View Full Version : Review: Forza 2 for Xbox360

11-17-2007, 06:06 AM
Forza 2

This will be my first ever game review so just let me know if there was a topic I left out. I'll start with the con then counter it with a pro or vise versa.

When it comes to customizing, there aren't too many individual parts. For example, you can buy a supercharger for certain cars but no pulleys to change your boost. No after-market heads for more hp/higher revs, etc. There are on the other hand, main components that you can spend HOURS tweaking. Suspension for example, in most racing games, let's say in the need for speed series... a suspension mod means dropping your car. In Forza 2, although it looks sexier, it may not necessarily perform better except on flat tracks so it's not all about looks in this game - it's about performance. To take customizing a step further, they included quite a bit of shapes for vinyls. At first glance, it may seem they are good for nothing… who wants stars and squares on their car? You’d be AMAZED what some people have came up with. It may take some of these artists a number of hours but they can create some insane designs. I will include a few at the end of this review. Another thing is, is instead of just fully maxing your car out, you have brackets that range from D(<400) - R1. The numbers represent your cars total performance rating. This makes the game a LOT more interesting because you're going to actually be using a lot of your cars... not just buying the God of the cars and using it to go through the entire game. In Forza there really is no car that has an extreme advantage over the other. It really comes down to how your car performs with your driving style and of course, your driving skill. With multiple cars come multiple mods which means you need money. Unlike most racing games where you get paid practically nothing for your time. Forza makes it fairly easy to make some cash. If you wanted, you could jump in an endurance race and make about 250,000 an hour depending on your difficulty settings, your car level and damage repair cost at the end of the race. The race winnings may say 100,000 dollars but you get a percentage bonus having driving aids turned off and a bonus for having the difficulty set on “Hard.” At the end of the tourney you will also win a bonus check, typically half of what the winnings were originally. 100,000 dollar race – 50,000 bonus. You may be getting the idea that it's easy to become a millionaire over night in the game but that's not the case. With all the fine tuning of cars, you have to buy and swap many parts. You may have a B class car with enough parts to make it an S class but has most of them taken off of the car to get the best performance for your B class car.
Through the game you win high-end cars for every tournament you get all gold on. This may sound like another bonus check considering you can just sell off any car you don’t want but prize cars can only be sold for 100 credits. Yes, 100… So it’s best to just hang on to them… you usually need them later in the game anyways. Some of these cars are junk. They may be top of the line race cars, but that’s only if you can control them. The Supras for example just don’t seem to be meant for high horses in the game because when that turbo spools up, out kicks your rearend.
You may WANT your rear to kick out for some drifting with friends but some of the cars, like in real life, are not made for it. The game physics don’t help either. Because the game isn’t MADE for drifting it really doesn’t support it but it IS very possible with the right car settings and practice. You can even watch other peoples drift sessions on XBOX live if it’s interesting to you and/or there’s nothing better to do. Personally, I find it extremely entertaining to spectate some of the more experienced drivers online matches.

The graphics in the game are typical for a 360 or PS3 racing game. They’re shiny, smooth cars (even on a non-HDTV) but there aren’t really too many affects. You don’t get that blur/speed sensation like in many other racing games but I actually like it this way a lot more. One thing I wish it had was high speed shake. On that note… I wish it had a cockpit view with the gauges, the wheel and the hand reaching down to downshift before you enter that corner, but the closest thing to it is basically racing from the eyes of a windshield wiper. There are pretty much a handful of tracks, except the barriers have been moved around to change the route (not including the many real-life tracks around the world) It can get a little redundant, especially with no weather conditions but you don’t really notice It if you have a wheel. To compensate for the run-of-the-mill graphics, they threw in a TON of cars. We’re talking over 300 ranging from compact 70hp cars to full on R1 concept race cars and damn near everything in between. There are achievements for collecting cars from each country and hidden achievements for collecting every car in the game!
Sounds on the other hand I found not too exciting. I want to be able to hear the difference when I throw in a hot cam… a new exhaust system… I want to hear the blow off valve and the turbo slowing down at shifts. I’d have to double check but I believe on supercharged cars you can hear the wine. Figures… of all the sounds you don’t want to hear… haha. Don’t get me wrong… the sounds in the game are up there with any other racing game; just being a racing simulator (somewhat) I kinda expected a little extra detail.
My main complaint on the game is it pretty much takes one screw up to end the race for you (on hard and more often than not, medium). I learned my lesson quickly when playing endurance races that neck to neck is something you DON’T want because one screw up on the last lap after 50 minutes of driving and it’s all over. *start* *restart* Since head to head is a bad thing in endurance races (and even some of the longer single races that last up to 15 minutes or so per race) the racing can get dull since it’s basically you just driving around a track. Once again, it’s just one of those times you need a wheel. I swear by it… It takes a couple hours to get down but you will never have so much fun in a racing sim.
Online play is a whole different experience. It have have been lag, but my car handled and reacted A LOT differently than in single player. My car would not stop, which means I was in first up until that 1st slow turn. I haven’t played much online so perhaps I will return to this review after I get more time under my belt….or … helmet? ……fingers? :P
Forza 3. If they decide to make another Forza, I hope they include more downloadable content. Perhaps sound packs for those details I talked about earlier – even better, include them in the game from the get-go like in GTR4.

All-in-all, I rate the game a 9/10. It may seem like I have a lot of complaints for this game but it was really all just nitpicking when compared to how fun and addicting this game is. Many other racing games have no replay value… once it’s over, it’s over… with Forza two, you will stay entertained for months to come. No matter who you are, I HIGHLY recommend at least giving it a rent.


11-21-2007, 12:18 PM
I"ll offer a couple of reviews here too.

1. Beautiful Katamari

If you ever played the original "Katamari Damacy" on Playstation2, then you are all too familiar with the addictive action that this title is centered around.

You play "Prince", a very small person of incredible strength, whose job is to roll a ball (called a Katamari) around, and pick up other object, just like a snowball. Once the Katamari is large enough, it will become a moon.

As your Katamari picks up more and more items, it grows larger, and is able to pick up even bigger items. The environments are incredibly detailed and full of tens of thousands of items to roll up. There are people, vehicles, etc.

You begin with a ball the size of a golf ball, and roll up items like thumbtacks, and things of that size. Eventually you are rolling the ball across continents, and picking up whole cities at a time.

The action is addictive, the graphics are bright and colorful, and incredibly entertaining, and the music is... well, it's mostly J-Pop, with loads of adult contemporary and jazz type stuff. So far, all I've heard is Japanese singers, but it totally fits the game, and it also is incredibly entertaining.

Some missions have you rolling up specific types of items, others are just "grow as big as you can, as fast as possible".

This game isnt for everyone though, so definitely give it a rent and try it out. You might be like me, and become totally addicted to it!

2. The Simpsons Game

It's about time that a cell shaded version of the Simpsons franchise came along that truly did the tv show justice. The animations are perfect, and the cut scenes completely capture the humor and the charm of the Simpsons, and of Springfield.

The entire cast of characters are present, and most of them are found exactly where you'd expect, wandering the streets, or in their homes.

Moe is in the bar, Apu is at the Qwik-E Mart, etc.

You start off with Homer, playing through the "Land of Chocolate" from one of my personal favorite episodes (where the Germans buy the powerplant from Mr. Burns).

You chase down the White (Chocolate) Rabbit, and have to eat him to complete the level. On the way, you are attacked by swarms of milk chocolate rabbits, bounce off of cupcakes, destroy candy carts and trees, and have to collect Duff bottle caps to unlock achievements.

Another fun thing about this game is that each level has a certain number of "Cliche's". For instance, if you do a double jump in the first level, the game will pause, and Comic Book Guy will appear and say, "Double jump? How original." and things like that.

After the first level, you unlock Bart. Next comes Lisa, then Marge, and that's as far as I've gotten.

The ability to free roam Springfield is loads of fun, and there are so many things that you recognize from the series, that it's incredibly entertaining just to run around, even if you dont complete missions.

Missions arent just tasks in the world, they are actually "instances" (much like WoW) where you leave the main Springfield area to play missions specific levels (such as the forest on Mt. Springfield and the Murderhorn where you have to stop loggers by destroying a sawmill, and save Lenny and Carl from death by conveyor belt).

Definitely worth at least a rent, if you are a Simpsons fan, it's a buy for sure. :)

I should also mention that both games are kid friendly.