Forza Motorsport

I was going to buy this game as soon as it came out, but my Xbox took a crap and I had to buy a new one, so in lieu of dropping $150 on gaming gear, I decided to rent it instead of dropping another $50 the same day. I think I might’ve made the right choice.

I loved SegaGT 2002. I know it wasn’t very well received, but I thought it was great. It had its flaws, sure. There were essentially only about 5 different tracks, and you got the best car about 40% of the way through the game, making the rest a cakewalk, but it was fun.

With Forza, I feel like they spent so much time making it ultra-realistic (and don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate that) that they forgot to make it fun.

There is no linear progression that I can see so far, except “levels” that you reach at certain earnings milestones. The races are very tightly restricted by what car you’re driving. I bought a Lotus Elise (a favorite of mine in real life) only to find out that I was only eligible for one race in it, and it was so much faster than the other cars that it wasn’t even fun.

I think all cars should be able to enter all races in the Championship/“meat and potatoes” mode of a game, no matter how realistic they’re trying to be. Not so I can blow away a bunch of Civics and Imprezzas with my Ferrari, but just so I don’t have to guess how useful a car is going to be when I buy it. The exception should be cars built specifically for racing and special events like “Eclipse vs. Integra” or “Roadster Challenge”. These, IMO, should be bonus races outside of the regular career mode wherein you can win special prizes.

Another thing that I believe would help add to the “fun” of the game, would be to have a race announcer, qualifying and/or cutscenes (I know cutscenes are annoying but if they were skippable and only on important races I feel they would add to the intensity of the race) or some sort of build-up for important races, and maybe for the more serious races have a crew-chief talking to you over a headset (do they do that in these kinds of races in real life? I know almost nothing about them.)

All-in-all, I think it’s a fun game that plays well and looks excellent, and I might play it for an hour or two a week if I bought it, but there’s no “hook” in it for me. I don’t yet see any goals or license tests or big events that I have to work towards to keep me playing consistently.

Is anyone else playing?

I don’t think you have played it enough yet. It is one of the most fun racing games to have any sort of realism. Though some races are very strict in what cars you can use, many are open to quite a large number of possibilities. The game might nut be as fun as Midnight Club 3 but then again Midnight Club 3 is a dodgems simulator not a car simulator. Forza is more forgiving and slightly more fun the Gran Tourisimo 3 or 4, with fine graphics and carefully crafted opponent AI that helps keep races competative without resorting to ruber banding or other cheap AI cheats. There may be better racing games on PCs but for consoles it really doesn’t get better overall than Forza or GT4.
That said you might like to look at TOCA:Race Driver 2 which is more story based and so has the cut scenes you like, plus fairly accurate driving simulation, but gives you little choice in what vehicle you drive.

Can I expect any goals in the future, like license tests or “important” races? I’m not really complaining, as I do like it, but I was (stupidly) expecting something more like an expanded SegaGT, which this is obviously not.

Well there aren’t License tests, the goals are just unlocking the better vehicles and making enough money for good race spec cars, the higher levels give you endurance races (only 30 min maximum though, nothing like GT’s 24 hour races). Really if any car could run any race you would have a big problem since unless every race was as difficult as possible you would be cruising too many races in your Jaguar supercar.

Forza has weeknesses for sure, and doesn’t have an ultimate car to win (unlike the F1 cars in GT3&4) but for simple racing for racings sake it is hard to fault.

:eek: I’ve watched my friends play GT but I’ve never owned a PlayStation[2] so I’ve never played it myself. Does it really have races that last 24 hours? How does that work?

Well in GT4 you can have your car computer controlled for some of the time, and even speed things up 4x . When you pit you can swap between human and computer control, and you can save game mid race, all of which makes 24 hour races possible for the massochists amongst us.

I’ve never played Forza, I don’t like realistic racing, and I’ll never buy an Xbox (well, not for the games), but there’s one thing I really like about it.

There’s a paint feature in the game. A friend of mine who has Forza showed me some of the things people have painted on their cars with the relatively simple painting feature, including a really nice Scarface-themed Ferrari.

That’ll never matter much to me because I play in first-person view, so I can’t see my car. I don’t even pick the color of my cars when I buy them.

Well you do see your car in replay mode, and apparently opponents if you play online see you vehicles design until you get a dent. But for me it just seemed daft to have such a system in a game that is not a street racing sim. Also annoying is that you can upgrade any Japanese car to Ferrari performance, but the upgrade possibilities for other cars are often very limited. At least Forza seems to take into account the fact that supercars are designed to create downforce and so even without adding after market spoilers they still have decent downforce.

I just finished the B-Class circuit for level 15 and won the Porsche 911. That was intense. 3 of the races were easy victories but I really had to fight for the gold on the second race (Blue Mountain Parkway I think is the name of the track?)

After consistently getting silver I had to break down and tune my car (something that’s always intimidated me in these games) and it gave me just enough of an edge to squeak by for the gold, beating 2nd and 3rd place both by less than half a second.

That race actually got my adrenaline flowing!

Do they have these types of races in real life? I figure it’s popular enough in these video games that it has to be based on something. What’s it called, and when/where can I see it?

I’ve had it for a couple of weeks and been playing it a fair bit. I’m up to level 32 (I think) and my only real complaint is that there’s no compelling reason not to build almost any car to it’s max power/speed levels. Build a “C” class car into “S” levels and other than the fact that you can’t use it in “C” class or stock races, there’s not going to be any problems. Yes, it won’t handle as well as a car which is “S” stock, but it’ll probably be quicker, especially if you spend a little time tuning it. There are some exceptions to this, of course. Most memorably, when I put every mod into the 1973 911 RS, it got a little squirelly. Something about 700+ HP and really low weight and no aerodynamics made things interesting.

Anybody used the drivatar at all? It seems like a decent idea, especially if you were having problems winning a specific race (a la Cisco) and wanted to progress or didn’t like a certain track (Tokyo comes to mind. I still haven’t figured out how to take those ultra-tight hairpins without losing time yet).

Anyways, I like it. Good game. One other very slight annoyance: It would be nice to get some bonus when you complete an entire level (Point-To-Point/Professional/etc) of races.

Anyone know?