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I was a huge Need for Speed fan back in the day. But eventually, Burnout, and most notably Burnout Paradise, stole my heart and changed my perception of the series. For years I’ve felt like the NFS franchise needed some shaking up, just like Paradise did, when it shook up the entire racing genre.

Thankfully, Criterion Games has stepped up to the plate, and crafted an open world Need For Speed game with a worldmap that tops even Paradise City. Oh yea, and the game looks great so far to boot. Read more… »

Following from the recent earthquake disaster in Japan, Sony has wisely opted to delay the forthcoming release of MotorStorm Apocalypse in both Japan and the UK thus far. It was previously due to launch in just 3 days time on March 18.

“Although we have shipped the game into the channel last week, given that we are able to do so, we have chosen to postpone the launch in the UK,” a Sony spokesperson commented. “ We are shocked and saddened to see the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and our thoughts are with all those affected, including our colleagues within the Sony family, living and working throughout Japan.”

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In addition to being a bastion for indie developers and startup studios, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network are rapidly becoming destinations for actual arcade games.  Many of these tend to be straight ports and, regardless of how fun they were, their aging shows through, like a favorite tennis racket with half the strings broken off.  Crazy Taxi is venerated as one of the best arcade classics of its time but hasn’t translated well into this age.  It’s still as fun as it was in the arcade, but whether it’s enough for ten bucks is debatable.

The basic premise of Crazy Taxi is still the same, assuming you spent the past decade in isolation and missed the game as well as its sequels and numerous clones.  You start off the game by picking one of four purely aesthetic drivers – the only difference among them is their lumpy polygonal appearances – and leaping into your taxi.  You’re given an amount of time depending on the gameplay mode to drive around assumed San Francisco picking up fares and taking them to their destinations before time runs out.  If you take too long with a fare you lose it, and when you run out of your time your shift is up.

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I think you’ll have gathered by now that I have very mixed feelings towards Gran Turismo 5‘s car list. Like me, many fans have been reeling in the decision to restrict around 800 of the 1000 + strong car lineup to inferior quality PS2 imports, and it’s easy to see why after the arduous 5 year wait.

Well, it looks like Polyphony are hoping to rectify this as a recent comment from Kaz himself in Famitsu magazine indicated that there are plans to upgrade Standard models to the prestigious Premium quality, sporting superior quality modelling and the all-important full interiors. Just how many cars will get the Premium treatment remains to be seen, but it’s nonetheless encouraging to learn that GT5‘s tinkering is showing no signs of ending any time soon.

The Bugatti Veyron will be a priority upgrade though, right?

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Now here’s a sentence I didn’t think I would ever be writing at one point: Gran Turismo 5 is here. Complete. Finished. Ready for retail. I know, I’m just as flabbergasted as you are. And yet here I am cradling a real, physical copy of Polyphony’s long overdue new-born baby.

Kaz Yamauchi’s devoted drive for perfection has meant that GT5 has been in development since the dawn of time, incurring several disappointing delays – it was originally meant to leave the forecourt in 2008. Mind you, this is the same developer who stated Gran Turismo PSP would be a launch title.

Over four main iterations, Gran Turismo has enjoyed considerable success and recognition for shaping the racing simulation genre, creating a global icon whilst sitting safely in a class of its own. Times have changed however, and as 2007’s Gt5 Prologue became GT5 Prolonged, the competition has become ever more turbulent since GT4’s release back in 2004, with the likes of Forza Motorsport shadowing its slipstream. Can Gran Turismo get back into the race or has it run out of fuel after such a long pit stop?

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Hot on the release of Gran Turismo 5, Forza Motorsport 4 has been announced in a new debut trailer from VGA 2010.

Details are scarce at the moment other than the fact it will launch in “Fall 2011″.

Note to Polyphony: it’s taken six years for Turn 10 to churn out four Forza Motorsports compared to five Gran Turiusmos in 14 years.

It’s been widely known that Gran Turismo 5 features the track of dreams; BBC’s Top Gear test track, famously renowned for testing the driving diligence of celebrities and, of course, the Stig.

With this in mind, I decided to put its authenticity to the test by compiling a recorded lap in a Ferrari 458 Italia coupled with Jeremy Clarkson’s commentary from the Stig’s televised lap in the same car. The result is what you see in the video above.

While I think you will agree that with a spot of editing it is indeed possible to create a convincing Top Gear imitation,  it’s a shame the game doesn’t include the authentic camera angles from the show, not to mention his Stigness as a playable driver. Nonetheless, it’s still tremendous fun to drive around and offers great incentive to try and compete with Top Gear’s Power Lap board.

Gamer Limit’s review of Gran Turismo 5 will be up this week.

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Remember when Need for Speed was about racing down the open road in an open-top exotic whilst evading the police rather than who has the most tasteless body kit? Of course you don’t, because the last half a decade or so has seen the once unbeatable racing franchise begin to rust as each iteration became progressively low in quality.

Thankfully, last year saw a turning point with Need for Speed Shift, a thoroughbred track racer that started the restoration process. I rather liked it, too, yet I was still longing for that classic, awe-inspiring Need for Speed experience I grew up with: I even went as far as pleading for a new Hot Pursuit game at the end of my Shift review last year.

Mercifully it seems that someone out there was listening, as here I am, over a year later, playing the rebranded Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (the first game in the series to bear the Hot Pursuit subtitle in eight years), with development duties this time handed to the talented creators of Burnout, Criterion Games. The bonkers Burnout series remains a firm favourite of mine as well, so the prospect of Need for Speed merging with Burnout was positively salivating to say the least. After all, if there’s one developer that’s up for the task of rebooting Need for Speed, it’s surely Criterion: the chase is on.

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In the run-up to the launch of Gran Turismo 5 next Wednesday, Sony’s advertising campaign for the game is in full swing with the release of a new advert starring the ever hilarious Kevin Butler.

So it turns out that Mr. Butler is fully responsible for the delay of GT5. Shame on him.

Only 5 agonising days left…

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The 12th of November proved to be a momentously uplifting day for Gran Turismo devotees as, after months of rumours, delays and teasing leaks, the final release date for Gran Turismo 5 was finally announced amidst a plethora of ecstatic cheers and relief.

In conjunction, the full car list was also unveiled, confirming that Gran Turismo 5 will have no less than 1031 cars to drive. It’s an undeniably staggering feat for a video game, and easily the largest line-up of cars ever seen in a driving game, trouncing GT4’s previous 700+ strong car collection.

However, there may well be over 1000 cars but literally half of these are from Japanese manufacturers – there are almost 100 Mazdas, and no less than 40 variations of the bloody Nissan Skyline, for example. It’s beyond excessive.

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Gran Turismo 5 official car list
By: | November 12th, 2010

Following on from today’s release date announcement, Polyphony have posted a long list of all the available cars in the game.

In total, there are a staggering 1031 playable cars, the biggest and most diverse range of any driving game to date. Read on for the full list: “S” denotes a Standard Model enhanced from GT4 whereas “P” represents a Premium Model with fully modelled interior as seen in GT5: Prologue.

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In what will hopefully be the last time I post this news, the final release date for Gran Turismo 5 has now been confirmed for November 24th in both the US and Europe.

An official apology was found in the press release for the on-going delays the anticipated game has suffered:

Satisfying the loyal Gran Turismo followers is at the heart of all of our efforts, which is why it was such a difficult decision to delay the release of the game, and one which we did not take lightly. I can only apologise to everyone for making you wait so long, and I hope that when you try out the wealth of driving experiences available in Gran Turismo 5, you will not be disappointed.

The more observant of you will have also noticed that November 24th is under two weeks away!

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