Saturday, December 31, 2011

Forza Four First Looks

Yes guys, I got Forza 4 for Christmas (even though my brother already owned a copy and he hacked for 100 mil credits and doesn't even play seriously so what's the point of buying a second copy) and that's been eating up most of my time.

I know not everyone reading this likes Forza, but I'll say this.  I've had a soft spot in my heart for Gran Turismo simulation/collect 'em all racers.  And Forza is doing a good job of that.  I know it's mainstream but it's still leagues better (or solid) than Need for Speed, Gran Turismo 5, or anything not from Sega.  I can be all cool and hip and completely disregard any game that has sold more than 250k copies, but what's the point?  That just makes me look like an IDIOT!!

I'm not hipster enough of a gamer.  Look at me, I run out of witty things to say about bad games...all I can do is dish out generic insults.


* Twelve cars on track at once.
* A "far chase" cam, like the 4th VR button in Daytona USA & Scud Race (FINALLY!!!)
* New tracks: Infineon, Indianapolis, and Burmese Alps (Forza's token snow level at last!!).
* Car handling seems to feel better.
* Jeremy Clarkson's sexy voice.
* A bunch of new cars.
* New options allow you to fidget with the car physics, AI difficulty, and whatnot with greater detail.
* They split the 20+ min races into pieces, therefore eliminating the endurance race aspect in favor of not having you commit suicide.

So anyway, because I reached Level 50 in Forza 3, the game gives me a few Forza 4 gift cars--a Bugatti Veyron, a Ferrari F430, that Peugeot LeMans car, etc.  So that's nice althought it sucks having to remake all that money all over again.

I'm plowing through the single-player races and it's kind of the same thing as Forza 3 (read my wonderful F3 adventures here).  My goal is to learn to drive like a champ and make lots of extra money.  So you know what that means?  NO DRIVING AIDS!!!  Those are mainstream.  The more options you turn off, the greater percentage of money you get.  So set that G-D switch to "Expert" and never look back.

I've been driving without aids since Forza 3 and could've turned 'em off in Gran Turismo but the lack of analog controls hurt.  With no ABS and TCS, it's a matter of not pressing the gas or brake 100%.  Really, TCS is a major pain for S-rank cars and up because in the lower gears, flooring it on a turn will pretty much get you killed.  Try playing Fujimi Kaido in a R1 car and don't touch any of the walls or other drivers.  Car handling can be so flimsy in this's strange going from Daytona USA to Forza like that.

Did I mention I've also turned off the rewinds?  If you lose a race, it's not the end of the world.  I may restart the race if I get damaged too early but other than that, I just take my lumps and move on to the next race.  You don't need to finish 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st like in Gran Turismo to be successful.

The only driving aide I really consider is Braking line and only because the 10% deduction is well worth the cost of not overshooting a turn.  Though I've played through 4 Gran Turismo's (including other racers) without the driving line so do I really need it now? 


Rubbin' is racing.  This may sound completely contrary to what I preach, but it's kind of fun to trade paint and bump the other cars.  I'm not endorsing the Burnout-style approach to racing (everything explodes into a trillion pieces), nor am I endorsing "dirty driving."  Sometimes, you gotta throw the car around to make a pass.  It's like basketball--each player has six fouls to give and if they ain't using them, then they're doing something wrong.  So GTFO the way, noobs...I don't need to rear-end you again to get you to move, huh?  Car damage shouldn't be new especially if you've played Daytona USA 2 before (which I assume you all have).

Damage can sound brutal but the main goal is to protect the Engine (lower speed/accel) and the Steering Wheel (car can veer to the left/right like a broken RC car).  If you lose either of those, the race is practically over.  Body damage is peanuts although it can hinder your car's top speed if it gets too bad.  Repair costs aren't too bad (10% of my massive paycheck thanks to Difficulty bonuses) unless you get in major pileups, like this one:

I was in the lead when I scraped the wall in my Ford GT40 which was enough to put the car in an inevitable tailspin.  So I hit reverse, backed up into the middle of road, hit first gear and then this idiot rear-ends me.  That means I get insurance money!  But no, I won the race and he lost so haha.


Now about the cars.  One of my main goals from the start was to remake the Daytona 2 cars from Forza 3.  That sounds great but one problem--the stock cars in the game are too damn expensive.  In F3, they were about 75K but in F4, they're 900K.  Much more expensive.

