Loving to Hate Gran Turismo

No, not another diatribe on the often delayed Gran Turismo 4. Not until the end anyway. Instead, of late, I have been playing Gran Turismo 3 to get me in the spirit of really wanting to play Gran Turismo 4. It is not like I have come close to finishing the game. Heck I never finished the second one either, 98% completion problem and all, but I did finish the first one … not that it ever won me any accolades, fame, or fortune.

Back to GT3. Was there ever a game that did so much right, yet did so much wrong? I cannot believe how bad the CPU AI is in this game. The AI goes to every length to drive the perfect line, even if it means sending your car straight to hell, err, off the road. I guess most of you already knew this, but I had to vent.

OK, so the racing action sucks, but man oh man are the tracks gorgeous, the cars numerous, and the driving action unbelievable. I am still miffed that there are only 6 cars on the track at any given time, but I guess something has to give to have such impressive car models.

I am not much of a gear head in real life, but I get great enjoyment out of turning my GT3 cars. There is something to be said about coming in third in a race, then making some adjustments that are good for an extra second a lap (and of course first place).

The only way for me to get real pleasure out of this game is to over compensate with a car that is slightly better than the field because equal footing or less is a sentence to bump and grind racing with the CPU AI. It is not so much fun (or challenging) to over match the competition, so a slight over compensation is the way to go because I can still lose a race if I make a mistake or two. I suppose that is justification for “intellectual” cheating.

When I am not getting banged by a CPU car, I am not sure if there is anything more fun than trying to drive the perfect lap at Laguna Seca or Apricot Hill. Really, that is the beauty of the game – driving perfect laps with all manner of cars.

I just hope that all the GT4 delays are a sign that the developers realize that the racing still sucks (based on the earlier overseas demo impressions) and they have to make some improvements. That or the game is in serious trouble because the developers are localizing the PSP version of Gran Turismo.

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