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Monday, March 11, 2019

What If: Gran Turismo Legacy?

John Marine | 7:20 PM | | | |
"Legacy" is not a good word when something isn't dead. With that said, though, what would a legacy Gran Turismo be like? We think of a legacy collection as a way to remember something as it heads into its sunset. Gran Turismo is far from being "dead." Though, many could argue today's Gran Turismo Sport is not like any classic Gran Turismo title. One has to wonder what would be a proper sendoff or culmination of what all GT has brought to the proverbial table. It should be a collection that brings together elements from all Gran Turismo titles into one incredible package. Question is... how would you compile everything? How would one game compiling all of Gran Turismo be like? I have some ideas that I want to share in this blog post. Anyone who may be reading this and want to comment is (of course) free to do so.

About the Label: "GT Legacy"

This post is a series here on "John's Race Space" which focuses on what a Legacy collection of Gran Turismo would be like. It is based on a number of factors, including vehicles, locations, races, and more. It doesn't mean Gran Turismo is "dead" with no chance of improving upon what it has already improved upon. However, it also is a look at what a proper Legacy collection of Gran Turismo would be like for future generations to remember what all Gran Turismo has done and how far the series has come. This Label may feature a number of different individual posts specifically mapping out how Gran Turismo should be remembered for years to come.

Gran Turismo Legacy: Making Of

Gran Turismo Legacy
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Gran Turismo has been around 1997 and 1998. In its time, there have been a handful of items that made the franchise exciting, fun, and entertaining. Some other elements, sadly... not so much. A legacy package that combines elements of all of the past GT titles into one will have to be something that takes at least something from past GTs and brings it all together in a past-meets-present manner.

GT Legacy: Vehicles.

Gran Turismo has always been an "Encyclopedia of Cars." These cars have ranged from real-life automobiles to tuned/fantasy models based on real cars. Everyone who has played through any and every Gran Turismo has had at least one favorite machine to tune and/or race. They are also aware of the various levels of tuning as well as being aware of all sorts of vehicles.

• I still go insane on the notion that I took a Mitsubishi 3000GT (also called the GTO) and tuned it to be a 240 mph demon that just does nothing but win races in Gran Turismo 1.

• I enjoyed racing both the Honda S2000 GT1 and the Toyota GT-One Road Car in GT2. And of course, I have to recall using that Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak to dominate certain races.

• I have enjoyed using the Formula GT cars that I unlocked. I also have enjoyed using the Toyota GT-One and the Mazda 787B in my time in GT3. I was even impressed with machines like the Gillet Vertigo and the Tickford V8 Supercar.

• There were a number of street cars I enjoyed tuning in GT4. On the racing front, the Pescarolo prototypes and the Nissan R92CP are total beasts! I also enjoyed the Honda S800 Race Car, the Suzuki R/4 concept car (when tuned to the max), the Toyota RSC Rally Raid Car, and the Toyota Tacoma X-Runner.

• Seeing the debut of Ferrari was great, as I enjoyed using my Ferrari F430 in GT5. There were some great times using my tuned Lotus Evora also. The Red Bull prototypes were totally unreal and awesome. It was also a joy to try out the different go-karts in GT5, though I would loved a superkart experience as well. As a first for the series, you can use paint colors from your cars to paint over automobiles. So if you want to replace that boring green color on your car to a crimson red color, you can do just that as long as you have the proper paint color in your collection!

• I thought it was amazing in GT6 to take the already fast Pagani Huayra and make it even faster with some power upgrades. 260+ mph never seemed so scary in such an amazing supercar. Also, this is the first Gran Turismo to offer Base Model racing cars for you to race and paint. These Base Model cars can be painted up using various paint colors in your collection. And unlike in GT5, any color you have in your collection could be used for any car that can be re-colored without worrying about buying some car just to have a copy of that same color. This game had all kinds of unique vehicles- even including a Lunar vehicle and the controversial Deltawing race cars.

(REMEMBER: I have NEVER played Gran Turismo SPORT as of the time of this post (March 6, 2019)
• I think Gran Turismo SPORT is a dream game in regards to compiling a series of racing vehicles in its own racing world.

A number of real and fantasy machines in GT games have helped shape each one equally. While it is mind-blowing to imagine all the various vehicles that have graced the Gran Turismo realm, it would be equally interesting to imagine combining as many past and present machines into one package. This even includes wondering modern interpretations of past vehicles. For example, would you ever wonder what the Honda Civic Del Sol LM Race Car be like? What about the Toyota Chaser LM from GT1? Maybe you wonder what the Mazda RX-7 LM Race Car would look like if given a modern makeover? Maybe you'd love nothing more than to race the Renault Espace F1 around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. You also have to take into consideration damage modeling, interior design, and things like that. You could even see modern variations of Racing Modified cars. So instead of seeing certain liveries restricted due to copyright issues, you could see more accurate versions (granted they are not alcohol or tobacco or sports betting companies) of racing liveries.

