My affair with racing games


Coming of age at the dawn of the video game revolution, I pumped a lot of quarters into the machines. I loved many of them, but the one that really captured my attention was Pole Position.

Pole0000Prior to that I had played the “Night Driver” game on the Atari 2600 (I remember playing at a friend’s house) but it was primitive. Pole position, with its steering wheel and the perception of real driving was captivating.

From there it gets fuzzy, but I remember playing racing games in monochrome on an IBM PC clone, and a variety of driving games on dos based systems throughout the 1990’s.

In 2006 or so, I splurged on an Xbox 360, and the first game I bought was Project Gotham Racing. An arcade style game, it had impressive graphics, and incredible game play. I probably put 400 or more hours on it. There was a follow-on version, that I also voraciously played.

Then I lost interest. It was too arcade-y, and got less enthralling. The Xbox was used solely for playing Golf with Barbara.

Introducing Forza

Forzamotorsport2coverForza 2 was introduced. It took the realism to a new level. The car models were scary accurate. And instead of exotic and high end sports cars, it had a wide selection of common cars too.

Add the ability to customize the cars, to improve the performance, and I was again hooked. I spent more hours playing, building my garage. Adding things as mundane as a Mini, and a highly modified Volkswagen Corrado.

Forza 5, and my new Xbox One, is my new passion. It is a refinement of the game, with even more realism. The career mode leads you through a development path to hone your skills, and to become more proficient.

A new twist is the “drivatar”. Instead of just using simple AI drivers against you, the avatars are based on real drivers, that are about at your skill level. So they drive off track, and ram you (and each other too), so it is more like racing multiplayer live. It does make the game more fun.

Of course, Forza 5 is now a year and a half old, and the newer version is available. I will buy that one day, but for now, I am greatly enjoying discovering the Forza 5 career mode.

Ok, now I need to get back to the game…

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By geoffand

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April 2015

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