a small fraction of all those events. It does give you some unique challenges but you can only get the rewards once you've done them which means you're tasked to grinding if you want to get more money/experience to which I may add, levelling up takes much longer then it should. Thankfully, Polyphony have added some seasonal events every Thursday that rewards a lot of money and experience but like the challenges, you only get the rewards once. 
Say hello to this Fiat 500 Nuova who's making this blog easier on the eyes.
The A.I. isn't that much different from GT4. In other words, still pretty crap. There's actually a video circulating around YouTube showcasing the terrible it's stupidity in comparison's to Forza 3's more smarter A.I. Contrary to the video, the A.I. does in fact swerve around to avoid you or let you pass if need be but that's only when you get to higher levels. Having said that, it's still really awful. The problem with the A.I. is that it always feels like it's tied to the racing line and completely ignores any other drivers around them which brings me onto the next problem. B-Spec Mode. What happened to you man? You used to be cool(-ish)! Like those few times when I got too bored to do any endurance races and you stepped in for me but now you've run off and started off a separate career from mine? It's a shame that you're too thick to drive properly so you need me to tell you how to drive but even then you're probably going to ignore me most of the time. Doesn't help when you're too spineless to take any risks or simply trying to overtake the car that YOU'RE CURRENTLY RAMMING THE BACK OF. You twit. 
 
So do I regret spending €280 on this? Not at all. For one thing the game does offer over a thousand cars. Yes, only 200 of those cars are premium and yes the other 800 are just are just hi-def versions of GT4 models but they all still drive perfectly fine thanks to the GT5 wheel and not to mention that they're all internally customisable at the very least which is all I could really care for. I won't deny that some standard cars look awful with their stretched, blurry textures and the fact that the damage modelling isn't too great but hey, I drive using the bonnet view and crashing cars is the last thing I want to do in this game. Premium cars look fantastic and they make a great excuse to show off the games beautiful graphics engine. From the Mercedes-Benz 300SL to the Ferrari F40, taking pictures with the in-game photo function makes it a joy to share your collection.
 I'm nursing a semi right now.
There are other factors that I can appreciate too. I can listen to my own music instead of that rather awful jazz that they've got quite an abundance of. Go-karting is pretty fun when you've the hang of it. There's different track layouts for the Nürburgring. There's a day/night cycle (which you can only witness on endurance races but still looks awesome. (and hard to see.)) Driving with a wheel feels satisfying and more fun than a controller. Online community seems decent. Finally there's this: 
 
 Now you see it. Soon you won't.
At level 30 you'll unlock the Sebastian Vettlel challenge where you're pitted against his ghost around three different tracks. Both of you driving the Red Bull X2010 car (see above.) Now if you don't know anything about this car let me put it this way, it's a super-F1 car. What's more, it can be built in today's technology. The only problem being is that it's stupidly fast, even around corners thanks to it being a fan-car like the Chapparal 2J. Those challenges are perhaps the hardest races I've ever done and this comes from someone who finished all the Gran Turismo games in his life. But if you do manage to get a bronze medal in all the Vettel challenges then you're in for luck. You get this car. Not just any car though, but perhaps the fastest car you've ever driven in a console racing simulator. This alone is one good reason why I still play this game. It's got so many faults but it's also super quirky in it's design. Most people will hate it and that's perfectly fine but it won't change the fact that I love this game for what it is. The folks over at Polyphony Digital have a great passion for cars as well as their history and their technology and it shows.

P.S: I've never played Forza 3 but I appreciate it for what it is since it's got some great ideas and it is a better game then GT5. To put it simply, GT5 is James May and Forza 3 is Jeremy Clarkson. 
 
P.P.S: This is way longer then I intended so I'll post up my thoughts on the other games later.
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Posted by eroticfishcake

Yeah not the most imaginative title but it's the content that counts (that's not to imply that it'll be good but fuck it.)

Watcha ya been playin' dawg?! 

Gran Turismo 5

I've spent approximately €280 on this game, first the Signature Edition for €170 (still safely tucked in the cardboard box which makes me wonder why I bought it) and the GT5 racing wheel by Logitech for €100. Right now you're probably thinking that I'm incredibly stupid for spending an absurd amount of money on a rather mediocre game. Instead I could've bought a 360 with a copy of Forza 3 to which I'll say this; you're right/wrong. I'm not entirely sure what went through Kazunori Yamauchi's head for the past six years when he designed this game and it really just baffles me to the point that I just believe that he's been living in a bubble since GT4 was released. Like Jeff said on the quicklook, it feels very anchored to the past and he's not wrong. 
 
There's isn't one glaring problem but rather a plethora of smaller problems that layer on top of each other, whether it'll be the messy (but functional) interface or the disappointing track editor that I rarely used. The lack of events is a major pain on the later levels. They could've just imported the events from GT4 with some tweaking here and there. Hell, GT4 even had one-make race events that almost every manufacturer had and they were fun. But instead, GT5 decides to take a small fraction of all those events. It does give you some unique challenges but you can only get the rewards once you've done them which means you're tasked to grinding if you want to get more money/experience to which I may add, levelling up takes much longer then it should. Thankfully, Polyphony have added some seasonal events every Thursday that rewards a lot of money and experience but like the challenges, you only get the rewards once. 
Say hello to this Fiat 500 Nuova who's making this blog easier on the eyes.
The A.I. isn't that much different from GT4. In other words, still pretty crap. There's actually a video circulating around YouTube showcasing the terrible it's stupidity in comparison's to Forza 3's more smarter A.I. Contrary to the video, the A.I. does in fact swerve around to avoid you or let you pass if need be but that's only when you get to higher levels. Having said that, it's still really awful. The problem with the A.I. is that it always feels like it's tied to the racing line and completely ignores any other drivers around them which brings me onto the next problem. B-Spec Mode. What happened to you man? You used to be cool(-ish)! Like those few times when I got too bored to do any endurance races and you stepped in for me but now you've run off and started off a separate career from mine? It's a shame that you're too thick to drive properly so you need me to tell you how to drive but even then you're probably going to ignore me most of the time. Doesn't help when you're too spineless to take any risks or simply trying to overtake the car that YOU'RE CURRENTLY RAMMING THE BACK OF. You twit. 
 
