Is Gran Turismo 4 The Greatest Racing Game of All Time?

Although I have still not finished Resident Evil Village I picked up Gran Turismo 4. I have thought about playing GT4 for a while now. It is said to be maybe the best game in the series and it is definitely a very good racing game. It is definitely the best racing game for PlayStation 2.

Another very good racing and actually a rally game of this era is Richard Burns Rally. It was for propably a decade the most realistic racing simulation to be found. It was released also for PC and original Xbox while Gran Turismo 4 was released for PlayStation 2 with exclusive righs. Richard Burns Rally lost its spot as the best rally simulator since there were newer games released in this genre. I can mention titles like Dirt Rally and its sequel Dirt Rally 2.0 just to name some games.

I am playing GT4 with a game pad. The game supports also many tpyes of driving wheels. It would be nice to play it this way. I do have a driving wheel  but I am too lazy to try to learn using it. I would also like to have a decent driving chair. I currently don’t have one. But the game supports driving wheels and why not pedals also.

In Gran Turismo 4 you start with no license and also no car. You have only 10 000 credits. I started with getting a driving license. The first license and also the easiest to get is B license. There are several other driving licenses that give you access to competititons.

You have to upgrade your car if you wish to get some credits. Then you can upgrade your car more and maybe after a while you get a new more powerful car. Sometimes the game gets a bit repetitive because you have to compete in same chllenge for many times to get enough credits so you can make some progress. This can be dull at times.

Gran Turismo 4 has hundreds of cars. Getting a good car can be hard at times. You have to buy some upgrades to get to fiddle with your cars settings. The first thing I got to adjust was the transmission. You can set your car to have a high maximum speed with a lower acceleration level or the other way around. So, you can also make your car accelerate fast which then lowers the maximum speed. This can be handy in tracks that have lots of slow corners and not so much straights.

Graphics are a bit dated. Controls defnitely aren’t. There could be more decent music tracks in the soundtrack. I am talking about these nice tracks that we had in the first Gran Turismo. If you are thinking if you should return to the first game we can consider that if you haven’t played Gran Turismo 1 or 4 at all I think the fourth game would be a good way to start getting into Gran Turismo. I also liked very much the latest game of this series, Gran Turismo 7, that was released last year for PS4 and PS5.

Where It All Begun (And Where Are We Now) With Gaming

I am a game hobbyist that started playing video games as soon as I was old enough to interact with a keyboard and a mouse. Some years later I was gaming on a Sega Mega Drive and some years after that I got my PlayStation. This was the beginning of my hobby.

Today video games are more popular than ever. There is a large amount of money involved. There are also many independent developers. There seems to be some people that really love video games. There seems to be a lot of games released mainly for making lots of money.

There was once a time when video games were a true form of art. You can take for example the game I am currently playing now. I also wrote a blog post about this game. The game is Remedy Entertainments Max Payne. You can see that this title was a success both artistically and financially.

I think I don’t have to point out any of these big companies that try to release very big games. It seems that when the stakes are too high there is a strong propability for the game to also fail completely. The failure will be financial and you definitely wouldn’t call it art in any way.

The involvement of money is one thing that is effecting the whole industry today. I kind of miss the artistic side of gaming. I have nice memories of playing all those PlayStation 1 titles. It is said that playing PS1 is kind of listening to rock music. And playing Sega Dreamcast is like listening to jazz music.

Why was Dreamcast a failure? To put it simple it didn’t sell that well. It did sell 9 million units. That wasn’t enough. We can compare this to how PS2 sold. That was way over 100 million. Even Xbox and GameCube sold over twice of what Dreamcast ended up selling. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are the leaders of todays game console markets as Sega has already made it clear that they aren’t going to release another new console.

Does it seem that you are getting fooled? This might not be the case afterall. If consumers keep buying those titles that they find the most satisfying there might be a brighter future for gamers and gaming. You just have to be aware of the situation. If you are a gaming hobbyist like I am you definitely want to keep up with this field. There is the mainstream. But there definitely does exist an opportunity to pick the games you really want to play. I think that there is a way to have good experiences in gaming. There is an alternative.

