Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sega GT (PC Version)

John Marine | 4/14/2010 11:03:00 PM | |
In 2000, Sega unleashed their Gran Turismo challenger, Sega GT. The Dreamcast and PC got versions of Sega GT. Sega GT was a title that diverted itself somewhat from their classic Sega racing games (like the Daytona USA series) for a more sim-oriented model. Before you think this was created by Sega's legendary AM2 division, think again. It was made by WOW Entertainment, nowadays known as (if they're still around) Sega WOW Corporation. There are no crazy powerslides or end-over-end crashes. There are also no more than six cars to a track. This, then, would be a racing challenge that's much different from what Sega racing goodness you normally see.

For this blog entry, I will be discussing the PC version of Sega GT because this was the version I had played. I will include a graphic for you to go get this game if you want your own copy. Here is the box art for this game (and this was the best I could find for it):

Sega GT PC Box
^ from: amazon.com - the box for the PC version of Sega GT.







--- Sega GT at a Glance ---
Sega's answer to Gran Turismo is Sega GT. This game plays a lot in respect to Gran Turismo, but a few features make this game shine over Gran Turismo. There are various cars from American, European, and Japanese makes. Earn your racing licenses by completing one-lap time trials. If you post the fastest time for that given manufacturer, you can compete in a Works Cup race where you will have a chance to earn a Works car.

There are lots of races and racing types to choose from. Cars are grouped according to their displacement. Extra class cars are cars less than 1000cc of displacement. B class cars are cars north of 1000cc displacement, but no more than 1600cc displacement. A class cars have more than 1500cc displacement, but less than 2000cc displacement. The SA class features cars 2000cc or greater.

Winning certain championships can give you sponsors (there are 13 in all). These are real sponsors such as McDonald's, Ford Racing, Hertz, and The Outlaw among others. Winning races and earning Pole Position grants you extra money. Winning multiple races in succession gives you some bonus cash. All of your money can go towards buying new cars or tuning your current cars.


Carrozzeria.

This game allows you to do something you can't do in Gran Turismo- make your own car! Throughout the game, you will earn bodies you can use to build your own cars. They include a combination of road-going cars and racing cars. You will not be able to build faster and more powerful cars unless you earn licenses good towards making more powerful cars. The Factory License tests themselves include a run around certain pre-defined sections of track that you must clear correctly to pass. A lot of the cars you make in the Factory mode are a lot of real-world cars that somehow didn't make it into the lineup of cars for Sega GT. If you know your cars, you know what all or most body resembles. One last thing... if you expect to clear each Factory License test, you need to upgrade your Original car.

Let me explain the process of making a car in this game. First thing to remember is... you need a lot of money before making your car.

1. You begin by selecting a displacement level for your car. Pay special attention to the displacement numbers because the displacements are basically an estimation of how many cubic centimeters of displacement your car will have when it's finished. If you want to know the actual displacement your car will have, then (with the exception of the Rotary engines), subtract the estimated displacement of your car by 2. So if you're building a car with an engine that has 1800cc of displacement, your car's actual displacement when finished will be 1798cc). The reason why I mention this is because I made cars to compete in certain championships, but their displacement was too great for me to race that car in a certain championship.

2. After choosing the displacement for your car, the next option is to choose the Engine Type. You have a variety of engine choices to choose from depending upon the displacement level you choose. So in other words, don't expect to get a V12 engine for your sport compact.

3. Engine aspiration is your next choice. Choose between Normal Aspiration, Supercharged, or Turbo aspiration. Some of these options may not be available for all cars.

4. Select where you want your engine placement to be. Be warned that where you place the engine has a significant impact on your car's overall driving character.

5. Choose your car's Drivetrain configuration. Depending on engine placement, certain options will not be available. For example, there is no such thing as a rear-engine/FWD car.

6. Now, the fun begins! Pick a car body to complete your car. Transmission choices and curb weight are built into your car. Some car bodies are of Works cars. After selecting a car body, choose from one of three different car body types to help set up the skin for your car.

7. The car will be complete once you select a car color.

8. Finally, give your car a name. You are allowed a maximum of either 8 or 10 characters.

After completing your car, you can race and tune it to your heart's delight!



--- More Information on Carrozzeria ---
I have included this table below to help you in making your own car in Factory mode. This includes information on displacement, horsepower, and torque for engines in making your car.