So do I regret spending €280 on this? Not at all. For one thing the game does offer over a thousand cars. Yes, only 200 of those cars are premium and yes the other 800 are just are just hi-def versions of GT4 models but they all still drive perfectly fine thanks to the GT5 wheel and not to mention that they're all internally customisable at the very least which is all I could really care for. I won't deny that some standard cars look awful with their stretched, blurry textures and the fact that the damage modelling isn't too great but hey, I drive using the bonnet view and crashing cars is the last thing I want to do in this game. Premium cars look fantastic and they make a great excuse to show off the games beautiful graphics engine. From the Mercedes-Benz 300SL to the Ferrari F40, taking pictures with the in-game photo function makes it a joy to share your collection.
 I'm nursing a semi right now.
There are other factors that I can appreciate too. I can listen to my own music instead of that rather awful jazz that they've got quite an abundance of. Go-karting is pretty fun when you've the hang of it. There's different track layouts for the Nürburgring. There's a day/night cycle (which you can only witness on endurance races but still looks awesome. (and hard to see.)) Driving with a wheel feels satisfying and more fun than a controller. Online community seems decent. Finally there's this: 
 
 Now you see it. Soon you won't.
At level 30 you'll unlock the Sebastian Vettlel challenge where you're pitted against his ghost around three different tracks. Both of you driving the Red Bull X2010 car (see above.) Now if you don't know anything about this car let me put it this way, it's a super-F1 car. What's more, it can be built in today's technology. The only problem being is that it's stupidly fast, even around corners thanks to it being a fan-car like the Chapparal 2J. Those challenges are perhaps the hardest races I've ever done and this comes from someone who finished all the Gran Turismo games in his life. But if you do manage to get a bronze medal in all the Vettel challenges then you're in for luck. You get this car. Not just any car though, but perhaps the fastest car you've ever driven in a console racing simulator. This alone is one good reason why I still play this game. It's got so many faults but it's also super quirky in it's design. Most people will hate it and that's perfectly fine but it won't change the fact that I love this game for what it is. The folks over at Polyphony Digital have a great passion for cars as well as their history and their technology and it shows.

P.S: I've never played Forza 3 but I appreciate it for what it is since it's got some great ideas and it is a better game then GT5. To put it simply, GT5 is James May and Forza 3 is Jeremy Clarkson. 
 
P.P.S: This is way longer then I intended so I'll post up my thoughts on the other games later.
Posted by JJWeatherman

I'm glad you can enjoy GT5 for what it is instead of hate it for what it isn't. Seems like few people can do that these days. I've been getting back into Froza 3 lately. Still haven't finished every event with a gold, so I'm plugging away. With the help of podcasts, it's a nice relaxing time. If there's one issue with Forza, it's that it doesn't force difficulty. I've found GT to be totally different. In GT I just accept when I can't get gold in an event. It seems impossible at times. In Forza, just turn down the difficulty and switch on Traction Control and Anti-lock brakes and you can easily win any event. I appreciate both sides, but in Forza, I can never bring myself to set it up for a real challenge; I always win. But still, I think I'd rather always win, then feel like I'll never win. I'll stop ranting now.
 
(I don't understand your James May/Jeremy Clarkson reference. Probably because I've heard of neither of those fellows.)

Posted by Yummylee

I've never been one for racing games in general, though I remember having a polygonal blast with Gran Turismo 2 back in the days. I was young(er) back then, though, so long as something was moving on the screen, it was enough keep my attention firmly lodged to the TV.. 
 
I don't think I'll ever even give GT5 a try, but good to know you're finding a lot of fun out of it, despite acknowledging it's numerable issues. It's all I see you playing on PSN, as well :P 
 
Looking forward to your Demon's Souls blog!

Posted by eroticfishcake
@JJWeatherman: James May and Jeremy Clarkson are two presenters for the popular motoring show, TopGear. Regardless of that, the point is that the GT series has always been really passionate about motor cars, as in the technical, historical and cultural impacts that they have whereas Forza is more about fun and accessibility. They're really just two sides to the same coin really. 
 
GT does has some real difficult challenges (Vettel Challenge I'm looking at you) but in the normal races you can very easily win any of them provided that you get the right car and just spam it with upgrades. Of course, that's pretty costly so I guess that's the offset of doing so. The thing with Forza is that there's a better sense of achievement considering how you can get better rewards based on the driving aids you use. Anyway, thanks for reading.
Posted by JJWeatherman

the GT series has always been really passionate about motor cars, as in the technical, historical and cultural impacts that they have whereas Forza is more about fun and accessibility.    

I agree that Forza is much more accessible, but you shouldn't discount their passion for cars. Those Turn 10 guys know a lot about a lot when it comes to cars.
Posted by eroticfishcake
@JJWeatherman: Oh I'm not saying that the Turn10 lads aren't passionate about cars, it's just I feel that PD just show it more. I'm a big petrolhead myself so either way I'll be playing a lot of Forza too if I had a 360.