Arcticu Kitsu's blog

A Canadian view of Anime figures, events, and things foreign.

Arcticu Kitsu's blog - A Canadian view of Anime figures, events, and things foreign.

Gran Turismo 5 – Review & Photoshoot.

Hello again!
I wanted to share Gran Turismo 5 with you this time just because I like this kind of game, and the previous versions. It’s a tad bit late, but probably still a good time to personally review it now that I got a PS3 that can play this lovely game! First PS3 yellow lighted on me – 60 gig PS3 (2006/7-2010?). The game also released some times around December and received around 6 big patches, which could be considered DLC.

(Link – MySite) – Welcome! Your Maserati in Kyoto!

(All images taken from within Gran Turismo 5’s photoshooting mode during replay and travel option. If a few images look off then my excuse is that they looked better PS3 set up.)

Sadly, Gran Turismo wasn’t the ones that got me into racing, it was Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (PS2) and the original Hot Pursuit (PS). My friend got me interested in the whole Ferrari and Formula 1 bit and I must thank him for that ha. Though, that NFS game was such a fun game trying to keep your car undamaged from one lap to to the next! I got into Gran Turismo 3 hoping to drive a Ferrari but was disappointed upon purchase. I bought GT3 with a friend and only managed to soup up a Dodge Viper to around 900+ Horse Power.  I also souped up some yellow Japanese car (probably an Initial D kind) while test driving it on one of the ingame test tracks. My PS2 fat and Slim both suffered later so I couldn’t play much.

(Link – MySite) – Honda Accord Coupe ’88 – My First car.

(Link – MySite) – The long awaited drive back as the rookie driver!

Gran Turismo 4 came out after that and I purchased that literally with spare change when it was cheaper. I was in high-school at that time and didn’t have any job to pay for it so spare change from lunch money was the way to go! Anyways, I ended up obtaining a Subaru and basically made it from one event to the next until I obtained two Truenos from the Initial D and another from our world. I got pictures from those and unsure when I shall upload the GT4 images I have sitting around. I also have Gran Turismo Portable but that’s meant for traveling. You can’t carry cars over which is saddening.

This is a GT5 article so let’s get cracking on GT5! First thing first! I had to do a 1 hour update with 6 patches from it’s December release and secondly, with me looking through the “Used Car” section to see if I can purchase a Subaru again. Nope, it’s all level based now…damn! You start off as level 0 and set up your profile in a similar way to PSN mixed with MSN before grabbing your car. It seems familiar, just with a cosmetic change. Also, the better you do in races the higher level you’ll end up at (max of level 40 and 20,000,000 credits).

I disappointingly purchased the “Honda Accord Coupe ’88” as my first car. Ah well *shrugs*. I took it to the service center to wash it, change oil, then took it to the Sunday cup to gain more credits (just like previous GT games). I repeated a few current races to farm up credits while testing out the B-Spec mode for further credits. It’s pretty much the same to GT4, but slightly more enhanced. Awesome.

(Link – MySite) – My second car – Mazda Demio Sport ’03 as a won car!

All the events are pretty much the same, however with driver levels added to them. Sunday cup is level 0 and the rest at 4-6-10 and etc. License testing is annoyingly the same which can easily irritate the player. I remember throwing a fit whenever something a simple mistake would cause me to restart the damn license testing. A good way to weed out bad players? Looks like I’m one of the bad players *sad face*. B-Spec? Seperated, and greatly enhanced from it’s GT4 counterpart.  GT5 is now an RPG-ish  styled racing simulation game now! Well, somewhat. I somewhat like how they implemented this because people could normally skip things fairly easily.

Events?

For those that haven’t played GT5 will get to see Sunday Cup (general low-leveled racing), FF Challenge, World Compact Cup, LightWeight K Cup, Japanese Classics, Vitz Race, Euroeapn Classic Car Championships, World Classic cars, FR Challenge and hordes more. Bored? Try “special” events which are pre-determined scenarios (i.e Go-Karts), or maybe B-Spec to train your own driver with A-Spec races. If that isn’t enough, you have the newly patched in (think of it as DLC) Seasonal Events which is updated regularly by the game developers. Don’t ignore those License testings!

-> Special Events: These are much more challenging races or challenges themselves using Go-Karts, VW 60’s pothead vans on Top Gear Track, Nascar racing, and etc. This is a good place to go if you want to try your hand at unique racing events to gain unique rewards, or random fun.

