Greetings, greetings, one and all: it's time for yet another official Destructoid review. Today's game of choice is the new 360 racer Forza Motorsport 2, which looks to marry realistic racing gameplay with some truly insane car customization options.
Worth buying? Renting? Ignoring altogether? Dtoid editors Nex and Hushgush have the straight scoop after the jump.
Insert your own overused variation of the "start your engines" cliche here.
When I was approached to write a review of Forza Motorsport 2, my initial reaction was to puff out my neck frill and spray poison into the eyes of my assailant. After I realized that I was not a Dilophosaurus, and that Mr. Linde wasn't after my clutch of eggs, however, I sunk into a deep depression; I know almost nothing about cars, and everything I do know about them I garnered from back issues of Heavy Metal in which the vehicles were mostly backdrops for the naked, vampire, serpent chicks. Thankfully, unlike that similar Sony title, Forza does an excellent job of walking you through the learning curve. It's not that the game isn't incredibly detailed (it is), but the initial experience with the game is just so smooth, even for people who would never consider a piece of metal with an engine to be a suitable representation for their reproductive apparatus.
As I said, the game is superficially complex. You have over 300 cars, 40+ tracks, and thanks to the robust customization system, enough ride pimpin' options to choke Xzibit. Add to that the ability to tune almost every aspect of the handling, ride and acceleration within these vehicles and the game is suddenly porn for the oil pan set.
One of the main draws of the game is the ludicrously comprehensive customization options. As per usual, you can buy upgrades for the engine, fancy tires or completely unnecessary spoilers, but, in addition to the standard accoutrements, you can also spend hours engrossed in the game's paint system. One note, though, when I say "hours", I literally mean "hours". It can take forever to get the paint scheme just right if you're doing anything more complex than painting the whole thing black, but with enough patience, your car can alert the entire world to your unhealthy fixation with Tuxedo Mask.
Once you've affixed enough Olde English lettering to your whip to misspell 'Cabron', you can toss it on the online auction house system and pray that someone, somewhere, shares your same Andy-Warhol-meets-Diego-Rivera design aesthetic, and forks out the wad of cash to make you the wealthiest 'Kabron' in the whole cul-de-sac.
The graphics are lovely. The cars realistically reflect the road, background scenery and anything else that doesn't happen to be a dracula. I wouldn't go so far as to say that they represent the newest plateau in video game rendering technology, but I would not hesitate to compare them to a woman whom I would have no qualms about sleeping with repeatedly. Admittedly, I'm saving my heart for something prettier, but sometimes you want someone to be there when you wake up crying in the darkness!
I also must point out that the damage modelling, while an effective deterrent to driving like Ray Charles, doesn't accurately depict the visual component of slamming a car into a wall at 120MPH. Whereas in reality your lifeless body would be sliced in twain by the seatbelt and your bloody torso would be launched from the driver's seat into the wall beyond, in Forza your hood dents a bit, and your car suddenly doesn't run as well as it used to. Perhaps I'm just being petulant, but when I try to kill myself in the virtual world, I want to see horrific decapitations and bowel evacuations, not just monetary and ambulatory penalties.
The only thing this game seems to have completely missed the mark on is the inclusion of inclement weather. The backgrounds are pretty, as I said before, but you will never encounter puddles, snowfall or families of ducks crossing the road en route to a nearby pond. It's been said that the only way to maintain the almost-constant 60 frames per second during the races was to remove the inclement weather, and, personally, I'm happier they kept the ultra-smooth graphics sans snowmen.
Forza is not the end-all, be-all of the racing genre, but it does best the previous iterations in the Gran Turismo saga. While I'm sure this will lead to an escalated arms race between Sony and Microsoft, the release of Forza proves definitively that Microsoft can stand toe-to-toe with Hirohito's boys. If you have any interest whatsoever in horseless carriages (which I originally typed as "whoreless carriages"), you'll dig Forza. If not, buy Earth Defense Force 2017.Verdict: Buy It!
I'm going to start by reminding everyone that Forza 2 is a racing simulator and not an arcade-style driving game. This title has been getting a lot of shit for its lack of a nitrous button or a magic lightning bolt or some other means of sneaking your way to the podium if you suck. There are no secret shortcuts. There are no extra-wide courses to forgive sloppy driving. No rocket launchers. Ignroring the brake button may have won you the gold cup at
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