GRID Autosport – Switching Gears

Racing simulators have quite the history of avoiding Nintendo consoles entirely. The last really good one I remember playing is F1 2009 on the Wii, ten years ago. Since then I’ve just got my racing fix from other consoles, with their analog triggers and in-house games like Forza offering a very solid driving simulation experience. Suddenly out of nowhere, a port of GRID Autosport has landed on the Switch eShop. I was a little cautious at first, as racing developers have treated Nintendo consoles with the bare minimum apathy in the past. Anyone remember Project CARS on Wii U? Exactly. However here we are in 2019 with the Switch kicking arse and taking names, and GRID Autosport is the real deal.

To say this game delivered what I wanted would be an understatement, it vastly exceeded expectations. Feral Interactive have not just ported the game, but upgraded it in every way imaginable, with a higher resolution and framerate than the original game, and controls and graphics optimised for both docked and handheld mode. This game is quite simply the best racing simulator to ever grace a Nintendo console, and by extension, the best one ever to grace a handheld. It’s an absolute miracle.

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Gran Turismo Sport – A Fresh Start

Mmmmm, nothing like that new track smell. It’s the perfect cure to that nauseating “new car” smell of freshly glued plastic. A new location is a little more refreshing to breathe in, and different to play. I can smell the ocean air and hear the breeze hit the mountain with a calming whoosh. After a somewhat reluctant installation, this is what Gran Turismo Sport needed to draw me in. This wonderful track called Dragon Trail. Where’s that? Nowhere. This is a brand new make-believe racetrack for GT Sport and it brings some much-needed identity to make this feel like a brand new special videogame. As someone who’s played every world circuit track in dozens of racing games before, the new tracks in GT Sport are exciting. Not just because of the new scenery, but it’s a brand new stimulating challenge with new corners and layouts to learn.

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Gran Turismo 6

After all the buzz about micro-transactions and the absolutely filthy excuse for a game that was Forza 5, I was hesitant to support Gran Turismo 6 after hearing that same word, “micro-transaction”. I took the plunge and bought the game last month because the allure of racing at Bathurst was too strong and I was keen to check out the new car handling physics. I’ve been playing it since it came out and I owe the developers at Polyphony Digital a giant apology for my assumptions. Gran Turismo 6 is not the devil’s next DLC scheme and the experience has been surprisingly fun and refreshing.

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