-> Season Events: These are hosted and changed by Polyphony at set times. The purpose of Season events is as they sound: You go completing challenges before they expire from their list. I did the FR challenge with a Toyota WEDSSPORT Celica ’03 to farm up 123k credits just because I was short on credits. There are also Ferrari and Lamborghini specific events, as well as time-trials and drifting challenges.

(Link – MySite) – Third time a charm! Bought “Subaru Impreza Sedan WRX STI ’10” and brought it to Kyoto.

(Link – MySite)

Photo-mode:

The second thing I love about this game, besides Ferrari, is that you can take images and share them. It’s one of those rare games that allows you to travel with your cars, position them in the desired spot and to encourage you to unleash your photography creativity upon others.  All your snapped images would save to your profile’s album and you can then download the images onto the PS3’s Hard-drive. Maybe you’ll grab a USB thumb-drive and place it on a laptop? Computer? Up it onto a blog, like I did? Forums? It’s fairly easy to snap an image and share them with others. There’s two ways to do such a thing.

1) Photo Travel: By unlocking more locations you can “travel” around the globe and position your cars in various opened areas in that area. Each area is scenic and photogentic allowing you to take pictures of your car just about anywhere on that area. The downside being you can only take premium cars to photo travel mode while the rest has to be done in another mode (below).

2) Replay photos: You can also snap images from replays from recent races, or carefully taken practice laps. All you have to do is to watch the replay, press ‘start’ at appropriate times, and then snap your images as you normally would with a normal camera.

Everything is basically still the same as it was in Gran Turismo 4, though with more locations and tweaks. I also feel as if these locations should be used as Polyphony’s Home space. They don’t have to do much with it besides adding a few local NPC’s, a few stationary cars, and link one to the next through the invisible walls. Polyphony should of also added Home avatars into this game but they missed that chance. They can still patch it in though.

(Link – MySite) – Cape Ring track is one nicely designed track, I like it.

B-Spec Mode:

B-Spec mode is an option for you to manage your AI driver(s) in B-Spec mode. You start off with one while gradually leveling them up to obtain up to 6. Many players will find this boring as they want to race themselves, suit yourself, but I like tinkering with every little thing in various games. Just like Flight Simulator X, it allows me to walk way without getting yelled at by various others, it allows me to multi-task,  gaining credits twice the amount of time and making the grinding a lot more tolerable. Sure, it might be boring and might be considered cheating (if at all), but it’s something you don’t have to mess with. It’s just another option there.

You can customize your driver with a pre-generated name that you can cycle through, change the stats, give them unlockable racing outfits, and even change how aggressive they are on track. Their personality will dictate if they pass a lot or sit back and risk losing numerous opportunities during a race. That’s not all! During the updates that I wasn’t playing through, Polyphony added an option to share your “bobs” with others so that they can race in predetermined racing scenarios called “Remote Racing”. You can race your “bobs” from work while having your PS3 on at home, or observing and hosting it all at home. This can only be done with those on your PSN list so it may turn those interested back out again.

My current driver names:

– M. Lehrer – (Retired now)
– N.Mizuno – (Discovered the name after I named my water starter in Pokemon White.)
– O. Sakamoto – (I wanted one Japanese driver on my team.)
– Z.Moon – (Hey look, it’s Zee moon! The Moon!)
– D.Day – (WW2? Operation Normandy?)
– R. Fukushima – (Spent two hours looking for Kobayashi but came across Fukushima many times. Why not, pay my respects to Fukushima in some way.)
– Opened Slot – (Waiting to get Kobayashi on my team.)

(Link – MySite) – Subaru made a hovering car. Nah, the car just getting some air~.

Multiplayer:

Well, that’s new…Unless you count a rare GT4 from Japan that had it’s own multiplayer. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue had a more random system which forced you and your buddies to guess when you can race together. Quite sloppy. GT5’s version? Just like any other game lobby out there, and with a in-lobby monitor to watch those out in the track. There’s lots of options to choose from when setting up a game, but there are also people that just want to ruin your god damn day….well, just because…..Sadly, theres no password options so you can just race with your friends which allows such fools to enter your gaming session.

From the “Open Lobby” option you’ll be welcomed  with a general menu of various hosted races out. You can filter through the list by Course, Race type, Skid Recovery Force, and Region. The game types also go as – All, Race for fun, race for real, drift, and Free run.

