Reviews// Forza Motorsport 2

A recipe for Road Warrior-like joyousness

Posted 7 Jun 2007 19:11 by
It?s not a widely known fact that I passed my Australian driving test in Darwin ? the capital of the Northern Territory ? but I did. I achieved this by answering some questions and getting most of them right.

The wonderful thing about this is that I was then given a nice plastic license and the opportunity to drive a fast car around the very same Northern Territory. The even more wonderful thing about this is that once outside Darwin there are very, very wide roads populated by the occasional road train, signs that say things like ?Alice Springs ? 1305Km?, anthills dressed up like people, and effectively no speed limits at all.

Combine that lot with the aforementioned fast car and you?ve got a recipe for Road Warrior-like joyousness. You can bowl along at high speeds, miss a corner, skid off the road and keep skidding until you turn the whole escapade into a doughnut with little or no fear of damaging anything much more than your passenger?s dashboard-embedded fingernails (and your marriage).

I also used to ?knock around? with ?Gasheads? (Petrolheads to you and me) in Australia. Their Mecca, their Holy of Holies is the mighty Bathhurst, where Ford does battle with Holden (General Motors or even Vauxhall to you) annually.

So, I sparked up the old Xbox 360 with the firm intention of driving a Monaro (preferably a VXR 500) up the mountain.

Ok, the first part came somewhere close to fruition (the 500 was very limited edition) as sitting there in the ?High Performance Production Class B? was the a shiny red VXR. So, then I go on the hunt for Bathurst?s Mount Panorama. Nope. Not there. Not even ?Blue Mountain? from Forza. The bloody be-all and end-all of muscle-car racing venues isn?t in the bloody game! Bloody, bloody hell.

Oh, well, you can?t have everything in this life. So, slightly disheartened but nevertheless ready to take on all-comers, I embarked on my Forza 2 career.

What a liar! Of course I didn?t, I started in Arcade mode to see how well I could emulate my recent shenanigans in Ridge Racer on the PS3.

By the way, I was using the Xbox controller rather than the steering wheel ? because I?m assuming that most people don?t use the steering wheel. Also by the way, I?m an appallingly poor driver in real life.

So, despite the fact that Forza 2 is primarily a driving simulator, as I say, I headed for the arcade and began life at Suzuka. There I was happily doing 155KM/H around the first bend in my Porsche, thinking to myself how good the whole thing sounded, when young Mark wanders into the office being all hip and cool and asks, ?So, where are the other people? Why are you racing on your own? And why isn?t that Ferris wheel actually moving??

Of course, I then send him down the road for coffee and buns but I?ve got to admit to myself that he?s got a point. Playing Forza is not supposed to be about bezzing around bends at Suzuka at 155KMH in Porsches. At least I didn?t think it was.
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Comments

Jack Rosineau 7 Jun 2007 19:56
1/14
Too bad the game is actually called Forza Motorsport 2.
Forza Luv of God 7 Jun 2007 20:26
2/14
Too bad the game is actually called Forza Motorsport 2.


?instead of what?
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zoydwheeler 8 Jun 2007 14:00
3/14
Jack Rosineau wrote:
Too bad the game is actually called Forza Motorsport 2.


Pedantic prick.
PreciousRoi 8 Jun 2007 23:42
4/14
Without getting too much into it, I have not had the same experience with the AI drivers as you apparently have. They generally race pretty cleanly as far as I can tell, at least. All the assists can be turned off, and indeed you are rewarded for doing so. Too bad about the tracks, perhaps they'll come later in a pack. The Monaro is a pretty sweet ride, I keep mine in B class tune for the (very) occasional trip around the Nissan Speedway oval. You are perfectly correct about car damage though...online a very good way to make people extremely angry is gratuitous smashing. Nothing like starting a 2 lap race around Nurburgring Nordschlife only to get your steering broken in the first crucial turn by some idiot in a muscle car (nothing against muscle cars, but they're popular with the morons). Another thing you have to watch out for is people in all wheel drive tuners with insane acceleration who like to muscle their way up front right off the line. If you're in a full simulation room, with TCS disabled, about the only remedy is to run an AWD car yourself, or hope they don't take you out right away, then sit back and wait for them to screw up.

