Forza 2 has Me by the Balls

Just as I knew it would – Forza 2 has a hold on me like only Forza game can. The original Forza Motorsport for Xbox was the first non-arcade racing game I played and right from the get-go I was fully hooked on it. Like most games of it’s genre, you spend your career collecting cars and upgrading with performance and visual mods. But one thing that makes Forza stand above the rest is the diversity it brings to the table. Each event has a set of restrictions which could be as simple as the vehicle’s class, or a limited amount of horse-power and just about everything in between. Because of this, you’re constantly using different cars and making performance modifications.

The Art of Persuasion

Quick Status Screen

As if this game wasn’t already hard to put down, they’ve added “quick status” screens that appear after you’ve completed an event (series of 3 races) which give you every reason to keep on playing.

Forza 2: “You just won a bunch of credits, why not spend them or keep on playing to get yourself to the next level. You’re soooo close!”

Me: “Dude, no, I have to go and feed my kid! (…) Ok, one more event!”

It’s a bad influence, I tell you!

Lotus Exige

Achievement Whores Have Their Work Cut Out

And if all that isn’t enough to keep you playing for hours on end, the Achievements most likely will be. The majority involve perfecting each of the different event classes which doesn’t sound like a lot of work. But the fact that the last few events within each class require you to be a certain (and very high) level means you can’t just whip through them one at a time. You have to progress through all of the event classes simultaneously. The only exception is Proving Grounds, which is the very first event class. I was able to whip that off before getting myself to level 20.

Why Don’t You Take a Picture? It Lasts Longer!

Following in the footsteps of PGR3 and NFS Carbon, Forza 2 has a photo mode that lets you pause the game and take snaps of your ride as you’re dominating the pack or smashing into a wall. There’s already a photo pool on Flickr that’s pretty active, so be sure to contribute if you’re rocking Forza 2.

Beware the Auction House

As much as you need to keep collecting cars, you also need to be selling off cars you no longer need to keep your bank healthy. Forza 2 has an auction house where you can list your cars and other players can bid over Xbox Live. Pretty great idea, but it could use a few more features. You have the ability to set the “buyout” price, which I thought acted as your minimum price initially. That was until I gave my Lotus Exige (pictured above) away for a measly 52,000 CR while it was worth well over 150,000 CR with the upgrades I had done to it. I would have got 98,000 if I had just sold it outright, which of course I’m wishing I had done. The lesson here, is to set your starting bid to the minimum you’d like to receive for it. In that case, I wouldn’t even set a buyout and just let it go for anything above my minimum.

So Much for the Halo 3 Beta

As the release date approached, I found myself getting less-and-less excited about Forza 2. I’m not sure what contributed to that, but as soon as I had it in my hand, I knew it was over for every other game I’m playing. And that even goes for the Halo 3 Beta, which I haven’t touched in over a week. Yes, Forza 2 is that good. We’ll be playing Halo 3 in a few months anyway and I’m sure it will dominate my Xbox 360 for a while just as Forza 2 is doing now.

Now, if only I had room to get a good setup going for the racing wheel. The local shops have it selling for $99 right now and I want it so bad, but I really don’t have anywhere to set it up. Bah!

Rating: 5/5

Forza Motorsport 2

17 Responses to “Forza 2 has Me by the Balls”

  1. Forza 2 looks amazing, and I've been looking forward to it for months. Sadly though my 360 bricked about two weeks ago and I won't be getting a replacemennt for a while. Looking at screens from the game just makes me want it more… 🙁

  2. Dude it has me by the balls too – and I'm LOVING driving different types of cars. The Porsche GT3 on Laguna Seca was such a blast!

    As for the wheel, I've been playing with it on my lap, and I don't mind a bit! You can get a cheap fold out gaming chair from Walmart and set it up right in front of your TV like i do – it work slike a charm!

    Seriously, when I die – I want you to take my ashes – melt them into a set of tires, and pull some mad sweet laps on Laguna Seca /w a STI 🙂

  3. I just got a 360 in May, finally. Although I don't really dig racing games, I've been wanting to check one out just for the heck of it, and I've read lots of good stuff about this game, so I think this is the one.

    On Digg, I was checking out this link:
    http://digg.com/xbox_360/FORZA_2_Amazing_User_Cus

    So it appears there is a very in-depth customization feature, which will probably draw me in as well.

  4. I bought Forza 2 yesterday, and I think I played it for at least 8 hours straight. It's that addicting, and even though there's only one week left for the Halo 3 beta, I think I've gotten enough out of it.

    I've gotten addicted to driving the Evo, which basically has the same specs as the STi. It's ridiculous how much acceleration those cars have.