NOTE: I would like to thank quackit.com for supplying the tutorial for making HTML tables for this blog entry.


LEGEND:


NA Turbo Supercharged
####cc (actual displacement: ####cc)
(engine type) ###hp @ ## lb. ft. ###hp @ ## lb. ft. ###hp @ ## lb. ft.





Factory Engine Specifications: Extra Class.

These are the factory engine numbers for the Extra class of cars. Use this and my other tables to help you plan out your engine specifications for cars you create in Factory mode of Sega GT.

NA Turbo Supercharged
660cc (actual displacement: 658cc)
Inline-3 67hp @ 44 lb. ft. 72hp @ 65 lb. ft. 71hp @ 55 lb. ft.
Inline-4 69hp @ 45 lb. ft. 75hp @ 68 lb. ft. 74hp @ 54 lb. ft.
1000cc (actual displacement: 998cc)
Inline-3 69hp @ 45 lb. ft. 75hp @ 65 lb. ft. 74hp @ 54 lb. ft.
Inline-4 95hp @ 65 lb. ft. 106hp @ 102 lb. ft. 107hp @ 87 lb. ft.


Factory Engine Specifications: B Class.

These are the numbers for Factory cars in the B Class of cars in Sega GT. Your engine choices are very uninteresting because you can only choose Inline-4 engines. Don't let that stop you from making a very decent 4-banger, though.

NA Turbo Supercharged
1300cc (actual displacement: 1298cc)
Inline-4 138hp @ 84 lb. ft. 175hp @ 156 lb. ft. 153hp @ 125 lb. ft.
1600cc (actual displacement: 1598cc)
Inline-4 176hp @ 124 lb. ft. 212hp @ 201 lb. ft. 195hp @ 167 lb. ft.


Factory Engine Specifications: A Class.

The engine choices get more interesting in the A Class. You have your 4-bangers and 6-bangers, but you also have boxer engines, V engines, and Rotary engines. Displacement options range from 1800cc to 645x2.

NA Turbo Supercharged
1800cc (actual displacement: 1798cc)
Inline-4 204hp at 159 lb. ft. 249hp at 227 lb. ft. 236hp at 189 lb. ft.
2000cc (actual displacement: 1998cc)
Inline-4 225hp at 159 lb. ft. 283hp at 253 lb. ft. 246hp at 209 lb. ft.
Inline-6 232hp at 161 lb. ft. 304hp at 255 lb. ft. 258hp at 204 lb. ft.
Boxer-4 225hp at 156 lb. ft. 303hp at 250 lb. ft. 260hp at 206 lb. ft.
V Type-6 225hp at 160 lb. ft. 313hp at 261 lb. ft. 264hp at 207 lb. ft.
654 x 2
Rotary 227hp at 154 lb. ft. 292hp at 250 lb. ft. 264hp at 205 lb. ft.


Factory Engine Specifications: SA Class.

The most powerful engines and highest displacements can be had in this class of cars. Build the high-end car of your dreams in this department. Seven engine options are available to you. As a special note, you can not build a turbo-powered car greater than 3000cc displacement. So if you're building a turbo-powered car, the highest you can go is 3000cc in this game. If you are building a Supercharged car, the highest you can go is 4000cc in this game. Turbo and Supercharging are available for 654 x 3 Rotary engines, though.

