It’s here.

Part of me still refuses to believe it, but believe it or not, the much-awaited Gran Tursimo 4 will be in gamers hands by this time tomorrow.  That means, by this time tomorrow, I'll be spending my hard-raced credits on a MazdaSpeed MX-5.  Or an Evolution VIII RS.  Or a Holden Monaro.  Or…or…or…yeah, I need to change my shorts. 

Anyway, it's gonna be here, and I'm not gonna know what to do.  Luckily, being a player of Gran Tursimo 3, I'll have a few options opened to me.  Via the rumor mill, I've heard that GT3 players will receive 100,000 upon starting GT4, provided they have a memory card with a GT3 save on it.  Players of 3 will remember that, when starting out, you could choose from an 80's Corolla, a 1st Gen Miata, or a PT Cruiser.  This way, I can start out with something respectable.

Also via the rumor mill, I've gotten a tidbit about a new "AutoSave" system that's been implemented.  Click Read More if you're looking for details, but the jist of it is this:  You'll get an automatic save whenever you buy cars, sell cars, or switch cars.  The AutoSave feature can be switched off, but there's a catch:  Regardless of being on or off, you get an automatic save whenever you buy a car.  That means you can't buy a car, test drive it, then go back to an old save.  Be careful.

And if you're in for a little competition, keep your eyes on the forums for the next few days.  I've got an idea in mind to keep you on your toes.

AutoSave Feature: The game autosaves when you buy cars, sell cars, or switch cars. It is impossible to bypass this by removing the memory cards, ect. The only way to "test-drive" cars now is to have two memory cards with the same data, buy, tune and use the car (which saves to slot one), then go back into the browser and manually spread the Slot 2 save.

Decription under autosave in options says "Auto-save can be set to full or restricted. When is set to restricted auto-save will take place only when you change cars." Surprise #2! There is no "restricted/no restricted" listed. Only Auto-save ON or OFF.

OK, this is very serious one. UPDATE –

Auto-save is set to "OFF".

As you could read, I was not very happy to find out that game actually saves when you buy a car, no matter of the disabled auto-save. It is getting even better.

You can't even remove the memory card while playing. Reason: the game needs phuckin memory card for every single action.

You buy a car. Game tries to save. You are smart. You have removed MC before the buying process. No problem so far. Game asks you about the MC, you choose "cancel", game buys you a car and puts it in the garage.

You get to the garage and – voila. You can't get into the car without insertion of MC.

You do so, enter the garage, then take out the MC to avoid rewritting. You see your car. Go to "change" button to enter the car, game asks you about the MC. If you choose "cancel" you can't enter the car. Simple. If you put in another card with no GT4 data on, game won't allow you to do anything, and it will not allow you to make a new save with that status.

If you put the MC with GT4 data, it will politely tell you that "game status has been changed and savegame must be updated". If you choose to do so, voila again – your new car has been sucesfully stored on memory card and previous data has been overwriten.

BULL!!!

I see no solution for this problem except having 2 MC's which we'll have to always pull out. put in and do a manual overwritting or automatic update when we're sure about the process done. But, not be able to get in car / cahnge the car without saving – it is totally lunatic idea in terms of gameplay of GT game.

As for autosave – and I do not find any reason to turn it off after this beautifull "code update" – notice that game does not say "auto-save always / restricted", but only "on" or "off". Word "restricted" and text I've quoted in previous update is written in small letters in explanation under the main screen.

I find this "update in code" disturbing, since you can't actually test a car before buying as I always did in previous games.

But, as no retalier would except you to return new car, it is certanly a turn to realism of consumer/capitalism society. This vas sarcastic, of course.

So, what we have here?

We have: game that saves every move you make. No mistakes can be done.

Saving is fast, yes, it takes just a second ot two. So, we have fast saving too.

We do not have: "load game" button – I can understand why – probably because of calibrating the DFP – but I find the lack of that option very disturbing too.

No more possibility – and it was not in Asian game too – to make a backup on card in MC2, since the game always automaticaly saves in MC in slot 1. For making a backup, you have to save on MC1, reset the game, go to browser and copy the data manually. Reason? Have no idea whatsoever.

And yes, no "memory car manager" option, which was one of the those options that made GT series special in the vast world of half-products ooften called "PS2 games".

This whole "saving" issue is pushing the series way back in terms of pure using and from position of end-user, the Player, I find it very very very bad.