Project Gotham Racing (series)

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Project Gotham Racing (PGR) is a series of racing video games developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Microsoft (Xbox and Xbox 360) and Sega (Dreamcast). This franchise is exclusive to the Dreamcast, Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles, and consists of Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast), Project Gotham Racing (Xbox), Project Gotham Racing 2 (Xbox), Project Gotham Racing 3 (Xbox 360), and Project Gotham Racing 4 (Xbox 360).

The PGR series have a system called Kudos points. These are given for performing stunts with the vehicle (such as power sliding, overtaking another driver, two wheels, etc.). The longer the stunt is maintained, the more points the player receives. Colliding with the guard rails and other surroundings will cause the Kudos points from that stunt to be lost.

PGR2, PGR3 and PGR4 support gameplay via Xbox Live, while the first installment in the series does not.

The cover of each game in the Project Gotham Racing franchise has featured a Ferrari car on it, going from the F50 (PGR) to the Enzo (PGR2), the F430 (PGR3), and the 599 GTB Fiorano (PGR4). The car manufacturer was even the main focus of a free mobile entry in the series, PGR: Ferrari Edition for the Zune HD, similar to that of Porsche in Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed.

The PGR series is the successor to Bizarre Creation's Dreamcast game Metropolis Street Racer, as evidenced by the similarities and the recycled content between the first Project Gotham Racing and Metropolis Street Racer.

In September 2007, after being bought by Activision, Bizarre Creations announced that PGR4 would be the last game produced for Microsoft. Bizarre developed PGR4's spiritual successor, Blur, which was released not only on Xbox 360 but also on PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows.[1] The future of the PGR franchise is uncertain.

Despite the name, this series has absolutely no relation with the fictional cities of Gotham and Metropolis, homes of DC Comics superheroes Batman and Superman respectively.[2] It was rumoured on November 1, 2010 that Microsoft was in secret talks with third party developers in an effort to reboot the franchise.

Game Information
Metropolis Street Racer
  • Released: November 3, 2000
  • Platform: Dreamcast
Project Gotham Racing
  • Released: November 15, 2001
  • Platform: Xbox
Project Gotham Racing 2
  • Released: November 17, 2003
  • Platform: Xbox
Project Gotham Racing 3
  • Released: November 22, 2005
  • Platform: Xbox 360
Project Gotham Racing 4
  • Released: October 2, 2007
  • Platform: Xbox 360
Project Gotham Racing Mobile
Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition
  • Released: November 11, 2009
  • Platform: Zune HD[3]

Cat and Mouse[edit]

Cat and Mouse is an improvised racing game type for Project Gotham Racing 2 (PGR2),[4][5] 3 (PGR3), Project Gotham Racing 4 (PGR4), and Gran Turismo 5 (GT5) played on Xbox Live and an example of emergent gameplay. In PGR2 all players must agree to the rules as it is not a built-in game type. However, Cat and Mouse is a built-in game type in PGR3 and PGR4. The room is divided into teams with matching colors of at least two players (4 teams of 2), but two teams of four is more common. Each of these teams consist of one slow car, the "mouse", while the rest on that team chose a fast car, the "cat". In PGR2 all mice were the same car, however in PGR3 and PGR4, the mice only have to be within the same car class . The cats do not need to be the same type of car. A team wins if their mouse crosses the finish line first. A team's cat can boost its mouse, attack other teams' mice, and protect its mouse from other teams' cats. In the GT5 version the most common track it is played on is Nurburgring 24H.

