Posts Tagged ‘impressions’

MGM: Forza Motorsport 3 First Impressions

forza-motorsport-3-boxart

Microsoft haven’t offered up much in the way of racing simulators, let alone racing games.  However, between the success of Forza Motorsport on the original Xbox and its sequel on the Xbox 360, the series has become one that many feel holds up its own against Gran Turismo and has even already surpassed it.  Forza Motorsport 3, the latest entry in the series, will be released next week on Tuesday, October 27.  To give a taste of what the full game should offer, developer Turn 10 released a demo on Xbox Live a few weeks ago.  Now, Matt, Greg and Michael are here to weigh in what they think the demo indicates for the full game.

Matt’s Thoughts

As I mentioned in our article on Need for Speed shift, racing simulators really aren’t my forte, especially games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport (how convenient).  But between the touting of how the game can appeal to even casual racing fans and being encouraged by others, I gave the demo a shot with Greg and Michael.  With that in-mind, I will say I enjoyed the Forza Motorsport 3 demo more than the other games, but ultimately it isn’t saying much.  What made it more fun was that more options for the handling have been incorporated, with the two standouts being Rewind and Autobraking (both work as you’d expect).  Since the Rewind use is unlimited and, with Autobraking turned on I could focus on the driving and turning rather than precise braking, I was able to legitimately enjoy the demo.  However, this is still fundamentally the same racing simulator I’ve tried twice before, albeit with very luscious visuals.  And the aforementioned features, while nice, still didn’t make this a very interesting and exciting racing game, which is what I want whenever playing one.

Greg’s Thoughts

This is has been quite the year for racing games.  Need for Speed Shift, Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, Dirt 2, Fuel (alright, maybe that one wasn’t so great) and we’re getting Forza Motosport 3 next week.  I liked the first two Forza games, but felt that the second one should’ve had better visuals and the sense of speed, while above Gran Turismo, is still underwhelming overall.  Fortunately, if the demo is any indication, then this sequel should be a fine improvement and step forward for the series.  Perhaps the most impressive part of the demo were the visuals, which are simply jaw-dropping (other than Uncharted and possibly Metal Gear Solid 4, this is probably the best-looking console game I’ve played).  Car models are incredibly sharp and the available course in the game looks like a spellbinding painting that has come alive.  The sense of speed also appears to have been bumped up a bit too, which I definitely like.  And the driving model is still solid which, with a cockpit view (finally) added to the series, should translate to an excellent final product.

Michael’s Thoughts

As you could probably tell from what Matt and Greg have mentioned, the Forza Motosport 3 demo indicates some very welcoming improvements have been made to the final product.  For me, this translates to even larger amounts of bliss per gaming session.  Forza Motorsport 2 is a game I’ve returned to time and time again yet still never managed to complete (if only I could say the same for other games).  About all that I could really have asked for is better visuals, more tracks and smoother customization.  After playing the demo, it’s safe to say at least two of these demands have been met.  The visuals for the single course in the game are mouth-watering and quite distracting since the location is rendered in such detail, color and beauty.  Racing action is a little faster and more intense, though it seems the game is suffering from Shift syndrome since the AI are far more aggressive and inconsiderate than before.  I would’ve liked to see some form of customization incorporated into the demo to give us an idea of what it will be like (since, after Midnight Club Los Angeles, Forza 2’s customization system felt too stiff), but I had a tough time complaining with what we were given.

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Brutal Legend Soundtrack Thoughts

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When it comes to music-centered games, the soundtrack is almost always the ultimate deciding point as to whether I’ll buy the game or even give it a shot.  For instance, the soundtrack to Guitar Hero: Metallica was a key reason I decided to give the game a shot (that and the surprisingly fun demo).  However, looking at the soundtrack for Guitar Hero 5, I already figured the best I’d give the game was a rental, and unless they were to release some better tracks as downloadable content, that’s not changing.  Then there’s a game like Brutal Legend which puts emphasis on music while being an action/adventure game.  Though I had certainly heard about it before, my interest in the game was quite low, that is until I heard about the soundtrack.

For those who are curious, the game will feature over 100 songs, here’s the list:

