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Gran Turismo 4
Information about Gran Turismo 4Gran Turismo 4 (also known as GT4) is a racing video game for Sony PlayStation 2 which was developed by Polyphony Digital. It was released on Jan. 10, 2005 (12 years ago) in Japan and Hong Kong (NTSC-J), Feb. 22, 2005 (12 years ago) in North America (NTSC-U/C), and Mar. 9, 2005 (12 years ago) in Europe (PAL), and has since been re-issued under Sony's 'Greatest Hits' line.
GT4 was delayed for over a year and a half by Polyphony Digital, and had its online mode removed (later added in Gran Turismo 4 Online test version). The game features over 700 cars from 80 manufacturers, from as early as the 1886 (131 years ago) Daimler Motor Carriage and as far into the future as concepts for 2022. The game also features 51 tracks, many of which are new or modified versions of old Gran Turismo favorites, with some notable real-world additions.
The Chinese, Japanese and Korean versions of the game were bundled with a 212-page driving guide and lessons on the physics of racing. A limited edition, Gran Turismo 4 Online test version, was released in Japan in summer 2006 (11 years ago), and a PSP enhanced port entitled Gran Turismo Mobile is in development.
A-Spec and B-Spec game modesPlayers now accumulate points by winning races in the normal first-person driving mode, called A-Spec mode. Each race event can yield up to a maximum of 200 A-Spec points. Generally, a win using a car with less of an advantage over the AI opponents is worth more points. Points can only be won once, so to win further points from a previously-won event, it must be re-won using a car with less of an advantage over the AI. There are also the 34 Missions which can yield 250 points each. Despite this, A-Spec points cannot be redeemed for anything.
The new B-Spec mode puts players in the place of a racing crew chief: telling the driver how aggressively to drive, when to pass, and mandating pit stops (by monitoring tire wear, fuel level, and oil cleanliness). The speed of the time in the race can be increased up to 3x, allowing for Endurance races to be completed in less time than would take in A-Spec mode. The 3x feature, however, must be turned on after every pit stop because it resets to normal time. The game manual says that the player may speed up B-Spec mode by up to 5x, but this is believed to be a typo.
B-Spec points are given out for each race completed in B-Spec mode. This increases the skill level of the AI driver in the categories of vehicle skill, course skill, and battle skill. Players can thereby use B-Spec mode in harder races as the game progresses.
Driving missionsAnother new addition to the game is the Driving Missions, which are similar in experience to the license tests, but award successful completion with 250 A-Spec points and 1000 or more credits. Each mission takes place with a given car on a given track or section of track, and a given set of opponents.
There are 4 sets of missions: The Pass, in which the driver must overtake an opponent within a certain distance; 3 Lap Battle, in which the driver must pass 5 opponents over the course of 3 laps; Slipstream Battle, in which the driver must overtake opponents by way of drafting; and 1 Lap Magic, in which the driver starts with a significant time penalty against much slower opponents and must overtake them all in the space of a single lap. Completing each set of missions earns the player a prize car. There are a total of 5 prize cars available to be won.
Hardware compatibilityGT4 supports 480p/1080i (NTSC only) and widescreen modes, however 1080i is only supported in single player races.
Despite the lack of online gameplay, GT4 does support use of the PlayStation 2 Network Adapter, which can be used to communicate with additional PS2s to create a multi-screen setup. In addition, the Network Adapter can be used to play games on a local subnet for up to six players, though player customized cars cannot be used in a LAN game.
Support for the Logitech Driving Force Pro and GT Force steering wheels is continued from Gran Turismo 3 (10 walls): A-Spec. Other "PC" steering wheels previously (and unofficially) supported in GT3 were explicitly disabled for GT4.
New support is given for USB storage and print devices used in photo (wallpaper) Mode.
Photo modeThe new photo (wallpaper) Mode is included in the game, which allows the player to control a virtual camera, taking pictures (wallpaper) of their cars on the track or at specific locations, including the Grand Canyon. This game is able to produce a selection of screenshots with variable compression rate (Normal/Fine/SuperFine) and size (up to 1280x960 72dpi), and the user can choose to save or print to supported USB device.
