Racing Games - Spoilt For Choice

Ever since I began playing video games I have always enjoyed racing games. Whether it was the arcade or the simulation approach didn't matter to me. As I got older I started to get into the more realistic racing games mainly due to a game that goes by the name Gran Turismo. Fast forward 12 years and I don't think I ever would have believed that Gran Turismo is where it is today. An absolutely stunning looking game with a ton of features to make it one of the front running racing games on the market; and I'm just as excited to get my hands on it today as I was as an 11 year old turning his first laps around Laguna Seca.  
But as I think about the time that I will probably spend with GT5, I look at the other racing games releasing in the near future or are already out. One such game that brings back some fond memories is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Much like GT, I put quite a bit of time into Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, one of the last great NFS games before they turned to shit. The major reason I'm excited about this particular entry to the series is that it's being developed by Criterion, the same people who made my personal favourite arcade racer, Burnout Paradise. I've seen one video and already I feel the need to get my hands on it. This poses a problem as NFS: HP releases around the same time as GT5. No problem you say, GT5 during the day NFS during the night (or some other time share thing between the two).
Recently I have been engrossed in what I think is one of the finest racing sims ever made, iRacing. "It's like WoW for racers" is something I've heard more than once and not having played WoW I wouldn't know if that's accurate, but I am quite addicted to the service. The ease of use of the site and the fact that I don't always have to race against "aliens" is something that is a great positive for someone who is as middle-of-the-pack as I am. I feel as though I'm too far in to jump out now, sure it's expensive, but I've never had an experience like it.  
Finally we have the upcoming F1 2010 by Codemasters. Releasing in September, this might provide a nice run into GT5 and NFS: HP. I still would like to see some more of the sim physics on display, but the lure of an official F1 game, especially once as good looking as this, might be too great for me to resist a purchase. Then if it does turn out to be a competent sim racing game, more hours of my day will be devoted to F1 2010. 
At this point in time I can see myself playing iRacing all throughout this time, F1 2010 from release up until GT5 and then GT5 for a long time after I have purchased it. Perhaps NFS: HP will have to wait? Who knows, one thing I do know for certain is that it is a great time to be a racing game fan. So much choice...I love it! 
Also, I just remembered that rFactor 2 is supposed to be coming out towards the end of this year or the start of next year, bloody hell.

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 One word leaps to mind when I think of GTA 4, repetition. Having recently finished it on the PC I've developed a mini-hate for GTA 4, and to a lesser extent, the whole GTA series. How many times do I have to kill a countless number of people to get the information I need? How many times do I have to collect/steal something just so I can do it again 10 minutes later? In the context of GTA 4 I realise that it could be passed off as you need to do these jobs so you can get to the higher ups and then find that special someone. But far out if by the 20th time I'm not completely sick of it. By the end of that game I was just recklessly blasting anybody who stood in my way because who I was killing or what I was stealing meant nothing to me any more.   

 Then, finally, you find the person who you've been searching for, which, for me, was one of the most anti-climatic “the whole point of the game is taking place now” moments I've ever had the misfortune to witness. The more concerning issue at that time was how much further I had to go before I could shift GTA 4 into the 'beaten' category in my Steam games list (thankfully only a handful of pointless shootouts). As I kept killing nameless people during the final moments of GTA 4 I thought, sure shooting people is fun and all, but there comes a time when it drags on for too long. There needs to be some variety, I don't know what, but just something to break the monotony.  

 Perhaps part of my frustrations with this game is that I powered through the main missions without breaking to do other things, but even then, what else is there to do? Kill people, steal cars and cause chaos, the same thing I'd be doing regardless if it was a story mission or not. I think finishing GTA 4 might have turned me off not only the GTA series, but other similar open world games. Is it fatigue or am I just not liking this genre any more? I don't know. For now I'm going to step away for a while, I may get back on the horse at a later date.

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GB, you've done it again!

The lure of quests to complete and being rewarded with meaningless points and levels has brought me back to Giant Bomb. Previously I only visited for the video content and the podcast.
Having gone through the majority of the quests, I have seen Giant Bomb in a different light. It offers so much and I have yet to take any advantage of it.
It's also made me think about keeping a blog, just having somewhere to write down whatever is on my mind is something I might benefit from.
Who knows...stay tuned for either more blogging or a blank page.

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