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Gran Turismo 4
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Your enjoyment of Gran Turismo 4 depends upon whether or not you enjoyed Gran Turismo 3.  Like Gran Turismo 3, number 4 is an ultra-realistic simulation racing game.  In fact, the physics engine seems to have been tightened up and made even more realistic.  And just when you thought you couldn't improve on perfection, they've made the graphics even more jaw-dropping.  I especially love the opening cinema and the new animated bystanders in the race.  Improvements from the last game include better license tests and more of them, the ability to purchase used and historic cars at discount prices, bars that measure G forces and acceleration and braking strengths, faster and more exciting tracks(including German favorite Nurburgring), the license tests awarding you with a prize car merely for graduating instead of getting all gold, and the ability to win the prize cars of the races over and over again.  On the other hand, the A.I. drivers are still their same, heavily-scripted selves.  But is this really such a bad thing when the game is this polished?  There are also other oddities, like the aftermarket parts being separated by brand name instead of being one-size-fits-all, even though there are no differences between the brands, a photo mode where you can take a picture of your favorite car and even print it out, and a director's mode where you tell the racer what to do instead of racing yourself.  These last two elements are nice, but the real meat of this game will always be the racing.  Oh, and one more thing.  Twenty four hour endurance racing is back with a vengeance.  Be afraid.  Overall, Gran Turismo 4 is more of the same that made Gran Turismo 3 so great, with even better elements.  Of course if you hated Gran Turismo 3 in the first place, than skip this game.  Will Microsoft's Forza Motorsport beat this astounding game?  Somehow I doubt it.

Grade: Superb

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