No sense bothering with an intelligent introduction; let’s just jump right in. Gran Turismo 4 is super. After making it home yesterday, i took just a moment to switch cars (it was only appropriate to drive the Z to the mall to pick up the quintessential racing game – plus it was 60 degrees and i’m getting started on my tan early this season) and raced (not quite literally) to the mall to rescue my preordered copy from the confines of EB Games’ locked display case. In keeping with the theme of today’s blather, i took yet another second on the way out the door to stuff the GBA in my pocket – playing Mario Cart while waiting in line helped keep me in a driving state of mind.

Despite boring Danielle – she was over for the evening – i of course had to pop in the GT4 disc right away. Some small snafus finding enough space on a memory card for the new game save, but once that hassle was behind me, the ooh’s and aah’s could begin. The game is very pretty, and sounds very nice, and is just generally about as shiny and appealing as a Porsche showroom dipped in chocolate sauce. 700 cars, beautiful scenery, and so much realism to the tuning and tweaking of your cars that it makes my head spin.

Now although the online play feature didn’t make it into the release, there is a LAN play feature that would let you play against another PS2 in your home network. Neat, you say. But what if your home network were to, say, span the entire globe? Do tell. Sounds crazy but totally possible, thanks to XLink Kai, some crazy brits that are experts at network routing trickery and the foolery of console LAN games. Not to leave anyone out, their software will support XBox and GameCube networking, too – and even the PSP (for the true early adopters). It basically uses your computer as a software router and grants you access to an international group of, in this case, fellow GT4 release-day junkies. Def going to try that out. Oh, and as all good things to be found on the internet are either ridiculously expensive or free… this is free.

In between retina-burning marathons behind the wheel of my highly-modified green 89 virtual 300ZX 2+0, sometimes it’s good to work something out on paper. Like maybe an artisitic interpretation of 8-bit Super Mario created with post-it notes in honor of Engineering Week. Very cool, kudos to those kids at UCSC, and to 3M for making black post-its for just such an occasion. For my celebration, i’ll be giving my opponens pollicis a heavy workout.