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Gran Turismo 4: My In-Depth Review of What's New on the PS2

26 Feb 2005  |  Tags: , , ,

Today I snagged a copy of Gran Turismo 4, and it’s pretty damn good. I was always a fan of GT3, but they’ve really pushed the PS2 to the max this time.

What’s Missing: Online Play… you have to use XLink Kai to tunnel through your Mac or PC. (hey, at least there’s a solution!)

What Kicks: HDTV 1080i 16:9 output while racing (this is FABULOUS if your TV supports it, and there’s also Progressive Scan output in 480p) it looks almost perfect… seriously, and USB Storage Device/Epson Printer support… for taking photos of your car. (this is my new favorite feature)

As I mentioned, you can take photos of your cars in the game and either save them to a USB storage device (such as a thumbdrive) for viewing or sharing on the computer, or you can print them out with a supported Epson printer. (the PictureMate is a great choice!)

Of course, MY thumbdrive doesn’t work with *anything* so that was refused by my PS2, but since I had a USB Zip Drive, I figured I’d give that a try. To my surprise, IT WORKED! The first time I tried it, it had to spin up the disc and the game still rejected it, but the second time and every other time after that it worked just fine!

I felt like kind of an idiot hooking up my Zip Drive to my PS2…

…but at least the results were positive.

Lucky for me, GT4 lets you import your GT3 saved game… up to 100,000 credits (like dollars, but GT style) and both the elementary B and A licenses. This saved a LOT of time and gave their die-hard fans a head start… which I really appreciated.

The first thing I hit up was the Options screen. Transmission style to Manual (who uses Automatic on GT anyway?), video output to 1080i HDTV, 16:9 screen size, and last, *saves the game*. This thing’s memory file is like 1.5MB which sucked ‘cause I didn’t have enough diskspace… I had to dump my old Grand Theft Auto 3 game file (which was almost a full meg), but that was alright. I was set to go.

Since I was able to import 100,000 credits… I now had 110,000 credits (100,000 + the 10,000 they give you to start). This was 7,000 credits away from an Audi RS6… and I was pissed off because I had no car to get those extra few thousands!! I ended up grabbing a silver S4 and was able to buy some badass parts for it. I grabbed all upgrade parts *except* the stage-3 engine upgrade kit because it was 80,000 credits (more than the car cost!) and I didn’t have enough. Since buying a stage-1 or stage-2 is a waste of money when upgrading (the old parts cannot be combined), this was the best choice.

After doing a couple of races, I immediately noticed that the new game was a lot more difficult… even though a lot of the tracks were brought back from the old game! (they re-did most of them with new routes, as there were some that were closed before, and improved detail… it’s not like they were lazy or something heh) It’s very realistic, and I had a lot of fun playing for a bit.

After playing around in the Professional racing section for a bit and earning a few credits, I moved onto the “Special Conditon” racing section… and completed all of the races in there that did not require special tires or an iB or iA license. This gave me 20 or 30 thousand credits, and a few sick cars other than my audi:

Of course, the two that caught my eye were the Toyota rally car and the Cadillac with 760HP. I quickly learned that the Cadillac is actually a total piece of crap, though. It takes forever to shift (we’re talking like a full second and a half or so) and it just drives terribly. The only time’s sick is when you’re driving on a straight-away… then it’s pretty damn fast! However, I’d say stay away from this model, or sell it. I have yet to try the Toyota.

For the rest of the time, I played around with the Photo mode… taking pictures of the S4 I originally bought. Photo mode is in the top-left corner of the map and generally when you take pictures its hit-or-miss whether they’ll actually look real or not. Of the 30 photos I took, 13 of them were really good, and the others were either close to decent or terrible. Overall I was impressed with the quality presented by the Photo mode, and its USB capabilities.

Attached are a few of my favorite pictures I took. Enjoy!

Overall, this game is sick. (you need to buy it. lol) I might post some videos a little later on, so check back!

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