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256 of 284 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite game
I got a chance to play GT4 at E3 in May 2003 and GT4 Prologue at the Game Developers Conf in March of 2004. I also own the GT4 Toyota Promotional package. The first thing I noticed was the improved graphic detail, especially in the scenery. Rumor has it that Polyphony Digital, in development, added too much detail and overloaded the processor. It truly should be THE game...
Published on August 3, 2004 by Rex E Dwyer

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty pictures; mediocre game design
I have played this about 50% through, and there is an abiding sense of frustration with the execution of the game. The things it does well (graphics, multitude of cars, more tracks, etc.), it does extremely well.

The things Gran Turismo 4 does poorly, however, are numerous; and those things suck big wind. Most of the new features (photo) don't add anything to...
Published on April 7, 2005 by quintessencesluglord

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256 of 284 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite game, August 3, 2004
Rex E Dwyer (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I got a chance to play GT4 at E3 in May 2003 and GT4 Prologue at the Game Developers Conf in March of 2004. I also own the GT4 Toyota Promotional package. The first thing I noticed was the improved graphic detail, especially in the scenery. Rumor has it that Polyphony Digital, in development, added too much detail and overloaded the processor. It truly should be THE game that pushes the PS2 to its graphical limits. The streets of New York City are incredibly detailed as I lost my first race while being awed by scenery. The rally course is unbelievable. Seriously, the pre-rendered graphics are indistinguishable from reality. See the movies on GameSpot dot com. The real-time game play graphics while driving are equally as good.

The driving physics model was once again improved from GT3. The most noticeable change was improved realism in car handling at the extremes of traction. I have routinely compared driving cars on GT3 with the real cars I have driven at the actual Laguna Seca track. The new physics model in GT4 more correctly depicts the oversteer problems encountered during hard braking. In GT3, I can stand on the brakes and maneuver the car somewhat. But in GT4, the car gets unruly quite quickly if you start to turn while braking at the threshold, which is CORRECT. In the Toyota promotional package, the wheels can actually lock up! It seems to respond more accurately to mid-throttle and maximum throttle inputs while controlling the drifting car.

The new Logitech steering wheel is improved dramatically. It has both the paddle shifters and a "bump" shifter, simulating the sequential gearboxes of racecars and shifter karts. The steering wheel has more turns lock to lock than your typical driving wheel. I felt that the wheel was giving realistic pressures without any surprising yanks. They also improved the feel of the steering wheel while running over the rough, bumpy, inner curbs and the rumble strips on the exits of turns by adding more force to the wheel. It really pulls now and calibrates itself with GT4! Thumbs up on the wheel!

Likely tracks in the final game would be Laguna Seca, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas downtown, Circuit Tsukuba, New York City Circuit, Fuji Circuit, Cita d' Aria, Hong Kong, the Costa di Amalfi tarmac rally track in Italy, and Germany's famous 13-mile-long Nurburgring. I was told by the guys at Infineon Raceway (Sears Point) that Kazunori Yamauchi and the GT4 crew were there for several days to model the track.

Likely improvements include expanding the license tests to act more like a racing school. My friends at the Skip Barber driving school at Laguna Seca tell me many developers from Polyphony Digital have been to racing school there. Also, a detailed replay mode will allow you to pose your car to create a digital image/picture to email or print out.

I need to actually play the game for a few days to come up with any faults. But there are no noticeable faults during the 2 hours I was fortunate enough to play the game. After spending two years beating the gold times and the demos in all of the license tests in GT3, as well as finishing all other races in Arcade mode and Simulation mode, I can truly say that Gran Turismo 4 continues to improve the simulated race driving experience, not just in simulated accuracy, but in entertainment value as well. This is my favourite game. Cheers, Rex.
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239 of 267 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Rules = More Fun?, March 9, 2005
Brett Buck (Sunnyvale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I really, really loved Gran Turismo 3 (completed it from scratch twice) and was anxiously awaiting 4. I couldn't say I was disappointed, but there are definitely both good and bad characteristics to this game/simulation.

I am currently up to about 95% completion - which is A LOT of hours!

