September 22, 2008

Racing on the 360

Pure is an adrenaline pumping, non-stop racing game that allows you to perform tricks on your ATV while flying through the air. The game is exaggerated, for sure, and the demo might get you hooked. However, The Goozex Report recommends holding off on purchasing Pure, and waiting for it to drop in value before requesting it. In the meantime, there are plenty of other racing options to choose from.

The cream of the crop appears to be Forza Motorsport 2 and the runner up is the Burnout series, which has recently added downloadable content. If you favor something not-so-in-depth, and more geared towards racing than crashing, then the arcade style Project Gotham Racing 3 is your best bet.

If you’re brand new to Goozex and want to spend your free 100 points, then go ahead and trade for PGR 3. Why not? It’s a great game for it’s time and serves as an excellent introduction to the racing genre. You might want to stay away from PGR 4. After playing the demo, it appears the franchise has run out of steam and ideas. The demo plays almost exactly like PGR 3, but with motorcycles added to the mix. If someone else picked up the job of producing PGR 5, it would probably be a good thing.

DiRT and GRiD round out the top picks. DiRT takes you off roading and GRiD has you traveling the continents. The GRiD demo is very worthwhile to checkout and will have you waiting patiently for it to start dropping in value. Stay tuned, and The Goozex Report will let you know when that happens.

Electronic Arts, surprisingly enough, appears to have hit a brick wall with their Nascar series. Both their 08 and 09 titles failed to impress the critics. Maybe you should steer clear of EA when it comes to racing?

Contributing writer, Blake Grundman, has this to say on Forza 2 and the rumored take over of the PGR series:

Forza Motorsport 2 was Microsoft Game Studios first venture into the world of racing simulation on next generation consoles. Turn 10 Studios developed the game to be the most realistic racing simulation ever released. Another selling point of Forza 2 was the game’s custom design, which was tuned to utilize the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel to its full potential. To assure the game was an authentic representation of racing, professional drivers were brought in throughout the development process, helping to hone and perfect the racing experience.

All of the extra time and effort proved to be very beneficial, with Forza 2 creating a level of realism that rivaled the likes of the Grand Turismo franchise. Features like custom designed paint jobs, the ability to share cars, and a fully integrated online community, drove Forza 2 to become one of the most ambitious Microsoft Game Studio releases to date.

However, this did not make the game perfect. Players complained that the tuning and balance of vehicles, while extremely detailed and complex, would create a rift too large for new players to bridge. In many cases, this proved to be true, with online numbers dwindling in recent months. Despite the outcry, Forza Motorsport 2 has been universally well received by critics, and securing a Forza sequel for developer Turn 10.

In more recent rumors, it looks like Turn 10 may also be taking control of the Pro Gotham Racing franchise. When PGR’s developer, Bizarre Creations, left Microsoft Game Studios earlier this year many assumed that Turn 10 would take over PGR 5’s development. According to sources within Turn 10, it looks like this might in fact be the case. There could be an announcement on this rumor as soon as September 25, so stay tuned. For more information see