PGR: Project Gotham Racing 3 (2005, Game, 360) – 8/10

Project Lead: Gren Atherton
Project Lead: Beverley Bright
Project Lead: Nick Bygrave
Project Lead: Derek Chapman
Project Lead: Alan Mealor
Project Lead: Roger Perkins
Project Lead: Mark Sharratt
Project Lead: Ben O’Sullivan
Project Lead: Paul Spencer
Project Lead: Ged Talbot
Project Lead: Gareth Wilson
Project Lead: Ian Wilson
Project Lead: Nick Wiswell
Game Vision: Martyn Chudley

Project Gotham Racing 3 (2005)

Race cars and bikes against each other and against the clock and against your ability to drive stylishly across five locations around the world (Las Vegas, London, New York City, Nürburgring, Tokyo). Solo Career and Race Against the Clock provide single player challenges and Xbox Live Gold-only modes provide multiplayer gameplay.

8/10

The joy is returned to Project Gotham Racing after the gut-punching misery of PGR2’s solo mode. Obviously the wonderful graphics upgrade delivered by the 360 is highly noticeable (this remains one of the 360’s best-looking games even three years and a sequel later) but almost all areas of the game have been tweaked for the better. Unless you want to be pushed into going on a killing spree, you might want to hold off on Hardcore mode street races for a while because the game cheats horribly and the Time vs Kudos and Cone Challenge events are ridiculous (you should have been restricted to only earning Kudos inside certain areas).

This game contains mild swear words in songs.

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

PGR 4: Project Gotham Racing (PGR4) (2007, 360) – 8/10

PGR 4: Project Gotham Racing (2007)

Race cars and bikes against each other and against the clock and against your ability to drive stylishly across ten locations around the world (Las Vegas, London, Macau, Michelin Test Track, New York City, Nürbugring, Quebec, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Tokyo). Arcade Mode and Gotham Career provide single player challenges and Xbox Live Gold-only modes provide multiplayer gameplay.

8/10

Though generally considered a sales victim of the unbelievably high quality 2007 Christmas videogame lineup (though it shifted nearly two million copies), this is one of the best racing games ever released because it genuinely improved every aspect of the already excellent Project Gotham 3 and then added more weather, aquaplaning, motorbikes and an extra single player career mode. While neither motorbikes nor Gotham Career work particularly well (oddly the career mode has no sense of progression or accomplishment and the bikes are too wobbly; when was the last time you saw a high-powered bike wobble down the street or track at speed), I’m glad they’re there. However, it is the slog of Gotham Career that brings the overall score down to a eight.

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

Metropolis Street Racer (2000, Dreamcast) – 9/10

Metropolis Street Racer (2000)

1 / 2 player offline. 8 player offline multiplayer.

“It’s not about how fast you drive, it’s about how you drive fast.”

Earn kudos by driving skilfully and unlock dozens of cars to race on over 250 circuits created from the actual streets of London, Tokyo and San Francisco.

9/10

As ambitious a video game project as ever undertaken, the fact that this game works as a game and not just as a technical accomplishment is remarkable. This is one of the Dreamcast’s most impressive titles with convincing pinpoint handling, astonishing sound, astounding graphics, jaw-dropping breadth and incredible longevity. The absence of a replay function, racing gaming’s worst ever rear view camera and the legendary super-rock hardness of it all do count against Metropolis Street Racer but only slightly.

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

Nissan Fairlady Z Version S (1994): dangeruss-inspired Forza Motorsport 2 custom paint job

This paint job was inspired by this design at dangeruss.net. Russ Schwenkler also did the cover design for Forza Motorsport 2 (and PGR4) which features a Nissan 350Z on the US version and an Aston Martin DB9 Coupe on the UK version.

PGR 4: Project Gotham Racing HD widescreen wallpaper

The Project Gotham Racing 4 demo hits Xbox Live this week with the game in hot pursuit in retail. The demo is big (1.27GB) but is taking an age to download for some reason but I might pop a preview up soon.

This taken from the official cover artwork available on Microsoft Game Studios Dutch site.

With Activision distributing future multi-platform titles for Bizarre Creations one wonders if Activision have purchased the currently-lapsed Formula One licence (it used to be a Sony exclusive) and are taking Bizarre Creations back to their roots in making Formula One racing games. Oooh, that would be nice.

Project Gotham Racing: Mister Slimm Cyberscore evidence

Cyberscore.net provides a platform for any gamer to enter his highest scores and fastest time from over 250 videogames. While it largely depends on honesty, it is a great way of comparing your performance to others in games without the benefits of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network leaderboards.

This is a post containing photo evidence proving that my submissions for Project Gotham Racing are true.


Medal Pursuit – Lotus Exige – 1.27.474


Medal Pursuit – Ferrari F50 – 56.640


Medal Pursuit – Subaru Impreza WRX – 31.123


Medal Pursuit – Nissan Skyline GTR – 1.11.858


Medal Pursuit – Mini Cooper S – 1.15.706


Medal Pursuit – Mercedes SLK 320 – 47.349


Medal Pursuit – Porsche Carrera GT – 46.344


Bonus Level – Race 7 – 11425k Ferrari F50


Quick Race – Easy – San Francisco – 925k Ferrari F50


Quick Race – Easy – Tokyo – 604k Ferrari F50


Medal Pursuit – TVR Tuscan Speed Six – 1.22.934


Medal Pursuit – Toyota MR2 Spyder – 1.00.768


Medal Pursuit – Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – 1.07.242


Medal Pursuit – Audi TT Coupe – 24.887


Medal Pursuit – Aston Martin V12 Vanquish – 18.955


Medal Pursuit – Delfino Feroce – 23.730


Medal Pursuit – Dodge Viper RT-10 – 30.492


Quick Race – Easy – New York – 776k F50


Quick Race – Easy – London – 900k F50