Steam Custom Images: PlayStation, ePSXe, Gran Turismo, Moto Racer

Steam icon 48x48Steam now allows you to set custom images for all items in your library, including non-Steam games. Here are a few images I have made for myself derived from official artworks and images found on Google Image Search. If you are the copyright holder or original artist and wish me to remove an image, please contact me.

These PlayStation images are the latest updates to the full list of Steam custom images.

The first item in the list is a PNG template that I’m using for all my PlayStation games.

PlayStation Steam template
PlayStation Steam template
ePSXe 1.7.0
ePSXe 1.7.0
Gran Turismo PlayStation
Gran Turismo PlayStation
Gran Turismo 2 PlayStation
Gran Turismo 2 PlayStation
Moto Racer PlayStation
Moto Racer PlayStation

Race Pro (2009, Racing Game, 360) – 8/10 review

Creative Director: Diego Sartori
Game Designer: Diego Sartori
Technical Director: Ola Olsson
Lead Programmer: Michael Andersson

Race Pro (2009)

8/10

I hate AI that isn’t affected by grass and gravel and kerbs and camber and G-forces and momentum and variable grip and their line through corners and your car being in their way and you driving into the side of them at 100mph and, like most racing games, Race Pro is guilty of this. So why the high score? Communication. Race Pro communicates the relationship of the driver to the car and car to the track more successfully than just about any other console game. This means that every single time you crash, understeer, oversteer, slide or nail a corner oh-so-sweetly, you know exactly why. Every time. Forza Motorsport 2 and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue are more forgiving and far more polished and Ferrari Challenge: Trofeo Pirelli has more heart, but this is probably the best driving experience available on 360 or PS3 at this time.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec (2001, PS2 exclusive) – 9/10 racing game review

AmazonBuy Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec at Amazon

Cast / crew
Game Designer: Kazunori Yamauchi

Gran Turismo Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec (2001)

1 or 2 players offline.

Starting with a small number of credits, purchase cars and upgrades till you’ve won every race and championship available.

9/10

While Gran Turismo 2: A-Spec may have been a more accurate, if mean, title, this game offers reference-quality graphics (not matched by any other PlayStation 2 game for about five years), an astonishing number of challenges and mildly improved (though still dull) A.I. but it takes significantly longer to get its addictive hooks into you. For me, the main reason for this is that there is no longer a racing modification available for ordinary cars and so you have little motivation to keep upgrading your car because it will just look the same even if it goes like stink.

Gran Turismo 4 (2005, PS2, PS3) – 9/10

Gran Turismo 4 (2005)

Drive about 700 cars (from AC Cars, Acura, Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Amuse Power House, ASL, Aston Martin, Audi, Autobianchi, Bentley, Blitz, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Callaway, Caterham, Chaparral Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroën, Cizeta Automobili, Daihatsu, DMC Dodge, Dome, Eagle, Fiat, Ford, Ford Australia, FPV, Gillet Automobiles, Ginetta, HKS, Holden, Hommell, Honda, HPA Motorsports, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jay Leno, Jensen Healey suisse, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lister, Lotus, Marcos, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, MG Mine’s, Mini, Mitsubishi Motors, Mugen Nike, Nismo, Nissan, Opel, Opera Performance, Pagani Automobili Modena, Panoz, Pescarolo Sport, Peugeot, Plymouth, Polyphony Digital, Pontiac, Proto Motors, RE Amemiya, Renault, RUF, Saleen, Seat, Shelby, Spoon Sports, Spyker, Subaru, Suzuki, Tommy kaira, Tom’s, Toyota, TRD Racing Development, Trial Tuning Spirit, Triumph, TVR, Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Volvo) personally or manage a B-spec driver across over 40 tracks (Circuit de la Sarthe I, Fuji Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Laguna Seca Raceway, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Suzuka Circuit, Twin Ring Motegi, Tsukuba Circuit, Cathedral Rocks Trail, Chamonix, Grand Canyon, Ice Arena, Swiss Alps, Tahiti Maze, Apricot Hill Raceway, Autumn Ring, Deep Forest Raceway, El Capitan, Grand Valley East Section, Grand Valley Speedway, High-speed Ring, Midfield Raceway, Trial Mountain Circuit, Citta di Aria, Clubman Stage Route 5, Costa di Amalfi, Côte d’Azur, George V Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Opera Paris, Seattle Circuit, Seoul Central, Tokyo Route 246, Special Stage Route 5, Test Course, Las Vegas Drag Strip, Driving Park, Test Course, Gymkhana, Motorland, Beginner Course; many with multiple configurations and reverse direction), earning money for race wins to spend on new cars and upgrades.