NA Turbo Supercharged
2500cc (actual displacement: 2498cc)
Inline-4 261hp at 201 lb. ft. 276hp at 329 lb. ft. 285hp at 261 lb. ft.
Inline-6 276hp at 276 lb. ft. 378hp at 378 lb. ft. 291hp at 291 lb. ft.
Boxer-4 264hp at 203 lb. ft. 353hp at 316 lb. ft. 288hp at 256 lb. ft.
Boxer-6 276hp at 198 lb. ft. 382hp at 308 lb. ft. 299hp at 253 lb. ft.
V Type-6 275hp at 200 lb. ft. 381hp at 316 lb. ft. 318hp at 266 lb. ft.
3000cc (actual displacement: 2998cc)
Inline-6 333hp at 243 lb. ft. 445hp at 389 lb. ft. 375hp at 314 lb. ft.
Boxer-6 333hp at 241 lb. ft. 443hp at 386 lb. ft. 373hp at 309 lb. ft.
V Type-6 324hp at 252 lb. ft. 420hp at 389 lb. ft. 354hp at 319 lb. ft.
V Type-8 332hp at 244 lb. ft. 455hp at 393 lb. ft. 362hp at 315 lb. ft.
3500cc (actual displacement: 3498cc) (no Turbo for 3500cc)
Inline-6 381hp at 276 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 3500cc) 427hp at 355 lb. ft.
Boxer-6 373hp at 276 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 3500cc) 427hp at 355 lb. ft.
V Type-6 360hp at 426 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 3500cc) 400hp at 357 lb. ft.
V Type-8 365hp at 279 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 3500cc) 400hp at 357 lb. ft.
V Type-10 372hp at 281 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 3500cc) 420hp at 350 lb. ft.
V Type-12 381hp at 277 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 3500cc) 430hp at 347 lb. ft.
4000cc (actual displacement: 3998cc) (no Turbo for 4000cc)
Boxer-6 333hp at 243 lb. ft. 445hp at 389 lb. ft. 375hp at 314 lb. ft.
V Type-8 333hp at 241 lb. ft. 443hp at 386 lb. ft. 373hp at 309 lb. ft.
V Type-10 324hp at 252 lb. ft. 420hp at 389 lb. ft. 354hp at 319 lb. ft.
V Type-12 332hp at 244 lb. ft. 455hp at 393 lb. ft. 362hp at 315 lb. ft.
4500cc (actual displacement: 4498cc)
V Type-8 455hp at 376 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 4500cc) (no S.C. for 4500cc)
V Type-10 465hp at 383 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 4500cc) (no S.C. for 4500cc)
V Type-12 486hp at 384 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 4500cc) (no S.C. for 4500cc)
5000cc (actual displacement: 4998cc)
V Type-10 498hp at 425 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 4500cc) (no S.C. for 4500cc)
V Type-12 516hp at 420 lb. ft. (no Turbo for 4500cc) (no S.C. for 4500cc)
654 x 3
Rotary 332hp at 235 lb. ft. 432hp at 374 lb. ft. 372hp at 306 lb. ft.


Depending on what kind of reaction I get for my tables, I may make a downloadable version of this available to my readers.



--- Sega GT: Cars in General ---
A variety of cars from various manufacturers around the world are available to you. You can choose a variety of new (as of the time of the game) and used cars. Used cars consist of lots of old cars. When you select a car company, you can look at cars by their displacement class. This will help you to know what kinds of cars will work best for the racing you will be doing in this game.

All cars have a minimum of one color and a maximum of five. You get a detailed spec sheet on each car, but you don't get any detailed information about the car in general like you do in Gran Turismos 1 or 2. The drivetrain information in GT games is like "FF" or "FR" or "4WD." I like Sega GT's format a bit better, though. A car like a Mitsubishi Lancer V would have it's drivetrain listed as "F4WD." Only one specific car has a "M4WD" configuration in the game, the Honda Z Turbo.

When you're ready to tune your car, various options are available to you. You can change things such as engine tuning, mufflers, suspension, brakes, and the like. The most curious thing about this game is that you can equip a car with lightweight tuning. Why do I find this interesting? In Gran Turismo, lightening the car considerably is permanent.

A lot of cars you may have seen in Gran Turismos 1 and 2 are in Sega GT. If there's one car this game has that GT1 or GT2 doesn't, however, is the beautiful Renault Alpine A110.



--- Sega GT: Tracks in General ---
Every track in this game are fictional. There are not even any tracks based on real-life locations. Almost every track is also available to race in reverse. What seperates this game from Gran Turismo games is the drag racing. There are no pit stops in the game, so you don't have to worry about tire wear or being low on fuel. This section is a brief description of what to expect for when you race each track.


Sprint Zone.

This is a high-speed oval similar to Gran Turismo's Test Course. Braking is absolutely unnecessary here.

Solid Circuit.

This is a tale of two courses. The first half is high speed while the second half is technical. How you handle laps around here makes the difference between great lap times and poor ones.

Sky Peak Track.

This is an short oval course that feels more like a speedway-type oval. Laps will just fly by in the fastest cars.

Sky Peak Hill.

This is a technical course with tricky corners and a challenging layout despite its length.

Great Rock Road.

While the majority of this track is high-speed, the middle portion of the track is absolutely critical to get right to score the best lap times. How you handle that hairpin can make a serious difference in your lap times.

Deep Rock Road.

