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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gran Turismo 6 Review

John B. Marine | 2:05 PM | |
Gran Turismo 6 marks 15 years of the famed Gran Turismo franchise. A new tire and physics model will enhance the driving dynamics of GT6. Some people have likened GT6 as finishing what GT5 started. Could a turnaround time of about three years make a huge difference? This blog post is my own personal review of Gran Turismo 6. And for a blog that was born and founded on the Gran Turismo series, it brings me great pleasure to finally discuss the latest title in the GT series since renaming this blog as "John's Race Space."

If you are new to this blog, let me introduce you to this blog. My name is John Marine, and this blog is called "John's Race Space!" This blog was born as "John's Gran Turismo Space," and it used to be totally about the Gran Turismo series and Tourist Trophy. So it brings me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this blog and to blog about a Gran Turismo title.


As of the initial posting of this blog post (January 15, 2014 (which also happens to be my birthday :D)), all of the following observations are as of Update 1.03.

--- Gran Turismo 6 ---

Get to know Gran Turismo 6 with this section.

Gran Turismo 6
^ from: - Gran Turismo 6.

For many people, Gran Turismo 5 was a great game that blew the minds of many in its evolution from Gran Turismo 4. But for many Gran Turismo fans, Gran Turismo 5 was only SO good. It could have been better from a number of different aspects. Gran Turismo 5 and its appeal lasted for so long until a lot of fans just thought it was time for the next Gran Turismo to come along. Some people would even say Gran Turismo 5 seemed more rushed and lazy rather than be as detailed as any past GT title. The turnaround time between GT5 and GT6 seemed rather short. A lot of people (myself included) thought there wasn't enough time between GT5 and GT6's anticipated December 2013 arrival that so much could be improved. Now enter GT6.

One of the changes for Gran Turismo 6 are new tire physics and a modified driving model. A lot of these changes were first demonstrated in the GT Academy 2013 demo. The updated tire physics were provided through a partnership between Gran Turismo and Yokohama. While it isn't impossible to drive the cars in GT6, it surely is much more fun in my personal opinion. You actually feel like you're fighting the car AND the track trying to lay down the quickest times and to keep all the tires on the track.

Gran Turismo 6, to many people, is what Gran Turismo 5 should have been. This new title features a lot of content from the former Gran Turismo 5. If anything should be praised about Gran Turismo 6, it is the fact that a release date was set for GT6... and it was met without any delays. Past GTs have been delayed for whatever reasons. This one remained solid to its release date. You at least have to respect that about GT6 even if you don't like this game.


Unlike the three or so cars in that demo, you get 1,200 or so cars in Gran Turismo 6. Keep in mind that most of these are cars carried over from Gran Turismo 5... which also includes the re-worked Standards of Gran Turismo 4. New cars make their debut to GT, such as the Chevrolet El Camino, the Audi S4 Group B Rally Car, the Range Rover Evoque, a newer model Bugatti Veyron, and many more cars. As I had mentioned earlier, the Standard cars from GT5 have been worked over. Actually... there are no more Standard vs. Premium cars in Gran Turismo 6. Also, you can buy just about any car in the game and not have to hope some Used dealer has the car you want. Even cars offered as downloadable content (DLC) in GT5 are up to be bought in Gran Turismo 6. These include machines like the various touring cars and some of the different street cars offered as DLC. You can view some cars as a Car Gallery, but only mostly Premium-quality cars have this feature.

In addition to the many classic and modern cars, there are also Vision Gran Turismo cars. These Vision GT cars are conceptual automobiles designed by a handful of certain manufacturers. Many people got their first taste of the conceptual models when they saw video footage of the conceptual Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo car in online videos. The recent Version 1.03 update brought along another concept car- the Toyota FT-1.

One of the most interesting aspects of Gran Turismo 6 is the inclusion of "base model" race cars. This is about as close as possible in Gran Turismo history as having customizable race cars. You are able to take certain "base model" cars and paint them up in whatever colors you like as well as give them driver numbers. Look around in various car dealers for these Base Model race cars. For example, go to the Renault dealer to find the Base Model of the Renault Megane Trophy car.

There are also special-edition variants of cars in Gran Turismo with the 15th Anniversary cars. Each GT6 15th Anniversary is colored in a beautiful Sapphire Blue color with the unique "15" design on them. They even boast some better performance than their stock counterparts. If you want them, you unfortunately will have to have purchased the Anniversary collection or maybe have a certain code to purchase the 15th Anniversary cars.