VehiclesGT4 continues in its predecessors' footsteps by offering an extremely large list of cars; the PAL version, for example, features 721 cars from 80 manufacturers. There are differences in the car lists between the different GT4 regional versions, and some cars have different names, e.g. the JDM Toyota Vitz is known as the Toyota Yaris in places such as Europe and Puerto Rico and the second generation Mazda Demio is known as the Mazda 2 in the same places (PAL version only). Some of the cars are multiple variations on a single base model; there are 20 different Subaru Imprezas, 25 Mitsubishi Lancers, and 48 Nissan Skylines, including the Nissan GT-R Proto, thus becoming the first video game ever to feature it. You can win it by achieving all silver medals in the International "A" license. One vehicle, another Skyline, is in pace car form, in the "Guide Lap" licence tests. It is also a prize car. There is also the GT Edition, which was the pace car without the pace car lights, and even more power. You win that by getting all golds on one of the licences, and even buy it in the Japanese version. Each vehicle model has over 4000 polygons. Car prices range from about 2500 credits for basic 1980 (37 years ago) Japanese used cars up to 4,500,000 credits for the top end (mostly Le Mans) race cars. Some special prize-only cars (such as the Pagani Zonda LM Race Car '01) are not visible in the vehicle showrooms, and a few do not have corresponding dealerships, and thus are unmodifiable, for example, the Formula Gran Turismo (F1 car).
GT4 is responsible for a few vehicle firsts in the Gran Turismo series. It is the first to feature pickup trucks, such as the Ford Lightning, Toyota Tacoma, and Dodge Ram. It is the first game in the series to feature the Delorean, using the stage II spec engine (developed in 2004 (13 years ago), hence the 2004 (13 years ago) designation). It is also the first in the series to feature a diesel powered car, the BMW 120d. A special edition of GT4 featuring the 120d (and the rest of the 1 Series line), and three tracks were provided to BMW customers who purchased their 1 Series automobile before the release of GT4. While Gran Turismo 2 did have a one-off F1 engine version of the Renault Espace, GT4 was the first of the series to feature a production minivan, the Honda Odyssey (JDM version). A first generation Mitsubishi Pajero Paris-Dakar rally car, a winner of the 1985 (32 years ago) rally, makes an appearance as the first SUV in racing trim; the first SUV to appear in the GT series was the Subaru Forester in GT2.
The 1886 (131 years ago) Daimler Motor Carriage, on the Grand Valley SpeedwayThe game includes some prize cars of historical interest, such as vehicles from as far back as 1886 (131 years ago) at the dawn of the automobile. These older cars require the user to purchase turbo kits and nitrous oxide in order to remain competitive with newer machinery (for example, Daimler Motor Carriage has 1 horsepower in stock form, whereas a Castrol Tom's Supra has 464 horsepower). Even some modern cars with complex body shapes cannot be raced against opponents.
Comedian Jay Leno, an avid car collector, is listed in the game as a manufacturer; one of his custom cars, the Blastolene Special or "Tank Car", is included in the game as a prize car, available after beating missions 11-20.
The 2022 Nike One has Morse code on the right hand side of the car. When reversed, this reads "www.phil-frank.com", the artist commissioned to design this car for GT4, There is also some Morse code visible on the inside of all four tires, but is not decipherable.
GT4 retains all the familiar tuning parameters from the previous games in the series, but also allows weight to be added to the car. This can be positioned to affect handling or used as a form of handicapping. Another new vehicle tuning addition is nitrous oxide injection.
ReceptionReviewers criticize the game for its continued lack of rendered damage. Instead of damage, the cars simply bounce off the walls or each other.
Reviewers complained of the continued ability to take unrealistic short cuts, such as the ones on Fuji Speedway 90's, Driving Park Beginner Course and Circuit de la Sarthe I and II, where the driver can cut right across the chicane, allowing a player to win by cheating. They also complain that the steering is unrealistic and the cars do not have enough grip.
The game has also been criticized for lack of online play which had been promised during early development, but was announced as being removed at the time of release.
The game lacks the established high-performance automotive brands of Ferrari (95 walls), Lamborghini, Maserati, and Porsche, though some Porsche-derived models are included by way of Ruf Automobile and the Cizeta V16T, which is similar to a Ferrari (95 walls) and a Lamborghini did appear in the game as prize for the Supercar Festival.
Many reviewers expressed disappointment in the game's AI system, noting that "virtual racers will follow their (driving) line with little concern for where the human driver is at any one time." This is more evident during rally races and missions in which a 5 second speed penalty is given for hitting the other cars or the barriers, regardless of who initiated the contact.
Some critics found B-Spec mode to offer little to the overall experience.
This game has also been criticized for the high percentage of disc read errors. It is believed that many of the older PS2s have problems, as well as early slim models.
Awards and nominations
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