There's a lot of good. The graphics are excellent in high-def. You'd never confuse it with real life, but it's much easier to see details than good old 480i in GT3. GT4 is pretty poor in 480i, mostly because a lot of the fine detail they put in for 1080i is just smears at the lower resolution. But in 1080i, it really looks good. When you think about the number of man-hours that must have gone into rendering the Nurburgring, it's really quite astonishing. I am forced to assume it's accurate, since I compared Infineon (nee' Sears Point) to the real thing that I have driven in real life, it's basically perfect.

There is also a ton of cars, and plenty of new and returning tracks. The Nurburging and Ciruit de La Sarthe give you an amazing sense of speed and danger. Never once, even at 270 MPH on Tokyo R246 or Test track in GT3, did I ever feel like I was really going fast. Even on one of the license tests, at the Nurburgring, starting at high speed, my first gut reaction is "oh my God, this is going to make me die!". The difference from previous tracks is truly astonishing.

Several people have mentioned the questionable sounds. They're exactly right. Here's a hint for the designers of GT5; a late 60's American muscle car DOES NOT sound like an electric motor! Clearly, the sound guys have never driven a car with a 440 "6-pack" - when that thing cranks up, your dental fillings are in danger! On the good side, the Mazda 787b still sounds like it's ripping the firmament of the heavens.

The driving missions are also pretty interesting, too. They're sort of like the license tests, but not mandatory to drive in other races. Some are pretty easy, and others challenging.

There are some animations of spectators and photographers. One of the license tests has several people leaning out of doorways, onto the track, to get pictures, then jumping out of the way just in time. Or at least just in time, so far! There's one guy in a rally through some town on a license test that is really asking to get whacked, but so far I haven't managed it (if even possible).

There is a lot NOT to like, too, however. The license tests are still here, and in many cases even MORE irritating than before. No one has ever adequately explained to me why I should have to be taught how to drive by a video game, and in fact many of the times they demonstrate the "right" way to drive, aren't. Just like in GT3, trying to demonstrate "how much more difficult the car is to control with stability management off" proves just the opposite. It's FAR easier for me, at least, to get a good time if it's turned off. The car doesn't bog down nearly as much, the steering response is much more consistent, with nothing on. Some cars are difficult to drive with no traction control (try Monaco with a 427 Cobra on street tires and no TCS!!) but the "lessons" are about 50% wrong.

Even worse, there's now quite a number of "pace car" tests, where you follow a pace car around. If you get slowed down, it slows down, too, but then it frequently won't speed up enough to make the difference. It's all too easy to pass or rear-end the pace car when it slows excessively in odd places, then it's a big "FAIL" on the screen. And maybe it's a cultural thing, but I find it very irritating that even when you pass a test, you have to watch a movie of 3 guys with clipboard and uniforms logging that fact and clapping for you. Like I would feel gratified that the game considers me worthy.

But BY FAR the worst thing about the licenses is that there are a bunch of rally and ice racing tests for the *regular* licenses. I am of the opinion that the rally racing in it's entirety should be taken out and put in another game for rallying only. Now I have to do several rallys to get the superlicense, for crying out loud. They're mostly pretty easy, but why not just stick to standard racing. I'm pretty sure Michael Schumacher didn't have to do a ice rally before they let him drive in F1.

The license tests are not all that bad - I worked through them all in a couple of sessions - but it's awfully irritating.

Some of the new tracks, stink, as far as fun goes. I really can't stand the track that runs through "alleys" in some town. Yes, you can get through most of it like you run slot cars, don't even bother to steer, and just let the walls keep you straight. But still, while it's kind of neat to see once, it wears thin quickly. I had previously reported that the oval "Test Track" was gone, but I spoke too soon - it appears in several of the higher-level championships and is just as tedious and pointless as before. You can tell in half a lap whether you are going to finish first, or last.

The driving and car characteristics are quite a bit more challenging than before. Most notable is the different (I won't quite say "better" or "more accurate") modeling of the suspension motions. Driving standard cars with stock suspension will almost make you seasick from all the nose diving under braking. It may be accurate, maybe not, but it gives what seems to be a highly exaggerated effect in a video. This alone makes the cars much more difficult to drive.

There is also no more qualifying for individual races, near as I can tell. You start in last place, period. In standing-start races, it's not too bad, but in races with rolling starts, this is can be a 5-10 second handicap. You can qualify ("practice") in the championshps.

Maybe it's an attempt to even the odds with the still-slow AI cars, but mostly it's just irritating. And trying to pass the other cars seems to be much more difficult, since they seem to be even more prone to dorking you off the track, even if you drive cleanly.