I’ve tried hosting and I can agree that it gets a very nice passing grade. It’s more than what you can harass Polyphony for and it’s truly something you can’t have a hissyfit over. I will however repeat that it needs password mode to filter out the trolls and the bumper-noobs. Another negative note is that Region only searches through All & the continent you’re on basically. The filter is a tad bit screwy though with the Region search. I get Brasil, Italy, and Japan for US Region (generalizing tends to fail).

(Link – MySite) – My first Ferrari 512 at Cote d’Azur a.k.a Monte Carlo GP.

Tracks & Track Generator

Tracks have been altered nicely this time around! Not cheaply as they did with Snow in GT4, but much more….persistent? There are also a few more newer tracks adding to re-playability without getting bored of rehashing.

-> Original: These tracks are Polyphony’s original track from all the Gran Turismo games up to GT5. I haven’t done my research (I guess I should) so I’m assuming these are fictional, though some could be based on real tracks within the world.

-> World Circuits: Actual racing tracks from around the world. These tracks have been painstakingly made from various courses around the world and placed into Gran Turismo 5 just because Polphony prides themselves on realism and accuracy. Good examples would be Tsukuba Circuit, Nurburgring Nordschleife (24 hour type), Fuji Speedway, Suzuka, and the Top Gear track. There are obviously more.

-> City: These are based within real and fictional cities from around the world and in Polyphony’s map generator. You can race in Tokyo, Rome, London, and etc.

-> Dirt and Snow: Self-explanatory, and for rally vehicles. Just imagine off-road tracks with rally cars going over them.

-> My Courses (track generator): An option to choose tracks that you generated using basic options to form basic tracks. It’s a nice start, but I was hoping for more complex options to create tracks from – I.e City tracks.

The game tends to lack in quantity, but it makes it up in the quality of tracks. This is what casual racers tend to forget that when you get quality you normally won’t get quantity. Now that we have it on PS3 it shouldn’t be much of a problem because they can simply add it through DLC now. If gamers want something we have to speak up properly. Don’t whine, don’t yell, but speak up!

Polyphony prides themselves in quality and realism meaning constant drives through same tracks that you raced on days before. They aren’t bad, but things tend to get dull causing hard-core drivers to stay on the game longer than those that simply do donuts.

(Link – MySite) – Nazi Germany’s Kubelwagon.

Car types:

Cars are basically split into various categories within this game. So many that I might end up spreading the topic more than what I did in track types.

-> Premium Cars: You get these cars from the in-game dealership (above used car and below b-spec mode). These cars are highly detailed in every manner and have a car cockpit. Such cars are Ferrari, Lamborghini, Suzuki, BMW, and Mitsubishi (too many to list).

-> Standard cars: These cars are the bulk of the game and have no car cockpit in them. You basically drive the car from either the exterior, or traditionally by a centered speedometer-display. Used cars (“just in”), Online Dealership, most event prizes, and “normal” cars are labeled as such.

Then we have the very vintage vehicles (like the image above) and future concept cars and designs that nobody saw yet. If you seen it on the road then you’re bound to see it in Gran Turismo 5, or in another version. Why? Well for fun. Raced too much? Completed the game? Bored of “endurance” racing before the real endurance races? Then just hop into either the vintage or the concepts and have fun! Go into practice mode and have fun.

Also to note: I think that the standard cars should eventually get cockpits in them, even if standard or low-quality-ish.

(Link – MySite) – Ferrari F430 Scudria!

Weather:

Weather tends to make races far more entertaining or that much more unwatchable. For better or for worse. A good example would me Canada’s F1 Montreal track during 2011 when rain just wouldn’t stop coming down. Drivers were whining and complaining like big spoiled rich kids that they probably are when behind the safety  car.  Once the safety car left they had the time of their life! How does this transfer over into Gran Turismo 5?

In Gran Turismo 3-4 (from what I played) it only had preset weather set for eternal sun or simply a night cloudy Tokyo in it’s other versions. With Gran Turismo 5 you get preset weathers such as Sunny, rainy, snowy, or progressive changing time and weather. Certain tracks do allow for changing time and weather which adds to the track re-playability and the immersion.

– Special Stage Rout 7 / Change Weather / Night – Basically Tokyo’s Rainbow bridge turned highway – Is a good example for such basic changing weather. It’s either night time with cloudy with on and off rain. It either rains or it doesn’t on this track.

