Saturday, January 23, 2016

Random game I feel like blogging about: Gran Turismo 2

As I mentioned  in my "How I became a retro gamer" article, racing games have been an important part of my gaming history. Starting off with Super Mario Kart on SNES... I also enjoyed Rock & Roll Racing on SNES.

As I got older I started to enjoy futuristic racing games such as Rollcage. But when I first discovered Colin Mcrae 2.0, I discovered "realistic racing simulators" (or so I thought). I really enjoyed the physics of this game, how you have to fight with the environment and slide around the corners. I played several other rally games such as Microsoft Rallisport Challenge. But it wasn't until Richard Burns Rally that I realized what a real simulation game was. Richard Burns was amazing, but also brutally punishing. If anything it was almost too difficult to play with a gamepad.

For some reason I have never really been able to get into gaming with an analog stick. I think the placement of the analogs on the Playstation controllers is terrible and not ergonomic. The closest I've gotten to appreciating them was I used to have an Xbox 360 controller. I used it some for Trackmania Nations.

But in general, I still prefer D-pad for driving. Call me oldschool.

So fast forward to around 2011, I was really wanting to play some realistic driving. I tried out this game called Gran Turismo 4 on my PS2. It was good and had a lot of potential... But I didn't really have a comfortable setup for the PS2. So I tried out the PSP version of Gran Turismo. It is excellent, it has a ton of cars and tracks. But unfortunately it doesn't have any kind of career mode. So it's basically just a challenge against yourself to see how much money and cars you can obtain, and how many tracks you can complete at higher skill levels. Gets kinda old after a while.

So I figured I would try Gran Turismo 2 for PS1, in emulation. Sure the graphics aren't quite as good as GT4 or PSP, but it's still a great game. It's got a solid career mode and the physics are quite excellent.

I've done some reading online about whether people consider GT games to be a simulator or not. Some people do, some people don't. Apparently there are more hardcore sims out there, but they are mostly for PC and probably are kind of sterile and wouldn't handle well with a D-Pad.

For me, GT is the ultimate combination of accessibility and realistic seeming physics, to seem fun.   :)

There's snow all over the ground at my house here. Instead of going out and driving like a fool in it, I'm gonna play some GT2 soon to get it out of my system  :)     Reason I still play GT2 is because my PC isn't powerful enough to emulate PS2, and I haven't really found any similar games that I enjoy for PC.

Here's some screenshots!!!

Subaru Impreza Rally car.... Oh yeah!!!!

Suzuki Escudo. Pretty much the most ridiculously overpowered car in the game
 Random start sequence

 Classic car (Lotus maybe?) on the Seattle circuit

In conclusion:
Gran Turismo 2, coming to my living room chair tonight!


  1. Man, I used to be a big fan of racing games, I played all the classics of the pre-2000 era, Stunt Car Racer, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, Vroom (quite excellent in spite of its dummy name), and so many more. But, I'm not sure, I think my interest waned after getting my driving license. ;-)

  2. Not me... Because you still can't drive your real car like an idiot and fast like you do in games :)

    I will confess that occasionally when it snows, I go around on deserted roads and test the limits of my vehicle around corners. It's a lot of fun and I think it's helped me understand better how to drive on snow. Buuutt last year I almost got stuck in a ditch doing that so I'm trying to not do that anymore this year. :)

    One day when I'm wealthy, I'm going to get a fun car and race mod it with rollcage and 5 point harness. There's a race track about 2 hour drive from here where they have weekend fun races for anyone who has the money and a modified vehicle. Fun times!!! I can't decide between a classic 80's Firebird/Camaro, or a more modern car like a Lotus Elise. Or maybe a Corvette if I have enough money. Either way it will be sweet :)

  3. Well, I just looked it up... Elise is almost as much as a Corvette, I guess it won't matter either way :)

  4. Wow I found the perfect comparison...

    Elise does great in the corners because it's so light, but it is clearly outclassed in horsepower.

  5. I was reading the rules for this race club...

    You even have to have fire resistant underwear!!!

    But it's pretty expensive to get into this club. This is only if I ever win the lottery :)

  6. Oh man, you're really into it. I'm such an over cautious (I might even say lame) driver in comparison. I'm this kind of guy who drives 20km/h below the speed limit, whichever it may be, and always has a thousand cars lining behind.

    I used to drive "normally" right after getting my driving license, but within the first 2 years I had 5 little accidents. All due to the same reason, I would drive too closely to the car in front of me. I only followed what I was told, I wasn't closer than what I was supposed to be, but I think I have problems focusing on the driving, my mind tends to wander pretty far, and I need more time to set my attention back to the road. For that reason I always keep this crazy distance between me the other cars. Whenever I'm in someone else's car, I feel itchy and want to push the break. ;-)

  7. Oh, and I never overtake anybody, ever! And when I overtake a very slow truck, cause I really have to, I get sweat. I'm not even kidding. :-D

  8. Oh. Sorry to hear about your accidents. Yeah I hate it when people follow me too closely, it drives me crazy. It is so dangerous.

    I keep a large following distance behind other cars.... At least 5 carlengths or more on the highway.

    I've only gotten in 3 accidents that I can recall, and 2 of them were the other person's fault. Both were in parking lots, and they didn't see me and crashed into the front left of my car. The 3rd accident was my fault and it was shortly after I started driving. I rear ended another car just BARELY. The tap was so light that all it did was make a slight imprint of my license plate on his bumper. He didn't even care and we just let it go. :)

    On my way to work, the speed limit is 65mph (104.6kph). I drive 70mph (112.6). Although today I was running a few minutes late so I drove 75 (120.7).... Not a good habit to do every day because the cops will get me. But from a safety standpoint I don't feel unsafe going that fast.

    I will admit when I was younger I used to drive too fast. Got several speeding tickets within my first few years of driving. The last ticket I got was 10 years ago and I didn't stop fully at a stop sign.