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Author Topic: GT4 Impressions  (Read 2584 times)
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ChaoZ
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« on: February 23, 2005, 02:58:10 AM »

...since the other thread is about a question.

My ongoing impressions
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ebane67
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2005, 03:35:09 AM »

GREAT review so far! Keep up the good work1
 :shock:
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2005, 03:36:36 AM »

Very nice look, ChaoZ!

The menu's look very clean.  And I love the De Lorean "DMC" logo!

I look forward to seeing more.
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2005, 03:41:22 AM »

ChaosZ,

  You mentioned the mileage...it is tracked in GT3 in the main Home menu, you just hit L or R to show the different stats.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2005, 03:49:39 AM »

I meant in used cars.  Used cars now come with milage already on the clock.
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Devil
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2005, 03:52:25 AM »

Nice! I got through the first 10 of the B tests and gave up for the day.

Keep up the good work!
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Calvin
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2005, 04:00:45 AM »

I'm still thinking hard about this one. I have not really enjoyed a single racing game since GT3. I mean not a single one, but I played GT3 obsessively. I believe I got every car in the game. Very temped. Nice impressions Chaoz.
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naednek
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2005, 04:09:15 AM »

can't wait for Forza smile
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2005, 05:24:56 AM »

Planning on picking it up tomorrow if my super sekrit gamestop has it in stock... My backlog is down to 24 console games, must be time to buy a new one!
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2005, 05:35:25 AM »

I have not really liked the GT games, I liked them but was not a fan boy, by far.  I am much much more of a rally racer.  But figured with most of the outside hype, and some of the forum effect, I would buy it.  And the GF mentioned in passing that she was interested as well.  The Graphics I think are great, in the opening sequece,  the jaggies on the tracks are very noticeable.  I also am not playin on a HD TV, maybe that would make a difference.  I like what I have heard of the soundtrack, I wish there were more rock songs on it though.  Some of the B tests were not hard, but annoying to me.  Ummm, made it through the b tests, did some slight tuning on my car, nothing major, I will play more later tonight, leave some more impressions tomorrow.
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gellar
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2005, 05:45:48 AM »

Quote from: "naednek"
can't wait for Forza smile


That's cause you don't have a PS2 slywink



Today is an excellent day biggrin

gellar
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Big Jake
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2005, 06:08:09 AM »

First Of, Chaoz has already nailed one of my peeves in his impressions.  Not only Rice boys are playing this game.  When localizing it for North America, you think, you know, you could have a few american cars in the used car lots?  Just maybe? [Of course, this is a beef with every GT game.  They think we had only the Viper, Corvette, Camaro & mustang for racing over here.  (I want my 96 Impala SS!!!)]

Being a crash & bang driver, I was startled the first time i kissed the wall coming off a turn and saw everything go blurry.  However, I also have gotten the feeling, while playing with the d-pad, that this game was really intended to play with the wheel.  The fine control over acceleration & braking is very touchy on the controller.

As for my game:
So, after loading my GT 3 $50K save, I found a beat up '89 300ZX.  $13k, only a racing chip upgrade, nothing else put in it.  Just ran it through the clubman cup races, all of which are EXCEPTIONALLY short courses (30 sec lap times).  Next, I've done 4 of the 5 amatuer 80's Japan races.  This thing is definetly addictive.
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2005, 09:58:27 AM »

gellar -

How are you not turning that little table you have for your wheel upside down when you're playing?

Like I said in the other thread, I almost ripped my knees off in one of the rally races!
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AgtFox
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2005, 12:50:31 PM »

Quote from: "Devil"
How are you not turning that little table you have for your wheel upside down when you're playing?

Gotta be those thick books on top of it slywink
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Fuzzballx
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2005, 02:30:45 PM »

My impressions are pretty simple really.  It's like a bigger, better, improved GT3, but it's still really the same old GT at heart.  It's good but not the best anymore by a longshot IMHO.  IMHO, the Forza demo is more fun to drive and has a much better feeling of realism and connection from me to the car than GT4 gives me.  And this is just comparing the early build demo of Forza i played for 8 days.

Details:
Graphics - sharp in 1080i, but very plain.  Can't really ask for more than they give, this is probably the limits of the hardware which is fine and it is definitely good graphics for a console.  No complaints but not as thrilled as the reviews led me to think i might be either.

Sounds - hugely underwhelming.  NFSU2 has just as good sounds and better music...and heck, NFSU 2 music wasn't that good.  Very underwhelmed with the digital sound.

Physics - if you played GT3 you have an idea what GT4 feels like, its like they took GT3 and refined and upgraded the physics somewhat.  Definitely not a giant leap for mankind, but improved, yes.  This will make most people plenty happy i'm sure since.  

