I Collected ALL the Cars in Gran Turismo 7 and All I Got Was…

That’s right, I collected ALL the cars in Gran Turismo 7 and all I got was the pride in knowing I got all the cars without paying a penny!

Does that sound enticing to you? It shouldn’t.

How did I do this you may or may not ask?

Well, when the game came out, people were just talking so much shit about how it’s full of anti-consumer micro transactions that it kind of stirred something in me. For context, I beat the game, did all the books, got a majority of all the trophies, and didn’t spend a dime on in-game currency. You frankly don’t need to, that’s not really what this game is all about. If you think you need to spend money for this game, I don’t think you’ve actually played it and/or know what you’re talking about. By the time I rolled credits on the game I had a few million left in the bank and about 100 cars collected already. So what happened?

Full collection 433/433.

I grew up playing Gran Turismo on PlayStation 1. I had both GT1 and 2 for that console and my brother and I would play it constantly. I kept up with the series and bought every title released, although I did drop out of racing games and only played Sport a little bit, mostly because it came with my VR headset. I don’t consider myself a racing guy and really only stick to GT and Forza Horizon these days. So I really wasn’t sure about picking up this title, especially at the marked up 70USD price tag PS5 games are going for.

I did, however, have an idea about going for the platinum trophy in this game. Prior entries in the series have ridiculously hard platinum trophies that I would never even attempt to get. This one felt doable, except for the Le Mans trophy that requires you to buy or collect (but really buy) three legendary cars from the Hagerty dealer. These cars weren’t known at the time so people were just trying to take educated guesses until they figured it out. Looking into all this caused me to stumble on some threads about AFK credit farming in the game.

So after a little bit of reading, I decided to give this a shot. I thought it would be funny to earn money in this game while they’re charging real money to consumers to buy these credits. A little “fuck you” to the developers and people in charge at Sony that thought this was a good idea in a 70USD game. My method involved using PS Remote Play and a keyboard script that would automatically control my car and navigate through the menus to constantly play one stage over and over in a car that would win a race while riding against the railing. Silly and stupid, no doubt about it, but it works and I find that hilarious.

How many people max out the money without paying a dime?

You can see that I have all 433 cars (as of this writing that’s all the cars). Some of the harder cars to get would be the ones where you need to be invited by the dealer to buy. These invites were randomly awarded to players through the legitimately unfair roulette ticket system. Where you earn tickets of varying star ratings and then get to spin a roulette wheel for your reward. This system will 9/10 times give you the worst valued item as well, you don’t want to give the player too much money or it’ll break the economy. Polyphony Digital had some issues with this and allowed users to access all these invites for a short time, so that was prime opportunity for me to go in and scoop up all those cars, one problem done and dusted.

The next issue was the biggest, the Hagerty collection. A slowly rotating group of cars that can cost up to 20 million credits each. So as I slowly amassed my fortune, I would venture into the Hagerty collection to see if there was a new car for the day, scoop it up, and then go check the used car dealer for anything new as well. Then I would systematically go through the normal dealer, one by one, buying every car they had to offer. At first this was harder to do, the max amount of money allowed in your account was just 20 million, so you could quickly run out of money and not have anything left to buy a rare Hagerty car the next day.

Take it from me, I opened all these and got shit 98% of the time. Pointless.

When I wasn’t checking the daily deals available I would have my console running non-stop. I eventually moved it from my PS5 to my old PS4 Pro. Having the PlayStation console and computer running the remote software hard wired helped with the network connection and the hotkey software, but because I have a mesh network, sometimes doing intense internet related things on other devices would cause the connection to degrade, which would mess up the hotkey application. So it had to be monitored frequently, which was annoying. I eventually got the whole setup working well, earning millions of credits for me each day. I even took a trip around Japan and would remote into my computer from my iPad to check the progress. I could restart the farming or check out the new stock in the game through this setup, a little funky doing it all through an iPad, but I really wasn’t trying to take a laptop on this trip.

