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Old 10-27-2009, 03:40 AM
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Default RE: Forza Motorsport 3 tomorrow

Playing since Saturday, here are my thoughts.

I got the collectors edition which includes an awesome magnetically sealed box (yeh, seriously), a key ring (typically cheap, but not ugly, all metal at least), and a 2GB USB stick with a kind of Audi R8/FM3 theme to it. Again, nothing special, but kinda neat. Of course it also includes a 'normal' game box, so it doesn't look weird in your collection (I hate when games do that)

Firstly the complaints, lets get them out of the way...

When you start the game, you have to do the 'inaugural' race, to decide what driving aids you want enabled... I first selected 'Serious' gamer, as a setting, which left ABS on, turned off braking help, stability control and racing line, and left traction control on. Perfect? No. For some reason 'Serious' still gives you an auto box. :S So I changed it to manual, and also turned off the braking line (kind of a secondary racing line just for braking). So now my settings say custom. No biggie.

I very quickly realised I'd made a big mistake though, and here's a big oversight by MS... You CANNOT get to the main menu until you've run this race, and you cannot change the buttons without going to the main menu. I like to use the right stick or throttle, and the left stick for steering, using the shoulder buttons for the gears. There was nothing telling me what the buttons were at any stage, so my first tenn seconds with the game was spent watching the pack disappear off into the distance, while I figured out what the buttons were. ULTRA FAIL, and a very bad impression for me straight off. So I quit, put it auto again, just for that race, until I could get to the main menu.

So, once I actually began to enjoy the race, I was able to take stock of the game... Firstly, if you run the VGA cable to a 1080P TV, the graphics are UN-BELIEV-ABLE. The VGA has MUCH better antialiasing than the hdmi, this is my biggest Xbox 360 tip. When people say the PS3 and Xbox graphics are identical, I always tell them (you haven't tried the 360 with a VGA cable ), it's like playing on the NEXT generation of consoles, trust me. Anyway, I digress...

The handling is much too easy. There's no kind way to say it. The handling isn't that realistic, but it does allow you to concentrate on racing rather than just keeping the car on the track, and bear in mind, I was playing on a 'difficulty' level tweaked UP a little from the game's own 'Serious' setting, and it was still much too easy. I tried playing around with the remaining settings to find something more balanced. ABS is absolutely necessary when playing with a joypad, so that had to stay, I tried traction control off, but turned it back on again (it's just more fun to be able to hammer it out of the corners, rather than feathering the throttle), so I tried putting the AI skill up to Difficult (settings are easy, medium and difficult), and it was just hard enough to take some of the fun out of the early game. They need another difficulty level between medium and difficult... Advanced for example.


Basically, it's calendar based now, there are championship races which are run fortnightly at weekends, and in the days in between (during the week), it gives you a choice of only 3 events. What this has meant is that while I was running in the class C championship in my NSX (yeh, yeh, Honda boy ), my choices for other events were a mid engine battle (NSX again), a Ford Focus battle (which is really stupid because by the tie you get it available, you should already have been awarded the 2010 Focus RS, which is so much better than the other Focus cars, that the race is pointless, OR a muscle car race, which doesn't interest me in the slightest (if I wanted to drive boats, I'd have bought a naval simulator )... Basically, I would have liked a bit more choice in the kind of events I can do.

Anyway overall, it deserves its 9 plus review scores, it's a great game. Just a bit too easy on medium settings, and difficult settings need a steering wheel.

Sum up...

Graphics - 10
Sound - 9.5
Gameplay - 8
Interface/Artistic merit - 9
Value - 10

Bottom line, it's Forza 2, redone again, slightly better. At least they seem to have gotten rid of those really stupid 'snake' tracks. God I hated them.