A Legacy collection would even open the possibility of driving certain cars previously not included in past GT titles that could have been raced for their time. One example could mean you could race a Ferrari convertible or Porsche convertible in the Spider and Roadster races. A more interesting example would be being able to race the old Lamborghini Diablo GT from the Japanese Gran Turismo 3 well before Lamborghini properly entered the Gran Turismo realm starting with Gran Turismo PSP. Perhaps imagine if you were doing Gran Turismo 1's style races, you could race the KTM X-Bow or the Light Car Company Rocket!

GT Legacy: Locations.

No Gran Turismo experience is ever substantiated without quality venues to compete in. Gran Turismo's location appeal became twofold once GT4 introduced Photo Mode. A number of courses evolved in subsequent versions of Gran Turismo. So let's look at Gran Turismo's legacy in regards to locations.

• Since GT1 was a relative unknown, we were first introduced to the world of Gran Turismo through a lot of the different venues. Some of the top-level venues were High Speed Ring, Grand Valley Speedway, Special Stage Route 5, and Special Stage Route 11. Trial Mountain and Deep Forest Raceway shown to be tough tracks as well. Autumn Ring and Autumn Ring Mini also became fan favorites.

• GT2 was the first to feature licensed tracks and actual locations. Rome Circuit and Seattle Circuit offered a nice view of the world. Grindelwald was the first Swiss venue in GT history. Laguna Seca Raceway became the first real-world race track featured in the series. Other favorites of the fictional variety include Red Rock Valley Speedway and Motor Sport Land. Also, GT2 was the debut of rally racing, so that added to the appeal of locations. Great tracks like any of the Tahiti courses and Smokey Mountain North were some of the better off-road venues. Albeit abbreviated, you could also race the iconic Pikes Peak Hill Climb either uphill or downhill.

• GT3 was unique in featuring some tracks on wet tarmac. The game featured the first real-world temporary course when Cote d'Azur was featured. Cote d'Azur is basically GT's version of the streets of Monte Carlo, home to the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. Swiss Alps was a great off-road course that debuted in GT3. This game also featured Tokyo Route 246, even including Polyphony Digital's headquarters before moving from Tokyo to Fukuoka. This game also included a challenging fantasy course called Complex String. It was more a test track than a practical race course.

• Gran Turismo 4 is important location-wise in having a combination of racing venues and non-racing venues. To me, GT4 had more of a "see the world" aspect to it. So this game had a combination of real and fictional courses. El Capitan was one of my favorite courses in GT4. The course based around Yosemite National Park was a great course. MotorLand was a great short course. A handful of city courses made up GT4, ranging from urban locales to Old World style cities. New York was the main attraction in GT4's development. At the same time, Citta di Aria and Costa di Amalfi were both intense challenges on their own. You could even race in Hong Kong and Seoul among others. For the first time in series history, venues on snow and ice were featured. You can race around Ice Arena and Chamonix if you fancy snow and ice locales. Most important to a lot of people location-wise, you could race Circuit de la Sarthe as well as the Nürburgring Nordschleife. These are two historic and long racing venues. On the Photo Mode front, you can take pictures of your cars in any of the different race tracks. However, you can also visit a variety of real-world locations to flash pictures of your vehicles. You can visit locales like Las Vegas, New York City, Boston, and Venice among other places.

• Gran Turismo 5 had a combination of real world and fictional courses, but it also offered certain environments used in the creation of custom race tracks. Sadly, none of the classic off-road locations from GT4 returned in GT5 (I am NOT counting the newer Chamonix). The creation of race tracks with certain environments made for a very interesting rally racing experience in GT5. Race courses could even be raced on in different times of day and/or with weather conditions. This added to the appeal of racing certain locations. A lot of the classic Gran Turismo venues either didn't show up or didn't take advantage of the newer time and variable features. You could still photograph your cars in a variety of settings, but there were significantly less Photo Mode venues in GT5 than in GT4.

• Gran Turismo 6 offered the first-ever Australian venue with the inclusion of Mount Panorama Circuit. Environments return for custom tracks in GT6, but away is the rally aspect of GT6. Later in GT6's development was a fictional course called Circuito de la Sierra, a lovely long course utilizing the Spanish countryside. You can even race around a track in a sports arena with GT Arena. An interesting perk of GT6 was how it had proper star locations from star charts at night. As for real locations, you can actually race on the moon with the Lunar Missions.