I eventually got it down to only needing one car, the Ferrari F40 ’92. I had missed it the first time it was available since I wasn’t farming cars yet. So I had to just wait on Hagerty to finally rotate through all the cars so it’d be available again. 2.6 million credits later and it was mine.

This car turned into my white whale. It was a lovely sight seeing it available, pretty cheap too!

The Aftermath

If you’d played GT7 you know you get a little message as you grow your collection. This happens when you hit certain milestones, like 100 and 200 cars. I was expecting some sort of fanfare for the person that actually got every car in the game, even all the ones they release each month for free, but nothing happened. No fanfare, congratulations, or anything. I think the real congratulations is that I did this without spending a dime of real world money.

So what are the stats you ask? Here we go.

Cars Bought – 363
Credits Spent on Cars – 424,588,607
Total Distance Driven – 116,943 Miles
Total Time Driven – 652 hours
Total Fuel Consumed – 80,432 liters
Average Fuel Consumed – 5.00 MPG
Total Credits Acquired – 469,586,047

If I were to spend real money to acquire those credits it would have cost me –
212 packs of 2 Million credits = 4,240 USD

I drove around the equator 4.7 times.
Which is about halfway to the moon.

Should other people do this? It really depends on how dedicated you are to actually completing this task. It became a part of my daily routine to have to check up on these systems and to jump into the game to check the in-game store for new stock of cars. Once I actually started, part of me couldn’t really stop either, I needed to just hit my goal of getting every car. I have a bit of OCD in me, so that helped with this method, while also being a fairly pointless endeavor in the grand scheme of things. The issue now is whether I have to continue collecting cars as they’re released. I still have a little over 40 Million credits just sitting there for new cars to come out. I also kind of stopped playing the game while this was all going on. I felt like I was wasting my time playing when it could be grinding currency for me in the background. When I first hit 100 Million, which is the new cap, I felt like I could just give it all a rest since I had bought the majority of the cars by then.

This process felt like a small way of saying “fuck you” to the people in charge of implementing these mechanics into triple A games from major developers. I would rather pay for a season pass or expansion pack once a year than see inflated currencies in my games. If you feel like in-game currency that can be bought with real money has zero effect in the way pricing or payouts are handled in the game you are absolutely wrong. However, you DO NOT have to use real currency to play and enjoy this game on a daily basis, I would actually recommend not to do this and to not grind currency like I did. I don’t get that mentality from people that truly love these games. This is a game that will get updated monthly for years to come, it’s meant to be slow played. So try to take your time and enjoy it. Save up for a car and really understand the way it drives, go for the ones you’re passionate about. Perhaps they need to add a test drive function so players can have a couple laps in different cars. I took a different route, which may hinder my long term enjoyment of this title, but I like to think I’ll still enjoy it for years to come. I do have those 50 online races to go through for my trophy still.

20 million for a car I’m probably never going to drive. Insane.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 – Welcome to the Hostess Club

Another day, another photo trip down the ol’ Yakuza lane. Today we have Yakuza Kiwami 2 to look through. This is the game where the hostess job really came into shape. The first image is of my main girl, Koyuki. She’s just the best and I challenge anyone out there to challenge the throne!

She would get all my money.
They really got down character models and faces. These characters are just on point.
This guy, trying to give all the sass. Just don’t look at what’s going on in the background.
There goes all my money!
Leaving you with my girl Koyuki.

While this was another great game in the franchise, and the story was great. The one thing I really do remember about this title is the hostess club. I really wanted to customize my girl and get her all maxed out and it shows. Such a great Japanese style game and I love it more for being true to itself.

Yakuza 0 – Back to the Beginning

While I’m looking down the barrel of a new Yakuza game to sink my teeth into. How about I keep exploring some of the older games through photos stored on my console? Sounds good to me. So here goes the prequel game, Yakuza 0. While I played a bit of Yakuza 1 and 2 on the Playstation 2 way back in the day, I didn’t really get into the series or fall in love with it until I played this game.

