Gran Turismo 3, quattrodici anni dopo.

Today is a grey day… It’s as if someone has bruised the sky above us, at least in the east midlands of England, where I live, eat, sleep, breathe and think. However, this time of year that is barely a surprise. For better or for worse, all of my family are at home. Dad’s got the week away from work and Mum has been rained off, so to speak, from the two gardening jobs she was going to do today. My two sisters – Alicia and Phoebe – are boisterous as always, however they’re happy today which is a good thing. At least they’re not screaming like chimera or being demanding. I suggested that Alicia, who adores art, read a manga book I bought recently for inspiration in her drawing. She drew a cat straight out of it and it looked fantastic, she has real flare for art and she’s 11. I joked around saying that one day we’d make books between us. Phoebe is also very artistic, but she’s very good at design in general and building things with Lego, which is something that everyone loves.

For the last three days I was with my girlfriend who started university recently, I’m overjoyed that we got to spend that time together. To be honest I got used to it and it tore my heart having to leave. We do see each-other as often as possible, but the wait takes its toll on us both. Despite that, we come out strong because nothing breaks us; it only tests us and makes us stronger. Worries are just obstacles we both might struggle to overcome alone but together we always make it through. We were cooking like absolute crazy, as she got a new cookery book which is very economical – perfect for student life. The myth that students must eat Pot Noodles and Iceland Microwave Curry is nothing BUT just a myth!

I’ve been on a nostalgia trip today, listening to the soundtrack from Gran Turismo 3 and 4, two games that I used to play within an inch of their life when I was younger. My Gran Turismo 3 disc is so scratched from its excessive usage over the past 14 years and no longer works properly – it freezes after you play it for a while, or fails to load. I was overjoyed when I found it in a charity shop for about a pound or two, when Alicja and I went to one, coming home from somewhere. It really is the game of my childhood: There were many games I loved to play, on the console and off – on boards, on the playground, on the computer but nothing is quite like Gran Turismo. Sure I love Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear, Grand Theft Auto… but nothing is like Gran Turismo. That’s probably because it was the first game I ever played on my PlayStation 2 that I got for Christmas when I was three years old. To this day is still works, all my friends’ ones seemed to get laser problems or die of general old age, well, old age in terms of electronics – which isn’t very long at all *planned obsolescence* (iPhone users know about this)

The soundtrack has been ingrained into my head for years because of how often I used to play it. When I revisit it now, having listened to a much wider variety of music, I hear now how absolutely funky the Japanese Jazz of the GT3 soundtrack actually is. Here’s one of my favourite tunes from the soundtrack, it’s called Light Velocity. It’s not the version used in the game but it’s from the official soundtrack disc, performed with instruments and not the  synthesised versions that appear in-game.

Gran Turismo 3 – Light Velocity

I feel like playing it today… I could play it on my PS3, but it only seems right to boot up the PS2 to play it, like I did back all those years ago… I love to revisit the past but I feel as if doing it too often is an unhealthy habit. You have to let bygones be bygones and move on to the future, else the past will ironically stand in the way of the future. The same goes for worries too, you just have to let it go, especially if what happened has no influence on today. You have to put the devil in the dirt.

I’ll be listening to the soundtrack before actually going to play it. Sometimes you spend so much time worrying and thinking deeply that you just have to snap out of it and be shallow for once. Think too deeply all the time, and it’ll just be like diving too deep. You’ll go too far and you’ll drown before you come back up for air.

It’s funny how technology has gotten exponentially better, but the classics are still what we love more. Gran Turismo 6, in terms of graphics and physics IS better, but I think GT3 is still reigning superior.

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