Gran Turismo 4
I've been thinking about this quite a bit, so bear with me here:
"Gran Turismo 4" is the biggest, longest, deepest video game ever
made. Period. Bar none. It's an open-and-shut
case, because it took me at least 200 hours of game time to finish a
mere 51.4% of the game, according to the Status screen in my Home
Garage. I had won more than 80 cars and 300 races, and I was
barely halfway done. That's right, and to beat the other half
of the game would take another 500 hours, easy. Why?
Because I beat the easier half of the game.
Between tournaments, country-based races, dirt-and-snow track
races, license acquisition (you need them to compete in each level
of race available), model-specific races (Audi TT Challenge, for
example, is a five-race circuit that only features that coupe), and
time-trial races (known in the game as "Driving Missions"), there is
so much here that I've already decided I will never buy another "Gran
Turismo" game ever again. I don't need to! "GT4" has so
much to play through that it was the only game I played for
literally three months; if it had online play, I wouldn't need to
buy another game ever again.
What is here, though, is fabulous. The game looks so good
that in Replay Mode, one truly wonders if games can ever look any
better. (Certainly, that answer is yes, since the $600
PlayStation3 is coming out this year.) There are more than 700
cars to choose from; what can't be bought must be won, and it's
funny to win cars both bottom-of-the-barrel (sweet! I just won
a Honda minivan!) and top-of-the-line (winning a '98 Jaguar race car
with 912 HP was the career highlight). The game features races
for all levels of players, but eventually you must get good to win
the championships in each geographic location, as well as the Gran
Turismo World Championship, which I did not beat and don't plan to
try any more, since it was eating major time just to win one race in
And with a career mode that tracks your progress and the world's
greatest simulation engine, you can trick out every part of your
car, right down to the hubcaps. Matching all of this with the
fact that the game only costs $20 right now since it's a Greatest
Hits game, "Gran Turismo 4" has now eclipsed "GTA: San Andreas" as
the greatest value for a game ever. Even if you don't love
driving games, this one is worth checking out.
Rating: Opening Weekend
Feedback? Comments? Hot doughnut tip?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience