Monthly Archives: September 2015

BAM. Ride Along – Forza 6 Let’s Play

This week kicks off the release of the Forza 6 demo on Xbox One, as a change of pace I decided to capture some of the gameplay to showcase what to expect. Since I’m doing a single installment I’m breaking these down track by track in text but the video will cover the experience. Not all videos will be this way but when it’s something new and pretty direct like this I might change it up.

That said, I used the stock Xbox One controller, I don’t have a racing wheel for the system so that’s where things will come from on the platform as I’m not sure when I’ll pick one up or if any companies would be interested in jumping along with a donor.

Video removed for now – Content ID claims for music made the original recording impossible to use. I’ll have to do another recording without the soundtrack. Future note, if you want to use Forza 6 footage on Youtube, the content creators will flag the life out of your videos. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that Microsoft has sorted out anything to help the community at all.

First up we’re in Brazil on Circuito Do Rio De Janeiro in the 2017 Ford GT, the supercar takes to this street course against a pretty heavy lineup of opponents. As the first experience of Forza it’s also the safest delivery, the game sets all the controls to easy mode so you’re coddled along with safe lines, turning assist, braking assist and assist assist. For some it’s perfect because you have kids or others playing so you can just hold the trigger and basically have a racing experience. If you want to fudge the controls you can do manual braking and line switching and escape the grasp of the support system to some degree.

It’s a beautiful track though and without the assists in a Ford GT I think many players would leave chunks of that car scattered throughout the stage. Fortunately that’s not the case and it’s just scuffed bumpers and lots of rage in the narrow corridors of the track when passing feels nearly impossible or line blocking becomes the most frustrating experience in history.

After you complete the first level you jump into car selections, yada yada yada classics skip the hubbub pick your favorite car / the Subaru Impreza 22b or RX7 (it’s okay you know you want to) and jump into the mix.

The first of the qualifying series brings players to the Lime Rock Full length track, it’s 3 lap race where players work on coming in Top 3 over the 1.5m course. The track is fairly relaxed with open corners and lots of wiggle room, if  you’re new to the game leaving it on easy or normal is probably a good choice to understand things a little more with the car selected. The AI tends to let off in the easier corners and avoid any connections on the rumble strip so passing is usually possible on most inside turns.

Following Lime Rock is Yas Marina Circuit, for some it’s a pretty awesome track full of challenges… but it’s always been a nemesis track for me. Yas focuses on grip and downforce and without the right mixture it means going off-track is a given and struggles to regain that grip will act as a constant throughout the race until a steadier approach hits. This race isn’t a pretty one but I’ll keep taking cracks at it until I’m able to really produce a clean run without having to resort to flashbacks.

With Yas turning to a distant memory the qualifier skips to a drivers challenge with a battle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a 7 lap Indy run. Going from heavy corners and low 100mph speeds to 220mph is a change of pace, fortunately as long as upcoming traffic patterns are anticipated correctly it doesn’t turn into a nightmare. The goal of the race is high-speed without ramming the car up the backside of all the opposition. Key things to remember are the behavior of the car under acceleration and deceleration as those will become critical during passing. It’s an enjoyable break and for the most part the experience was clean minus a few bad calls or late turns where I did end up touching with other cars.

The last leg of the journey ends at a wet and rainy Sebring International Raceway, it’s a nightmare to say the least with puddles and hydroplane for all. The key factor here is harnessing the power of the car to avoid bad slips when crossing puddles. For those in RWD cars that means working the gas as needed to keep up control of the car without sending the car into a race ending spin. Traction is obviously reduced and plowing the car off the track with understeer increases along with it, so it’s just a wild wacky fun zone of under and oversteer with a side of traction loss and spin. Gotta love it. The 22b used the AWD to its advantage most of the track to help pull it through fudged corners and away from the pack in general, it’s a good overall car but it’s not without challenges in Forza 6 as seen with Yas Marina.

The demo is a well-rounded experience for Forza 6, good variety of cars and tracks and it showcases the weather system and some of the custom options for players. Given the full game is only weeks away it’s worth checking out if there is any interest in the game, on top of that players can also earn special perks that transfer over to the retail game so why not?

BAM. Ride Along – GRID 2 (Big Sur Touge)

In the last bout of the Touge run in GRID 2 I bring the battle to the showcase in California, we hit Big Sur for a battle of beasts, the heavyweight as the Skyline GT-R (R32) and the featherweight challenger as the Ariel Atom 3. For those unfamiliar the Atom is a smaller car, lighter and it uses a high power and high revving engine as its cornerstone for a great power to weight balance.

On a course like Big Sur it’s crucial to maintain a balance of speed and control to carry the fastest line possible as elevation changes often. We’ll see how the two cars carry on in this challenge.

As seen it’s pretty screwed up for balance, on a focused downhill or uphill the Atom would give it a better chance, even a better starting run would allow it to wind out a little harder. Unfortunately the AI in this challenge doesn’t quite push the Atom as hard as it needs to and falls behind immediately. By the time the GT-R cuts the corner the Atom is already being left in the dust, when sliding the long corner after there’s little chance for the car to catch up.

It’s a mix of styles between the two cars, the Atom is designed to hug the corners and tackle them with precision, while the GT-R can do that too, it does it slower when the body is pulling it to the outside of the corner. Going into a slide / drift allows for the GT-R to defy the odds a little against cars that would normally be right on its tail in a challenge like this.

That does wrap up the GRID 2 series at this point, I enjoyed taking the GT-R around for another run in-game but it’s time to move to new grounds. In the future I’ll try to mix up games a little more between installments so there’s a little more variety.

My setup:
AMD FX-8320 @ 4.4GHz
ASUS R9 290 DirectCUII @ 1000/1250
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3
Logitech G27 Racing Wheel
DXRacer King Series – OH/KS57/NB