DeLoreans? I live in fear   Leave a comment

But don’t fear the roadster.

The 27th – a Tuesday, the calendar informs me – was a proper stay at home, have a rest and play games day. It was good!

It started, again, in bed with Snuff and coffee, until some friends visited to exchange presents. They got me a Tim Vine Joke Book, with over 1,000 puns in! So, like the happy steam-engine, I was jolly chuffed. Yes, I’ve used that before; I’m not Tim Vine, so I don’t have a thousand puns.

In the afternoon I played Forza 4. Forza hits the sweet spot of game vs. simulation vs. accessibility for me; the cars can be made to handle in quite a realistic fashion (it’s not up there with SimBin’s titles, but roughly on par with Gran Turismo – as you’d expect; it’s very much inspired by, or at the very least admires, Sony’s series*), but it has the aides and progression to mean idiots like me are told what they’re supposed to be doing, can rewind when they cock it up, and start off in low-powered cars (a 2011 Ford Ka in my case) to get the hang of things. And then, unlike “proper” hardcore simulators, it has a good game component on top with its experience points, levels, reward cars and so on. It is good game! I like! Car go vroom! And, of course, the announcer is just perfect.

The game throws free cars at you at each level up, every couple of races. An early one was a tough choice: a 1965 Alfa Romeo GTA, one of my favourite cars, or a 1971 Lotus Elan? As I’d driven the GTA quite a lot in Forza 3 and GT Legends, I opted for the Lotus.

It was a good choice; it got me through most of the second season, and driving such a light, nippy, slidy car against the newer, heavier cars with higher top-end speeds was fun.

So that was pretty much that. Dinner was easy and tasty: buffet leftovers. And, unlike the day before, I got to have them hot thanks to the wonders of electromagnetic wave culinology. Preparing the buffet I made a mistake in not telling people to get stuck in as and when, rather than waiting for everything to turn up. And I made another by not getting stuck in when things popped out of the oven. For testing purposes, you understand!

* It’s funny how two games can simultaneously be so similar and so different. I’ve not played a lot of Gran Turismo, but it seems to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, attempting to include all of cars going vroom in a single game. Forza, on the other hand, is more focused, polished, and smoother, but (even despite its impressive number of cars and tracks) lacks the expansiveness and inclusiveness of its Japanese rival/admiree; only roads, no dynamic weather, no night-time racing. But the pay-off is the little things work better; compare the racing line aide in the two games, for instance, or the menus and user-interface. Oh, and everybody claims the multiplayer works better in the X-Box game, but I can’t comment and don’t much care.


Posted 3 January 2012 by Colthor in Diary

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