9/10

Graphically astonishing ultimate driving simulator. Sadly, the computer AI continues to be breathtakingly awful making this a long way short of the ultimate racing simulator. The cars looks entirely wonderful and the tracks look just as good with the new El Capitan and Citta di Aria circuit particularly breathtaking. The superbly communicative presentation of each car’s handling is, amazingly, notably better than on Gran Turismo 3 and the boys at Polyphony Digital also offer us two major new features in the shape of Photo Mode (which became an almost standard mode on, oddly, Xbox 360 driving games) and B-spec where you issue orders to an AI driver. So, despite deficient opponent AI, let me reiterate, simply driving in this game is better than racing in most other games. Yes, “the drive of your life” if not the race.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) HD HDR 1920×1080 widescreen wallpapers

I just love the photo-taking options in console games. It was probably kicked off in style by Gran Turismo 4 which was brilliant because it generated a higher resolution image that the game ran at (the game ran at 640×480 on NTSC and slightly higher vertically on PAL but the photo renders were 1280×1024 or 1024×1280).

The nice thing about photo modes in console games is that they are much more than a simple screen capture. They allow you to position the camera and adjust various photographic properties. Xbox 360 launch title PGR Project Gotham Racing 3 has a nice photo mode and was probably the best-looking of the first wave of titles. It also renders photos at a slightly higher resolution than the game runs and produces 1280×720 pictures which can be uploaded and accessed over the Internet.

I used it to produce this 1920×1080 HD wallpaper of a Jaguar XJ220:

Jaguar XJ220 1920×1080

Very nice, but then it then struck me that, because one of the photographic options is exposure, it would be possible to generate photographs that could be combined to make a HDR photo. An HDR photo is made by digitally combining several different exposures of the same shot.

These are the differently exposed originals of a McLaren F1 jumping next to The Triangle Building in Tokyo:

  

These were combined to produce the follow 1280×720 HDR photo which was then enlarged and tweaked to produce a 1920×1080 HD HDR widescreen wallpaper.

McLaren F1 1280×720

McLaren F1 1920×1080

Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec (2001, PS2)

Gran Turismo 3 Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 3: A-spec (2001)

1 or 2 players offline.

Starting with a small number of credits, purchase cars and upgrades till you’ve won every race and championship available.

9/10

While Gran Turismo 2: A-Spec may have been a more accurate, if mean, title, this game offers reference-quality graphics (not matched by any other PlayStation 2 game for about five years), an astonishing number of challenges and mildly improved (though still dull) A.I. but it takes significantly longer to get its addictive hooks into you. For me, the main reason for this is that there is no longer a racing modification available for ordinary cars and so you have little motivation to keep upgrading your car because it will just look the same even if it goes like stink.

Classified OK 3+ by ELSPA. Content OK 3+.

Gran Turismo: Real Driving Simulator 2, The (1999, PS1) – 10/10

Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 2 (1999)

1 player GT mode offline, 1 or 2 player Arcade mode offline.

Starting with lowly production cars, win races of all classes and disciplines to earn money to enhance your car and expand your garage, ultimately getting your hands on limited edition, ultra-rare full-on sportscars with outrageous performance.

10/10

The most comprehensive driving simulator by far at the time, Gran Turismo 2 has astounding breadth and is instantly brilliant in nearly every department. It’s one and only weakness – it is too easy, a fact concealed only by its length – is not enough to prevent it getting the full ten. Polyphony Digital once again provide a wonderful showcase of brilliantly designed and rendered environments for their exemplary driving experience that is convincing, challenging and, crucially, fun.

Gran Turismo (1998, PS1) – 10/10

Gran Turismo (1998)

10/10

Genre-defining racing game classic. I’ve taken another look at it almost ten years on now and the driving is as good as ever. Using a PC emulator, I had it set up with a high resolution display and analogue steering and analogue brake and accelerate on the Xbox 360 Controller shoulder triggers. Worked like a charm (aside from an humungous ePSXe-introduced dead-zone in the steering which has be got used to). Ridiculously, a lot of sim-slanted driving games since do not match this great game for that feel of being in control of a vehicle and knowing what it is doing from the vibration and screen feedback.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Ferrari F1

One of the unexpected joys of reaching the end-game of Gran Turismo 3 was the reward of being given a Formula One in all but name. They were called Polyphony001 and Polyphony002 and were Williams F1 cars with different paint jobs. Though I haven’t got there yet myself, there were also F1 cars in Gran Turismo 4.