Yes, it’s a Yakuza game, but I just want to run a business.
Beat the shit out of people and money falls out of them, motivation enough it seems.
Such a striking young lad Kiryu was. Those side burns were on point too.
A young Goro ready to beat people up.
In Yakuza 0, you can make it rain anywhere you want.
And finally, the naughty room with a box of tissues on the side, wonder what those are for.

I love this game and I love the series. A younger me would have wanted this team to continue on making Shenmue games, I would have never of thought that they were going to follow their own vision and surpass the inspiration for the series. It’s one of the best stories and soap operas ever told in gaming.

Yakuza 6 – A Photo Journey Into the Past

YAKUZA 6: The Song of Life Tenkaichi St. Just a couple of jokers.

Sitting next to my PS5 are copies of Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Lost Judgment. I’m trying to figure out which one I’ll play next and came across some of these photos from my playthrough of Yakuza 6. I don’t think I really have anything to offer other than my complete love for this series. I played through the whole series in order and my Boo watched along with me. The Yakuza soap opera story really grabbed our attention and we were completely hooked in the tale of Kazuma Kiryu.

What a lovely spot for a… date?
I mean, did you really expect the shark to win?
Just try and rank me!
Who would have thought that Takeshi Kitano would star in a video game.
The baby looks pretty decent, usually they’re modeled poorly.
A little slice of life.
These chat rooms were just the best.
The Yamato battleship.
Don’t look at me for answers to this.
Just the best posters.
Yea, I let him fall to his death.

That’s basically all I wanted to share. I love all the games in the Yakuza franchise and these were just a few of the memories I had and wanted to share.

Shit, looking back at my trophies, this is the only Yakuza game that I got the platinum trophy in. Mostly because they tend to be insanely time consuming and this one wasn’t for some reason. I also completed the game in January of 2019, so it’s been a hot minute.

Just an Update

Here’s a little update for the site. I’ve played a few games and still have to write up some reviews for them, which I’ll eventually get to. So that’s been on the back of my mind for a while now. I’m also becoming very disillusioned by the games media in general. Every little bit of news that comes out about video games gets scrutinized, articles with click-bait headlines get written up, and hot-takes get thrown around without a care in the world.

This constant churn of articles on “newsites” like IGN, Gamespot, Kotaku, etc. have just erroded my desire to want to be involved and apart of the discourse of video games. No longer can you hit up a site at the end of a day and scan through a few articles, check reviews of some new games, and feel like you’ve gained some knowledge about your hobby. You go to a site now and you get posts about which multifunction printer you need to complete your home office (first post on IGN as I write this) or whatever other dumb, useless, drama that is going on in any tiny corner of the industry. A lot of these sites have become drama channels to try and pull in more clicks. It’s probably my fault for even loading up a bookmark folder when I first sit down at my computer and scan through all my sites, perhaps I just need to cull through my bookmarks and just drop some of these sites completely. I do think that there are still one or two good sites out there, but I prefer to get most of my commentary and information from a slew of podcasts that I still listen to weekly. So that’s just the internet being the internet in todays society, everyone loves a reason to get angry.

What has really been going on with me? Even though you never asked. Well, since I’m living in Japan at the moment I decided to start getting into retro video game collecting. I feel like I’ve shunned retro gaming in the past and really only wanted to delve into it in the form of remasters for newer consoles.

I came upon YouTubers like KidShoryuken who go around the Tokyo region, exploring stores to find great deals on retro video games. It’s been a great reason for me to get out of the house and see some smaller parts of the Tokyo region. I’ve visited a bunch of Hard-Off stores (thrift stores for musical instruments and electronics), dug through piles of old games, bought a lot of them, and even picked up a few consoles along the way. Oh, I’ve been down to Akihabara to see what they had to offer as well. I think I’ll write about the stores I’ve visited and show some pictures of what they have on offer.

My plan going forward will be to get out a few reviews of some of the more modern games I’ve been playing along with showing a lot of the stores I’ve visited and will continue to visit. I may also try and post some reviews or opinions on games I’ve picked up and talk about how well they hold up. Just not sure how I’m supposed to get any screen captures of these games unless I convert their signals into HDMI and use a capture card. I’m looking forward to putting all this out there for others to see, I hope you’re as interested in retro games as I’ve become.

PlayStation 5 M.2 SSD Implementation Starting to Roll Out

If you’re in the beta program for PS5 firmware, then you’re finally able to upgrade the hard drive space of you’re PlayStation 5. This is a feature touted prior to the release of the console and a great way to supplement the relatively small amount of space available on the system.

The real issue to think about now is the speed of those M.2 SSDs that are available to purchase and which ones should go into your system. For reference, these are the recommended specs from Sony.

  • Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Capacity: 250GB – 4TB
  • Cooling structure: Using an M.2 SSD with your PS5 console requires effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink. You can attach one to your M.2 SSD yourself, either in a single-sided format, or double-sided format. There are also M.2 SSDs that have cooling structures (such as heatsinks) built in.
  • Sequential read speed: 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended 
  • Module width: 22mm width (25mm width is not supported)
  • Form Factor: M.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.
    These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to the width, the remaining digits to the length.
  • Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M) 
  • Total size including cooling structure:
    In millimeters: smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H).
    In inches: smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).

Source : Sony

I don’t think that anyone who really cares about loading speed should settle for a 5,500MB/s M.2 drive. It doesn’t seem fast enough and we should all try to focus on the 7,000MB/s drives on the market, which there are only a few right now. Extra speed is needed to compensate for this storage solution not being as integrated into the hardware as the onboard SSD, so if you’re simply going with the lowest recommended speed you’re bound to see slower load times on the titles that utilize this feature.

They also recommend using a heatsink for your SSD, which isn’t that big of a deal. These can easily be added by the consumer, although certain drives do come with build on heatsinks. I have noticed in the days following Mark Cerny’s recommendation on the drive he bought for his PS5 that the price of that drive has gone up significantly. It seems that a lot of gamers were waiting to upgrade their storage. Although, I currently see the 1TB model, without heatsink, going for 199.99 USD, which is cheaper than the Microsoft offer (you still need the heatsink though).

I think I’m going to wait for a 2TB drive at 7,000MB/s to get around the 300$ mark or so before I invest in this. I am pretty good at finishing games and just deleting them so it’s not too much of a struggle for me now. And if I do add storage, I want it to be at least 2TB so that I don’t have to think about upgrading it again during this lifecycle.

Nintendo Switch OLED Announcement

With all the speculation and articles swirling around the internet of a 4K Nintendo Switch revision happening this year, and with Nintendo repeatedly telling people to calm down, they finally announced their new hardware! Spoilers: the internet and all those click-bait articles were wrong. Those insiders with all the hot scoops were wrong. You’re getting a Switch with an OLED display. It’s the same battery life of the updated red box Switch that’s been on the market for a while now. The screen is now 7 inches big, compared to 6.2 of the original, the dock is different and has an ethernet port, and it has 64GB of internal storage. All for the lovely price of 350 USD.

Is this what the internet would have you believed would happen? Not by a long shot. People talked about having a dock that would provide more CPU or GPU power to push a 4K image to your TV, that the system would use DLSS to hit 4k resolutions. I heard some people talk about it like it’s a new console generation, a bit like a pro model of the PS4, but the newer games would look way better. I personally didn’t buy any of that. What I did think was going to happen, but didn’t, was that the Tegra X1 chip running the system would be upgraded to the newer version. Not necessarily for a hardware boost, but so they could underclock it and get more battery life out of the system. That, and because the Tegra X1 chip is getting really old and I don’t get why they’d want to keep manufacturing them.

Are people happy about this console upgrade? I’ve been using my launch day Switch as a handheld system ever since I bought it. I connected it to the TV a few times while playing Zelda just to see how it looked, wasn’t that impressed, and now it’s just a portable console. My JoyCon controller drifts in the home menus and I never got it fixed. The thought of paying 80 dollars for JoyCons makes my brain hurt, so I’ll just subtract that amount from the purchase of this console and then I’ll only have to think about spending 270 USD on a new Switch. That’s my math and it comforts me at night. I do like a nice OLED display though, so that should be pretty sexy when I’m playing Picross this year.

So if I see one at the store this year, I’m probably not going to be able to resist the temptation of picking it up. I do wish the battery life or the graphics were improved, or at least the framerate on games that needed it. Nintendo did the absolute bare minimum at making an impression on me and it shows. I’ll probably buy one and I’m sure a whole lot of other people out there will do just the same. The funny part will be when they announce a more substantial update to the Switch lineup at the end of next year, then we’ll all be questioning just how much we needed this revision in our lives.

Stadia – You Wont Be Missed

To the surprise of nobody, Stadia is officially making it’s first pivot into the dumpster fire of forgotten video game projects. It’s doing this by cancelling all internally developed game projects and focusing on offering it’s services to other companies.

So two Google owned game studios, about 150 creative developers, and one Jade Raymond will all have to find work elsewhere. That’s Google for you. You have to wonder what was happening at those game studios, what those games were looking like for Google to just pack it in and call it a day. Did they think the strategy they had was going to perform better in the time allotted? If so, hire me as an executive and I’ll come up with a better roadmap for you streaming service, you clearly were misled We all knew from day one, or maybe by the launch of Stadia, that it wasn’t going to be blow anyone over. I was initially excited of what could have been possible technically. Their technology allows for the possibility of having a massive amount of computational power delivering visuals impossible by the standard computer or console hardware, all to deliver breathtaking visuals and simulations. Instead, they opted to have traditional ports of games and even those didn’t always run at 4k resolutions.

What really interests me about all of this is the career of Jade Raymond. You might remember her as the attractive woman in every video produced back when she was working at Ubisoft. It felt like her beauty was a marketing tool to sell games, promote Ubisoft, and as a symbol of sexism in the industry. Yes, the gaming industry has attractive women and they can be in a position of power. I’m not saying a woman can’t be beautiful and work in video games, it felt like she was used in a lot of promotional videos and there were a lot of horny guys creeping on her in the comments section. You didn’t see a lot of women faces in gaming videos even ten years ago, so if it took Jade to kickstart it then it’s a net positive. I just wish, and she probably did too, that it wasn’t so creepy back then.

None of that really bothers me though, what really bothers me about her career, and that of another prominent female developer, Amy Hennig, is that they don’t actually make games anymore. Amy Hennig hasn’t launched a game in 10 years, but continues to work in the industry while she’s touted as this symbol of being a female director that makes AAA games, yet they keep getting cancelled. Jade Raymond is finding herself in the same situation. They take these roles at studios where they are used as a selling point for the larger company, look who we got to head our studio, two years later their game gets cancelled and the studio goes in a different direction.

I wish they would try to make a “normal” game at a “normal” studio just so it can get released. Hennig is currently at Skydance Media, which I hope culminates in a released product that we can all experience. Do something smaller, unless they’re just trying to make that money and in that case “do you”. Ken Levine would be a similar example for the male side of the industry, it’s been 8 years since his last game was released.

That might be a bit of a tangent, we are here to talk about the failure that is Stadia. We were all waiting for the shoe to drop and it just did. I never even tried the service, never had a reason to. Makes me wonder if any other company will utilize their infrastructure. Perhaps a Sony or Nintendo would think about getting onboard and renting hardware to improve their streaming capabilities to compete with Microsoft.