A lot of tracks from GT5 return along with some newer venues. A lot of old favorites return for some face time. Some of the new locations include Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Matterhorn, and Willow Springs. For all of my Australian and New Zealand folk- rejoice! Mount Panorama (better known as Bathurst) is in the game! Yes, this is the first-ever Australian race course featured in a Gran Turismo game, and it is the first Oceania racing venue in a Gran Turismo game since Tahiti Road (GT2), Tahiti Circuit (GT2 as "Tahiti Dirt Route 3" and GT3), and Tahiti Maze (GT2, GT3, and GT4).

In addition to these locations being featured, there are also additional factors that play into Gran Turismo 6's many tracks- time and weather. Only so few tracks in GT5 had variable weather and time. Many more courses in GT6 have variations in weather and/or time compared to some of the tracks in GT5. A race could start off dry with fair conditions... then become a rainy mess as time progresses. Be mindful of these things when racing. Of course, be ready to adjust and adapt to changing conditions. One should already know to be ready for anything when it comes to racing.

A little perk to tracks in Gran Turismo 6 is the inclusion of astronomical simulation. One of the little features is in proper alignment of the stars and constellations in the races. This means you'll get to enjoy seeing things like star alignments when racing at night in their proper locations. It seems foolish for a racing game, but as someone who loves stars and space, I like it.


As of Update 1.03, the B-Spec mode of Gran Turismo 5 is not part of the package. So all of your racing is in A-Spec. The experience system of GT5 is no more. It is instead replaced with a new Star system. You earn Stars when you place 3rd or better. The more Stars you have, the more features and races you can unlock. This system is similar to the first "Need for Speed: SHIFT" (if you've played "NFS: SHIFT").

Don't like the AI racing? Go online! Online lobbies and Seasonals make their return for Gran Turismo 6. Here is a word of warning- you can not compete in Seasonals and/or online events in GT6 until you've progressed a good bit in Gran Turismo 6.

Tuning and Customization.

You could only do so much with tuning some cars in Gran Turismo 5. GT6 does away with some of the different tuning options only available to Premium cars and allows you to tune almost any car completely in Gran Turismo 6. Almost any car can be dressed up with aero parts and wheels. You can even paint up cars and wheels as paint chips return for GT5. Unlike in GT5, any and all paint chips you collect in Gran Turismo 6 can not be replaced. All you need to do is have a car with a qualifying color (i.e.- a car color that can actually be used and collected) to be able to paint any of your cars in that color.


You can now purchase racing helmets and racing suits in Gran Turismo 6 to dress up your avatar. In Gran Turismo 5 (and even in Tourist Trophy), you earned outfits through racing. GT6 allows you to purchase helmets and suits. If the ones offered don't tickle your fancy, try the suits worn by actual drivers! You could pick up special suits complete with helmet and the suit from various racers.

A little note to share... when you purchase a regular helmet or a regular suit, any item that has multiple colors can be changed when you go to your home. Purchasing that specific item entitles you to change up its color independently at home. So you aren't purchasing just a specific helmet or suit of a certain color. You just purchase the helmet or suit and pick a color you like at home.

Now that you have some insight on GT6, allow me to review this game from a number of different perspectives.

--- Gran Turismo 6: Piece-by-Piece Review ---

Allow me to share my initial thoughts on Gran Turismo 6 based on what I've played so far.

General Thoughts.

Many people have thought of Gran Turismo 6 as what Gran Turismo 5 could have been. Some have called this more as "Gran Turismo 5, version 2.0." Not very much in Gran Turismo 6 really breaks itself away from GT5. On the other hand, GT6 is improved mostly in its dynamics and in its look and feel. It doesn't seem as lazy or half-hearted as in GT5. There are fewer disappointments in this game than in GT5. At least... that's the way I've perceived GT6 in only limited play of GT6.


Not much has really changed between GT6 and GT5. I do believe the racing action and the car control are much improved and should allow for some more challenging competition. This game doesn't seem to disappoint in the least sense gameplay wise. The new tire models and physics make the game tougher while not necessarily being difficult. Let's just say you'll have to work just a little bit harder in GT6 than in GT5 to make sure your car stays on the track and under control. Races can still be won- you just have to contend with an updated and enhanced driving model. I literally threw away a win in one race by simply veering off the track in a spin at one race. I was unable to recover and ended up losing a race I should have won.


