Forza Motorsport 4 Articles RSS Feed | Forza Motorsport 4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Forza Horizon 2: A Step Forward in Racing Titles Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:18:59 -0400 Xavier's

To the delight of many, Forza Horizon 2 has been unearthed. Microsoft's fine tuned racing franchise has gained another installment, a  fine follow-up to the popular launch title, Forza 5.

The anticipated title is to be released on both of Microsoft systems
later this year (hopefully no delays) and is to feature a Southern
European playground to drive around in your beautiful vehicles.

The game is currently being developed using Forza 5's engine on the
Xbox One, while the 360 port is utilizing the original Horizon game's

Gamers will rejoice at the fact that numerous optimizations are being
incorporated in the latest Forza iteration, ranging from a dynamic weather program to the infamous Drivatar system implemented in its predecessor. Music is again set to play a pivotal role throughout the game, as a festival will provide a sort of hub for the player to go through and accomplish various quests.

Truly an interesting turn of events for Microsoft's IP, what are your thoughts on the continuation of this car enthusiast adventure? Leave your comments down below.

10 Great Games You Should Be Playing Right Now Fri, 06 Sep 2013 23:52:07 -0400 Brian Armstrong

I've been doing a lot of writing about console gaming lately, and it's a little unsettling, as for the last few years I have considered myself primarily a PC gamer. Not that it matters, because as a gamer, I pride myself on not being a fanboy of one console or platform over another. That gets you nowhere. There are many great games and experiences on all formats that you'll miss out on entirely if you let fanaticism plague your mind. So it was this thinking that inspired me to create the definitive guide to the top (exclusive) games that you should be playing right now.

These are not necessarily new games, and they're net necessarily old either. Some of them may have been reviewed poorly, and some of them won every award there is. But what I wanted to highlight here was how allowing yourself to experience games on multiple platforms, you open yourself up to a world of opportunities. Just for the record, I have included games from the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita, as these are the systems I have currently. If I owned a Wii U I would certainly have included them here as well. But I can only go with what I know, so without further ado, let's begin!

SimCity (PC)

Might as well start the list off controversially, right? SimCity is pretty much a love it or hate it kind of deal. Launch issues plagued its release last year, and many gamers never forgave EA for their always-online stance. It's their loss though, because what waits on the other side of an internet connection is a fantastic city-building experience. Yes there are issues. For example, I am still not a fan of having to choose from little plots of land scattered across the map. I want to be able to build anywhere and everywhere on that map. I don't like the limitation. There are other minor quirks, but if you can get past these issues, the game is incredibly deep with a wealth of options to help you build a beautiful, jam-packed metropolis.

The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

This is one of those games that will earn a "No duh," from many readers, but this is absolutely not only a contender for my favorite game of the year, but perhaps all time. Its gripping story, beautiful graphics, and fun and engaging gameplay make for an incredible ride that begs to be replayed. If you don't own a PS3, this game is absolutely worth the purchase price alone. And I don't say that lightly.

Bioshock: Infinite (PC)

I know, I know... this game was not console-specific, but it shines brilliantly on the PC. With incredible graphics and its intense action, Bioshock: Infinite harkens back to a time when first-person shooters were just as much about the story as the action (Half Life). If you don't have the gaming rig capable of cranking up the graphics, I can attest that it still looks great on either Xbox or PlayStation, so don't hesitate to pick up whichever copy you can immediately.

Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)

The game I'm looking forward to the most from the early lineup of next generation games is Forza Motorsport 5. But the 4th version of the game is no slouch either, and if you haven't played it, there's no better time than now. The Forza series rapidly caught up with (and in my opinion passed) Sony's Gran Turismo franchise. The cars are beautiful, the races are fun, and the customization is addicting. This is a game that you'll want to just keep playing and playing, even if it's way past your bedtime.

MLB 13: The Show (PS Vita)

The Madden and NBA franchises have received most of the attention when it comes to sports games, but the Sony exclusive The Show franchise is probably the best of the bunch. Incredible graphics, smooth gameplay, and an amazing career mode with seemingly unlimited customization options make this game endlessly playable. The thrill of starting out a player in the minor leagues and working your way up the ranks until you eventually land with a major league club is addicting. I've singled out the PS Vita version of this game simply due to the portability factor. The game looks better on PS3, but it's tough to beat the pick-up-and-play functionality of the Vita. And depending on how you have your games set up, a game can last as little as five minutes, so it really makes squeezing in some gametime during your lunch breaks feasible.

Fable (Xbox 360)

Before anyone yells at me, yes, I know Fable was released on the original Xbox. But a while back I picked it up through the Xbox Live store to play on the 360, and as you may also know, Lionhead Studios is re-releasing the game in an anniversary form later this year. So I'm counting this as an Xbox 360 game. Even though it's nearing a decade in age, this game has an appeal that I can't resist. Whether it's building an evil menace that kicks chickens and swoons all the girls, or a knightly hero that does his best to make all the right decisions, Fable offers a level of freedom that wasn't seen much at the time. It's a little dated today, but I am hoping the anniversary edition breathes some new life into the game. I spent hours in this game upon release, and I still return to Albion in my free time today, and you should too.