Nurburgring (24 hour) / Change Weather / Change Time – Is an even better example of time and weather change. You will never know when it rains and the time will change to it’s on it’s own. I was racing online with a Trueno ’86 with the sunset gradually turning into pitch black. I could barely see where I was going so I had to maneuver much more carefully.

 Sadly, not all tracks have the progressive day-night or weather cycles. Some tracks still stay eternal sun or darkness. For those wanting rain….well….you’ll have to wait for a lengthy period of time, or not at all in some cases.

(Link – MySite) – Racing in Tokyo’s tunnel.

(Link – MySite) – Speeding on a silent highway~

(Link – MySite) – Hachi Roku on Top Gear Test Track – Initial D Car recognized in GT5.

(Link – MySite) – Barely making it past the turn.

(Link – MySite) – Cars and aviation – nice combo!

(Link – MySite) – Toyota WEDSSPORT Celica ’03

(Link – MySite) – Grabbing some air while outmatching my opponents.

(Link – MySite)

And then the rest of these images were taken in GT5’s Photo Gallery option. As mentioned, you get to travel with your cars around the world while taking images of them! For those of you who saw my Battle Rondo and Diorama Reviews will basically know how this works. Travel mode is basically what Diorama Studio is to Battle Rondo.

(Link – MySite) – Ferrari 458 Italia taken in the Red Bull Hanger!

(Link – MySite) – Transportation! Cars and aviation = best combination!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Funny…this model looks so much better than the Flight Sim X counterparts. Even from the Youtube videos!

(Link – MySite) – Red Bulls – It gives you wings!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – The game is still about showing off the car’s beauty and elegance!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Would be nice if there was reflection on the Ferrari.

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – A nice cloudy night I see.

(Link – MySite) – Feels like Flight Simulator X!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Ferrari F430 Scuderia!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Can’t forget about the Leerjet at the back?

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Went to Bern, Switzerland for this shot!

(Link – MySite) – I fell like a tourist, and apparently that Ferrari belongs to that gal.

(Link – MySite) – And did I mention that I also like trams?

(Link – MySite) – Absolutely beautiful!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Decided to briefly visit Ahrweiler’s Town square while coming across a Citroen GT Concept ’08 – Race type.

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – The car has an interesting ass.

(Link – MySite) – Such a lovely night in Kyoto. The Cherry blossoms in full bloom!

(Link – MySite) – Ferrari 599!

(Link – MySite) – Was invited into someone’s home for the night so had an awesome view of this prancing Ferrari.

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Wow, that Ferrari has a creepy face at night. Looks nice though.

(Link – MySite) – Nice scenery and nice shrine.

(Link – MySite) – I see I wasn’t the only one out and about.

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – In-game camera settings were weird so I tried to take advantage of it. Came out better than I could thought!

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite)

(Link – MySite) – Seems like a few people are already at this shrine.

(Link – MySite) – Guess I’ll just park around here and leave other shots for another day.

What a nice game, love it.

———

And as always, my final thoughts and the Pros + Cons!

Final Thoughts:

I love the attention to detail placed onto this game. It’s mainly a racing simulator, but it shows that it absolutely loves cars on all fronts. It even allows you to snap images of your cars on tracks or in photo-mode, what more could you ask for? Damage? I could care less for that. Skins/decals? Ya, that is a shame that they weren’t added. Regardless, it is a fun game to play seriously, or for fun. The leveling system is nice, as is the upgraded B-Spec mode. The only thing bad about this game would be repetition, level grinding (not much of an issue), B-Spec Remote Play limitations, and a few other flaws here and there. I’m truly glad they finally added Ferrari into the game, along with the Lamborghini for you lambo fans.

Would I recommend it? Hell yes! It’s an absolute must. Those 5 years spent on the game didn’t go to waste. Also, if you’re into driving then all the more reason to! Go onto the Nurem 24’hrs with weather and you’ll be having fun.