This is a high-speed road course styled more like a modified oval. Let off the throttle in the corners rather than use the brakes. VERY easy course to master as long as you find the right racing line.

Snowy Mountain.

This is a relatively short road course with a fair amount of elevation changes. It can become a difficult course when raced in reverse, especially making sure to keep the car in the right place heading into the tunnels. Two 90° corners halfway around the course are critical to get right for the best lap times.

Night Ground.

This course is more like a modified oval. Getting the best lap times depends on how you handle the moderate-speed chicane. Otherwise, this is a very boring track.

Night Section A.

This is only one of two street courses. The course is absolutely imposing in its layout with a garden variety of tough corner. The toughest of which is the hairpin. The Night Section courses are the toughest challenges in Sega GT. Do not be surprised if your lap times are at least two seconds better than rivals in qualifying sessions.

Night Section B.

This is the other street course. Its layout is faster and longer than Night Section A, but it's still very tough. Be wary of the corner heading off of the overpass. Lots of blind corners and slow sections will rack your brain as you race this course. An "endurance" race of 15 laps is run around the Reverse configuration of this course.

Heat Stage 1000.

This is a drag strip where the emphasis is on top speed. It takes place in a desert-like setting similar to the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Industrial Stage 400.

This is a drag strip where an emphasis on power and accleration will help you get the highest speeds. The venue is an industrial zone that has a quarter-mile drag strip.


Now you know about the cars and tracks for this game.



--- Sega GT's Driver's License Tests ---
(added: Febuary 9, 2011)
To give you an idea of the various lap times for each Driver's License tests, I have included this section. You will be able to participate in a Works Cup race for that specific manufacturer if you beat the record time. Beating this record time requires incredible driving on your behalf. And remember- if you are to stand any hope of completing this game, you especially need to complete the SA-Class license test featuring the Renault Renaultsport Clio around Night Section B, win the Works Cup race with the Clio Cup Car, and win the Clio Cup Race. That is the one you should most be concerned with.

With my times, any times highlighted in yellow are record times I have beaten.




Extra Class
Stage Record Time My Best Time
Stage 1 1:13.826 1:16.823
Stage 2 1:14.750 1:17.489
Stage 3 1:12.627 1:11.761
Stage 4 1:08.921 1:08.797
Stage 5 1:18.144 1:17.955
Stage 6 1:43.624 1:43.576


B Class
Stage Record Time My Best Time
Stage 1 1:37.628 1:42.131
Stage 2 1:03.565 1:03.170
Stage 3 1:11.420 1:12.394
Stage 4 1:01.382 1:02.337
Stage 5 1:09.768 1:11.062
Stage 6 40.323 40.226


A Class
Stage Record Time My Best Time
Stage 1 1:21.118 1:20.952
Stage 2 59.879 1:00.359
Stage 3 1:05.274 1:06.866
Stage 4 1:00.582 1:02.104
Stage 5 1:10.281 1:10.562
Stage 6 1:23.150 1:29.010


SA Class
Stage Record Time My Best Time
Stage 1 57.130 56.943
Stage 2 1:04.294 1:04.135
Stage 3 36.608 36.563
Stage 4 57.651 57.609
Stage 5 1:06.353 1:05.800
Stage 6 1:24.115 1:23.316


Be sure to use this table to give yourself some perspective on the Gold times. You need to beat these top record times to get to race all the Works Cars from each series.



--- My Own Personal Experience ---
I bought this game for a big reason back then. The big reason was that this game fit the PC specifications of my former computer. I struggled playing the game because of my old PC's specifications, but I held onto it because this game had a lot to offer for me. I later started playing this game exclusively on my mother's laptop. Little by little, I rose up in the ranks to eventually clear a great deal of this game. I loved the notion of being able to get sponsors to provide a little cash bonus for wins. This was a lucrative package that I thought would keep me enthused for some time.

Last year, I finally beat this game and unlocked the bonus championship. Without giving away too many details, this bonus mode, called World Speed King, is a bonus racing series limited to all three drivetrains. I got a bored with the music so much that I decided to mute the CD music (because the in-game music comes from the CD). It feels great knowing that you can restart almost any race you've thrown away completely.



--- Sega GT: My Overall Thoughts ---
There are people who like things just because they're different. If that's true, then this game should be a must-play. However, there is a reason why this game is worth passing.

General Thoughts.

