Race Driver: Grid (Xbox 360)
Race Driver: Grid
 Just got the game (for 20 EUR) and installed it. No local multiplayer? Aww...
 Trying a few races. It seems my level of difficulty is 'Basic', corresponding to easy, because apparently I suck. By the way, I really like the brake indicator on the minimap; it might not be a new feature for this game, but it is an essential racing game feature for the casual player.
 OK, after playing a few races in my brothers new Gran Turismo 5, it is now time to compare the new hot racing game with my old favourite. I am not a racing game connaiseur, not by a long shot, but I do know a bit about game design and graphics. The driving of both games feel awesome to me, but the things that surround the pure racing experience differ greatly. But how does the graphics of the two year old GRID compare to the brand new Gran Turismo 5? The stars of the show, the cars, do look great in both games. Their surroundings, however, are not created equal. The tracks in GRID are stylized, contrast-rich, and color designed, whereas the tracks in GT5 look bland and uninteresting. I do feel that this is a stylistic choice on GT5s behalf, as their current stable of loyal fans love the game for its accurate simulation, not the visual flair that the first games in the series excelled at. However, upon closer inspection, all the details in the GT5 look really bad. The spectators are ugly billboards with too many duplicates, the vegetation consists of more ugly billboards, dust effects have horrible antialiasing, weather effects are unconvincing, and I spotted a sheep on a field that looked more like a particularly poorly made animatronic than anything else. GRID looks damn cool in comparison, the details in the tracks are definitely superior to those of GT5. Track winner: GRID. The shadows in GT5 are low resolution shadow maps that really stand out as being shadow maps, whereas the shadows in GRID are perfectly smooth, and look more like real shadows that video game shadows. Shadow winner: GRID. And even more important: the basic game design of GRID is tight, it has a simple structure, with constant progression. GT5 feels overwhelming and a bit like a messy pile of everything the designers could stuff into one game. GRID has simple, well-designed menus, constant reminders of progression, and a cool look to the interface that really shines in comparison to the bland, confusing, messy menus of GT5. Again, GRID wins. So, speaking as someone who's not a racing fanatic: I feel that GRID is a superior game in all aspects save for the pure simulation.
 Completed A.R.L. Rookie. I have 17/46 cars and 14/62(?) trophies.
 Completed Euro R License.
 Played a lot of GRID yesterday and today. Got 24/62 trophies.
 Blddrrr... Too difficult. Can't finish a race. Why is this game so hard?
 Got 26/51 trophies. That's right, research says 51, so I'm halfway through.
 Got 29/51 trophies.
 Won all 18 Rookie races. Got 31/51 trophies.
 Grid is still awesome, still one of the most enjoyable racing games I have played. However, it is getting difficult; I almost threw a coffee mug through my window in anger, trying to win the Motul CCGT Series, but I succeeded in the end. My teammate is losing every race, I wonder if I should replace him? I don't think he affects me winning the event, though.
 That intro goes straight to my heart. The music is Queens of the Stone Age: 'No One Knows' in an atmospheric remix by UNKLE.
 Got the Global License achievement.
- Those supercars reach some incredible speeds. I just banged into a wall, was thrust into the air and rotated along the length of the car 5 times before landing my wreck back on the track. Well, at least I unlocked the final set of races.
 If I understand the structure of this game correctly, I should win all Global License trophies and then the Head 2 Head challenge, and I should have completed the game.