Rule variations
  1. Four Teams of Two: Each group of two tries to get their mouse across the finish line first. When one team is in the lead, it is the job of the other three cats to take out the lead mouse. The cat of the lead mouse can either try to protect his mouse by blocking the three attackers or taking out the second place mouse. In this game mode the cats are not allowed to take out the other mice unless their mouse is in first place, thus allowing the game to be relatively close. In some instances one team elects to push their mouse for the duration of the game. In some game lobbies this is an accepted practice, however in other lobbies with more experienced players, this practice is frowned upon and one team will often give up their chance of winning the race to ensure, not only that the freeloading team doesn't win, but doesn't finish the race.
  1. "Two Teams of Four (American)": This game mode has its origins in PGR2 and came to fruition after many of the most experienced players came to the realization that the only way to combat freeloading, which is an inherent problem in "Four Teams of Two", was to split the lobby into two teams of four. In the "American" iteration of this game mode, there are effectively no rules. The goal of each team is to get their mouse across the finish line at all costs. Typically each team will devote one of its cats to helping out their mouse, and two of them to blocking and pinning the other teams mouse for the duration of the race. When the skill level in the lobby is high, these races are extremely long, and may last longer than a half hour. In instances where the teams are somewhat lopsided, or if a group of players cannot sync their play styles together for whatever reason, the races are not close. When the races are not close, the losing team usually does not finish the race, and in some instances they are lapped by the other teams mouse. It is because of this rule variation, that it is widely accepted by the majority of active players, that the best players typically got their start in this game mode on PGR2.
  1. "Two Teams of Four (European)": This game mode may have existed to some extent in PGR2 and PGR3, but is most popular in PGR4. For those that play this game mode exclusively, the reason for its existence is simple; the races are closer, and you don't have to be a seasoned player in order to be relatively competitive and enjoy yourself. Whereas in the "American" iteration of this game mode, where it is a no holds bar fight to the finish and skill reigns supreme; in the "European" iteration, the cats are not allowed to touch the second place mouse, unless it is within an extremely close distance of their mouse. Typically the team in first place will try to block the cats from the opposing team for as long as they can in order to maintain the lead. At the last corner before the finish line, "European" rules are ignored by both teams, "American" rules are adopted for the last straight. As a result, players used to playing American rules often complain, not only because the overall lack of skill present in the game lobby, but because they feel as though they are driving around aimlessly until they reach the critical point of the race.
  1. "Five Teams of Three": This game mode is the most played version of cat and mouse in GT5. Each team tries to help their mouse cross the line first. It is one cat's job to block the first place mouse. The other cat is left to boost or push their mouse. The cats are not aloud to block or mess with the last place mouse. This game type can be played with less than 5 teams as long as there are 9-16 people in the lobby. If there is a person left without a team then they are assigned a faster car then the other cats and their sole responsibility is to stop the 1st place mouse. This car is referred to as the HKS. The HKS has the option to wait 2 minutes before leaving or going backwards on the track until they eventually meet up with the other cars.
Cars used

In Project Gotham Racing 2, the mice on each team were generally the Mini Cooper S and the cats varied based on player preference.

Starting with PGR3, players decided that it didn't matter if the mice were identical because cat and mouse became a standalone game mode and each car within the slow car class had its own set of strengths and weaknesses which players could take advantage of based on their driving styles. Better drivers would typically choose faster agile cars, which were easier to spin out; and weaker drivers chose heavy cars that handled poorly and were difficult to stop.

In PGR 4, there are cars in the fast and slow classes which are generally avoided by all cat and mouse players. In the mouse class the older lightweight cars such as the Austin Mini Cooper, the Lotus Europa, and Lotus Cortina, accelerate much more slowly, and are easier to stop than their newer and heavier counterparts. As a result, hosts and other players will often ask that the player change their car to anything else within the class as they feel the odds of winning are far too low if one of those cars is chosen to be their mouse. By the same token, there are also cars within the cat class which are deemed unusable by many players. Cars that are extremely good for racing are not necessarily good for cat and mouse because they are generally far too light and temperamental to pose any serious threat to the opposing team. It is for this reason that the Caparo T1, Radical SR9 LMP2, Ferrari F50GT, Aston Martin DBR9, Gumpert Apollo, Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, Panoz GTR-1 Coupe, and Toyota GT-One should be avoided as cats. Although one should avoid using the cars listed above, if the game lobby is relatively strong and European rules are in place, an experienced player can use all of the cars one should avoid and still be effective.

In GT5, The cars are taken from the recommended car list. The mouse is always the Daihatsu Copen active top. The cats depend on the player's preference.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Project Gotham Racing (Xbox) 87.34%[6] (Xbox) 85[7]
Project Gotham Racing 2 (Xbox) 93.16%[8] (Xbox) 90[9]
Project Gotham Racing 3 (X360) 88.69%[10] (X360) 88[11]
Project Gotham Racing 4 (X360) 86.50%[12] (X360) 85[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]