News and views on motorsports

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

GT4 Update

If the Nurburgring is the Matrix then you can call me Neo. If you've ever watched Kurosawa Motoharu aka Gan-San belting the Honda NSX-R at the Ring in 7m 56s, you'd know that he probably needed every ounce of his considerable skills, thrashing the poor NSX to within an inch of its life. The guy looked exhausted after his banzai lap. Me, I did the trick in comfort in 7m 47s.

Hmmm Kazunori. Its a little bit cloud cuckoo land right now. Much as I love the NSX, I know that there's no way it'll make it in 7m 47s. Not when the likes of a Pagani Zonda can only do it in roughly 7m 44s in real life. But as I said, call me Neo. The only thing missing right now is a cool looking bullet time slow mo crushing all my rivals to oblivion.

I've amassed enough cash and some cools cars in my garage. I bought myself an M3 CSL the other day (if only real life is as cool as the GT4 MATRIX!). Took it for a spin round the Ring. Found it to be understeering and proceeded to lambast it as a waste of credits to my rivals. As happens in real life, I ended up shooting myself in the foot with that one. Having switched off the traction and stability controls, the car proves to be well... just right and 7m 46s round the Ring later, I had to eat my words. Dammit!

I won myself an M3 GTR in the "M" Power BMW one make race. I expected this bad boy to be a lot quicker than a CSL. But there really isn't much difference between the two. A quick glance at its specs shows 380bhp V8 and 1350kg for the GTR and 360bhp 6-cyl and 1385kg for the CSL. They feel the same.

So I took the GTR for some races. I had it lightened to race specs, fitted with race suspension and gearbox. Unlike some rivals though, I like to leave the engine untouched as it gives me a nicer challenge against the computer. Hey man, you're talking to Neo here ok? The GTR thus equipped feels better than standard but at the Ring, it can't get the better of bumps and dips. The backend's a bit too loose. I think I'd need to adjust the corner weights backwards in this case. After lightening the car its very nose heavy. An even better solution would be an aerodynamic one. So into the tune shop I go and fit it with a absolutely gigantic GT rear wing!! That's more like it. My rivals would probably regard this as blasphemously Japanese-like but I don't care. So finally some BMWs worth driving. Unlike the awful 328Ci in the previous versions of Gran Turismo.

For a great challenge try competing in the Japan GT races with a Nismo LM concept race car. Turn off the traction and stability controls. Rely solely on you thumbs or right foot to balance the car's traction. Its simply transforms the game. I do admit to keeping traction control in GT3 but if you switch it off in GT4, the game becomes absolutely thrilling. Of course, some rivals I know of will keep everything switched on because they are wusses.

With traction control switched off, the slightest twitch of your thumbs will light up your rear tyres in a blaze of tyre smoke. So you'd better learn how not to simply jump on the power. You need to feed it in smoothly for a good lap time. Of course the computer controlled cars are doing this automatically and much easily so they'll quickly catch up with you.

All in all, great fun so far providing hours of thrills and spills. A little more realism for the next version, Kazu? In fact make it hyper realistic. Neo could use more of a battle.

No comments: