GTPlanet Weekly Rewind: The Beginning of Something New

Community SpotlightFeatures 52 February 16, 2013 by

Here we stand at the precipice of what may very well be the outlining of the upcoming eighth generation of video game consoles. As you all know by now Sony is poised to make a special announcement of some kind next week Wednesday. Is it really the acknowledgement that the eighth generation begins this year or will it be something else?

I surely don’t know, but therein lies half of the fun. Not knowing raises expectations, thus raising interest, thus making the announcement itself an immense spectacle; such is the world of hype.

Moving on, I want to point out something I’m certain a great number of you have experienced while playing Gran Turismo and that something is “Gran Turismo Thumb”. If you’re now sitting at your desk scratching your head and wondering to yourself “what on earth is T on about this week?” well allow me to explain: Gran Turismo Thumb is the result of having spent a prolonged period of time with the accelerator button depressed and the symptoms are usually that of a throbbing sensation in the center of your thumb and a slight irritant after having held your thumb in such a halted position for that long. Remember those long races in GT3 at Test Course while participating in “Like the Wind”? Yeah… that’s where I originated the term.

This is a thing now and you have my permission to adopt it whenever necessary.

There’s plenty more of my ramblings at the end, and with that some terrible news, but we’ll get to that when the time is appropriate. For now let’s get on with the Rewind!

GTPlanet Picture of the Week

This week’s featured image, recommended to us by BkS and courtesy of ZEROX, is the second consecutive week a GT-R has been the featured image of the week and if you’re wondering why then the answer is simple – look at it! The Proto Concept at what I presume to be Kyoto – Gion in a rather striking angled shot brimming with vibrancy.

Have a suggestion for next week’s featured image? Drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Picture of the Week” and fill it out with your two choices and they’ll be featured in upcoming Rewinds. NOTE: You cannot elect your own work.

Gran Turismo 2: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Gran Turismo 2 remains my absolute favorite installment in the series to date. For only the second game in the series it achieved so much on such a limited medium and it remains the benchmark for the GT series and perhaps the genre as a whole, at least in my opinion. With so many paths to embark upon there was never a dull moment in GT2. The soundtrack was sublime, the tracks were all very welcoming and incredibly fun to race on and the sheer lunacy and variety of cars is something that I’ve yet to see bested.

It would appear that Polyphony needs to take point and return to the days where they had to put both feet forward and stomp hard, because while GT2 is not only outdated and woefully unrealistic by today’s comparisons, it still manages to have more character than all three of it’s successors—dare I say, combined. Of course I speak from a slight bias but the fact remains that Gran Turismo 2 maintained an almost equal focus among the many disciplines offered in the game, and placed importance on it’s core functionality.

The list of features, let alone cars and tracks that were cut from future installments is still a wrong that needs to righted as far as I’m concerned. At this point Gran Turismo is a victim of it’s own success, and while that’s not explicitly a bad thing, it’s not a good thing either.

GTPlanet Weekly Race Series Time Trials and Online Events

Remember when I said the Rewind would undergo various accounts of evolution and expansion throughout this new year? Welcome the second expansion to the Weekly Rewind: GTPlanet’s renown WRS where the best get together to put the pedal to the metal. This newest addition could not have come at a better time either because as of next week Monday, February 18th, the WRS will have officially been running for ten years strong.

To celebrate the occasion the time trial events will be split up in to two weekly events, the first of which having gone live this past weekend with the second event going live this weekend. But before you go rushing in wanting to have all of the fun that can possibly be had, it needs to be pointed out that you must qualify to do so and it will take a few weeks to be placed into an appropriate division. You will be free to participate in the weekly events once you’ve submitted a time but none of your submissions will be posted onto the leaderboards until you’ve been placed into a division.

The bright-side to all of this is you can openly and fully participate in the series’ Online Events whilst waiting for your placement and there’s plenty to look forward to. There are also monthly special events that one could partake in, and the flavor this month is a 2.4 Endurance at Daytona focusing on the use of either the Chevrolet Corvette C5.R or the Bentley Speed 8, but this event is open to qualified members only.

So, to reiterate, before you can really go about doing anything in the WRS, whether online or off you must participate in the official Registry Qualifier otherwise all of the effort put forth into each and every week will have been for naught, and we don’t want that at all. For even more information on the WRS be sure to stop by here.

GTPlanet Vehicle of the Week

This week’s featured vehicle was Jaguar’s first production-run supercar, the XJ220. The vehicle was conceived by Jim Randle and a small group calling themselves “The Saturday Club” after having been inspired by the launch of the four-wheel drive Porsche 959 supercar prepared for Group B racing; the notion being that a similarly driven, 4WD Jaguar with a V12 to boot would propel Jaguar to the top.

Thought to be the spiritual successor of the XJ13 that was never raced, the first prototype was prepared just in time for the 1988 British Motor Show. After the immediate positive reception of Jaguar’s bold move of direction with the XJ220, production was officially announced in 1989, however, it would be two years before final specifications were outlined. And by that time Randle and his team would have to alter the prototype’s specifications to meet production requirements which favored a twin turbocharged V6 taken from a MG Metro 6R4 rally car and a mid-engined rear-wheel drive layout as opposed to it’s original four-wheel drive proposal.

Have a suggestion for next week’s featured image? Drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Vehicle of the Week” and fill it out with your two choices and they’ll be featured in upcoming Rewinds. NOTE: You cannot elect your own work.

GTPlanet Tune of the Week

This week’s tune, “The Tafetta Terrier” comes to us courtesy of Theo777 of Clueless Tunes and features, of course, the Mini Cooper. Having obtained 30% more lateral g-force after applying the maximum amount of ballast allowed over the front axle and a new exhaust bark, this Mini has all the bite to back up it’s grunt and a 150 mph top speed to boot.  For the entire rundown on this daring lightweight be sure to stop by here.

Exactly like the Picture and Vehicle of the Week features, if you have any suggestions for the upcoming Rewinds be sure to drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Tune of the Week” and let me know. NOTE: You cannot elect your own work.

The Ultimate Test Drive – Inside Koenigsegg

A first-ever look behind the scenes at Koenigsegg with DRIVE that’s examines just how the Swedish manufacturer puts together their coveted hypercars; the series is hosted by company founder Christian Von Koenigsegg and was produced at Koenigsegg headquarters in Angelholm, Sweden.

This is episode five of nine and focuses on Robert Serwanski, the man responsible for not only testing every car but tuning them to perfection as well for their individual owners. Being an immense fan of the brand myself there’s an unprecedented amount of insight in each and every one of these videos and it goes without saying that these should be watched even if you don’t particularly like hypercars.  For all of the videos in this incredible nine-part series (currently up to the episode 6 in the series) be sure to stop by DRIVE’s Youtube channel here.

GTPlanet Photomode Competitions

In Week 116 of the Standard and Advanced competitions you are to put your best foot forth and show the community just how seriously you take your in-game photography. All you need to know is as follows:

Week 116, Standard: Low vs. High – This week just let your creativity show itself however possible; jump into any car, hit up any location possible in the entirety of GT5 and capture the subject from either a low angle (shooting upward) or a high angle (shooting downward).

Week 116, Advanced 2.0: Down and Dirty – It’s time to go rallying! Oh, sorry, I got a little too excited there for a moment. Jump into a rally car with a livery (RM and TC racers are eligible) and get down and dirty on a dirt track. Multiple cars are allowed as are Standards, of course. What are you waiting for? Go get dirty!

For all of the relevant information pertaining to this week’s challenges be sure to stop by here and here.

Closing Thoughts

So last week I was rejoicing at the notion that I finally had a replacement for my aging 8GB iPod Touch, well as of this past Wednesday that thought should be perished because the Nexus 7 has already kicked the bucket at the tender age of 3 weeks. If you’re thinking to yourself “T, you’re getting a replacement aren’t you?” my answer to that is a resounding NO, and I’ll gladly tell you why: as some of you may know the Nexus 7 was put together by ASUS, a company I’m very well versed with, what with me being in the DIY PC scene. And apart from my current Sabertooth Z77 motherboard I’ve had absolute horrible luck with their products… all of which kicked the bucket without any provocation whatsoever.

So, no, I won’t be returning it in exchange for a new one. I will, however, be returning it in exchange for the money I dropped on it and put it toward it’s eventual replacement, the Sony Xperia Tablet S 64GB which has many of the same utterly fantastic specs as the Nexus 7 with a 9.4 inch TFT LCD screen. Is that enough techie for you because I can do this all day long.

I’ve been writing this for the better part of 4 hours now and it’s officially 9:41 in the morning and it’s snowing outside, so if you’ll pardon me I am going to go and recess into the confines of my bed and probably not sleep, because I feel slightly energetic for some reason; might have something to do with that lemonade I drank not too long ago. Sugar rush!

Oh, and don’t forget to stop by the officially official GTP-R thread because it’s official—yeah, the sugar is kicking in if you couldn’t tell by now. Until next week keep racing!

GT5 Photomode images by GPR (Featured thumbnail), chromatic9 and Miklad.

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