Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)
I am really "into" driving/racing games right now so it was a no-brainer to pick this up for $10 at our local game shop.
First, I have NEVER played any Gran Turismo game before (in fact they had GT3 too!) , but I do recall playing an early version of DRIVER, which this best compares to: it is important to remember that even in "arcade" mode this is a driving SIMULATOR that is striving for realism, rather than a unique and original "arcade" racing game. Apples and oranges, folks.
That said I found the game to be good for it's target audience, but dammit, Jim, I'm an OUTRUN fan, not a "do the shocks feel 100% accurate for a Toyota Supra?" nitpicker.
The games starts with what MUST be the best opening in a PS2 game. Next0gen quality graphics burst forth from the monitor; at first some sick OPERA music was played but thankfully that was soon replaced by "vid-movies" of the cars racing to VAN HALENS' "PANAMA"!!! Rocking!
I also like the fact that this game fully uses the Williams F-1 Steering wheel-the wheel eerily turned left and right while it was loading, calibrating itself.
Downhill from there, though. First, there are supposedly over 100 cars to choose from, but I could only get around 30, and despite pics of old-time stantley steamers and 1930's racers, I never found one. Are these locked? No mention of that. Since this is "realism" , not all cars can be used on all tracks. Many cars will not travel over dirt or snow.
The worst aspect for me is that there is only an "inside the car" view option. When I race a red or blue or yellow testorosa, I want to SEE the thing! Unfortunately, here you only get a quick glimpse of the car at the start of the race, then it makes no diff if you picked a VW bug or Shelby Cobra, the view is the same! Oh, there is REALISM here....hit a haystack and you bounce, hit a TREE and you crash; on peebbly roads you can FEEL the vibrations and hear the rocks fighting against your traction. AND, there is a circular test track, VERY easy, to try out each car without worrying about steering too much.
So, I guess....if you liked the other GT games or "DRIVING SIMULATORS" in general, GT4 is a good game. But for those who want to burn rubber, see glorious crashes and barely scrape by other cars while amassing time and points-pick up TOCA3!