Pros:

– Great graphics detail and textures all around. It’s as if you’re playing with cinematic graphics from beginning to end with the amount of detail placed within the game.
– Tracks are highly detailed and fun to drive at. All the older tracks have been visually upgraded to stay current generation.
– Crash damage was added for the whiners in the racing community. It’s nice it was added, but I could care less. I love looking at my cars. The car’s body also weakens the more you race, crash, and bump into objects forcing players to drive professionally. If they don’t then their cars perform poorly.
– Awesome selection of cars! You have Ferrari, Lamborghini, Honda, Mitsubishi, Renault, Ford, and etc etc. There is bound to be a car for you in there…..somewhere.
– Day/night cycles, along with progressive weather was added! Instead of eternal sun you can get night and rain as well. Rain also comes and goes whenever it wants to so you may have to be very patient some sessions while lucky another.
– Multiplayer is a nice necessary addition! It makes playing Gran Turismo 5 all the more fun, as well as racing with your friends. Instead of racing AI, you can have more coordinated fun with other players. There is a nice addition of watching an in-lobby monitor of people racing on the track already. You can even hop into the monitor to spectate how other players are driving. More than what we could ask for.
– Photo-travel has many unlockable and highly detailed locations for you to photo-shoot your vehicles. You unlock more locations as you complete more races, scenarios, and the like. You can walk around each area to get into position to snap images of your favorite car!
– Game added a leveling system to prevent minor cheating on races while adding an RPG-like element to the game. The interface is similar to that of PSN’s and MSN merged into one while adding a message board, a lobby, remote races, sharing of B-Spec drivers and cars.
– GT-TV – Awesome option for those wanting to watch automotive related shows. Of course, you’ll have to pay for show that you want to watch, unless otherwise specified.
– B-Spec Remote Play was added to allow yours and other driver’s B-Specers to race with one another in a short pre-set 20 minute races. You can unlock more gear, credits, and the like from such a feature.
– You can find some nice rare and classic cars in the “used dealership” a.ka. “Just In”. I found two Truenos 86′, Fiats, and many classical cars.
– Top Gear UK’s track added into the game. I always wanted to know what that track felt like and I finally have the game that allows me to try my cars on there.

Cons:

– Car damage lacks for those that seriously want it.
– Map generator lacks greatly. You can only make basic tracks while altering basic options. Quite disappointing. It’s welcomed, but highly disappointing. Many claim that Polyphony is just “too proud” for us to make our own tracks?
– Weather and day/night cycle was limited to certain tracks. Typical. Also, for those wanting rain will have to either wait or get lucky for it to rain.
– Lack of any password for lobbies allowing trolls, bumper-noobs, and unwanted guests joining in. It’s nice that is free, but it mostly tends to ruin the fun.
– Cars split into two groups – Premium (dealership), and standard (the rest) – stretching the car quality around. Premium cars have cockpits and can be taken to traveling photoshoots while standard cars don’t and can’t travel. I understand from time spend, but I consider this a major flaw as some standard cars are my favorite. I wanted to take some on “travels” but was denied only because they were “standard”. Screw you…..Feels like I’m playing a demo. Needs to be a feature to “earn” a photoshoot in travel mode or something, even though you can take pictures on tracks from replay.
– B-Spec Remote Play only works with those currently on your PSN list and not in it’s own lobby elsewhere.

Suggestions for Polyphony:

– Insert more track types for Map generator
– Make a quarter, half, or most of the travel locations used in Photo-mode for the Home space.
– Back-link the Home space to GT5 with people’s avatars.
– Add “Skoda” into the car brand!

And ya, that is about it. Should be it? And that is all I can think of right now. I’m still not done the game, but I have a general idea of how the “end game” will be. If I come across something I’ll simply edit it in of course.

———-

Thanks for reading this article and hoped you like the image flood that came with this article! Enjoy the drive! Peace!

  • Persocom says:

    Looks freaking stunning, but I’m a racing noob, I haven’t played a racing game in ages. I think I like that Citroen, with it’s funky ass and all. I highly approve of being able to snap pictures of games and I get annoyed by primitive crap like PSP that won’t let you do it without hacking custom firmware and all that junk. I think all games should have built in screenshot feature. Also, Kyoto <3 I think I'd live there if I played. Nice pictures and you make me wish I had a ps3 lol.

    July 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  • ArcticKitsune says:

    A lovely looking game indeed. Eh, it’s noob friendly with the Sunday Cup and practice, you should be find if you decide to try it. Ya, we need more games with ingame screen-shots….during this day and age it should be a must-have feature no matter what game or for what console.

    I think you need a PSP Slim and an HD-PVR or something to get images/videos from the damn PSP. I’m looking into this because I want to continue blogging once Rondo is down.

    Haha! Feel free to get a PS3 at your own leisure!

    July 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm

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