As I have advanced through the game, the AI seems to have gotten worse than in GT3. Early on, on tracks with which you are not familiar, it will kill you (particularly the Nurburgring and the other very narrow tracks). But get in the higher series where the cars are mostly even (like the Formula 1 series where they are identical), and you know the tracks, and RUN AWAY from the AI cars - by maybe 3-5 seconds a lap on warm tires, and in some cases, 10 seconds a lap on cold tires). Basically, if you are even moderately competent, and can stay on the road, you can't lose.

But, the worst thing about the new game is that it seems to be far more restrictive about what cars you run and when you can run races. Rules on top of rules, on top of rules. The net effect is that you almost have to go through the whole thing in a very prescribed sequence, with little variation. But to get cars allowed to run the races, you are going to end up running the same series over and over and over.

Many of the cars you win are useless. OK, a Daimler Motor Carriage is neat historical piece, but it barely moves under it's own power, and you can't get any money by selling it. Also beware - you can buy some neat cars (like the Caterham 7) that you CAN'T RACE for some reason. There's no warning about this that I could discern. A Lotus 7 is a pretty common race car, I can see no reason at all why you couldn't race it in real life.

Another example - for some series, you win an Auto Union. Pretty neat car, huh? Want to take it around Tokyo R246 just to see how it drives? Sorry, it can run ONLY on the Nurburgring - you can't do a practice run or even take a picture on any other track.

This is a review, not a "tip sheet", but a couple of tricks - the '62 Buick is a total ringer and will beat ANYTHING, easily, in the "pre-1970" races. FAR faster than the 427 Cobra. Also, the Mazda 787b is still about as fast as you can get short of an F1 car, it's very easy on tires, and cheaper than it's most equivalent rivals. You can buy several of the hottest "Group B" or other fender cars *used* in the used car showrooms at huge discounts. The list of used cars continually changes, so check back often.

There's also a "B-Spec" mode where you make very mundane team manager decisions while AI drives the car. I can now see why you might want this. Who the heck is going to sit around and drive a *24 hour* endurance race? Or,in a regular race, once you get 3 laps ahead by the second pit stop, the whole thing gets so tedious that you can just switch to B-Spec at the next pit stop, and go to the grocery store.

On the whole, the game seems to require you to buy as many cars as possible. In most series, there are only a few cars that can plausibly win any race. In GT3, there are a couple of series that really can be challenging more than once (Polyphony Digital Cup and Formula GT) but in GT4, once you get the car you need, it's snoozeville.

Overall, as far as the racing goes, it's *probably* more realistic, but the restrictions seem beyond absurd, and once you get the hang of the handling there really isn't much challenge beyond perseverence. The dynamics changes seemed to have outpaced the ability of the AI, and the cars are just plain slower, compared to a human driver.

I don't have the steering wheel so there might be something more to know about it that I do, and all reports is that it really works well with the wheel (unlike GT3 where it was clearly an afterthought and barely controllable).

I have recently gone back and played GT3 and GT 4 back-to-back. For whatever the reason, the racing seems to be much more competitive in GT3. The AI drivers, in my opinion, are actually faster in GT3. In equal cars (say, Roadster Endurance, where it's all Miatas) the AI cars stay close, and if you mess up in the car setup (like, choose the wrong tires) you can get smoked. In GT4, in literally identical cars like those used in the "one-manufacturer" races, I just blow the other cars away. To the tune that I sometimes lap the backmarkers in a 5-lap race. In particular, the "passing algorithm" seems a big step backwards. In 3, if it needs to pass you, it will pull off-line and motor around. In 4, it just hangs on to it's "line" like grim death until it rear-ends you off the track.

That same effect is even more evident in the "Formula GT" championship. In 3, you had several different possible cars with different characteristics, so you can try to race your F090/s (which handles well and is easy on tires, but not a lot of HP) against the F094/s/h which is generally faster but is a lot more tricky to keep the tires on. This keeps the interest level up as your skill increases. In 4, all the cars are literally identical (and don't drive all that well, BTW) and once you get used to driving it you are lapping the AI cars in 10 laps, and there's nothing you can do to consequentially increase the challenge, aside from just screwing up the handling on purpose.

