Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gran Turismo's One-Hit Wonders

John Marine | 7/13/2010 11:35:00 PM | |
Some tracks have been featured only once in Gran Turismo games. This blog entry features some of the one-hit wonders (so to speak). These tracks have been featured only once in one GT title. Whether or not we will see these in future GT titles (including the upcoming Gran Turismo 5) will remain to be seen. This is a look at some of the one-time only tracks.

--- Gran Turismo's One-Hit Wonders ---
Some tracks in Gran Turismo history find their way into multiple GT titles. Some, however, fail to. Some courses are succeeded by others. This blog entry lists some of the many different one-time-only Gran Turismo tracks. They are all based on tracks (and configurations) that have only been featured once in Gran Turismo games. I may update this to include any edits. Here is the criteria I will use:

Criteria for Inclusion:
* certain configurations only for one GT title
* wet versions of tracks not included
* tracks from non-major GT games (GT Concept, GT4 Prologue, GT5 Prologue, etc., even including Gran Turismo PSP), so the Ricardo Tormo Circuit will not be mentioned though featured in Gran Turismo PSP.
* time variations not included (for example: a track that can be raced on in the daytime as well as in the evening or at night will NOT be included)

Now let's begin!

Special Stage Route 11 (GT1 Configuration).
Special Stage Route 11's Gran Turismo 1 configuration was featured here because even though SSR11 was featured in GT3, the GT1 configuration wasn't featured. Gran Turismo 1's layout still remains my favorite maybe because of its setting and how the city looks. GT3's version, while lovely, just didn't have as much character as the first one.

Tahiti Road.
To me, it was smart for Gran Turismo to include Tahiti Road for two reasons. The first of which is because while a proper French race course wasn't included in Gran Turismo 2, Tahiti is part of French Polynesia. Otherwise, you wouldn't have a good track to contest the French Nationals in GT2. The second reason is because this is about the only Oceania representation that Gran Turismo has featured. I still wish Gran Turismo 5 would feature either Australian or New Zealand courses, but this is about the only Oceania representation in series history.

As for the track itself, it is a high-speed racing course. I am inclined to say that it is a street course, but it is basically racing in paradise. A car with a poor suspension setup will find this track to be a total nightmare because of the high speed sections. It was very fun to me.

Rome Circuit: Short Course.
Nobody tends to care about the short courses. Rome Circuit's short course was just a short course and wasn't as intriguing as the primary course. It is better suited for slower cars and short races. Still, just not as interesting and intriguing.

Seattle Circuit: Short Course.
This track is not as fast. On a more positive note, this could be a great track for drifting with some of the 90° corners that make up this short course.

The first-ever Swiss venue in Gran Turismo history is this beautiful street course. Rather than a course with concrete-lined walls, this track rides and feels more like a proper road course. Its elevation changes and overall flow makes it feel more like a proper road course than a street course.

Red Rock Valley Speedway.
Red Rock Valley Speedway is essentially two ovals interconnected to make a high-speed road course. If there is a track that I want to see revived for Gran Turismo 5, it would be this one. Imagine the NASCAR battles you can wage on a track like this! I think if you want to revive a past Gran Turismo course just for NASCAR, Red Rock Valley Speedway is an absolute favorite.

Motor Sport Land.
This course can literally be described as a go-kart track for cars. It was a nice Easter Egg for GT gamers. It is great for racing small cars as well as a drift course for drift cars. It may have been succeeded by MotorLand in GT4, but this was a great Easter Egg.

Why include this track if you're not going to utilize it? Rome-Night was an absolute travesty because this is a very competitive race track. It was just too bad this was never featured in any such races. People complain about certain things being a waste of disc space in certain Gran Turismo games. Well, THIS was a waste of space on GT2 because it was never utilized. Also, it's not like this track is sacred ground or anything. It was just not utilized or regarded, basically being left by its lonesome.

Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
Albeit severely abbreviated, Pikes Peak was a beacon of rally racing hope for Gran Turismo games as it is the only true point-to-point rally stage in Gran Turismo history. This was a track meant for proper hillclimbing with the Suzuki Cultus and (more importantly) the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak cars. The full Pikes Peak is a very long course that takes about ten minutes to complete in some of the most powerful cars. There's probably no hope of us seeing it in GT5. We can only dream, though...

Smokey Mountain South.
Smokey Mountain North would return as just "Smokey Mountain" for Gran Turismo 3. There was a reason why this track was disregarded- it just wasn't as interesting and as fun as Smokey Mountain North. It just wasn't as exciting to race this course. And so because of this, Smokey Mountain South just seen one iteration.

Green Forest Raceway.
This was a pretty interesting rally course, and perhaps the first rally course I remember doing. I don't have too many memories of ripping up this track except for trying to beat the Ghost Car at these courses.

Complex String.
Primarily used as a test course (and should be just a test course), Complex String was a hot mess of about 50 or 60 corners meant to put your car through its paces. Almost every conceivable kind of corner is featured in this track. Funny enough, this is the ONLY single track in Gran Turismo 3 that hasn't appeared in any other title.

(NOTE: The following tracks are from Gran Turismo 4. We are not sure what will be featured in GT5, so unless a track has been featured in a GT5 demo of some sort, there will be a lot of them featured here in this area.)

Fuji Speedway '80s.
The High Speed Ring is purely Fuji inspired. This is a high-speed version without the chicane that would be featured in the '90s.

Fuji Speedway '90s.
Before Hermann Tilke screwed up the classic Fuji circuit, the '90s course was a great combination of high speed with decisive corners. You can only go so fast here in various sections.

Infineon Raceway (Sears Point), both Configurations.
I think PD will probably include Infineon because NASCAR races on this course. Both configurations will have to be included. I doubt that we'll see this track at night unless you want to race the drag strip at Infineon.

El Capitan.
I personally use this course as a test track in GT4. It is a track with many undulations and flowing corners. My only criticism with this course is that I wished there was a proper finish line featured to let me know where the lap ends. This track is based around Yosemite National Park. While not a proper racing course, it is definitely a competitive and beautiful course.

MotorLand is also a track I use as a test course. What makes it such a test course is its short length and smooth corners. This is a Grand Prix-style course for a such a short course.

Citta di Aria.
A narrow road nightmare, this track is just not made for one-on-one racing. It is a great course for rally-type racing, but near impossible for match racing. It does make a lovely motorcycle course in Tourist Trophy.

Costa di Amalfi.
This track is MUCH more fun than Citta di Aria. It's just so fun blasting through the high-speed sections as well as in the corners. Unlike Citta di Aria, however, this track isn't very fun with motorcycles in Tourist Trophy.

New York City.
New York was one of the very first courses featured in Gran Turismo 4 demos. This track took you around Times Square as well as a little bit around Central Park. Maybe this track gets some next-gen life. Maybe we even get to race in the Big Apple at night. This track would be almost emulated for Forza Motorsport.

Hong Kong.
When I first seen this level, I was unsure whether to call this a night race or an evening race. I actually would have liked a better configuration that takes advantage of Hong Kong's beauty at night. I would have liked a proper race around Hong Kong after dark. I would have also liked to see a race around here with maybe a laser light show in the distance in Hong Kong.

Opera Paris.
Narrow and slow, Opera Paris just isn't very fun. It's not even a lovely course just for racing in the beautiful city of Paris. It looks like its "successor" in Gran Turismo 5 will be the new Madrid street course.

George V Paris.
This course is a nighttime romp around Paris. You face the Arc de Triomphe in the normal direction of George V Paris. It is a very nice track to race on.

Seoul Central.
People have complained of its short length, but the Seoul Circuit, which is shaped like the state of Oklahoma, is a high-speed racing course. At least unlike Rome-Night in GT2, this track was actually UTILIZED. It is even a round of the Gran Turismo World Championship in Gran Turismo 4.

Cathedral Rocks I and II.
Cathedral Rocks utilized dirt roads around El Capitan. The El Capitan course is actually used for Cathedral Rocks I.

Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon was an evolutional leap for Gran Turismo rallying because it's the only true-style rally course. Turn the Grand Canyon course into a proper point-to-point rally stage, and it would be a GREAT plus for Gran Turismo rally racing. A lot of hardcore types still probably hate that you can't fly off of the Grand Canyon and fall and roll to your death.

Ice Arena.
The simple Ice Arena was the first of two snow rally courses. Snow and ice offers a different rallying experience aside from dirt and gravel. This track wasn't anything real exciting, but a good rally experience.

Easily one of the toughest rally courses in Gran Turismo history, Chamonix

Las Vegas Drag Strip.
You know, I was actually disappointed that this track wasn't used for one-on-one drag racing. It's still not a bad course to use for drag racing. I just hope this track returns. Or even better, more true drag strips.

Assuming that all or most the tracks from Gran Turismo HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue find their way into Gran Turismo 5 proper, this list of one-timers may not need to be updated. I did not include the SSR11 GT3 route because I think that the GT3 configuration will return as evidence from E3 2010 suggests. I did not include Tahiti Dirt Route 3 from GT2 because that would later be succeeded by Tahiti Circuit in GT3. I did not include Super Speedway from Gran Turismos 2 and 3 because while they appear different, the configuration is still the same. And also, that would be succeeded by the track whose layout the course purely represents: Twin Ring Motegi Superspeedway.

Something tells me that it MAY be possible that tracks from past GT games that have been featured only once... may make a return for GT5 as downloadable content. Can you imagine if a lot of these one-hit wonders of Gran Turismo made a PlayStation 3, next-gen return? You can imagine what some of these classic tracks look like in vivid PS3 quality. DO NOT take this for gospel! This is just a hunch.

Are there any one-timers that you were sad didn't make it into a future GT title? Comment away, Gran Turismo fans! Thanks for reading!
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