This won't be a "mainstream" game review like I hoped it would, but instead a retrospective viewpoint on one of my favorite racing games of all time: Forza Motorsport 2.
As you may have guessed, Forza Motorsport 2 is obviously a racing game. What you may not know, however, is that it is a racing simulation. This means that crashing into cars and other obstacles will not grant you "bonus's" like in Need for Speed or Burnout. No, this game is about the realistic simulation of driving a car in a race track. If you crash your car, you will get penalty points. Just like how Microsoft Flight is a realistic flight simulation, Forza Motorsport 2 is a realistic racing simulation. The irony being is that they are both published by Microsoft (damn you guys for the red light issue!).
The game-play is obvious enough. You pick a car, you pick a contest, you pick a track and you pick a difficulty setting. Once you finish a race, you obtain "credits" which are used to buy upgrades for existing vehicles in your garage and new vehicles. You can only unlock new vehicles by finishing racing tournaments. Almost of all them have similar or identical tracks which makes the experience and fun in picking out a track and tournament ruined because it you already know how the track will appear like. Almost all terrain is the same and the textures don't differ much. This makes Forza Motorsport 2 a repetitive racing simulation because of the recycled tracks and recycled textures for each new track.
|That track will no doubt be re-used many other times throughout.|
The upgrade system is a lot of fun, and is one of the main highlights of the game for me. You have over 100 customizable upgrades for each individual vehicle and it's amazing how each upgrade can sufficiently improve the handling and speed of your vehicle. Once I won my first car from my first tournament, I went into my garage and customized the crap out of it until it had enough decent handling that I can turn corners without having to crash every consistent moment. In short, the upgrade system in Forza Motorsport 2 is addicting. I can win a race and credit, and simply use those credits to choose from the hundreds of upgrades that I want. It reminds me of Hitman: Blood Money in which you can upgrade each individual weapon without ever getting tired.
Vehicles are also another great thing about Forza Motorsport 2. There are many manufacturers and companies to buy vehicles with that it's not even funny. If you thought that wasn't enough, than you are wrong. Because on top of manufacturers, you have nations and country's that all have exclusive vehicles. In order to unlock these, however, you have to win their tournament and only then will you be able to buy your own vehicle. One thing that does irritate me though is that you always need some sort of specific vehicle in your garage in order to enter a tournament. For example, if you want to participate in a Korean based tournament, than you'll have to buy a car from Korea. It's a balanced system to help newcomers (such as me) avoid making bad decisions and getting my butt kicked in a moment notice, but it still feels irritating because you have to spend credits to buy a vehicle from a specific nation.
|You'll have fun with the vehicle selection, that's for sure.|
Forza Motorsport 2 is, of course, an Xbox 360 exclusive. It's Microsoft's equivalent to Sony's Grand Turismo's franchise. I've played Grand Turismo A-Spec for the PlayStation 2 and I found that game to be amazing. While Forza Motorsport 2 does not equal to A-Spec, it still has unique features of its own. And it really does feel like an immersive racing simulation once you really do get into it. Overall, Forza Motorsport 2 gets a 8/10 from me. It's a great game, with great production values and is one of the better racing games out there for the 360. The tracks are repetitive, but that problem is featured in almost all racing simulations. The price for Forza Motorsport 2 has dropped down considerably so I would recommend to buy it before the new Forza game comes out.
KirbyPink is now signing off.