So, to sum up - It still a good game, and if you have a lot of patience it's OK. It's technically excellent and a remarkable peice of programming, but, boy, you pretty well have to adopt it as a way of life to ever get very far. It's just barely an increment on GT3, and there are significant downsides. Neat game, but GT3 is as good or better.


(edited from original based on more experience)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still, by far, the best racing game out there!, February 24, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I picked up a copy of this game the day it came out (just two days ago) and I love it. I will, however, admit that it does have its share of drawbacks, but there still isn't a racing game out there that can hold a candle to this one.

To begin, the graphics absolutely rock! For as many cars and as many tracks as there are in this game, with as customizable and unique as so many of the cars are, I'm absolutely astounded. It's one thing for a game that has, let's say 10-20 cars, to have rockin' graphics, but when a game has put such meticulous detail into each and every of the 600+ cars, you've got to be inspired (granted it did take them forever and a day to move from the previous sequel to this one).

The tracks are incredible and even include moving people. That, in itself just blew my mind.

There is the addition of the ability to manage a racing team, which, I'll admit, I have yet to try, but I just bought the game two days ago, so I'm sure I'll get to it.

There's also the picture taking feature, another thing I have yet to explore. That particular feature doesn't particularly appeal to me, but it's still a neat idea.

The level of customization has, again, been increased over its predecessor, although I question how much more can really be done. The one thing I wish they had in this regard was the ability to repaint your car, but I can live with that.

And, lastly, for anyone who thought far enough ahead to save their GT3 data, you can transfer the A and B licenses, in addition to $100k to the new game. This is definitely a bonus after having put into GT3.

Addressing some gripes:

First of all, no, your cars don't suffer damage, but this was intentionally left out. In an interview with the creators/developers, the discussed how they had considered adding damage, but decided against it for a few reasons: 1-Most players (the developers and myself included) prefer not to drive damaged cars. I'm sure most of you may disagree with this until you're blue in the face, but I'm just passing along the information. 2-Probably more importantly, although this game is supposed to be "all about the realism" as a driving simulator, the sheer amount of data added by including realistic damage, would certainly lead to processor lag time with the (now) limited hardware of the PS2. And, to avoid having all damage and wrecks look exactly the same on all cars, different styles of crash damage would have to be added for each and every one of the hundreds of cars. I would much rather have the developers focus on other, more important aspects of the game. Nuff said.

Another complaint addresses the lack of Ferraris and other exotic cars. This issue was addressed during the development of GT2 and 3. It's the same reason that there weren't any Fords in the game, initially. It's all about licensing issues. Ferrari (and I assume Lamborghini, although the Lamborghini GT appeared in the Japanese release of GT3) would not sell the license to use the cars in the game. Why? Because Ferrari decided to contract out and develop their own game, which fell completely flat. If Ferrari doesn't want their cars in this game, then I say to heck with em!

As for online play issues, I have yet to play the PS2 online, so that isn't of any concern to me either way.

So, in conclusion to all of my ramblings, is this game perfect? No, not quite. If some obstinent car companies would sign on (*cough-Ferrari-cough*) and, maybe, throw in a few more American cars (there are probably 2 or 3 to one as many Japanese cars as American) I would think that it was pretty darn close. I would give this game 4.5 stars if I could, but I'll go with 5 since there seem to be so many nay-sayers. It's simple, really: if you liked the previous installations of this game, you will like this one.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gran Turismo 4: Just Another Sequel, January 26, 2006
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
If you're looking for something better than Gran Turismo 3 - keep looking. I've been playing GT4 for some time and I'm still disappointed.

I began hoping I could make enough money to keep racing through the game, without transferring the $100K from GT3 as GT4 allows. But I couldn't do it. Even though I'd gone through GT3 without such help, amassing millions of dollars and almost every car in the book, I bombed out in GT4, frustrated with winning bogus, completely useless prize cars like the Toyota Triathlon and Nike One - cars that can't be raced or sold, cars I suspect are in the game because somebody paid to have them included.

And don't believe all the hype about "better graphics" - what game dealers always spout to get you to buy a sequel like GT4. As far as my TV and eyes are concerned, GT4's graphics aren't any better than GT3's. Make no mistake, they're great and probably the best of any race game today, but I don't see any improvement. Likewise, "more cars and more tracks" was an frequent selling point before the release of GT4. But hey, GT3 had enough, so who cares?

