by Brian Ekberg
“I beat you,” said one of my Turn 10 colleagues one morning this week as I coming in to work and parking myself at my desk.
It took me a moment to realize what he was talking about. On the previous day, our newest batch of Rivals Mode events went up in the Forza 4 Rivals Mode Community Monthly channel—and he had spent some time beating the times I had previously set. (Incidentally, one of the fun parts about knowing exactly when the Community Monthly Rivals Mode events go is up is setting leaderboard times early—when you can pretend you’re an elite Forza 4 driver, even if the illusion is fleeting and, within minutes, you find yourself back in the middle of the pack, where your skill level naturally dictates).
Immediately, I felt the flush of anger creep up my neck. If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a sore loser; one of the sorest around, I’ll admit. It’s a character flaw that I acknowledge openly and have long tried to improve, to little avail. So when my co-worker mentioned that that he’d taken down my time in the Rivals Mode events, I knew that I needed to get online as soon as possible and reclaim my crown. It’s one of the consistently engaging things that makes me come back to Forza 4 on a daily basis—a primal response to that eternal, narcissistic question, “Who can I prove that I am superior to today?”
Now, with that embarrassing bit of self-revelation out of the way, let’s get to today’s Week in Review!
Awards Season Rolls On
A few weeks ago, we got our first nominations for the 2011 video game awards season—the Spike TV VGAs, where Forza 4 is nominated for the Best Xbox 360 and Best Driving Game of 2011. As we inch closer to the end of the year, more nominations have begun rolling in. This week G4 TV and X-Play have nominated Forza Motorsport 4 in the Best Driving Game category, and respected sports gaming blog Pasta Padre has included Forza 4 in its Best New or Non-Yearly Sports Game category. We would take this time to remind you to vote where appropriate, but you guys have already done that, right? RIGHT?
December IGN Pack: The Brutes
This week saw the release of our December IGN Pack, our latest add-on pack cars. This pack had some real gems, including two of the more unusual and just plain brutish vehicles I’ve seen in Forza yet: the 2011 Suzuki #1 Monster Sport SX4 Hill Climb Special and the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The former I appreciate for its unique shape, it’s nearly unrivaled power, and that insane rear wing. With the latter, it’s more the intimidation factor.
I don’t often use trucks when I’m playing online in Forza 4 (unless we’re talking about Cat & Mouse, of course)—they’re a bit cumbersome for tight racing in traffic. Where beasts like the Raptor really shine is offline, when driving decorum goes out the window. There’s something tremendously satisfying about barreling through a line of unsuspecting AI cars on your way to a surefire victory, relying on the sheer pitiless nature of your ride rather than your own skill. It can sometimes backfire, sure, but knowing you’ve got three tons of steel underneath your fingers can be great for your driving confidence. Of course, the Raptor and the Monster are just two of the great cars in this month’s pack. If you haven’t already seen the list, check it out–you’re bound to find at least one car on the list that you’ll fall in love with.
Your Cars in the Cloud
In addition to a new add-on pack for Forza 4, this week also saw the release of the new dashboard for Xbox 360. With a host of brand new features, a new layout, and some exciting stuff planned for release in the near future (HBO Go, anyone?), the new dashboard has something for everyone. It’s definitely got something I’m a big fan of: cloud saves. Now you can take your Forza Motorsport 4 saves and upload them to the cloud. Forget the USB device that you need to carry with you when travelling to a friends’ house. Now you’ll be able to pull down your save and sync your save, no matter what Xbox 360 you’re playing on. For a detailed look at cloud storage with the new Xbox 360 dashboard (and, it must be said, starring Forza 4), check out this episode of Inside Xbox.
World’s Most Expensive Pile-up
Did you catch the world’s most expensive pile-up this week? A gaggle of supercars–including eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and more–were involved in a major pileup on a highway Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture this past weekend. Total cost for the accident? Somewhere around $3.85 million. According to the Jalopnik article linked above, part of the problem was that the drivers were driving in pairs as part of a driving event organized over the Internet. Of course, the obvious question becomes, why would you risk this kind of high-speed coordinated driving in real life when you could just hop onto a track in Forza 4 and pair up in some of the world’s most incredible cars to your hearts’ content? Noone likes to crash in Forza, well, okay some people do but those are the kind of accidents that only cost in-game credits.
Community Calendar Update
The FM.net community calendar has been updated with a bunch of events right through the end of the year. A few of the upcoming highlights:
Gears’ Twelve Days of Christmas Draw – Starts Dec. 12
GivingUTheGears is once again offering the community his version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Starting December 12th, Gears will begin awarding daily random gifts with the amount of winners increasing each day till on the final day 12 random winners will be chosen. If you want to get involved in the holiday spirit, check out the official thread here.
The 2nd FANATEC Nürburgring 2.4Hr Endurance Race! – Dec. 16-18
Race World Series has officially brought back the Nürburgring 2.4Hr Endurance Race this month with prize guaranteed to increase the white-knuckled action. The folks from RWS will be putting a FANATEC CSR Value Pack for the overall winner of this endurance contest. If you believe you can handle the 19 laps of “The Ring” check out the official thread.
Little Vixen’s Christmas Bash 2011 — Starts Dec. 17
Keeping in the spirit of Little Vixen’s Christmas Bash, WindsweptDragon has taken the reigns of this event with LV’s support. Much like previous bashes there will be tons of credit and paints available during the holidays for everyone to enjoy. Check out the official thread to get in on the fun.
In addition to the above events, we’re planning two more Game With Turn 10 sessions before the year is out. The first will be on December 14 from 1-3 p.m. PST and the second will be the day after Christmas, Dec. 26 from 5-7 p.m. PST. As always, you can join us via our official Facebook page and we’ll be giving out unicorn gifts for those we race with. Join us, won’t you? After all, nothing says “holiday spirit” like T-boning Ayo Jube into the first corner Motegi.
Forza Support E-mail Address Maintenance
A quick heads up before we head out for the weekend: On Monday we’ll be performing maintenance on our support e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. During this maintenance window (which will last between 24 and 72 hours), the e-mail address will be down and e-mails you send will bounce. We will let everyone know via Twitter once forzafb is live again; in the meantime, if you have support questions, your best bet will be to use the FM.net forums. Thanks for your patience.
That’s all for this week, everbody. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!