Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Forza 4 Stupid Nitpicks

Alrighty mates, I'm awfully tired after a days of work (orly?  like every single day) so I'm going to talk about Forza 4 a bit more.  I know some of you don't like it but it's one of the only non-Sega racers these days I care about.  But here are some common sense things I believe Turn10 screwed up on.  I'm just mentioning them so that no one game dev makes these same mistakes.  This is educational.  Here goes:

1. My main problem right now deals with TIME TRIALS.  If you have no idea what the hell a time trial is (shame on you), it's when you race the track uninhibited for the sake of getting the fastest lap time possible.  I've been doing this in the Rivals mode where you beat other players' times and win the cash (BOOM!!!).  Time trial goes on for "infinity"--you can do as many laps as you want.  The main problem is that on the first lap, they put your car right before the starting line.  As seen here:

Each lap is counted from the moment you cross the finish line.  On Laps 2 and thereon you have the advantage of starting at full speed.  But on Lap 1, you start from a standstill which basically means your first lap will be 4-8 seconds slower than the other laps you can put up (assuming you drive with equal skill every lap).

So why is this a bad thing???  Because you obviously have to make one full lap before you can actually start putting up the best record times.  That first lap is completely meaningless.  Unfortunately, many tracks have the misfortune of taking 1 to 3 minutes to get around, sometimes more than that (Fujimi Kaido is 10+ minutes, Good Lord).  This wouldn't be a problem if they could A. have a rolling start or B. back the damn car up a half-mile from the finish line so it can get a speedy start on the first lap.  Holy cow, did this thought ever cross Turn10's minds???

Something sorely lacking from Forza 4.

Even worse--if you choose to restart during a time trial, guess what--you get put back right in front of the starting line again.  Picture that you begin a 3+ minute lap and you screw up 20-30 seconds into it and you don't feel like driving the rest of the lap for nothing so you want to restart from the beginning.  CAN'T LET YOU DO THAT, PLAYER!!!  Restart and you get put back at the start and waste time getting up to speed for Lap 2.  What an DAMN waste of time.  It makes time trialing a huge pain in the ass.

"But the game is realistic that way!  You can't just 'teleport' back to the beginning like that."  Sure, and being able to buy a Ferrari 250 GTO (approx $20 mil in real life, only 39 were made), paint anime chicks on it, smash it to bits and have it fully repaired for fifty bucks sure is realistic too, I get it.

2. Here's another thing pertaining to lap times.  There's a universal leaderboard that saves everyone's best times for any track/car class.  You can set these lap times during a time trial or during an actual race.  However, there are "clean laps" and "dirty laps".  A dirty lap occurs whenever you drive completely off-road, bump into a wall, or bump off/draft another car.  Car damage is irrelevant as long as you don't violate the previous rules.  Dirty laps still go on the leaderboard although clean laps take complete precedence over dirty ones.  So if you want to rank high on the leaderboards, you MUST do clean laps.

See those red arrows pointing to that Triangular ! Sign?  That means it's a dirty lap.

When time-trialing, the main goal is to run a clean lap.  Remember when I said earlier if you screw up and you want to restart?  Well if you bump the wall and ruin your clean lap, then that's one time when you would want to restart.  But that's not all--when you do something to "dirty" your lap, it lasts for about a 30 second duration.  So if you bump the wall/draft/go off-road about 20 seconds before you cross the finish line, then the next lap is automatically dirty even though you did nothing wrong.  What the hell???  I can't tell you how many times I started on a dirty lap then proceeded to put up an excellent lap time only for it not to count for this dumb reason.

I understand implementing #1 and #2 for the sake of making the game more "challenging"--that it's easier to safeguard a good lap time because it's more hurdles for challengers to jump through but it still sucks.  It's borderline "padding" the gameplay.

2.5.  BTW, you ever do a time trial on Catalunya School Circuit or any Top Gear track in reverse?  There's a turn right after the finish line.  Unless you're driving a really light car with awesome brakes, you MUST slow down before the finish line in order to make that first turn.  So if you're going for the fastest time possible, you have to fling the car into the sand/grass/wall and ruin the next lap in order to record that time.  Nothing that Turn10 could've done about it but it's still a pain when you think about it.

3. This is stupid but it rears its ugly head on occasion.  Ever have your car come to a dead stop aside from the starting line?  Like you spin out or suffer a catastrophic wreck?  I've had occasions in which I applied the pedal and the car just would not move.  And it's not like I'm peeling out--the tires don't spin at ALL.  I'm in first gear and the engine is in good condition.  Every second, the engine just "jolts" like vrrrmmp.....vrrrmp.....vrrrrmp.  Then after 6+ seconds of flooring it, the car just drives off.  Makes no sense.  It's like Marty McFly trying to start the DeLorean.  If this is "realistic" or if there is some way to negate this slow start, it's still pretty dumb there's no obvious way to solve it.

Getaway car: "Floor it, kid!"  *kjjjrrrmmmp* *krrrrmmmppp* *sputter*

Then again, I have experienced my fair share of public humiliations where even a slow start was not a possiblity.

4. This is something that actually has nothing to do with racing altogether, yay!  We're talking about paint jobs.  You know how some cars have secondary colors like lines/words (ex. a red Camaro with black stripes, a blue Camaro with white stripes, etc.).  Well once you buy that car with the secondary color, you CANNOT change that secondary color EVER.  Changing the colors via the "Paint Car" menu won't touch the secondary colors for some reason.

Here's an example: the Bugatti Veyron.  If you have a Forza 3 Lvl. 50 save game on your hard drive, Forza 4 will give you a bunch of freebies when you create a new file--the Veyron included.  It comes in that typical black/maroon combo.  Well, I want to switch the paint job to the white/sky blue combo that we see in the Buy Car screen.  But when I go to the paint menu and choose the white/sky blue box, I get this:

It only swaps out the black, not the maroon.  Ridiculous.  It's possible to go into to the Decal Editor and apply shapes over the secondary colors but it's not the same thing--curvy lines/shapes are hard to cover up.  I don't get how Turn10 overlooked something like this.  I get scared buying cars with secondary colors now since once you buy it, there's no turning back unless you feel like doubling-down on the same exact car...how lame is that.

5. There's no Ford Torino in the game.


Ok, don't get me wrong, I still think Forza 4 is a great game but I only bring up these things because I'm a concerned fan who wants to correct a few things.  Yeah I sound petty but it's to be riveting/entertaining so deal with it.  If I didn't care about the game, I would've never brought up these things.  So if you're a racing game developer, avoid these pitfalls at all costs or else you will suffer from the EPIC FAILS.

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