ThreeSpeech and the official PlayStation.Blog today gave us photographic evidence of a fully licensed Scuderia Ferrari F2007 F1 car in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue PAL and I am rendered near speechless. Drool over the screenshots below (you can click to zoom the Shareapic hosted image for the full resolution version) and make sure you mop up afterwards.

UPDATE 8 April 2008: You need to complete Class S (at least bronze in every event) before you can purchase this car. Oh, and, on the European version, it costs 2,000,000 credits and the largest prize money is 35,000 credits. Start saving…


On track renders: is it just me or are these genuinely photo-realistic?


Renders


Screenshots (notable jaggies in second one, hmm)

Pictures hosted at Shareapic.

TVR Speed 12: Top Gear Forza Motorsport 2 custom paint job

After the nightmare of trying to manhandle the TVR Tuscan S around, well, anything I wasn’t looking forward to driving around in my favourite car from Gran Turismo 2: TVR’s mental concept car, the Speed 12. Imagine my delight, then, as I found the car to be much more predictable than the Tuscan S and super-fast.

To reward it, I plastered my Top Gear logo all over it which I had designed but never really used properly. Since the car had a lovely metallic maroon colour that I wanted to keep, I had to pick a best match for the inside of the gear in the logo but it looks fine, especially in motion. To round things off I added a custom BBC logo (not quite right, I know), a Union flag and my custom manufacturer logos for Peniston Oils and Larsens Biscuits.

Be The Stig!

I’m already a Gran Turismo fanboy but today’s announcement of a collaboration between the best driving game franchise in the world and the best motoring show in the world, BBC’s Top Gear, is joyous news.

Though pricing hasn’t been announced, Gran Turismo 5‘s GT TV feature will see 40 episodes of Clarkson and friends’ driving sideways, going ‘arrr’ and talking about yoghurt dripping down Keira Knightley’s something-or-other whilst mixing metaphors like master chefs buzzing around a honey pot.

 

On top of that good news, GT5 will also feature the Top Gear Test Track. This is something particularly close to my heart as I made a version of the Top Gear Test Track layout for Nadeo’s wonderful TrackMania Nations ESWC Edition.

Presumably it will be available for time trial only as the circuit reuses the same bit of tarmac between Follow Through and Chicago. Looking at the track map above the circuit flows thus: Start/Finish, Chicago, Hammerhead, Follow through, Bacharach, Gambon. That said, Top Gear does sometimes feature races between two or three cars on the Top Gear Test Track so let’s hope that some kind of wheel-to-wheel racing does make it in alongside the time trial and, with a bit of luck, drift trial modes.

Slimm Says

Yay!

Links

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue demo review

For a limited time from the 20th October 2007 until 11th November 2007 a PlayStation 3 demo of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is available for download on the Japanese PlayStation Store.

Dummy

First up, this means that if you are a European or American PS3 owner you will need to set up a dummy Japanese PlayStation Network ID. If you haven’t already done so, you can search on Google for a translation of the various screens or you can use this excellent guide.

Enough English

The demo gives you access to Suzuka and, initially, four cars. Enough of the demo is in English or the default button is the one used to progress so that you can navigate successfully without being able to read Kanji script.

To play you select a car and colour from the Showroom (second icon from the left) then select Race (first icon on the left). You can then set some options on your car for driving with automatic or manual gears, adjusting the traction control (that’s the one with the number, default is 5), turning Active Stability Management on or off and choosing your front and rear tyres. The default options will be fine so you select the default button which is the bottom right one.

Impressions: Vrooom

Instantly, one thing strikes you about the demo. The genuine feeling of gripping the tarmac with your car. Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec and Gran Turismo 4 were both very slippy-slidey-skiddy in their feeling of grip. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue demo instantly feels much more like the car you drive every day and convincingly gives you a feeling of weight and grip that is instantly, remarkably, much more satisfying and fun to drive than the PlayStation 2 games. It also encourages you to start exploring the limits of the car whereas the PlayStation 2 games left the limits of the car in the domain of only the most brilliant players.

There is no question that Gran Turismo 5 will reclaim it’s position from Forza Motorsport 2 as “the drive of your life.”