There are loads of games, old and new, for you to choose. Don’t have the latest console? Don’t worry about it. You can pick yourself a Xbox 360 or some other older console. It doesn’t cost you as much and you can have a really good time. There are many ways to get some good quality games for your personal computer.

There is always a way and also a place for art inside gaming. It might not be the deepest art you will ever see but it does have a value for gamers. Observe your possibilities. What you are buying is usually a way for also a gamer to influence what is going to be available in the future.

The Launch of PlayStation 2

Hello to my readers! This is the first post in this blog this year. This year is surely going to be exciting. Diablo IV got a release day. This is 6/6/2023. I am also waiting to get into playing Forza Motorsport 8. I have also a topic for this post so let’s dive in.

I am once again writing about the gaming console that has sold to this day the most. It has about 156 million units sold. It is, ladies and gentlemen, PlayStation 2. In the last post I swore I wouldn’t buy another PS2. Guess what? I got my new unit just yesterday. I had to tell you the truth. I couldn’t resist the thought of playing once again these great games that PS2 has to offer for all the gamers worldwide.

When actually was PS2 released? The year was 2000. Some people were very excited about it. I remember that I had just some months ago sold my PlayStation 1. I had a PC that I used for playing video games. Or is it correct to use a term “computer games”? I don’t know and I don’t actually care. I had just started studies in a high school. I was very keen on studying and the future was looking bright. My favorite game of this era must be Diablo II.

Of course there were competitors. Sega, Nintendo and a new comer, Microsoft, released their own game consoles. Finally, if we look at sales, we can figure that Sony was this time the dominant winner in this struggle to win hearths of gamers. GameCube sold 21 million units, Dreamcast sold 9 million units while Xbox sold 24 million units. How many units did PS2 sell? Once again we can say that it sold actually 156 million units.

Why did it sell so much more than its competitors? There are many reasons. I remember how some of my friends were against the idea that Microsoft as a huge technology company was getting into also the game business. PS2 had also a DVD player. It was sold for a low price. The price was 300 dollars. DVD players were more expensive than that. This must be one of the many reasons.

PS2 has a huge library of games. There were many of them that were released at the launch. The featured image of this blog post presents one of them. It is SSX. One of my friends went and bought PS2 when it was launched. The console was popular to say the least. We were talking about people getting in line hours before the system was released to make sure that they would be able to also buy one.

SSX is a decent snowboarding game. I remember seeing the graphics of the game. I don’t remember if I palyed it. It might be that I tried it for a while. It was the first game that this friend of mine bought. We watched some rented DVDs with this system. Televisions were heavier than today. They also couldn’t present sharp graphics we are used to today.

My other favorite games for PS2 are Metal Gear Solid 2, Colin McRae Rally 3, GTA III and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3. PS2s game library contains thousands of titles. I think there are some hidden gems and I also think I haven’t gotten into them yet. There were some space shooters that I definitely would like to play. Also there are games like Forbidden Siren that I haven’t yet touched to this day. What about driving games? You can definitely trust Gran Turismo 3 and 4 in this matter.

My PS2 cost me 110 euros. It is now fresh and I am going to use it. I have thought about what can I do if I break it. What happened to my last PS2? It was working for about two years. Then it just started to ingore loading a game disc. There are actually very easy ways to fix this problem and you can definitely find help from your search engine if you face these issues. What did I do when my PS2 broke? Well…I tried to fix it my self and went on to order a replcement part. I took my PS2 apart and found out that I had ordered a wrong part. The model was different. So now I have a working PS2 that doesn’t have a disc reader in it at all.

It might be that my PS2 will last for 2 years. It might be that my PS2 will last for two months. I don’t know the answer. We will find out. I know also that know is the time to really enjoy this gaming console. I already have over 50 games. It seems that I kind of missed PS2 back in 2000s. I am right now waiting to get my hands on that Dualshock 2 controller again. Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Why I Think It’s not Worth It To Buy PS2 Today

Some years ago, like maybe three or so, I broke my PlayStation 2. I was seriously thinking about buying another one. I have over 50 games for it already. I also think that there might be some very good games waiting to be discovered. There are lots of used games available.