Seems to me there are two reasons a company makes a sequel to a great game like GT3: 1) they actually found ways to significantly improve the game, or 2) they think they can make more money by fooling those who bought the previous version into thinking the sequel will be significantly improved. I think the GT4 folks chose the latter, cosmetically altering GT3 with a facelift and a couple implants, hyping it as GT4, the great makeover. But I liked GT3 for what she had on the inside, not the size of her, um, car list.

Yet even the cosmetics, such as the main screen where you find your way to your garage, tune shops, races, etc., fails. Instead of a simple list of these places, GT4 opts for a quirky map where you have to move your cursor along using the joystick, up, down, diagonally, step-by-step until you find your way to where you want to go. Why not just a 2D list you can move up and down through? Seems easier to me. I don't want it to play like a "Monopoly" board.

And for my final gripe, for the moment: the 1971 Plymouth `Cuda 440+6. This, folks, is my dream car. And I was lucky enough be around when they hit the streets. In fact, I had a '69 Road Runner myself. So I know how those babies sound. How disappointed I was when I finally got enough money to buy the `Cuda in GT4, only to discover my dream car sounded like a vacuum cleaner! Nothing like the real thing. Makes me wonder now about all the other car sounds. Just how realistic are they?

Well, I'm not saying don't buy GT4, even though for me it doesn't beat GT3. I'm saying you may want to wait another year until the price comes down, or maybe pick one up used, as I did, so you won't be so disappointed. I'll do the same for GT5.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simulator - not for the impatient!, March 5, 2005
B. Gnoz "bgnoz" (Martinez, GA United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
If you've never played a Gran Turismo title, you should know up front that the game builds slowly, that it takes considerable time to master, and that it can be extremely frustrating at times. THIS IS BY DESIGN. Polyphony Digital continues to do a fantastic job of providing a reasonably accurate simulation of true racing, but this approach isn't for everyone. This is no "Need For Speed Underground" or "Midnight Club" or any of the multitude of other pseudo-race games. If you're after a quick (artificial) thrill in an arcade-style setting, look elsewhere. If you're after an engrossing game that builds in complexity as you learn your skills and buy better cars, this game will easily consume hundreds of your gaming hours and leave you wanting more.

That said, here are a few notes for those that know what they're getting into:

- the graphics are the least impressive aspect of the game. Although improved, they're not a quantum leap over GT3.

- the physics engine is GREATLY improved, meaning that the game is more difficult. This is the best part: G-forces, tilt, roll and maw are more accurately depicted, and it's easier to lose control at high speed (as it should be). I still wish they'd have an option for damage (even if it didn't show), which would keep us all from strategically banging off walls and other cars. This addition would make the game near-perfect, IMHO.

- the steps needed to "retry" a race have been streamlined, making this important feature very effortless. The interface as a whole has been improved, I think, with the possible exception of the main screen (in Gran Turismo [aka "career"] mode).

- you CAN get advanced starting positions (only in the series races) if you choose the "practice" option. Keep running the track until you set the record lap time, and you'll start the race in the first pole position.

- the licensing segment is a great way to LEARN how to race properly. Not surprisingly, many of the people who dislike the pace of the game also dislike the licensing (it's school, after all). It takes time, but should be seen as a chance to improve your technique rather than a nuisance. I love the new licensing section.

- you certainly CAN see the car you're driving from 3 viewpoints, just like before (in-car, above-car, behind-car). You can also customize all settings and parts like before, but the approach for doing so is different so it will take some time to re-discover where it's done.

- the Logitech Driving Force Pro wheel has elevated the game into something so accurate it's eery. Highly recommended!

Some minor complaints: the HD option seems to need re-setting every time I play, but that may have something to do with my HDTV. Likewise, the graphics are not smooth, but shimmer and jitter distractingly on my HD set. Again, this may be the set, but I think it's probably a limitation of the PS2's graphics system - there's no anti-aliasing. As noted elsewhere, the load times are slow-ish. Finally, the manual is simply lacking. Could this be a move to sell (licensed) guide books?

To summarize, this is, indeed, a great evolution for the series, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it (I'm about 10% complete in 5 days of playing). Many of the new tracks are unbelievably superb, and you can tell the old favorites are more accurately depicted by the various tilts and crowns of the road that were missing in GT3. I was initially unsettled (disappointed?) a bit by the changes in GT4, but after playing it for awhile, GT3 seems simplistic and dull by comparison. Bottom line - this is the most realistic racing game yet, and that's by a pretty wide margin.