This game seperated itself from Gran Turismo games of the time with the ability to make and race your own cars, compete in drag racing, and earn sponsorship money. Other than this, Sega GT does very little to truly show itself to be one of the better racing games. If this title was made by AM2, it would be the most disappointing AM2-made racing game in history. The music is pretty atrocious and barely tolerable. There are no licensed songs from licensed artists. I don't get why people talk about any other kind of music (besides rock) like it's typical, so let me say this. This game features mostly typical generic rock music, and sometimes electronica-style songs with some rock guitars. The problem with Sega GT is that it doesn't take itself seriously and doesn't have any kind of swagger or personality (which this game severely lacks). The longest race you'll run in this game is 15 laps around Night Section B Reverse, which lasts about 15 or 20 minutes. Remember that this game doesn't have pit stops, so you'll be doing this on one play-through.

Car Performance.

The driving model and performance characteristics are completely unrealistic. The cars handle poorly at times, and the collision model is weak sauce. The sounds of hitting things are completely lackluster. The cars accelerate like they were in a Ridge Racer game. In other words, they get up to speed ridiculously high. It's like Sega WOW Corporation game didn't bother to seriously gauge the performance of each car carefully.

Cars Themselves.

It has a good bunch of cars, but I would have liked to see maybe a few more interesting cars to spice things up. I would probably like to see more American cars (it's rare I say this) besides the Viper concept and Mustang Cobra R. Gran Turismo games (especially Gran Turismo 2) went out of its way to find many more racing cars. The game allows you to modify and create your own cars, but I would have liked better customization options for the real cars. Racing and tuning the Renault Alpine A110 is a total joy. The absolute opposite? Another Renault- the Clio Cup Car. If you need any reason to play this game and to beat it, you absolutely must clear the SA Class license test with the Renault Renaultsport Clio around Night Section B. You also need to win the SA Works Cup race with the Clio Trophy Car because one race series requires you to have the Clio Trophy car to clear all of the event races. One last note is that I'm uncomfortable on grouping cars by displacement alone. By doing this, you're saying that just because a car has over 2000cc displacement, that a car is among supercars? I'm not comfortable basing cars only on displacement.

Tracks.

Then, you have the tracks. The tracks, with the exception of the Night Section races), are absolutely uninteresting and lack character. There is not one course other than the Night Section tracks that exude any character or personality. Sky Peak Hill and Solid Circuit are definitely worthy tracks in this game. I would have liked to have seen longer and more complex tracks. As important as simulation handling is, it's also important to have a good series of tracks to race on to further test these limits. The game talks about tracks that have realistic time cycles and changing seasons. That's an absolute lie. Not once have I seen day-to-night transitions or anything like that. As I mention uninteresting tracks, a lot of the track names are uninteresting themselves. Names like Night Ground, Night Section, Sky Peak Track, Sky Peak Hill, and Snowy Mountain are absolutely laughable names. You can't be taken seriously as a racing game with track names like these. Solid Circuit would be truly imposing if it was actually more imposing than what the real track is like.

Positives?

If there are positives to this game, I mentioned them already. The ability to build my car from displacement to car body is certainly reason to keep playing this game again and again. I also love picking up the game's 13 sponsors to help earn more money faster. A percentage of the winning prize money (about maybe 25%) is added from each sponsor to your balance. I even wish Gran Turismo had better ways to make money instead of making everything so strict.





I've trashed this game, so why should you care about it? This game (at least at its time) is really the closest you'll come to Gran Turismo for the PC. That's the reason why I reviewed the PC version. It's the closest to having a Gran Turismo-type simulation for the PC. This game could really be much better, but I do play this game from time to time. I've won every championship and race in the game, and I may go back to playing all the races I didn't sweep for victory.

Thinking about this game more, "Enthusia Professional Racing" reminds me a lot of Sega GT. Though Enthusia is a much better game (despite it being made about five years after Sega GT), a lot of elements remind me of Sega GT like no pit stops. Sega GT could have really be that racing game that challenged Gran Turismo and try to win over some GT gamers. On top of this, it could have done a lot of things better to where this game wouldn't be a lackluster disaster. People still bought and loved the game regardless. I'm just saying that this game could have been much better in a huge variety of respects to earn my undivided respect.

If this game interests you, or if you want to experience this title for yourself, please click on the image below to order this game. Thank you for reading!







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