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SummarySolid, no-frills racing simulator with a few drawbacks
The GoodThe driving, I suppose, and the fantastic graphics and replays. Great soundtrack, too!
The BadWhat I really don't like about this game are the insanely difficult driving missions starting with the Three Lap Battles, not to mention the licence tests.
Also, as mentioned elsewhere, the AI is rather dumb. Cars always follow their programmed route without any consideration of any obstacles ahead. And the computer does not get penalised for bumping into you from behind, no, it's the player's fault then. Fuck that!
In general, I'm wondering how this bumping into other cars during a race business could possibly be allowed in an otherwise realistic game, and crashing into walls should also be treated more harshly, including the player's death. Even if this comes at the expense of fun. Anyway, this is not supposed to be a "fun" game.
And the diary is utterly useless. On the one occasion when I did want to look something up, the details weren't provided: which car did I drive in a particular championship. The diary doesn't tell you that. Rubbish!
Once the player's accumulated tons of money, it is a severe pain in the arse to go through all single upgrade sections in order to pimp up a new car. One "Upgrade all to max" button could have been implemented easily.
Another complaint is the lack of variety in the Special Conditions area. You get one set of eleven or so rally tracks, and you have to drive them both ways to cash in. So far so good, but when you continue to normal or hard difficulty, the same tracks appear over and over again, only you have to do even more laps. And I'm wondering, why I can't choose B-Spec mode to get this drag over with quickly?
As for rallies, I have never had the impression that the various cars provided for this purpose did make a difference to any others. It doesn't freakin' matter if you spend 1.3 million credits on a good Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution or if you drive your trusty old Peugeot 205 Rally Car. The computer will still come up from behind when you least expect it. Talkin' about frustration!
And yet another thing I'm really annoyed about is some of the prize cars, above all the Daimler motor carriage which can be won after completing the Gran Turismo World Championship. What can anyone possibly do with this prize? You can't even get any money for this relic. You can't race it. I'd rather they'd given us some Ferraris and Lamborghinis or Bugattis to play with.
And what about the weather conditions? Driving the 24h Nürburgring endurance (in B-spec mode admittedly), I was rather surprised not to notice any nightfall or changing weather like rain and stuff. There's only one track in the game that offers rain and slippery tarmac, and that's Tsukuba Circuit in the Special Conditions area. And just a handful of night-driving tracks, the so-called Special Stages.
Seeing this is the fourth installment of a very popular racing series, some of the issues mentioned could have been addressed rather than improving on the detail level of the tracks or adding a completely useless photo shooting mode that no-one needs.