It is clear that Polyphony Digital has not sat on its laurels with regard to the handling. Graphics? Well, this is something where the Gran Turismo series has traditionally shone but here we get the much-modeled Suzuka circuit and not one a Gran Turismo original circuit. Suzuka is modeled well and feels accurate but familiarity breeds contempt and no effort has been made to provide the atmosphere of a circuit. This is not a specific Gran Turismo problem as only Melbourne House’s excellent Grand Prix Challenge has successfully achieved this in recent times and only Geoff Crammond’s legendary Grand Prix series has ever bothered in times past.

An area where the PD boys have come up trumps is with the overall rendering quality which provides an outstanding overall visual package. The default car is a masked Nissan GT-R and the masking looks just like real masking. The metal looks like real metal. This rendering quality continues inside the car with the cars that have the interior available (the Nissan GT-R Blackmask is initially not one of them). The driver’s gloves look like they should and the interiors are simply breathtaking.

The in-car view is the best in-car driving view in any racing game ever.

PD have also generously supplied sixteen Artificial Intelligence opponents and, unlike, all previous Gran Turismo games, I am pleased to report that the AI has never driven into me or attempted to drive through me once. Wheel-to-wheel action is fine though because the demo is on the easy side the AI generally don’t put up any resistance. Even when racing side by side through the Suzuka esses, for example, the AI cars never bumped into me or felt unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged. It appears to be another area of significant improvement.

AI is significantly improved over all previous Gran Turismo games.

The game runs super-smooth even with all sixteen cars, according to the blurb: 16 cars at 60 frames per second and 1080p. That bests Forza Motorsport 2‘s 8 cars at 60 frames per second and 720p by some considerable margin. Like FM2, performance is different during the replay and GT5 Prologue drops its frame-rate target to 30 but, unlike FM2, there is no stuttering at all during replays.

Slimm Says

Gran Turismo 5 is the reason I bought a PlayStation 3 and both this demo and the previous GTHD Concept are providing genuine reasons for glee. Let’s hope that GT5 Prologue sees an European (and American) release and that we don’t have to wait until next October for the full GT5 goodness.

Sega Rally Revo in Genuinely Entertaining videogame trailer shock!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen an entertaining trailer for a video game; one that made me laugh or that I found fun. Well, Sega Rally Revo’s “Drive like a man” viral adverts have changed that.

IGN have posted two ads calling Starting Line and Breakout which can be viewed from their Sega Rally Revo videos page and feature a pair of nice young ladies having their racing impeded with trials that man drivers never knew existed.

Sega Rally Revo is probably the racing game I am most looking forward to this season after Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (16 cars on and offline, 1080p 60fps; I think I just fainted) and these entertaining little ads are keeping it in the forefront of my wallet.

Rallisport Challenge HD widescreen wallpapers

Arguably the best racing game on the Xbox (alongside Forza Motorsport), Rallisport Challenge 2 remains sadly incompatible with the Xbox 360 and there is no sniff of a full seventh-generation sequel.

Here are some HD widescreen wallpapers taken from promotional high resolution renders. These are rendered by the game engine but to a much higher resolution than the native Xbox 640×480 -ish and are generally used for print publications to adorn preview and review pages of the game.

While the makers of a game can choose which resolution they render to, you can do a similar thing yourself with the outstanding Gran Turismo 4 where you can produce a 1280×1024 render from the game engine despite the PlayStation 2 only producing a playing image of 640×480 -ish.

Subaru, clean

Subaru

Lancia

Lancia, clean

Hexic HD (2006, Game, 360) – 8/10 review

Game Designer: Alexy Pajitnov

Hexic HD (2006)

8/10

It’s difficult for a puzzle game to be simple enough to pick up and play, challenging enough to make you start formulating stratagem and fun enough that you complete even a single game and addictive enough that you keep coming back to it. A while ago I said that Gran Turismo HD (for PlayStation 3) was the best freebie ever delivered alongside a console but Hexic HD (for Xbox 360), though not original premium content or an audio-video system showcase, is just as good.

Continue reading “Hexic HD (2006, Game, 360) – 8/10 review”

E3 2007: Gasping for air but no one cares

E3 was the premier press and retailer event for video games. Until this year.

All the big three press conferences underwhelmed by generally showing stuff that had already been seen. Kotaku’s auxiliary interviews with the big-wigs were more interesting and endearing.