The idea that Gran Turismo 6 is on the PlayStation 3 as opposed to the PlayStation 4 lends many to believe this game looks terrible. Or at least... terrible compared to, say- Forza Motorsport 5 on the XBOX One. Even on an aging system, the cars look absolutely amazing. Same goes for the tracks and various other touches. You can actually see light from lights and from the sun on the cars. One of the most unique touches I've seen as far as tracks are concerned is in seeing the flag carrier waving flags. It is showing a little more realism and maturity in the racing department, which I like. If you feel that this game looks terrible since it is on the PS3 and not the PS4, please- look elsewhere for your gaming goodness. The game probably could look better under PS4 power, but also consider that not everyone has the money to get a PlayStation 4 or that the PS4 just may not be stable enough or suitable enough to handle any number of games.

I do have a complaint on its graphics, however. The most glaring flaw in GT6's graphics is in its shadows. They look very funky when you look at replay angles. One other note is that crash damage seems to be a bit more pronounced in GT6 than in GT5. You will actually note paint being stripped off of your car and even your front end getting beat up with head-on impacts.

In the future, I hope more courses can have time and weather effects. I wouldn't mind something like racing Tokyo R246 at night or wonder what Special Stage Route 5 would be like in the daytime. The time and weather add some diversity and some extra appeal.

Music and Sound.

The game comes shipped with about 146 songs. Even before I eventually got Gran Turismo 6, I was already loving the Daiki Kasho songs "Looking for You" and "All My Life." One of my favorite '90s electronic dance music songs is featured in GT6- "Pearl's Girl" from Underworld. You do get a nice array of songs from licensed artists. Maybe not anything real exciting, but it is a nice assortment. The in-game menu music for this game is MUCH better than what GT5 had. Going to your garage or to the Tuning and Maintenance facilities have great music compared to some of the looped garbage some of Gran Turismo 5 had- like when you go to the Used/Online car dealers.

To many people (myself included), sound is the weakest quality of Gran Turismo. That hasn't changed for GT6 with the car sounds and some of the sound effects. I have been hearing of and reading of a possible sound package to make the car sounds better.

I'm not trying to be funny, but you don't play Gran Turismo for sound. Even still, sound remains fairly weak in regards to Gran Turismo.

Final Thoughts.

Gran Turismo 6 is a tremendous title, even if it seems more like an upgraded GT5 to most people. The hope for many GT fans is that GT6 is a game that makes you forget all about the shortcomings of GT5. GT6 does offer an overall better experience with its enhanced driving model and with some tougher artificial intelligence. In no way is Gran Turismo 6 anything overly exciting, but it isn't completely boring either.

One thing people will complain about is why this game didn't appear on the PlayStation 4 as opposed to the PlayStation 3. If this is your reason for disliking GT6, that is honestly quite foolish of an opinion. Either people don't have the money for a PS4, or people don't have too much faith in a new system being able to handle a game the likes of Gran Turismo 6. This game still plays beautifully and looks great. It doesn't NEED an updated console or need to be on an updated console to be enjoyable. Though these complaints would be justified and warranted, these are just nit-picks that do absolutely nothing to affect the overall quality of GT6.

I joked to myself that if Kazunori Yamauchi and his team made Gran Turismo 6 to be better than Gran Turismo 5 by leaps and bounds, Kazunori Yamauchi should receive the Nobel Peace Prize! This isn't much a leaps-and-bounds improvement from GT5. However, Gran Turismo 6 is more enjoyable and has much fewer shortcomings than GT5.

Gran Turismo 6 is, in ways, an upgraded GT5. However, it isn't as if GT6 is a repackaged and repurposed GT5. There is a method to GT6's madness and a real unique quality that makes this a great game. This game is only a disappointment if you have unrealistically high expectations. Maybe Gran Turismo 6 needed only a few changes from GT5 to be better. Sometimes, the simplest changes can make the biggest difference. That is perhaps the moral of Gran Turismo 6 and the basis of my thoughts on GT6.

That concludes this review of mine concerning Gran Turismo 6. If you want to buy this game online, you can do so using this item below. Help yourself to GT6 goodness:

^ Gran Turismo 6- exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

Now that I have reviewed Gran Turismo 6, I am now opening my resources and discussions towards GT6. Stay tuned in the future for extra content from me regarding Gran Turismo 6. Enjoy my blog? Enjoy my blog posts? Make sure you're subscribed to keep up with my latest posts. Follow on Feedburner, Bloglovin', and other sources. Thank you all for reading!

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