  5. Looks pretty sweet. I can't wait get playing racing games again, however, I'm waiting for Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 (of which I've still got to buy). Having never played a 360 and therefore Forza 2, but what you've written I would heavily recommend trying out the Gran Turismo series. Especially Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2, pretty amazing. All the ideas of races/sets/limitations seem to have come from this GT series.

  6. It doesn't come out here till Friday… you might have just pushed me over the edge!

    Have you thrown any nice paint on to your cars yet Matt? That element interests me nearly as much as the tight racing.

  7. @Andre: Dude, that sucks. Hopefully you get it back soon.

    @Andrew: Oh, didn't know you've been playing with it on your lap lately. Figured it wouldn't be great for long periods to play like that, but I guess it's alright, eh?

    @Paul: I was the same way before the first Forza. I liked racing games like the NFS series, but wasn't huge into them by any means. Then Forza came out and that all changed. Now I love racing games.

    I really need to look into how people are doing that sort of art. I didn't see any option to import images or anything, so are people creating those images from scratch using shapes?

    @Paul Stamatiou: Dude, take the plunge! It's nice in here. 😛

    @trovster: Yeah, I'm not touching the PS3 with a ten-foot-pole. Good that you're holding out to buy it until there's a game you want, though. Makes me shake my head every time I hear of someone buying a PS3 in hopes that it will be worth the money some day. Because it sure isn't at this point.

    I played the first couple GT games on the original PS, but never got into them.

    @Anthony: No sir, haven't really bothered with the paint/decals much. I'm not a fan of cars all covered in shit and I find those editors to be crazy tedious.

  8. I'm glad people like Forza 2. I played the demo for a while and recognized it as a solid game. I'm not going to be able to play it, though.

    I've been playing Shadowrun which came out the same day as Forza 2. I've been playing the Shadowrun FPS in one form or another since the beta started in January. Despite some of the unfortunate reviews it is getting, I think it's the best shooter on the XBOX 360 platform.

    It was designed by HALO's lead designer. That definitely shows in the game. If you are interested in a deep shooter with ancient magic and modern technology, I recommend giving it a shot.

    The demo is set to come out later this week. After the HALO 3 beta ends, Bungie is going to display an in-game ad suggesting people play Shadowrun. I hope gamers give it a try because it is so much fun.

    If I wasn't in the Shadowrun beta, I would probably have looked at the 7.0/10 reviews and not bought the game.

    I would have bought Forza 2 and the kick butt XBOX 360 steering wheel accessories.

  9. I picked up the racing wheel tonight and was fully stoked when I got home with it. Unfortunately, it suffers from what seems to be a pretty widely known issue of the wheel itself being off-center. It sits about 10 degrees to the right, which is a little awkward to say the least. I know it's something I personally could get used to as you're not at all focused on the position of your hands while you're driving, but having to explain to every person that uses it is a little on the lame side.

    I saw many comments of people returning 1 or 2 wheels before actually getting one that's calibrated properly. That's not something I'm going to do. I've got it packed up and I'll be returning it tomorrow for a refund. I'll likely pick up the HD-DVD add-on instead.

    @rapture: Really, eh? You like Shadowrun that much? I wasn't impressed at all when I played it at X'06 last November, but I ended up with a copy today so I tried it out. Way too much involved for my liking. I can see people really getting into it. But having to buy and manage magic and weapons before every game is just not something I enjoy doing. Pretty insane learning curve too. Seems like one of those games that you can't stop playing or you'll have to re-learn everything when you revisit it.

  10. "a limited amount of hourse-power"

    Do canadians spell "horse" that way, or is that just a typo? Not poking fun, just curious.

  11. I was a die-hard GT fan up until GT4 came out. With no damage and no online, it was just disappointing. I tried PGR3 and it was fun…but racing online wasn't and the lack of real damage modeling meant i could slam into the wall and be fine.

    But Forza 2, through my first hour and a half, its pretty good. Like most racing games, the first few hours are…boring? Im not sure how to describe it, but its all about getting some wins, some credits, and last but not least, cars. You start off slow, but man, when you upgrade to that new car with plenty of horse power, oh man is it a blast.

    Sadly, it seems the racing wheel would make the experience even better, but just can't afford it right now, which is probably best seeing as how i don't have any room for it either. Can't wait to get into the paint shop, looks like a lot of fun 🙂

  12. I still haven't got Forza 2. I've been playing the demo for the past couple of weeks. I never played the original Forza. At the time I was a PlayStation guy with my beloved Gran Turismo series.

    Hopefully, I'll be picking up the game sometime soon and I hope my decent GT skills transfer over to Forza.