Oh, and a tip... buy the Lotus Esprit as soon as you can, and pump it full of speed goodies. It's a giant-killer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GRAN-DEST TURISMO OF ALL !!!, March 4, 2005
SwellBooks (Park Ridge, IL) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I've been playing racing games on various game systems for quite some time now and I've never come across a better series of games than Sony's "GRAN TURISMO". And this one, the fourth inCARnation is, without a doubt, THE BEST!!!

Why? Where do I begin? Ok, the cars. There are hundreds of them. From just about every car company in the world. Old classics like the Plymouth Cuda, Dodge Charger, Corvette Stingray, 1949 Volkswagon and, my favorite, the 62 Buick Special (with a top speed of 208 mph BEFORE tuning). And new vehicles like the Dodge Viper SRT, Plymouth Prowler, new Ford Mustang and many more! There are so many cars it will take you hours just to browse through them all. And do they look and drive great!

And the tracks ( 50 in all ) are wonderful to race on. All the tracks have been rebulit and it seems are much easier and more fun to race on then ever before. The corners are a bit easier. The walls have been pulled back in many cases giving you more room to turn. I love the New York, Yellowstone, Seoul South Korea and Hong Kong tracks.

The new B-spec mode is fun, too. You guide your driver through each race, telling him when to pass, to slow down, to cruise, drive steady, etc. It's a nice addition. It allows you to not have to race tracks you don't like or are having a tough time beating.

The photo mode is also nice but I could do without it. Still it's a pleasant enough deversion. And the replays are quite nice. The graphics are so nice I love watching the replays after each race ( something I don't usually do with many racing games ).

My one major complaint are the license tests. I HATE THEM!!! Come on, guys. Lets get rid of them for the next game. They are a waste of time. All the time I spend taking these dumb tests, I could be spending buying, tuning, and racing cars. Which is what I really want from a racing game. And, its just a feeling, but I feel everybody hates them, too. Well, at least you can transfer two of your licenses from GT3 to this game, as well as 100,000 credits. So that makes it easier to take. But still, I hate those TESTS!!!

There is also, of course, the arcade mode which is a lot of fun, too. There you will find many of the hidden cars that must be unlocked in sim mode (like the VW Beetle, Chevy Chevelle, etc) that can be played right from the start. Also in arcade mode now you can make minor adjustments to your car. You can change tires (soft, medium, hard), adjust the power, weight, etc. Its a great deal of fun. The whole game is. And as of this writing ( March 4th ) I've only completed 7% of the game. So I have a long way to go and I'm loving every minute of it. Well, almost every minute. Those darn TESTS!!!

To wrap it up, what are you doing still reading this? Go out and buy it and play it! It's a masterpiece!!!
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best racing game I've ever played!, February 22, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I called a few different stores today and found one that received its delivery of GT4 at 1115 EST. Needless to say, I was there ten minutes later and picked up a copy and quickly went home to try it out. This is without a doubt the best racing game I've ever played. The models are realistic, the gaming engine is remarkable, and there are so many cars to pick from. The game is started with 10,000 credits, and there are two areas in which to buy used cars. They offer cars from the early 90s in one "shop", and cars from 95-on in another. Both have quite a selection below the 10,000 credit mark and there are quite a few choices one can make in order to decide which car to start it all off with. The licensing portion is a little mundane at first but it gets progressively more challenging. I only had a chance to play it for roughly two hours but from what I saw, this game is going to be dominating a major portion of my free time for months. If you have any doubt about the quality of this game, just think of how much fun the first few selections in this franchise were, and multiply it exponentially. This game ROCKS!!!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gran Turismo Series...., November 28, 2004
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
There are certain things I really don't know that I can agree with in some of the reviews here.

First is that the graphics in GT3 were bad. They were actually quite good.

Second is the idea that you couldn't control the cars in GT3... No surprise that the title of that one was "A Kid's Review." The cars in the Gran Turismo series handle as they should. Overpowered FR cars spin easily, FF cars have a tendency to understeer, etc. Learning to drive the car correctly is the key to these games. They are simulations, not arcade racing. If you try to slam the brakes and turn at the same time on a hairpin corner, you're going to have problems.