Microsoft

Remarkably, Microsoft’s big announcement was the release of Scene-It, a DVD game you can already play on Xbox 360. Their big thing was, however, that this an enhanced version and comes with a ‘speshull’ controller. This is one of the expected but unwanted side-effects of the success of “Guitar Hero” and the Wii controller. Great.

Amazingly, they managed to make almost nothing of the appearance of footage of Resident Evil 5 on 360. This is odd considering the universal accolade heaped upon Resident Evil 4 and the fuss they made over Grand Theft Auto IV.

Something Microsoft did right during E3, however, was the content they added to Xbox Live Marketplace. They added loads of videos and six new playable demos which included flying, driving, shooting and, er, posing with your thumbs-up with a big blue dragon coming out of your butt. Essentially, this meant that 360 owners also felt like they got a taste of what is to come and could both play and see something that they probably would like to purchase. Outstanding.

Nintendo

Nintendo had the most interesting announcement of the event with its Wii Fit software and balance board hardware. However, they drowned it in politically-correct demographically- and dentally-perfect groups of people bonding over the Wii. By the time it came to write their press conference reports, the utter lack of excitement about the Wii Fit package showed that the reporters in attendance were struggling to find the will to live, let alone bash out a thousand words on their word processors.

Nintendo showed Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart and Metroid Prime 3 as their prime software shipments this year. It is interesting that both of these are not going to be games that consumers will consider typical Wii experiences. These are both ‘hardcore’ games and I found the videos of Mario Galaxy to be quickly dull. It wasn’t much fun to watch and only time will tell if it is fun to play.

Sony

Sony concentrated on showing footage of games (50 of them) but not much in the way of new stuff that really piqued interest. That said, they could feel a little unlucky that at least two of their announcements (the price cut and Metal Gear Solid 4 exclusivity) were negatively spun at best.

Killzone 2 looked as impressive as, well, Gears of War and even seemed to borrow the gloopy blood-letting effects of that title. Which is, frankly, not too cool as Gears of War came out last year on a supposedly less powerful system.

Most interesting software from Sony is, by a long way, Little Big Planet with the only possible downer being the single-player experience. Single-player is still the predominant way of experiencing games. Unreal Tournament 2004, for example, is a multi-player only game and yet only half the people who purchased it played it online. Microsoft tells us that they have seven million Xbox Live accounts yet they have sold over eleven million units.

The press were a bit mean to Sony I think. Sony announced a $100 price cut for their 60Gb PS3. It turns out that this is a stock clearance measure to make way for a new wave of 80Gb PS3’s which will come bundled with some good stuff worth a little over $100 itself. The press leapt on this and spat and moaned until they saw blood but they were, as usual, making a drama out of nothing. The fact remains, you could go out and buy a PS3 for $100 less than you could last week. And in any case, buying a $100-off 60Gb PS3 plus the bundled items separately works out more expensive than buying the 80Gb PS3. It is a price cut any way you slice it but it wasn’t really reported as such.

Secondly, Sony wheeled out Hideo Kojima who announced that Metal Gear Solid 4 is a PS3 exclusive and that it is currently not in development for any other platform. While that seems pretty unequivocal, the press decided that he was lying and that MGS4 will be coming to Xbox 360 some time after PS3 and that that version is being simultaneously developed.

Unlike Microsoft, Sony didn’t make their console owners feel good and only managed to dribble out a couple of trailers and zero playable demos on the PlayStation store. One of the trailers was a typically baffling effort for Metal Gear Solid 4 though it serves as a good reminder that it is due sometime early next year and, like Metal Gear Solid 2 before it, it will be a system seller. Bizarrely, Sony didn’t even post its own trailers on PlayStation store and you had to download the new trailer for Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, for example, from a Japanese web site.

Slimm Says

The organisers of E3 have shot themselves in the foot. If the big three don’t really care (and the lack of meat in their press conferences shows that), then the journalists won’t really care and then the readers won’t really care. Readers are consumers. But if you don’t give them anything tasty to consume, they won’t. And if they won’t, you will go out of business.

E3 has a second retail / consumer focused segment later this year which I suspect will be much more interesting and successful. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this part of E3 quietly forgotten.

Mister Slimm versus Jeremy Clarkson

UPDATED 28 June 2007: YouTube link updated as former video had been removed.

Just watched a rerun of the Top Gear Christmas 2005 episode with the film where Jeremy Clarkson takes an NSX around Laguna Seca in Polyphony Digital’s brilliant PlayStation 2 driving game Gran Turismo 4 and then takes a real NSX around the real Laguna Seca in Monterrey, California, USA.

