Since Dinner Time
People Don't Just Stop and Stare When We Do the News


Welcome to the Sports Page. Spanning the globe to bring you the funniest in athletically supported stories. From Albert to somewhere without vowels that begins with a Z, RPNN SPORTS is there.

Images are copyright of Sony Computer Entertainment.

Toggled Review

‘Gran Turismo 5'
By Cozmic

When I was four or something, I was supposedly obsessed with cars, and, my older siblings claim, I could identify every make. Then, as I got older, my fascination for cars gave way to a fascination for video games. Gran Turismo 5, then, is the game that brings me full circle.
From the intro-sequence displaying a car being constructed only to then break out the My Chemical Romance, to the museum cards that have absolutely no purpose other than show you more cars, Gran Turismo 5 is filled with an incredible love for automobiles of every sort.
This is apparent by the sheer dearth of things there is to do in this game. From the Special Events races, including things like rally, Nascar and go-kart races, to the photo mode, where you can simply look at your car in all its shiny glory. Because the cars in this game are absolutely gorgeous. Or, at least, some of them are. See, Polyphony Digital may have spent something like six years to make this game, but in that time, they only made 200 out of the games 1000+ cars as what they call “premium” cars, with fully modeled interiors and exteriors. And the premium cars are gorgeous. The standard cars look good as well, although they are sometimes incredibly blocky, and lack the internal modeling of the premium cars, so if you like the full on cockpit view, you have a slight problem.
Of course, aside from being absolutely gorgeous most of the time, GT5 is all about realistic racing. It does this well. It does this incredibly well. I have played with a standard Dual Shock 3 controller most of the time, and I can still detect and feel just how my car is behaving. I have never driven a real Tesla Roadster, but I still know exactly what Top Gear meant when they said it had problems with sharp turns because the batteries are all in the middle. I also know now that a Mazda Roadster is just as boring to drive as it is to look at and that Ferrari's are not all they're made out to be. Suffice to say, the sensation of actually driving a car really fast, with all the problems that entails, is the part where GT5 shines, especially when taken into account tiny details such as the feet of your driver moving as you accelerate or decelerate in a go-kart and other, similar touches. There are tons of different races with different requirements to play through in the game's A-Spec mode, ranging from challenges with specific makes of cars to cars made earlier than a specific year to cars with a front wheel-drive with engines front-mounted and many more.
However, GT5 does have its share of problems, even in the driving segment. For instance, the AI drivers are dumb as bricks. They seem to have their straight line they always drive in, occasionally being clever enough to drive past you but just as likely to simple plow you off the road. Which brings us to yet another issue: cars bumping into each other, while annoying and sometimes resulting in one car spinning totally out of control, sound exactly like slamming a car-door shut, and while there is, in fact, damage modeling in the game, it requires such extreme crashes it's barely noticeable, especially as it doesn't seem to affect your car very much. I ran my 1962 Buick, which with a new engine has over 600 BHP, into a wall at over 250 MPH and while it flung my car into the air and I spun around 270 degrees, all it actually did to my car, from what I could see, was that one of my headlights were a bit dented. For a game that prides itself on realism, the net effect of that should have been more like something out of Burnout, rather than resulting in me laughing a bit and then trying to catch up once I got my car down on the ground. Of course, I then checked another menu after the race to see if my car was damaged. Apparently the body rigidity was damaged, which I could restore for 350, 000 credits. For comparison-reasons, the Tesla Roadster I happily bought cost 100, 000 credits, and, as I had won the Buick, the total amount spent on that car up to that point, for tuning reasons, was something like 4, 000, including an oil change. So what I am getting at is that 350, 000 is an awful lot of money. Not that I noticed a whole lot of it the next time I took that car for a drive, and repeated my stunt with hitting a wall, and not that I would have even known to check had I not read about the problem in another review. Because the menus in GT5 are, in many cases, terrible. The game has a lot of options, and a lot of very unclear menus to navigate those options. So the framework between the driving has some problems, especially when you need a certain car for a certain type of race and it is not available as a premium car. See, standard cars are only available as either awards or from the used car dealership, which randomizes which cars it has available. So quite often you will be in a situation where you want to buy, say, a pick-up truck, but there are no pick-up trucks to buy. In other cases, you will be thrilled to see a DeLorean, but bummed because it costs an absurd amount of money you lack, all because it is a rare car.
So yes, GT5 has its fair share of problems, but also enough other options to keep you occupied for a long time. The variety of races, the online races, and B-Spec mode. B-Spec mode is basically a managing system for other drivers, who gain levels, have stats and drive around tracks following your orders. This is basically like watching a replay of a lap where you can give directions such as increase pace and maintain pace, but it can be useful when you want to keep earning money while eating a sandwich or something, as it does not require you to do a whole lot of interacting yourself.
And finally, in spite of the problems, Gran Turismo 5 still reminds me of why I love cars so much, and leaves you with that feeling of “just one more lap” until all of a sudden it's midnight and you get 5 completely pointless museum cards as the day's login bonus. Because GT5 loves cars even more than I do.

Previous Sports: Bezzerwizzer Board Game Review.

1031 B.C. - 2010 A.D., Really Pathetic, LLC.