I found a PS2 that had a price tag of 80 euros. It includes only the console and wires and not a single controller. A console with a controller would cost about 110 euros. I do have a controller or two so I would preferably go for the cheaper deal right here. I just think that it’s not really worth it. Do you want to know why? Keep reading if you do.

When PS2 was the dominant and also a new gaming system there were more games released. They also had crappier graphics. As games they were also more limited in sense of overall game design. It was a pain to still use memory cards. Sometimes a game would just not load a save. This happened to me as I was playing Burnout 3. I had over 25 percentage of the game completed and the save somehow got corrupted and refused to load. I was using a third party memory card that had 128 MB of space. That might have something to do with this issue. The regular Sony’s memory cards are 8 MB.

PS2 was released int he early 2000s. There are two models that were released. The newer is a slim model and the older model is called usually the fat model. It is possible to play PS1 games on a PS2. Controller for this console is Dual Shock 2 which is an upgrade of a PS1s controller. There are over 4300 games released for PS2. You can find lists of games from your favorite search engine.

There is a very good emulator for playing PS2 games on your Windows or Linux PC. This emulator is, of course, PCSX2. In order to play games you have to set up a BIOS. If you want to do this without breaking a law you have to get the BIOS from a PS2 that you own. It is illegal to download a BIOS file. And, of course, you don’t want to break law, right?

PS2 games exist in plain DVD discs so it is easy to use the emulator as long as you have, an internal or external, disc drive in your PC. You can also rip DVDs to .iso format or to some other format so you don’t have to worry about using or scratching your game discs. You might need a USB compatible controller. I prefer for PlayStation emulation a Dual Shock 4 game pad. This is also a bit tricky. This is actually a story for another blog post so I won’t get into this too deeply right now.

Prices of rare and also some of the best PS2 games have been rising in recent years. I think it was 2017 when I got Silent Hill 3 for 15 euros. Now it might cost 70 euros or something like that. This is clearly the direction in which we are moving. Instead of selling your PS2 games it might be wiser to hold on to them for some years and think again if you really want to sell them.

PS2 has some really good games. I can mention games like God of War, Gran Turismo 3 and 4, Devil May Cry series and Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3. Actually many of the best games ever released on PS2 are for PlayStation only so you won’t find them for other consoles that were competing desperately against the dominance of PS2 back in 2000s.

With every fact considered in this blog post I think that it isn’t worth it. I can say this honestly. I am not a game shop keeper or game seller. I am a consumer or hobbyist and this is my own personal and honest opinion. I am not going to buy a PS2. At least I am going to wait for a while. I have made some game related purhcases recently. I have to think about where my money is going for a while.

Keep reading my blog. It was fun to write once again my thoughts here. And don’t worry because I have lots of games to play. I have lots of material that I can use for this blog. You can be sure that I am going to return to you and write some more about my experiences and describe a bit of what am I doing in this life. Be safe! I will find you the next time.

Could PS2 Classic be Possible?

You might remember the release of PlayStation Classic. It might have been a disappointment. At least that was what everyone thought like about it a year after its release. I am pointing to a fact that its price dropped from the original 120 euros to as low as 20 euros. That was the lowest price I ever saw it sold for. I bought it for 40 euros. There might be a debate about do you have the right to hack the device.

PlayStation Classic had 20 games with it. Those games were not the best ones and there’s not even a debate. These games could have been better. There could have been more games included. There could have been better game pads included. But even with its flaws the system ended up in my living room after all. It definitely was worth of its low price at least for me.

But would it be possible that there would be some day a gaming console called PS2 Classic? We can start to think about how many good games would there exist on the system. Or we can talk about the system requirements of this device. If one PS2 game takes about 4,7 GB of space, and if there were 20 games released with it, they would require a space of 94 GB. Maybe there should be at least about 120 GB of space on the hard drive.

We can also think about how powerful the system should be considering about processor and graphics processing. There is already an emulator that you can run on your PC called PCSX2. It doesn’t require so much from GPU and CPU of your PC. You can run it on a even an older computer today. A while ago this wasn’t possible. We should thank the progression of computer related technology for that.