Gameplay - Same as GT3 only more of it and the license tests are much better done IMO.  I'm not happy with the tuner portion of the game, its exactly like SRS without the ability to do my own paint job and I already have that, but at least the ability to upgrade your cars IS there...that's definitely better than nothing in my book.  It's just...so quiet...when racing.  Why can't more games do something other than play jarring music and engine sounds when racing?  Give us something.  Something to break the monotony of the underwhelming engine noise.

Final conclusion: I'll play it for a month and trade it for Forza when that comes out.  Probably not what most people want to hear, but thats my impression after about 5 hours played.

Ah, btw, the game is very drivable with the gamepad with a little practice.  After about an hour i wasn't having any problems driving good with the pad at all.  Managed to take 1st in most of the Sunday cup races in my first evening using the pad.  It does not require the wheel, tho of course it would allow a more realistic control feel.  So far i've played all racing games with a gamepad only and probably won't ever change considering the cost of a good wheel on PS2 and lack of a good wheel on xbox.  I use a beefier dual shock controller for the PS2 than the standard one.

My one major beef with this game is the complete lack of car damage in any way.  It's not as big a deal being single player as it would be if this were online, but still this promotes and okays bad racing and bad driving.  I don't really care if there is cosmetic damage or not but couldn't we at least get some reduced performance or drivability for bad collisions?  You could actually use hte AI cars as bumpers for taking turns too fast and get away with it, thats not right IMHO for a racing sim.  They probably left it out because they didn't wanna rewrite their stubborn AI though.  Good luck taking the line from these cars, you'll be in the grass in no time if you try stealing the line in a turn.  This breaks immersion for me when the AI doesn't seem to react to you at well at all.
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2005, 03:16:19 PM »

I thought at one point that they were going to put in a system where there is a punishment for hitting things.  I only did one race so far (Sunday Cup) but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Perhaps on the higher level races?
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gellar
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2005, 05:19:17 PM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
Quote from: "Devil"
How are you not turning that little table you have for your wheel upside down when you're playing?

Gotta be those thick books on top of it slywink


LOL... yeah, the girlfriend's law school books are good for something slywink.

Also, being a bit of an amateur road racer, I've learned that the gentler I am on the steering wheel, the faster I go.  Of course, I haven't run the rally stuff yet... so who knows what'll happen then.

Some further impressions:

Graphics:  Still pretty blown away that this is coming form a PS2, and it's way better than I expected.  That being said, it's still very dark and I wish it was more vibrant.  Also some textures shimmer a bit, but not horribly so.

Sound:  Very good, I think.  Seemingly accurate, though the music is pretty much garbage (as most music is these days).  I do think that NFSU2 had better sounds, but they weren't exactly going for accuracy, so I think they took some creative license.

Physics:  Improved from GT3, and still the best I've played on a Console.  It's no NASCAR series from Papyrus, Richard Burns Rally, or even F1C, but it's still very good.  I haven't tried the Forza demo, but the general consensus on that from people I've talked to is that it's just as good as GT, but different.  Can't wait to see.

Gameplay:  Nothing groundbreaking, but still good stuff.  Lots of fun.  If you didn't like it before though, I'd stay away.  The AI seems to be *slightly* better this time around.  They definitely go for passes.  It's still very robotic and not very lifelike, but for whatever reason I've been able to forgive that (mostly because I'm used to it).

All in all... it's very much Gran Turismo.  If you weren't a fan of the series before, this isn't going to change your mind.  For those of us who are though, this is a great sequel.  Everything improved, polished to a T, and presented in 1080i.

If Forza's this good... it may pull me away.  However since the XBox has a complete lack of any good wheels for it, and GT4 is running in 1080i, Forza's going to have to do a pretty nifty little dance in order for it to take my time.

gellar
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2005, 05:54:10 PM »

Gellar, when you're playing, you can hit START and select Screen Options, From there you can select screen brightness and contrast.

I put brightness and contrast both up 1.
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Dimmona
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2005, 06:20:14 PM »

The biggest beef I keep hearing about GT4 is that it's just "more of the same (of GT3)".

As someone who has played most other racing games, but has never played a Gran Turismo game, would I enjoy it?
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gellar
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2005, 06:23:33 PM »

Quote from: "ChaoZ"
Gellar, when you're playing, you can hit START and select Screen Options, From there you can select screen brightness and contrast.

I put brightness and contrast both up 1.


It's not the overall brightness I'm having issue with, it's just the dullness of the colors.   Everything looks very... drab.  Not bad, mind you, but just dreary.  Like the entire game was based in Seattle.

gellar
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gellar
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2005, 06:24:24 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
The biggest beef I keep hearing about GT4 is that it's just "more of the same (of GT3)".

As someone who has played most other racing games, but has never played a Gran Turismo game, would I enjoy it?


Possibly.  If you like sim-like racers, then yes.  Unfortunately there's nothing on the Console to compare it to.

