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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How I Will Remember Each Gran Turismo

John B. Marine | 10:57 PM | | | | | | |
Of the six Gran Turismo games, there are things to remember each one by. I have never played Gran Turismo Sport, so I will only focus on the major six GT titles in this blog post. This will give you an idea of what I think of when I am given each Gran Turismo. Perhaps your visions will be similar or different to mine. Having said that, let's go to work!

How I Will Remember Each Gran Turismo

It is time to begin taking a look at how I will remember each Gran Turismo game. It is not about how everyone should view each GT, but more like how I remember each Gran Turismo and how I will remember each Gran Turismo.

How I Will Remember Gran Turismo 1.

Gran Turismo 1 was the catalyst to blaze a fire that would change racing game history. Though Gran Turismo 1 is a sim, the game has its fun factor in being so loose. Kazunori Yamauchi didn't even think his game would become any kind of great success. So therefore, I will remember Gran Turismo 1 mostly for being a relative unknown capable of almost anything. It is this sort of unknown status that makes GT1 capable of almost anything and mean almost anything in the minds of others.

How I Will Remember Gran Turismo 2.

Upon the success of Gran Turismo 1, GT2 was to try to expand upon what GT1 started. And did it ever! I personally didn't enjoy GT2 as much as I did GT1, but the fun factor and charm are still there. Many more cars would surface into the roster of automobiles in the GT2 lineup. This even includes cars of differing speeds across different decades of automobile. In addition to more car types, Gran Turismo 2 also debuted rally racing. So this was about Gran Turismo trying new things and offering new experiences. It also meant a lot more endurance races and some more longer races.

Gran Turismo 2, then, is how I will remember for diversity and maturity. With Gran Turismo evolving and maturing from GT1, it was time to take on some new character and personality in slowly becoming an "encyclopedia of cars." It was now the time for Gran Turismo to take itself seriously as it has something special going with its portfolio of automobiles. No more of a mostly Japanese-biased franchise. It is now about trying to see the world and race the world. This game would slowly start the coming of age for Gran Turismo as a franchise. It was Gran Turismo recognizing itself as offering a world of automobiles to individuals who may otherwise never get to drive or use any such cars offered.

How I Will Remember Gran Turismo 3.

It was time for the Gran Turismo series to get a complete overhaul in going from PlayStation 1 to PlayStation 2. It began with the prototype of Gran Turismo 2000. GT2000 later would slowly evolve into "Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec." Though GT3 had about 1/3 of the available cars in GT2, most of the manufacturers remained intact. GT3 was met with smoother frame rates and faster racing action than what GT2 provided. That said, GT3 still sort of felt like a prettier-looking GT2. Longer races and championships made up the character of racing in Gran Turismo 3. Also among the features was a curious Special Stage Route 5- all soaking wet. It also meant Gran Turismo 3 would need some more advanced physics to provide a new driving experience that will blow the minds of GT1 and GT2 types. This even means trying out a specially-made steering wheel to get the most performance out of Gran Turismo 3.

I would like to look at Gran Turismo 3 as being a game that looks back while moving forward. I would equate this to how GT3 has aspects such as oil changes, more Le Mans style prototypes, and more importantly- the fantasy Formula 1 cars. Gran Turismo 3 still felt like Gran Turismo 2, but GT3 is a touch more mature than GT1 and GT2. It also felt like more could have been possible if a good amount more time was put into making more vehicles available for GT3. Still, we enjoyed GT3 and anxiously awaited what Gran Turismo 4 had to offer. Speaking of which...

How I Will Remember Gran Turismo 4.

Gran Turismo 4 marked a significant quantum leap to the character and the style of Gran Turismo. Many more cars and locations were added, even including the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife and the also legendary Circuit de la Sarthe. It also meant some deeper varieties of car ranging from different eras of automobile. This even marked much more detail in 3D modeling as well as driving physics. Its own game changer was controversial- B-Spec. There was also the ability for you to take pictures of your automobiles.