If these technical issues were finally solved and there would be a system released we can come back to the first issue I mentioned. There would be a maximum number of games. What would the games be and would every game be available for it? This could be a limitation. There were many good games that were released for PS2. Would there be only like 10 games on the system? Would it be possible to hack the system? Would you have to do it to make it reasonable to even buy the thing? And finally – how much would the thing cost and would it be different than just running (illegally) your favorite PS2 emulator on your home PC? After all since the games are in DVD format you can play them, or rip them, directly simply putting the disc in the tray of your PC after getting your hands on the BIOS some way.

I have to mention that this text has barely scratched the surface of this matter. After all it’s not so much about what the fans or tech hobbyists think about. It is about if it’s reasonable to release a system like this. Is it profitable? And is it worth the effort? If you have some deeper hardware knowledge or experience in circuit design or electronics you might understand something more deeper in this matter. I am not a specialist and these are only some of my thoughts about this matter.

Spending some time with Gran Turismo 4

As I may have mentioned earlier I kind of missed PlayStation 2. So it’s finally time for me to pick up Gran Turismo 4 and start getting in to playing it. The game was released in 2005. With over 700 cars and almost endless possibilities to race and tune your vehicle to it’s maximum performance it brings a huge game for the player to enjoy for a long time.

My history with Gran Turismo begins as I picked up the first game of the series. It was end of the 90s. Graphics were beginning to become more realistic. The capacity of CD-ROM brought more details and content to be used by game developers. Gran Turismo was also good for promoting PlayStation. It soon became clear that PlayStation would see some very nice driving games. The second Gran Turismo game was also released for PS1. The third one started the era of PS2s racing games.

There are lots of games that are dealing with driving a car or some another vehicle.
Gran Turismo made a difference. It delivered almost pure racing. Almost nothing else included. It had real cars and not only some but hundreds of cars that actually existed also in real life. It’s amazing to understand how the attributes of these cars tell you exactly how they behave while being handled on the road. These include mass, suspensions, tire selections, engines capability and so on. There are lots of things to mess with. You can modify the settings while testing the car. Upgrades to your car are essential. You have to win to get money for the upgrades.

I really enjoyed the first Gran Turismo. I hope my experiences with the fourth game of this series are enjoyable. I have to bring this fact up. The graphics aren’t too smooth or nice. It has been 15 years since the release. What could you expect? As the sixth game was released for PS3 there haven’t been a release of this series for a while now. Gran Turismo Sport did appear to the gaming stores but I think it was more of a eSports type of game.

We are expecting Gran Turismo 7 to be released for the newest PlayStation. I have to Google this one. And yes, the release is scheduled to quarter 1 / qurter 2 of 2021. As Gran Turismo 4 is even today a very enjoyable game with many interesting features you have to wonder a while what could there be inside the seventh Gran Turismo game.

Original Xbox vs PlayStation 2

Xbox

+ Better controller and better feel for FPS games like Halo

+ Hard drive included so saving games is smoother

– There is actually no working emulators for PC

PS2

+ Good support for PC emulation

+ USB connectivity

+ Lots of used games available because of huge popularity

– Need for memory cards (though nowadays you can buy for example 128 MB card that holds all your saves)

There are many differences between these game consoles that had to battle against each other in the beginning of 2000s. Above I have made some pros and cons for these two devices. We can start from controllers. Xbox had a different layout for buttons in its controller. While PS2 laid out the analog buttons side by side Xbox placed them quite differently. I don’t know technically how Xbox managed to be more playable when discussion turns to FPS games.

These consoles had many games that were only released for Xbox or PS2. Xbox had Halo. PS2 had God of War games and Gran Turismo. Xbox sold 24 million units as PS2 sold amazing 159 million units. That should explain why there were more games released for PS2 and why there is now lots of used games on sale right now for PS2. I remember that players had back then an attitude against Microsoft. It was entering gaming industry and Xbox was its first gaming console. It already dominated PC operating systems markets. Many thought it to be too large company and now it entered the world of gaming.

In my humble opinion you really can’t tell which one is better. They are different consoles and have different abilities. They both reflect the time and situation that gaming was in as it was the beginning of 2000s. I like to play both of these systems. It takes me back to this time and brings up a lot of nostalgia inside my mind. There were also many identical games that were released for these systems. So I really can’t tell which one is better – you have to figure it out yourself. If you have any comments or something to add feel free to comment below.

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