When I did buy the stock cars, I was delightfully surprised from what I saw.  See, both stock cars have a default of 710 PI.  In F3, they could only top out at 740 which is lousy since they're 60 PI away from the ceiling so they were nowhere near competitive in the R3 class.  But in F4, you can add even more upgrades to the car.  You can add more engine parts, weight reduction, you name it.  Both the Ford and Chevy stock cars can reach 800 PI and these things are BULLETS, dammit!!  Surprisingly good handling and they can compete in the R3 class, FINALLY.  Still shocked that they took out the Dodge stock car and didn't add any new cars (no Car of Tomorrows, etc.).

Hey, now we know that evil Electronic Arts stole the Porsche license away from Turn10 so Forza 4 only has RUFs in it.  Oh boohoo, that's terrible, but the last time I checked, GT5 had 5 RUFs.  So how many does Forza 4 have?  ONE.  Well, one more if you include the collector's edition, but what's to stop them from including more?  F3 had 15-something Porsches, but F4 can only get one RUF.  At least T10 is releasing 10 DLC cars each month so there's gotta be one or two more in the future.  I want my Porsche 911 equivalent, dammit!!

But there's one thing about the game that deserves major credit.  If you played Forza 3, you'd know that All-Wheel-Drive cars were massively overpowered.  F3 didn't take into account the car's "mechnical grip" or whatever so basically the game understated their ability and therefore, gave players more PI space for upgrades and stuff.  This was on par with the overpowered bikes from Mario Kart Wii in terms of retardedness.  If you weren't using an AWD car online (except in R1 races), you lost, plain and simple.

In Forza 4, this is no longer the case and Rear-Wheel-Drive cars have the upper hand.  With that being said, RWD cars may be a bit overpowered now.  AWD drivetrains may be weighed too heavily now.  But that's a matter for serious debate that I really don't belong.  The way I see it, it's more realistic being that all major pavement races such as NASCAR, F1, Indy Car, and LeMans, use RWD drivetrains.  It's also better because RWD is harder to drive because you're more prone to spinouts, therefore AWD retains the "easy level car" element.  Compare that to F3 where AWD were more powerful AND easier to control, therefore giving you NO incentive to ride RWD unless you are a masochist.  So IMO, Forza 4 > Forza 3.


I also noticed something funny.  If you look at all the AI drivers, they either come from the US, Europe, or Japan.  And they only drive cars from their native lands.  Like J. Evans and R. Brown only drive American cars.  And M. Rossi and P. Muller only drive European cars (doesn't matter the country...Italian drivers will choose German cars).  What the hell is this?  I'm American and I don't mind driving Subaru or Ferrari cars if I had the chance.  Damn fanboys.


Hey, make sure while you're playing this game to crank up the Gran Turismo beats.  Cause no dosage of Top Gear & Jeremy Clarkson can save this annoying dubstep/electronica soundtrack.

When I talk about Forza 4, I'm not saying this game is perfect...for one thing, this game still doesn't have pit crew animations while Gran Turismo 4 (and even f***in' Virtua Racing) did.  Also, F4 has a miniscule amount of smoke and fire (tiny exhaust fumes, ha) which is really lame.  From what I heard, this game was supposed to have car fires but Ferrari would've pulled out had Turn10 added that so it was cut.  Particle effects gone...come on, people, take the "restrictors" off this bad boy! And I know this ain't as "magical" as old racers like Daytona or Gran Turismo but it's still pretty good.

But you know what would make this game REALLY good?  Take all the tracks from Gran Turismo 5 and put them in this game?  Yeah, that would be awesome, BUT....  Let's take Forza 4's car buying/upgrade system and use Daytona USA's car handling/physics/visuals.  THIS GAME NEEDS TO BE MADE ASAP!!!

Clarkson's face while playing Daytona USA

I still wonder how long Forza 4 will last for me until it's discarded or usurped by something else.  Oh well, that's my take on the game for now.  Not a bad game at all so it's worth it, I guess.

Also be sure to use the Forza 3 Car Setup Tool...still works fairly well in Forza 4 although I still don't know how to find tire width other than in the upgrade shop.

EDIT: Review Score: 9.25 out of 10.

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