Was Gran Turismo 4 destined to become the greatest GT ever? Not everyone thought so. For one, there still wasn't any Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini. People even complained that there was still no damage to cars. Let us not forget the real reason most people were looking forward to Gran Turismo 4- online play. So while GT4 didn't deliver in these respects, there are a few respects I do see Gran Turismo 4 in. Among others, I see GT4 as a see the world through cars and locations kind of game that is even more a jump in maturity and evolution from GTs past. You can compete in a number of different locales as well as race in many different exotic locations. Some real-life locations and countries are raced on for the first time in Gran Turismo history with GT4. Among others- New York City, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (drag strip and photos), Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul among others. There was a lot to do in a game as massive as Gran Turismo 4. Lots to see as well. Even if you can forgive what Gran Turismo 4 could have delivered but couldn't, there are still those who consider GT4 the greatest GT of all time.

How I Will Remember Gran Turismo 5.

Now it is time for Gran Turismo to go from PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3. This meant even more overhauling. It means even more tinkering to evolve the franchise. It began with Vision Gran Turismo and continued with Gran Turismo HD. Really, not many people cared about Gran Turismo 5 until the arrival of one manufacturer appeared in Gran Turismo HD- Ferrari. It was a long time coming for Gran Turismo to finally feature the Prancing Horse of Ferrari. It would later be a part of of the roster of cars with Gran Turismo PSP. GTPSP would feature another long-time coming car company- Lamborghini. Lamborghini WAS in Gran Turismo 3, but never the full brand and never any proper autos. Gran Turismo 5 would feature more game changers- variable time and weather. But most of all, damage! There was also a handful of online action. In a number of respects, some people see Gran Turismo 5 as what Gran Turismo 4 could have been to be the absolute best GT. If any one element of Gran Turismo 5 was supremely controversial, it was how some of the cars were handled. The prejudice involving the combination of Premium and Standard cars is borderline atrocious. Standard cars are basically carry-over cars from Gran Turismo 4 and retouched for Gran Turismo 5. Only certain modifications and characteristics apply to certain cars. Certain cars could receive amounts of damage. And for the first time, you can take paint chips of cars and re-color certain cars to your heart's delight. It is just so much a hodgepodge of different cars and races with no real complete package.

So how will I remember Gran Turismo 5? With all due respect, I see Gran Turismo 5 as a game with many great ideas but no real coherence or execution, and also a game that could have been so much more than the eventual package featured. It was almost as if Gran Turismo 5 doesn't know what it wants to be. It provided many different experiences, but not many of them seemed polished. There seemed to be fewer or more interesting races. Why so? My theory was that online play makes up for what seemed to be a not-very-good single player experience. Almost as if to say others can come up with better races than the Polyphony Digital team. There were just too many faults that Gran Turismo 5 had that led me to believe Gran Turismo 5 could have been so much more despite the total promise and potential it had.

How I Will Remember Gran Turismo 6.

Gran Turismo 6 seemed more like the game to right the wrongs of Gran Turismo 5. For the most part, it did. There was still a bit to be desired. The game still featured Premium and Standard cars. Thankfully, though, the prejudice among those cars was not as brutal as with the previous title. There was still mostly a lot to be desired. Gran Turismo 6 did have some interesting ideas. The least of which included the likes of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the lunar missions. Though I love stars and space, accurate starry skies was a nice little perk. A bevy of tuning options made tuning interesting in GT6. You even can go with different styles of wings and even various other modifications. Unlike in Gran Turismo 5, any car color you pick up in Gran Turismo 6 can be purchased for any car at any time. So you can paint any car in Reflex Spice or WR Blue Mica without needing to buy copies of one car for having the same color.

I sort of will remember GT6 mostly for the Vision Gran Turismo cars. The game seemed more casual and accessible with some rather short races. It also seemed easier to go All-Gold. Maybe it is to say this is the most accessible Gran Turismo for a racing game franchise that was mostly accessible to begin with. Gran Turismo 6 may be the most unexciting Gran Turismo in history. Nothing seemed to be overly brash or in your face with GT6. That said, it was still a quality Gran Turismo title to play.

At least... this is how I will remember the different Gran Turismo games.

Thanks for visiting "John's Race Space!"

How will YOU remember Gran Turismos 1 through 6?

Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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