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Gran Turismo 5: First Lap

Short version: I know I should hate it, but I’m having too much fun.

There are a billion things wrong with GT5. Nigh endless list of bad design decisions, really, but I keep playing. Presently I’m obsessed with B-Spec mode (in fact, my drivers are running right now as I write this out), but let’s start off where I did: License Tests.

Initially I was going to gold as many as possible, but I got bored and started settling for silvers and bronzes through B and A tests. I highly recommend starting with those. You don’t have to worry about having the right vehicle (they give you the car and tuning set to use) and you get experience, too. I went from that straight into the Special Events and now I’m lvl 14 and have about 700,000cr without ever doing an actual cup race or doing any other modes. My poor starter Sunburst Yellow Mazda Eunos Roadster J-Limited 1991 has yet to be loved. Yes, I totally picked that because it was 19,000cr and then I went and picked up the ECU Tuning (Tuning Shop > Engine > ECU on the right) for 1,000cr so that I could get the Penniless Trophy right off the top. Hey, easier now than later. And it’s not a car I mind at all. There are so many Miatas in this game; collect them all!

SPECIAL EVENT 03 – Top Gear Test Track

Sure, it’s number three, but I bet most of us went here first!

Polyphony Digital has never seen an episode of Top Gear, ever. I guarantee it. I’m going to say that no one even related to or friends with PD people are familiar with the show. Kaz could sit next to Clarkson, Hammond, and May at a dinner tomorrow and not know who they are. The first Top Gear challenge hurts merely because of how stupid it is. Racing VW buses and any contact DQs you? Touch a cone and you’re out? Nothing catches fire? Not Top Gear. You need a gold in this first challenge in order to unlock the Top Gear Test Track for freeplay…. and then there’s no standing start available. See what I mean when I say that they don’t know TG from Thomas the Tank Engine? The challenge isn’t hard, thankfully, it just feels worse than it is because it’s so. damn. slow. Soooooooooooooo slow.


Then there’s the second Top Gear Challenge: Lotus. Try driving on ice with tires made of butter. Better yet, don’t. I’ve only tried twice before I got bored at getting disqualified for not actually touching a cone myself. See, ‘enemy’ cars can smack you around with complete impunity (however, much like the bus race, you hitting them at all will DQ you… sometimes. With the bus I’d sometimes collide people way harder than what would usually get me kicked out with no issues. It’s very hard to judge, and that’s a big consistency problem all over this game) but if you just so happen to steal their line and they choose to run off rather than brake, you’re done. It sucks. I’ll deal with it later.

SPECIAL EVENT 01 – Gran Turismo Karting Experience

Love it. Want more of it. Can’t wait to go back and do last the Advanced round. I got my PDI Racing Kart 100 for free, either by doing the B license or just because I gained a level, and it’s a ton of fun. If I do any racing online, it’ll probably be in a kart. But I won’t do it backwards.


SPECIAL EVENT 02 – Jeff Gordon Nascar School

I didn’t think I’d like it. I liked it. The opening video was creepy, unlike the promo for it, since Mr. Gordon’s avatar looked a little off, but the driving was responsive and fast and I’ll be going back for Advanced the second I hit level 21. Seriously though, the lipsynch. Creepy.


SPECIAL EVENT 04 – AMG Driving Academy

Simple and brilliant. Here you go through the Nürburgring in smaller chunks until you do a full dry lap as the final challenge. Beginner sticks you in a good car, Intermediate has you doing it at much faster speeds, and I haven’t done the last two yet. The AI on those full laps can drive you ’round the bend though. YEAH, I’M TALKING TO YOU, YOU LIME GREEN PIECE O’ CRAP. GET OUT OF THE LINE. Whatever you do, don’t drive the ring like this guy. zomgwow. The car saved his ass so many times. Dear parents of the kid driving and the others in the car: take the keys, now. For everyone’s sake.

I <3 Rally but I haven't started the next event to get a taste of it. Instead, I jumped into b-spec and, uh, that might end up taking over my life. Now I said I haven’t shown my sunny yellow convertible any love, but my two level 5 drivers T. Fleury and S. Fry are adding hundreds of km to the dash quite well on their own. Sporadically well, I should say. Theo ‘Donut’ Fleury and I need to have some words about that.

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