(REMEMBER: I have NEVER played Gran Turismo SPORT as of the time of this post (March 6, 2019)
• Gran Turismo Sport offers a great variety of different racing facilities. However, it is disappointing a lot of the classic and original racing locations- such as Grand Valley Speedway and Special Stage Route 5- are missing.

Even different versions of certain locations have evolved and have character different from other variations. Take High Speed Ring, for instance. High-Speed Ring was a very nice circuit in GT1 and GT2. When GT4 came out with this course, High Speed Ring had some newer water sections as well as a little bridge. GT5 made things a bit more beautiful for this course.

GT Legacy: Competition.

Let's look at a GT Legecy in regards to different competitions.

• All of the competitions are pretty much basic circuit racing. You can practice, qualify, and race on just about any course. The Test Course was available to test acceleration and top speed. Spot Races allowed for quick races without needing a license. Races last anywhere from two to five laps. A lot of the races allow you to compete in almost any trim. Some races, however, have certain rules. Some series prohibit the use of Racing Modified cars. You can even race three different Endurances. As long as you can make the time to run the Endurance races, these are great to compete in.

• Gran Turismo 2's race structure had a number of races restricted by horsepower. There were far less championship series in GT2 compared to GT1. You could not simply enter any car you want. You have to make sure you had a car that did not exceed the horsepower requirements for races. Tone down the horsepower as much as you can to compete in certain races. Rally racing is simply a one-lap time trial against a ghost driver. Beat the ghost, and you win! This game also debuted One-Make Series. There are races that require you to have a certain car for which to compete in one race on a random track. Some Race Events require your car have a Racing Modification to compete in another race. You can not use a Racing Modified car in a Normal Car Race. Watch the Demo events to get an idea of what cars you can use for these Race Events.

• Gran Turismo 3 is fairly exclusively circuit racing. You can now save in Championship Series. So maybe you can work to try to win all of the races by being able to Save when you like. GT3 rallying is done in one-on-one, wheel-to-wheel racing. You even can run in a race on wet tarmac for the first ever time. Even the first timed endurances in series history is in this game.

• Gran Turismo 4 has a number of great races to choose from across a number of categories. Different individual halls of racing offer different racing experiences. You can even run one-off races as well as certain photo drives. Controversial to GT4 was that of B-Spec races, which many have said is the game playing itself for you.

• While Gran Turismo 4 was to promise online play, it never had proper online play. Gran Turismo 5 had a level system that allowed you to race certain events and own certain cars. You can race a number of events, even being able to do in-race saves for longer racing events. B-Spec returns, but you now can be like your own team owner to raise B-Spec racers as quality racing talent. For what seems scarce for racing events in GT5, you can do many more styles of racing online. There are a lot of special series and events you can take part in to get into many more styles of racing with many more styles of cars. You are racing machines in Special series ranging from go-karts to the unreal Red Bull prototypes. Besides circuit races, you can compete in Time Trials and Drift Trials. Compete in Seasonals offering a variety of races for a good amount of prizes.

• Gran Turismo 6 is a lot more restrictive in letting Performance Points (PP) limit a lot of the races. So you can't use your Le Mans Prototype to defeat Kei cars or sport compacts. This means that at least the official style races are more competitive. A lot of the different race types and such from GT5 have carried over into GT6. However, GT6's races have seemed more dumbed down than GT5's races.

(REMEMBER: I have NEVER played Gran Turismo SPORT as of the time of this post (March 6, 2019)
• The use of classes for Gran Tuurismo SPORT bunches up the different cars into a nice assortment. How the classes are handled are unique in their own right. These designations allow for interesting races of the original and custom race varieties. You can be rewarded or admonished based on maintaining a certain Safety Rating. Racing foolishly and constantly making driving errors can hurt your Safety Rating. Good driving and practicing proper racing skill will help your Safety Rating. So you are best served to drive professionally and properly to get the best results. GT SPORT has mostly been online-exclusive until providing more offline races.

GT Legacy: Sounds and Music.

I am not making any serious concentration towards things like music. However, the music and sounds of Gran Turismo are as much of the character of Gran Turismo as any other game franchise. Some people consider sounds as the weakest link of the Gran Turismo series. Sounds began to improve ever so much as future iterations of Gran Turismo came about.