  • 3 Inches of Blood – Deadly Sinners
  • 3 Inches of Blood – Destroy The Orcs
  • Accept – Fast As A Shark
  • Angel Witch – Angel Witch
  • Anthrax – Metal Thrashing Mad
  • Anvil – March of the Crabs
  • Anvil – Tag Team
  • Apostasy – Sulphur Injection
  • Bishop of Hexen – A Serpentine Grave
  • Bishop of Hexen – The Somber Grounds of Truth
  • Black Sabbath – Children of the Grave
  • Black Sabbath – Symptom of the Universe
  • Black Sabbath – Never Say Die
  • Brocas Helm – Cry of the Banshee
  • Brocas Helm – Drink the Blood of the Priest
  • Budgie – Breadfan
  • Budgie – Zoom Club
  • Candlemass – Witches
  • Carcass – No Love Lost
  • Cloven Hoof Nightstalker
  • Children of Bodom – Angels Don’t Kill
  • Coroner – Skeleton on your Shoulder
  • Cradle of Filth – Her Ghost in the Fog
  • Crimson Glory – Queen of the Masquerade
  • Dark Fortress – Insomnia
  • Dark Tranquility – Cathode Ray Sunshine
  • Deathstars – Blitzkrieg
  • Def Leppard – Rock of Ages
  • Dethklok – Mermaider
  • Diamond Head – Am I Evil?
  • Dimmu Borgir – Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
  • Dokken – Mr. Scary
  • Dragonforce – Through the Fire and Flames
  • Emperor – Thus Spake The Nightspirit
  • Enslaved – Frost
  • Enslaved – Loke
  • Firehouse – Overnight Sensation
  • Girlschool – Bomber
  • Iced Earth – When the Night Falls
  • Iced Earth – Pure Evil
  • In Flames – Goliaths Disarm Their Davids
  • Judas Priest – Battle Hymn
  • Judas Priest – The Hellion/Electric Eye
  • Judas Priest – Leather Rebel
  • Judas Priest – One Shot At Glory
  • Judas Priest – Painkiller
  • Kabbage Boy – Girlfriend
  • KMFDM – Free Your Hate
  • KMFDM – Rip The System
  • King Diamond – Cremation
  • King Diamond – Welcome Home
  • Kiss – God of Thunder
  • Lita Ford – Betrayal
  • Marilyn Manson – Beautiful People
  • Manowar – Die For Metal
  • Manowar – The Dawn Of Battle
  • Mastodon – Crack the Skye
  • Mastodon – Oblivion Instrumental
  • Megadeth – High Speed Dirt
  • Megadeth – Tornado of Souls
  • Metal Church – Metal Church
  • Michael Schenker – Group Assault Attack
  • Ministry – Stigmata
  • Ministry – Thieves
  • Mirrorthrone – So Frail
  • Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood
  • Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart
  • Motley Crue – Live Wire
  • Motorhead – Back at the Funny Farm
  • Motorhead – In the Black
  • Motorhead – Marching Off to War
  • Motorhead – We Are the Road Crew
  • Nitro – Machine Gun Eddie
  • Omen – The Axeman
  • Ostrogoth – Queen of Desire
  • Overkill – World of Hurt
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Believer
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Diary of a Madman
  • Prong – Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
  • Quiet Riot – The Wild and the Young
  • Racer X – Technical Difficulties
  • Racer X – Y.R.O.
  • Ratt – Lay It Down
  • Riot – Road Racin
  • Riot – Narita
  • Riot – Swords and Tequila
  • Rob Zombie – Superbeast
  • Rotting Christ – Ad Notics
  • Running Wild – Riding the Storm
  • Sanctuary – Battle Angels
  • Savatage – Hall of the Mountain King
  • Saxon – Wheels of Steel
  • Scorpions – Blackout
  • Scorpions – Holiday
  • Skeletonwitch – Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery
  • Skid Row – Youth Gone Wild
  • Slayer – Metal Storm/Face The Slayer
  • Slough Feg – Warriors Dawn
  • Static-X – Love Dump
  • Tenacious D – Master Exploder
  • Tenacious D – The Metal
  • Testament – For The Glory Of
  • Testament – More Than Meets The Eye
  • Tvangeste – Birth of the Hero
  • UFO – Rock Bottom
  • Whitesnake – Still of the Night
  • Wrath of Killenstein – Ignisis Dance

I have to say that after seeing this list my interest in the game practically skyrocketed.  I went from essentially ignoring to becoming interested and potentially purchasing this title.  Admittedly I’ll be keeping an eye out for early reviews so I can find out if it’s actually any good and fun, but this is likely my favorite licensed soundtrack to have been put in a videogame (Rock Band 2 had something for everyone, but as a metalhead, I think you can tell my eyes popped a few times here).

Some bands and songs did take me by surprise; both in regards to inclusions and exclusions.  What I’ll get out of the way first is that I’m ecstatic to see Judas Priest has some tracks on here, being my favorite band and all (with a chunk of the tracks being from Painkiller).  Black Sabbath is a great, necessary inclusion as well, with Diamond Head, King Diamond, Slayer, Tenacious D, Scorpions, Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth and Motorhead being other awesome, unsurprising additions.

King Diamond

King Diamond is bringing himself and grandma along, might as well invite Jay and Silent Bob.

But then there’s the song selection for some of these bands and a few bands I’m surprised made the cut.  Most of the songs by the more well-known artists aren’t particularly well-known by less enthusiastic metalheads (heck, even I don’t know some of the tracks-namely because I haven’t looked into them).  Some of the bands/songs that were pleasant surprises for me were Emperor (great song off an amazing album), Anvil (they’re famous enough, but not really talked about), Metal Church, In Flames (only because of the song choice, just glad it’s not a newer track), Enslaved and Dimmu Borgir (easily one of the most hated bands, but I like them).

Of course, the game does have some song/band choices that I think we could’ve done without or seen better song choices by.  For instance, “Angels Don’t Kill” isn’t one of Children of Bodom’s better tracks if you ask me.  DragonForce shouldn’t have even half the recognition they do (besides being painfully cliché, they can’t even do a decent job performing live-they’re all studio fluff), KISS, Marilyn Manson and Ministry really aren’t “metal” acts and the Testament choices aren’t the first I would’ve picked.

And finally, there are some bands/songs that I (and many others) are surprised to see excluded from the game.  Even if I’m not the biggest fan of all of them, where are Iron Maiden, Metallica, Heaven and Hell, At The Gates (since we have In Flames and Dark Tranquility), Death, Napalm Death, Pantera, Queensryche and Sepultura?  Oh well, no list can have everything.

metallica

Wait, we’re the most popular metal band and we aren’t even in this game that centers around…well, metal?

Even with some personal gripes, I’m still very pleased by this soundtrack and will definitely be keeping my eyes open for any new information about this game (more songs put in via downloadable content?).