Review by OmegaMewtwo
OK, it's got some strong points, but some weak points.....
At one point, this may have been a good game to play.
At one point, this might have been the gold standard.
At one point, this might have deserved its 5/5 from X-Play.
That point might have been within the first hour or so of gameplay.
Now don't get me wrong, this is an addictive game. It's got a huge array of cars and a variety of tracks and challenges to ensure hours of fun times. It's just that all that fun becomes lost during later levels. When you just start out, everything is fairly easy, but around L20, the challenge becomes almost impossible to overcome. I find it frustrating to re-attempt the same race 10 times because one mistake and I'm running dead last, and I don't know about you, but tapping a wall and watching the world pass you doesn't sound like much fun.
I already said there was a huge array of cars, but not as huge as there could be - WHERE ARE THE LAMBORGHINIS!?!? Even Need for Speed: Carbon has a Murcielago! And the reward cars - for some strange reason - don't seem to cut it against comparable opponents in Career mode. I understand that a D-class car can't beat an A-class car, but when I take an A-class against other A-classes and I start dead last and see the others pull WAY away from me, that makes me feel a bit discouraged. Which leads me to.....
.....The other drivers. Why is it when I pull away by 2secs., it gets eaten up in a heartbeat, yet when the other drivers pull away by 2 secs., it may as well be a year-and-a-half? The other drivers are ruthless, up to the point of slamming into you just to jump up a place. Sometimes I think they hit me on purpose..... Call me paranoid, but I think it's a bit coincidental that I just happen to pull out in the middle of the track when someone else cruises by and slams into my side, sending me so far into the infield, I got no shot of catching up before falling to dead last. And even the 7th place racer guards his position like the world will blow up if he lets you by, utilizing checking and blocking and even tapping you so you spin out to keep it. But not too much is needed from the other racers.....
.....As some of the tracks are hugely challenging. I admire the variety of types of racing - even going as far as to put in a street-racing course - but some of the tracks force you to take high-powered cars and do things with them they're not designed for. I do like how they put in an oval course, but they also put in courses that are one sharp turn after another. Test Track Infield, Blue Mountain and Laguna Seca are just three of the courses that are highly technical, featuring a number of hard and unforgiving corners. But none of those can compare with Nurburgring, a 13mi. long asphalt monstrosity that can give even the best players fits. It's virtually impossible to get around this track without going off it, even at low speeds and the wordings on the actual surface don't help you concentrate too well. Getting around this track without a penalty will be your ultimate challenge.
Some of the cars - like the TVR Tuscan S - are absolutely a chore to control. I had to use a Tuscan S for this one 5-race series and I thought I was going to develop a twitch in my left thumb trying to keep it on course! It seems as if for every car that does VERY well on snakey courses, there's about 5 that aren't too hot on them. Unfortunately, the good cars are usually driven by your opponents and you can't buy them since they're locked at the time. This requires you to tune your car so that it performs somewhat well on the various courses. A massive amount of experimentation with tuning and time trials is necessary to ensure that on-track disasters are kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, you'd have to be a complete car freak to understand what happens when you tweak this or adjust that. If they would just simplify the explanations, I'd be able to understand it better, as would every other casual racing game fan on the planet.
All-in-all, this is a game worthy of a purchase, as it has many things going for it. Just make sure you have a TON of time to understand how tuning cars works, otherwise, you'll wind up getting more and more frustrated as you finish lower and lower in the pack. Even if it DID receive a 5/5 from X-Play, this game receives a 7/10 from me.
Product Release: Forza Motorsport (US, 05/03/05)
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