With music, there is no denying there is something for everyone. Most people will usually fancy rock music more than any other genre of music for any game, let alone Gran Turismo. A lot of others love some good electronic dance music (myself included). However, Gran Turismo games have offered a lot of classy style music with its jazzy musical offerings. It also excels with wonderful lounge and chill music. While a lot of people may argue racing/driving games shouldn't have jazzy or chill style music, you can at least appreciate their presence in a Gran Turismo game. Most people will immediately hark towards composer Daiki Kasho for a majority of the more memorable Gran Turismo songs. It was Gran Turismo 4 that debuted classical style music. Though mostly, these Classical songs were slightly remixed and modern pieces so they don't seem too much like study music. Gran Turismo 5 was the first Gran Turismo to allow for your own playlist of music to be used in menus and races. So even if you don't like the music provided to you in the game, you can always listen to your own music.

It would be possible to combine some of the most popular songs from Gran Turismo games into a GT Legacy collection. You could even incorporate favorites from "Tourist Trophy." It would be an amazing compilation to have at least some of the most popular songs from Gran Turismo games past into a Legacy collection. So you could be racing the modern Deep Forest Raceway listening to songs from Gran Turismo 1 or Gran Turismo 2. The music could range from get-you-going songs like "Lose Control" by Ash in Gran Turismo 1, all the way to even include the baby-making or night-of-passion song "Farewell" by Satoshi Bandoh.

GT Legacy: Tuning and Features.

Over the course of Gran Turismo's existence, tuning and various features have helped shape the series to what it is today. As the series matured, the level of tuning and the accuracy of featured models became more meticulous. So what tuning options were great for Gran Turismo 1 wasn't going to cut it for realism with Gran Turismo 4. In addition to tuning options, different factors including the environment and certain damage modeling greatly impact how a vehicle performs in a Gran Turismo game. Remember how you could get away with running Super Soft tires in non-endurance races in Gran Turismo 1 and Gran Turismo 2? Well, those tires won't work too well in non-endurance races in GT3 on out. Piling on horsepower will make you go faster, but your vehicle may not be able to perform very well in future GT games. That's why your Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT with a Stage 4 Turbo in GT1 may not be up to snuff against Le Mans Prototypes or even high-end GT racing cars from future GT titles.

Gran Turismo Legacy... What About the Motorcycles?

There was a reason I didn't mention "Tourist Trophy" in regards to Gran Turismo's legacy. The simple reason is because Tourist Trophy is its own game outside of the realm of Gran Turismo. I questioned long ago the future of motorcycles in the Gran Turismo realm. If Gran Turismo wanted to encompass their cars as well as their motorcycles into one collection, then this "Legacy" collection will need to include Tourist Trophy, unless Polyphony Digital may somehow want to revive Tourist Trophy and give it new life. That is why I labeled a section as "Vehicles" and not exclusively cars.

If Polyphony Digital wanted to try adding motorcycles, it will need to include various motorcycle-specific courses. For example, including Suzuka Circuit into this GT Legacy collection would mean including the motorcycle course for which the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race takes place on. Cars could even race a motorcycle configuration if one wants to race on a motorcycle course. Tourist Trophy even had Valencia (Ricardo Tormo Circuit). It has never been featured in a Gran Turismo.

What if "Gran Turismo Legacy" Had Motorcycles?

A few things would need to change to update the formula. For one thing, you could buy motorcycles and tuning parts rather than try to win them in Challenges. You could also purchase rider gear rather than unlock them. While the roster of motorcycles in Tourist Trophy is impressive, it SERIOUSLY would need an update to feature a lot of today's motorcycles. There are a lot of fine motorcycles out now compared to Tourist Trophy's 2006 release. For example, we have newer machines such as the updated Honda Goldwing and the Ducati 1299 Panigale R. There could even be vintage Vespa scooters that could be featured. They may even try to incorporate supercross, motocross, and supermoto with various dirt bikes. If PD wanted to, they could even include tricycles and even UTVs. Heck- even Forza Motorsport 7 has the Polaris RZR Spec!

Having these additions would only improve Gran Turismo's impressive lineup of vehicles.

Gran Turismo Legacy: Final Thoughts

This blog post was mostly meant to be a post to introduce the concept of a Gran Turismo Legacy. To build a proper post and look at this topic, a number of different topics and talking points have to be mentioned. Anyone who has followed this blog knows I try to follow everything as detailed as possible. So to that end, I did all I could to try to post as many different opinions and talking points as possible. If you would like to contribute to a look at what a Gran Turismo Legacy game would be like, then feel free to offer your thoughts here.

I will be working with this topic as much as I can with topics under the "GT Legacy" label. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I am grateful for all of the support I get from the greater public-at-large. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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