Friday, October 30, 2009

Wii've Come to Play With You

My daughter played the Wii at a friend's house and has expressed a desire to have one. (Honestly, she's expressed a desire to have "every toy made for kids," so I don't know how much she really wants one.) I've had no interest in the system, but there are plenty of people who have told me it is really fun, and I'm starting to think it might be a good investment.

I haven't bought a PS3 for several reasons. Money, lack of exciting games, and lack of backwards compatibility being the main ones. At this point, I see buying a Wii before the PS3, though Gran Turismo is enticing.

If anyone reading this (all two of you) has a Wii and wants to throw in your opinions, feel free. I'd love to get more input before I make a final decision (I'm also considering a PSP for her).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Reasons for the Gran Turismo PSP Addiction

I don't listen to the music in the PSP Gran Tursimo game. If I listen to anything, it's my music, which includes King Kahn and his Shrines. I love this band, and have ever since I heard its Voodoo Rhythm release. Oddly enough, while strolling through the game credits I read that the mighty King has a song on the soundtrack! Reason number 437 to love this game.

A not-so-great thing, but kinda cool -- Jay Leno does the voice work for the game. Granted, this is minimal, but now that I know it's him I can't help but picture him every time I hear, "Finish!"

God, this game is incredible for a hand held.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This is Why I Love Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo for the PSP has not left my system since I got it. This is why.

I am not a fan of Jaguars. In the game, however, I obtained a 1961 E-Type Jaguar coupe. If you race it on the game's default settings you will find a standard car that handles with understeer, but is thoroughly drivable. I like to set the cars up closer to the original versions, however, for added realism.

I set up mine with a manual transmission, TCS off and ASM off. At this point, the Jaguar becomes a monster to control. Tires squeal to the breaking point, it takes forever to get to a decent speed (which was the case before, too, but now I can control that more), and it handles somewhere between driving through molasses and driving on ice. And I love it.

In Gran Turismo, cars handle fairly close to their counterparts in real life. They don't take damage (always a sticking point), but who cares. Drive it like a real car and that won't bother you. When you set up a car like its real life version, it makes the game more exciting. Setting up the Jaguar made the game incredible. What made it even better is when I started winning races against Toyotas and Mazdas. That was a feeling of exhilaration you just don't get in many games.

A car I once added is soon to be added to my favorites. You gotta love a game that can do that to you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Like a Dream Not Quite Come True: Gran Turismo PSP

If you are a fan of the Gran Turismo series, and you own a PSP, this is the game you have been waiting for. It was announced as coming when the system was first released. In typical Gran Turismo fashion, it was a bit late ... by a few years.

The game itself looks beautiful, plays great for a handheld and contains 800 cars. Sweet motherfucking Jesus. All your favorite tracks are there, too. So what is the complaint? (No, not lack of damage -- that has been the standard complaint of the series since day one). It's the fact that much of the challenge is gone.

In the previous games in the series, you had to finish the license challenges and you had to finish certain races. If you did these things you got cars. Now you can simmply just buy cars with credits earned by doing driving challenges and winning races (including the new drift events). It has taken away a lot of what made the first four games so damn fulfilling.

Make no mistake, this is still a great game. It's actually an incredible game. I can't believe it's on a handheld. The franchise has always been porn for car fans, and this is no different. It just is lacking that extra special bit that made the originals classics.

This game will stand the test of time. It has tons of replay value, and it is a no-brainer for fans of racing games. Die hard fans of the series, however, will already be planning what they want to see in the sequel, which is sure to come out ... six years or so down the road.