If you like arcade racers, like everything else on the console, then no... you won't like GT4.

gellar
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Fuzzballx
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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2005, 08:39:36 PM »

I tried bumping up the brightness and contrast each 1, it helped alot, but not enough.  It's still too....dreary almost, hard to explain.  It just exudes....plainness.  Which is unfortunate because its like a really really damn good looking plainness...  Probably a limitation of the hardware.  Still, for a console racer, yea, its damn fine looking, just not what the reviews had hyped it to be...which was mind blowing...the reality isn't blowing my mind at all.  It's just.... a sharper looking GT3?

On the subject of the differentness of Forza...

As succinctly and objectively as i can put it (which is still subjective to my feel) this is the difference:

GT games are shooting for realism inside a tight box.  Forza is looking to capture a fuller experience of realism.  The difference shows up in every area IMHO.

The two areas most important to me are the two i'll focus on here.  One is the realism of the driving experience solo and the other is the feeling of realism in the actual race and the excitement it creates.  Now, these are presented, obviously, based on my personal impressions of these two games.  I suppose its possible someone could see these completely opposite of how i do.

On the solo experience. GT4 feels like i'm driving a sim car thats detached from the road.  A common feeling in car sims.  The car behaves in a mostly realistic manner but doesn't give you any feeling of whats going on or going to happen in a moment if you don't dern well let up on the gass etc.  The only way you know your going to fast is looking at the speedometer or when its too late and you're already headed for the grass or wall.  Sense of speed is difficult to get used to between the game and my driving IRL because in GT4, i just don't get that sense of speed, I come up on a turn going this looks about right and end up in the wall if i don't look at the speedometer and realize i'm going way faster than it looks.  So technicially GT4 is great, but the feeling of connection with my car is largely missing.  This has frustrated me with a LOT of racing sims.

Forza does things different somehow.   In forza there is obviously a more complete phsyics engine.  The cars very obviously interact with the road and present the driver with a feeling of real mass and reaction.  When you go into a turn you see and "feel" your car leaning into the turn and can easily judge your turn based on "feel" and sight of what the car is doing without even looking at the speedometer.

This total connection with the car that i'm getting from the Forza demo is missing for me completely in GT4.  

The other difference in the solo driving experience is the sounds.  In GT4, i'm just not getting any real sound other than a high pitched static engine noise that gets louder as i rev up and a tire squeel.  I get alot more than that out of Forza, I get widely varied engine noises out of the same car.  Not to say i get a v8 american muscle sound one minute and a 4cylender rice can sound the next, but what I mean is, i get all the little details that are unique to that actual vehicle.  I tried out the WRX STI in the forza demo the most because i've driven it hard IRL.  Every detail of that engine sound was THERE in the game, I couldn't believe it. It's like its damn near the real car on the screen it sounds so right.  Ever shift of the gear includes the little hisses and whine and shift sounds just about perfectly.  When i start sliding in GT4, its almost like i get the generic tire squeel every time at different volumes.  Somehow, forza sounded...different...more vaired...more real depending on the siutation and the dynamicness of it was better.  

This is really hard to quantify but the result is, Forza gives me a feeling of real connection to a real vehicle that GT4 doesn't provide.  I love driving fast, i love racing, i LOVE cars.  And why do i play sims?  As a sub for a reality I don't have the prviledge of enjoying.  So whats most important to me?  The feeling.  In GT4 i feel like i'm working with a sim but feel no connection to the car or reality even though the sim is simulating reality...  In Forza, i feel connected and i feel like i'm driving a real car because everything just comes out so real feeling and sounding and looking in action that it just gives that experience in full that nothing else has ever delivered.  Now that i've tasted it, i just can't love a sim like GT4 anymore.

The second thing thats important to me i said was the whole race expience and not just the solo driving experience.   Suffice to say, and every review  / preview i've read agress.... GT4's AI is lacking.  The cars stick to a line and largely do not react to you.  Also GT4 offers no visible or under the hood damage modeling which destroys realism.  you have AI cars smacking into you cause they don't know how to find an alternate line and its just dumb that a game this far along can't at least a slightly better AI than this.  It's just really dumb.  Move to Forza and you have AI that is at least not giving the appearrance of having a giant stick up it's butt which is all i'm asking for....I really have no idea how good the final forza AI will be the early build was far preferable to GT4 IMHO.  Mix this in with GT4's extremely obvious catch up AI compared to Forza's apparently no catch up AI (unless its just really hard to see) and Forza is the clear winner for the real fealin of the race.
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2005, 08:44:27 PM »

If you like cars though, it's a pretty good collecting toy as well, but it does mean racing to earn the money to buy cars.

I think the dreariness comes from the fact that a lot of the textures are fairly low resolution.  Also, it may contribute to that realism that they always aim for.  If you set the replay mode to Dive Camera, the replays look really good, even though the contrast/brightness are intentionally set out of wack.
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2005, 08:47:30 PM »

One other problem that I've noticed with GT games is that I feel there's a lack of the sense of speed sometimes.