There is a sharp divide online between the road course racers, who generally go in for full simulation and class based racing (S and A are the most popular), often disabling driver assists like Stability and Traction, and those that prefer to do 25 laps around Nissan Speedway in U class cars (take almost any car, add all availible upgrades). Then theres the folks inbetween, some frustrated with dirty driving tactics who turn collisions or simulation damage off.

One thing that annoys me is in the original Forza, overrevving your engine before the start would damage it, precluding morons from simply mashing down the throttle until the green. This was deleted from the current iteration, I wish it hadn't been.
hollywooda 11 Jun 2007 09:37
5/14
That was a bit of a crap review.......
PreciousRoi 11 Jun 2007 11:50
6/14
Oh it wasn't that bad. Final score was more or less in line with expectations, mebbe 5-10% more on the overall...a few Australian cars prolly woulda tipped the scales that way...

I just think it wasn't played enough, and the AI drivers got blamed for hitting him when he was the one who couldn't hold his own line. Plus it states in the review, hes focused on the single player portion. But he does appear to jump to too many of the wrong conclusions, like since assists are avalible, you have to use them. The comment about how easy it is to pass opponents 'even early on' is naive...sure later on you can afford better cars and soup them up, but many of the later races restrict what you can drive more and if its so easy you can always turn up the difficulty for more loot.

But his final point is well taken, they did try and cater to a broader audience, and in a few instances, the game suffers for it.
Tim Smith 11 Jun 2007 11:58
7/14
PreciousRoi wrote:
oh it wasn't that bad. Final score was more or less in line with expectations, mebbe 5-10% more on the overall...

I just think it wasn't played enough, and the AI drivers got blamed for hitting him when he was the one who couldn't hold his own line. Plus it states in the review, hes focused on the single player portion.


I am actually still playing Forza 2... although it's not really affected my view yet.

Our policy is to get games reviews out pre-release in order for them to be valid. This limited the amount of time I had to play the review copy. It's process sadly.

However, in order to provide a wider and deeper review process I welcome reader reviews. Yup, if you (not just you Roi but all readers) can send in a decent review then I will publish it. And that applies to all games.

Cheers

Tim
PreciousRoi 11 Jun 2007 12:01
8/14
damn that was fast...still editing my original post, heh

Oh, since the European version was delayed vs. the US I considered submitting one, but since I fall into the Forza Community heading, I figured I'd be fairly biased.

Tim Smith 11 Jun 2007 12:04
9/14
PreciousRoi wrote:
damn that was fast...still editing my original post, heh

Oh, since the European version was delayed vs. the US I considered submitting one, but since I fall into the Forza Community heading, I figured I'd be fairly biased.


As long as you make it clear that you're reviewing it with a bias - why the hell not.

Good to see that you thought the score was reasonable though.

Seriously, send it in.

Cheers

Tim
PreciousRoi 11 Jun 2007 12:10
10/14
slightly off topic, does Holden have a team color/s?
Tim Smith 11 Jun 2007 12:14
11/14
PreciousRoi wrote:
slightly off topic, does Holden have a team color/s?


Red and white (my least favourite combination actually) - at least that's when they stop arguing with each other...
hollywooda 11 Jun 2007 13:48
12/14
This Games an 80 to 85 any day of the week, i love it, got it Friday & havent stopped playing it, i'm gagging to get back on it..... Roll on 6 o'clock!!!....
uncletato@xboxlive 20 Jun 2007 16:31
13/14
I'm not hateing but this game is 100% better than GTHD,and thats saying alot! I love GT games but this game go far beyond anything polyphony has ever done.Congrats MGS and Turn10!
PreciousRoi 25 Jun 2007 11:14
14/14
OK, after getting a hands on experience with MotorStorm, and perusing the relevant review, I have to revise my opinion vis-a-vis the score...70 is too low, especially considering the 83 spong gave MotorStorm.

I also must take further issue with your characterization of the AI. You're not getting hit due to some cybernetic desire for revenge, or even ruthlessness on the part of the AI driver. In my experience, especially during the very tight factory spec and R class races, the AI drivers will brake rather than make contact unless you're coming back into the racing line from the side or slowing down unnaturally fast (due to offroad activity, etc.), in which case they probably can't avoid you. Your responsibility. I almost never get hit due to early braking. More conservative driving rewards you with cleaner racing.
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