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Tue Jan 31, 2006
22:33
GT4 screenshot GT4 screenshot GT4 screenshot
GT4 screenshot GT4 screenshot GT4 screenshot

Behold, screenshots from Gran Turismo 4 (for Playstation 2). Okay, this game isn't exactly new anymore ... but it's still worth talking about. Back in the day, the original Gran Turismo was the whole reason I splurged and purchased a Playstation (the original one). I had played the game at a friend's house in college, and I was hooked from the moment I played it. Until then, I had no idea there was a driving simulator like this available for video game consoles. Sure, it's still "just a game"... but if you're absolutely bonkers for cars like me, then there's massive appeal that goes far deeper than the game play. The physics are great, the graphics in each version of the game have always been pretty cutting edge, but there's more than that. Try more than 500 different cars to choose from, each one of them meticulously modeled after the real thing. Not just more of the same supercars you get to drive in other games, but also real cars that you've probably driven already in real life. Not only that, most of the tracks are also straight out of reality - Laguna Seca (with it's dusty pavement and infamous "corkscrew" - what a killer course!), Limerock, Watkins Glen, and even Monaco. GT4 features more than 650 cars that you can modify to your heart's content.

One of the coolest features that they introduced in GT4 is a photo shoot mode, that lets you view replays of races from different camera angles, and take snapshots. The snaphots can then be saved to any mass-storage compliant USB device (thumbdrives, usb hard drives, etc). The above screenshots are scaled down versions of those snapshots - as you can see, they come out pretty nice. In these particular pictures, you see one of my favorite cars in the game - a 1976 VW GTI. 1976 was the first year of the VW GTI, but only in europe - we didn't get them here in the U.S. until the 1983 model year. It was called the Rabbit GTI here in the U.S., but it was called the Golf GTI in europe. The european 1976 GTI and the 1983 U.S. spec Rabbit GTI have many differences. They share the same platform, but the 76 has the coveted round headlights and small taillights whereas the U.S. Rabbit GTIs came with square headlights and the wide taillights. The engine used in the 76 GTI produced 20 more horsepower than the Rabbit GTI, despite being 200cc smaller in displacement. The 76 GTI motor (utilizing a Heron cylinder head) was a beast for being only 1600cc - it produced an impressive 110 horsepower at 6100RPM. The 83 and 84 Rabbit GTI motor (code JH), by contrast, was 1800cc and produced 90 horsepower at 5500RPM.

Okay, that's enough of that for now.

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