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
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.