I know when I watched it first time, I thought, I’ll have a bash at Jeremy’s lap time. I never got around to it, though, and it didn’t help that I hadn’t made a note of his lap time, anyhoo. This time with finger hovering on the pause key I made a note of his lap time and tried to determine which car settings he had used.

The circuit was selected from the World Circuits menu in Gran Turismo mode but the car was selected from Arcade mode. I imagine the reason for this is that the circuit selection is more visually interesting in the Gran Turismo mode than Arcade, so I decided that Jeremy had performed the lap as an Arcade Mode Timed Run. This left only the tyres as the setup question and I suspect that he chose the default Sports Medium tyres. The other arcade setup options are more related to drivability with a gamepad than actual car performance.

His car (in the game) was a NSX ’01 though it is reported that he had to use a more modern Acura-badged NSX in the real-life attempt. According to the video, the real-life attempt also used the car’s standard tyres (at least, they were treaded).

I drove my runs according to strict rules of sportsmanship so any lap where all four wheels left the track (demarked by the white lines, this includes Turn 1 – the start-finish curve) I made sure I slowed down and let the ghost driver pass and finish the lap ahead of me. Jeremy also appeared to drive a clean lap without cutting Turn 4 or The Corkscrew.

His time in the game was 1’41.148, a time I figured would be a bit ho-hum because of an entirely unjustified prejudice concerning his age and curly hair.

I was wrong. It is an entirely respectable lap and it took me nearly half-an-hour to beat it. I hadn’t played the game for several months but even when I was re-acclimatised to the game (I had previously been playing Ridge Racer V, very different) I was still not nailing the lap satisfactorily.

Eventually, I got the following lap times and, it should be noted, an increased respect for Jeremy Clarkson’s Gran Turismo 4 ability. I also thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. It was a pleasure to revisit this superb driving game.

Gran Turismo 4 mode

Arcade Mode
World Circuits: Laguna Seca
Honda: NSX ’01

Lap times

GT4 Jeremy Clarkson (unknown tyres): 1'41.148
Laguna Seca Jeremy Clarkson: 1'57
GT4 Mister Slimm (Road tyres): 1'44.615
GT4 Mister Slimm (Sports Medium tyres): 1'40.580
GT4 Mister Slimm (Sports Soft tyres): 1'39.963

Photos and links

1'40.580 (Sports Medium)1'44.615 (Road)

Forza Motorsport vs Gran Turismo 4

folder folder

The premier racing franchises on Xbox and PlayStation 2 are pitted against each other. I’ve now played each for about the same length of time (a frankly I-need-to-look-at-my-life six or so weeks).

Discounting pure number crunching (“GT4” has many more cars and tracks) and differences in system capabilities (Forza has extensive online features), this is an attempt to distil the potentially endless comparisons into important bullet points. Or, rather, bullet points that I think are important.

  • Forza was made by programmers, “GT4” by artists.
  • You race your cars in Forza, you drive other people’s cars in “GT4”
  • The racing is better in Forza, the driving is much better in “GT4”.
  • The graphics are forgettably fine in Forza, they are memorably brilliant in “GT4”.
  • Visual car customisation is Forza’s strongest element, in “GT4” it’s the driving experience.
  • Forza is utilitarian, “GT4” is stylish and classy.
  • Forza’s Drivatar is an interesting technical exercise, “GT4” B-Spec is an interesting strategic gameplay element.
  • Forza needs a photo mode because of the wonderful visual car customisation, “GT4” has a photo mode but not as good a reason to use it.
  • Forza has damage and it’s important, “GT4” doesn’t have damage and it’s not.
  • Forza has artificial intelligence opponents, “GT4” has artificial opponents.
  • Forza doesn’t impress people when you demonstrate it, “GT4” does.

If you’re looking for a definitive answer to which is better… Well, they both come out about equal. But “Gran Turismo 4” is better.

Gran Turismo HD Concept 2.0 PlayStation 3 video game review – 8/10

Gran Turismo Gran Turismo HD (2007)

8/10

A generous freebie letting PlayStation 3 owners see what they bought their console for. While it’s not exactly worth £425 (the price of a new console at launch), it is comfortably the most satisfying and impressive free download ever offered on any console.

Continue reading “Gran Turismo HD Concept 2.0 PlayStation 3 video game review – 8/10”