Third, I just hate any time I see a reviewer saying that a game sucks because it's not online. Whether or not it's online is a specific feature. It has nothing to do with the quality of the game. I do understand that some people enjoy playing games online, but to say a game is no good simply because it isn't online is simply not a helpful review.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be very tired, March 16, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
You really need to set yourself limits on this game. On the first night, I lost track of time and ended up playing until 2.30am. Not good at my age; I had the racetrack burned onto my brain. What drew me to upgrade from GT3 was realising they'd put on the entire 13 miles of the famous Nurburgring circuit. Driving this circuit in a little 1960s 800cc Honda sports car was an interesting way to assess how this is different from GT3.
First thing you notice is that it's not as easy, although you could always make GT3 harder by taking off the driver aids. But GT4 adds in some instability, which is something you never felt in GT3 and really keeps you on your toes. The little Honda gets very unstable at times! You also notice that it actually feels fast! GT3 never really did, but this is scary stuff, especially since hitting a wall or another car now gives you a real kick (everything goes blurry for a second - ouch). And the Honda being a drop top gives you chance to look at yourself, the driver, a GT4 first. There are other animated humans too, like the pit crew and spectators.
It's bang up to date: the new BMW 3-Series handles beautifully compared to the Honda, but once again, it's scary at 130mph on those awkward cambers of the Nurburgring. But I love th classics and the oddities, like little Daihatsu trucks (you'll need to work the engine hard just to get up some of the steeper hills), and vintage cars like the Model T. Many of these are accessible in the Arcade mode, just for fun, but to get the others you'll have to spend some serious time winning them.
It may be too much of a challenge unless you're a serious nut, that's my worry, but you can have plenty of fun before you have to get serious, even if it's just admiring the beautifully rendered cars.
The graphics, they say, are much better than before. At first I wasn't sure about this. But then I drove the wet night route around Paris and my jaw dropped. The amount of detail and life in this route is staggering, and the wet road looks superb. This part is very close to photo real. The snowy hills of Chamonix are remarkable too, and the new scenery has wonderful vistas, hills rolling for miles and miles. I forgot all about the race and just looked at the scenery the first time round. It may well be the new routes (the hillside town of Citta di Aria and the sparkling Island of Capri are also worthy of mention), the enhanced road surfaces, and now the proper sense that you are going uphill or downhill (that seemed to be oddly missing in GT3) that are the defining features.
I suspect that the limitations of the hardware put a stop to the kind of perfection that's no doubt possible, so you have to put up with the occasionally imperfect wheelarch, or odd looking panel on your new Lexus.
The span of the game is huge, the options almost endless. You could say that the thought of starting in GT mode is a little daunting, knowing how much time it will take up.
This is certainly the best driving simulation yet. Some will, rightly, regard it as a work of art. And by the way, it's also a game.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best, March 7, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
Do not get this game if you're impatient or just looking for some casual arcade-type racing. GT4, like the previous versions, is a far more immersive and detailed experience. If you are interested in things like power-to-weight ratios, suspension travel, back pressure, power bands, chassis rigidity, etc., this is for you. GT4 takes enormous amounts of time to get into. Decide if that's what you want.

The biggest difference I notice from GT3 is that the cars seem heavier, or, to put it another way, the brakes seem less effective, at least in stock configuration. I am having to re-learn all the braking points I learned in the previous game, since it seems to take longer to slow for turns. No longer can you simply stand on the gas until just before the turn, stomp on the brakes for about one second, and glide through corner. This technique will have you spending most of your time in the sand traps.

One final thing I will say in response to some of the reviews here -- if the series ever begins to include NASCAR I will no longer be interested. I am not impressed with the inclusion of trucks. The fact that trucks are here in GT4 means I will never have 100% game completion. Still the best if you like to fantasize about driving sports cars.

Since I originally wrote this review I have run the truck race. Surprisingly, it was OK. I never thought I would like the muscle cars that much, but I got a Chevelle SS 454 and had a blast in the muscle car races. Still, I sincerely hope never to see a NASCAR element in this series.

Overall, the physics engine seems more realistic, and you can definitely notice subtle differences between each car. Just like the previous GT games this one is great fun for gearheads, car lovers, etc.
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Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2
Gran Turismo 4 - PlayStation 2 by Sony (PlayStation2)
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