Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Gran Turismo Wish List

This won't be very deep, or probably very interesting to anyone but me. But I feel after four versions and the new version looking to have the same thing I have to get it out there, and an unread blog is just a hair under useful as sending in a letter. So here I go-

Dear Sony-

Look, the only reason I even have a Playstation is because of Gran Turismo and likely the only thing that will get me to shell out the coin for a PS3 is Gran Turismo, and the sad, sad reality of it is I'll probably still buy one even if you keep making the same old thing. But it'd be swell to get some of these problems addressed.

First, enough with the replays. Okay, we get it, they look great. But in reality, you stop watching them after the first night. If I want realistic looking racing, I have the Speed Channel. The part you watch shouldn't be more impressive than the part you play.

Second, I have friends. Crazy, I know. And even a few of them play this game. It'd be fantastic if the multi-player mode wasn't an after thought. Like, seriously, do I have to go all the way out to the main menu to adjust race conditions in two player mode, like number of laps? Really? Also, if I'm using cars from my garage (and good lord, why wouldn't we be?) I should be able to make adjustments to my car so that if the last time I was running my 1970 Superbird was for a high speed run at the test track, I can still use it in a race at the high speed ring without having to go into my game to make adjustments.

While we're at it, there are enough cars in the game the the races can make sense, but instead I'll enter a race where it's five race cars from three different series (including mine) and then an unmodified street car for some reason. I can deal with the cross series racers, it doesn't have to be but it's not a deal breaker, but really, the street car? Is it a disgruntled pace car driver? What the hell? It's like when slotless toy racers decided to add that 'blocker' van as a gimmick. Except it makes even less sense.

Let me paint my cars. I'm not even asking for the awesome Forza customization, but at the very least let me change the color of my car. Also, bring back race modifying my car-and while we're at it, let me pick my number.

This one might be a little late for the final edition of Gran Turismo 5, but embrace club racing. It be fantastic if I could be working local races trying to get an invite to the SCCA run offs, or the Japanese or European or Australian equivalents, working my way up to professional level racing. To this end, a calender would be great.

There's more, but honestly if I got half of what I've already asked for I'd be a fairly happy man.

The adjustability thing in two player mode applies to on-line as well.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Part of a Pattern? (Mark II)

Apparently, the first version of this post rang all kinds of alarm bells (the full version will appear unedited at the end of this explanation). To start--no, I'm not depressed--no, I'm not having relationship problems--no, I'm not especially engaged in second-guessing. The idea of the post was to discuss the inner critic and the trap of subjectivity that seems to plague me and many people that I know. On a completely pragmatic level, I know that the world isn't some vast conspiracy for my benefit, but it doesn't stop the thought from occasionally popping into my head, just as I almost always sleep with my feet pointed down to minimize the exposure of my achilles tendon to attacks from any ravenous animals that might try to rip them out and prevent me from running away. The process of maturation seems to me to be less about shedding these nagging thoughts as learning to ignore them, and I get better and better as life goes on.

Chalk it up to my skeptical nature--given sufficient idle time, everything will be cast into doubt. This includes my own motives and self-image, and therein is the problem of which I speak. Whenever I see a jackass or a yahoo yammering on endlessly unaware of the social discomfort he or she is creating and oblivious to his or her obvious jackassery, I get really uncomfortable. What if I do the same thing? What if I always do it? What if I'm doing it right now? (and, yes, I'm currently wondering if this selfsame post is a prime example of such--I'm sure I will be made aware of it). I can't be the only one, and I was hoping to start a discussion of this idea--that's all. No cry for help, no need for an artistic kick in the pants.

Without further discussion, below is what seems to be one of my all-time failures at rhetorical communication:

It seems like Walrus and I have had a series of minor wakeup calls and unpleasant realizations. He stumbled me something today that was another twist of the knife. It seems as though ideas that I've been kind of kicking around casually are in some way profound--this sounds horrible, I know, but it really raises a question that has plagued me for as long as I've had ideas, I have to confess that I'm no closer to figuring a way around it.

I don't have any way to look at an idea, project, attitude, or relationship and know whether I'm doing something right or screwing up. A corollary of this is that it's hard to tell whether compliments are based out of reality, pity, or some Truman-Show-esque conspiracy to keep me from finding out that I'm retarded. Add on to this that I can't even really tell when I'm blowing smoke up my own ass.

I have to wonder if this is the zeitgeist or just me (obviously, I can't tell).