The pavement is always blurry, even when going at slow speeds or at a stop.   I think of they worked on making the road transition from sharp to blur better, it would make a better driving experience.

Then again, maybe they solved it with the HDTV mode.
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gellar
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2005, 08:58:02 PM »

Fuzz,

With the wheel... the Force Feedback definitely lets you feel what's wrong with the car.  It's fairly artificial, but better than anything I think you can experience with a controller.

The console just isn't a sim focused world.  I don't really consider GT4 a sim, but more sim-like.  About as simmy as you can get on a console.  I have high hopes for Forza to be similar, but different (both in good ways).  At the same time though, I can't see liking it as much as GT4 since I won't have a good wheel for it.  You can only get so simmy (which is to say, not much at all) with a controller.  Forza should be a ton of fun, but it (and GT4) will never match the sim of say a GTR or Papyrus NASCAR or F1C on the PC.  It's just a different market.

It's still fun though biggrin

gellar
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Fuzzballx
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« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2005, 10:45:44 PM »

Quote from: "gellar"
Fuzz,

With the wheel... the Force Feedback definitely lets you feel what's wrong with the car.  It's fairly artificial, but better than anything I think you can experience with a controller.

The console just isn't a sim focused world.  I don't really consider GT4 a sim, but more sim-like.  About as simmy as you can get on a console.  I have high hopes for Forza to be similar, but different (both in good ways).  At the same time though, I can't see liking it as much as GT4 since I won't have a good wheel for it.  You can only get so simmy (which is to say, not much at all) with a controller.  Forza should be a ton of fun, but it (and GT4) will never match the sim of say a GTR or Papyrus NASCAR or F1C on the PC.  It's just a different market.

It's still fun though biggrin

gellar


Without a doubt i would say GT4 is the best racing sim for consoles released to date.  I'd just rather spend 50 bucks on the Forza demo than GT4 having now played both.  I get that much more excitement and realistic feel out of Forza than GT4.

I honestly believe that Forza has that simness that's never yet been seen on a console and the only reason I find GT4 lacking is because i've played Forza.

I never dreamed it was possible on a current console, but it is.  GT lost its crown to an early bulid of Forza IMHO.

Also, Forza handles spectacularly with the xbox controller.  The feel is pretty darn great with it.
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gellar
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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2005, 11:14:17 PM »

Quote from: "Fuzzballx"
Without a doubt i would say GT4 is the best racing sim for consoles released to date.  I'd just rather spend 50 bucks on the Forza demo than GT4 having now played both.  I get that much more excitement and realistic feel out of Forza than GT4.

I honestly believe that Forza has that simness that's never yet been seen on a console and the only reason I find GT4 lacking is because i've played Forza.

I never dreamed it was possible on a current console, but it is.  GT lost its crown to an early bulid of Forza IMHO.

Also, Forza handles spectacularly with the xbox controller.  The feel is pretty darn great with it.


Man... with as much as you guys are talking it up, Forza had damn well be good slywink

As far as handling well with the controller... yeah, that's cool and all, but it's not going to be as fun as a wheel smile

gellar
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2005, 02:36:27 AM »

Page 4 of my impressions is up.  I take a look at the Photo mode.
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2005, 05:04:59 AM »

Quote from: "Big Jake"
First Of, Chaoz has already nailed one of my peeves in his impressions.  Not only Rice boys are playing this game.  When localizing it for North America, you think, you know, you could have a few american cars in the used car lots?  Just maybe? [Of course, this is a beef with every GT game.  They think we had only the Viper, Corvette, Camaro & mustang for racing over here.  (I want my 96 Impala SS!!!)]



Correction, I now see American used cars (Ford Taurus anyone?)  Some European used cars too.  That seems to be only American car available used at the moment.  I'll keep checking.
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2005, 01:53:38 PM »

Car selection seems fairly spread out so far.
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2005, 02:59:02 PM »

I'm pleased that it only took me an hour to get my Mustang. The engine noise is pretty subdued, like the driver has the windows up and noise canceling headphones on. Maybe I'll turnt he godawful music down and my receiver up... but the tire squeals are still too loud relative to the engine.

Otherwise the Mustang in the game seems slower than in reality, that may be due to the poor launch feel of the controller and playing with auto-shifting in game.

Question: Where do I go after the Sunday Cup? With the Mustang I can race the FR races in the Beginner area, but I'm up against some really fast cars. Do I keep grinding cash for upgrades in Sunday Cup, which is ridiculously easy with the mustang... I can put it in director mode, set it to push/overtake and go get a snack and win without any further input from me, it's a bit less boring than winning a 2.5 minute race by 30 seconds Tongue
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