Lord of the Rings Online (PC)

I'll start off by saying I'm not even close to max-level in this game yet, but I have really enjoyed every moment I've spent in LOTRO. Living out my character's adventures in Tolkien's world is so much more rewarding than any other MMO I've overplayed, simply because of where it's based. I can run through the Shire, I can retrace the Fellowship's route, and coming soon, I'll even be able to visit Helm's Deep. Good Lord that is some epic stuff. Better than all of that, it's free-to-play, so you can try it out for yourself and never spend a dime!

Infamous (PlayStation 3)

Perhaps my favorite game on PS3 is Infamous, thanks to the open-world, parkouring, super powers, and fun story. Being able to make decisions that ultimately shape your story is a great touch, and makes for a game that is replayable even after you've played through it exhaustively once. I continue to return to this game to find the hidden items, do lightning strike landings when jumping from tall buildings, and to slide across power lines between buildings. It's crazy, it's unbelievable, and it's pure fun.

Dragon Fantasy, Book 1 (PS Vita)

Much like MLB 13: The Show, I am picking the Vita version of this Final Fantasy-style game for its portability. With a great story, humorous and memorable characters, and nostalgic gameplay, Dragon Fantasy is a great game to play on the go. The game even features cross-save, meaning even if you do want to switch over to the PS3 version at some point, simply save your game to the cloud and load it up from your PS3. I got my start on RPGs playing Final Fantasy on the original; Gameboy, and this game on the Vita brings me back to those simple days instantly.

Total War: Rome II (PC)

This game just came out, but I can tell already it will be sucking my life away. The long-awaited sequel has ramped up the graphics and sheer size of the game, giving players an endless selection of ways to enjoy battling through the Roman Empire. It's a daunting game at first, and it has a pretty steep learning curve, but it is rewarding, and players who stick it out will be hooked on a game that shows what makes real-time strategy games on the PC one of the best genres in the industry.

What are the "must play" games for your console of choice? What games are out there for systems you don't own that you're itching to get your hands on? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Software and Hardware: 'Ware' Does it Go Wrong? Thu, 08 Aug 2013 07:15:13 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

The WiiU has sold 3.61 million consoles, this may sound like a lot, but compare it to the sales the Wii produced -- more than 20 times more, at 100.04 million. If you also look at the PlayStation Vita, it has sold 2.2 million, compared to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) which has sold more, at 76.3 million.

Linking Hardware Sales to Software

So, why are these consoles, which both have great hardware, especially the PlayStation Vita, getting really low sales. Especially when compared to lower powered and older consoles. As you can see, this isn't just for the living room consoles (the Xbox, PlayStation, the Wii) but also for handhelds.

Poorly selling consoles, why?

I believe it comes down to the games, there needs to be a constant supply of at least one good game for the console every few months. The PlayStation Vita looked to have a strong opening line up, mainly with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, but it is still, even now, selling less than the PlayStation Portable month on month. So, as you can see the answer lies in the software.

The WiiU and PlayStation Vita offer 1 or 2 killer apps (great games) each, but nothing more. With the WiiU it's Super Mario Bros WiiU, and the PlayStation Vita it's Uncharted: Golden Abyss, as the core games, and arguably the best games on the console. Except just these launch games are not going to make anyone, except for maybe the most hardcore fans, buy the console at launch, the proof is in the numbers.

Even if the hardware is the best anyone has ever seen, this does not create sales. The games offered need to be as good, or better than the hardware to justify people spending their money on the new console.

Selling consoles, why?

The PlayStation family has always had good sales, and they are all loved, the only exception, the PlayStation Vita, which is still loved, even with it's lower sales.

Numbers time!

  • PlayStation 1 sold 102.49 million
  • PlayStation 2 sold 155 million
  • PlayStation 3 sold 75 million (IDC March 2013 estimate: 78 million)

I believe the PlayStation 3 is selling less because of the price, and it's main competitor, the Xbox family.

New kid on the block, Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001, it sold 24 million units, which is super good for a new console. It boasted the best online system ever and faster loading times. Its good sales are in part due to Halo: Combat Evolved, as well as a host over other great games. Halo 2 helped to continue these sales with its multiplayer features. Its successor, the Xbox 360, has sold 78.2 million - very similar to the PlayStation 3. Add the sales up and you get 156 million.

Going back to the sales of PlayStation and why the PlayStation 3 did not sell more than its predecessors are that the older PlayStations owned the market, they were the best, but not the most powerful - much like our friend the Nintendo DS. Selling a staggering 153.93 million (the second highest sold console, the first being the PlayStation 2) it is no wonder it is many people's favourite console.

So, why do low powered consoles sell more? Well the answer, again, lies in the games. I could list all the amazing exclusive games the PlayStation family offers but you all know what they are. The Xbox offers Halo, Forza, and Gears of War at its core line up, and the PlayStation offers Uncharted, Killzone, and Metal Gear Solid. Some of these games are generation spanning, some are just on the new generation, but all of them drove the sales of the consoles.

So, are the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 lower powered than any other? Well, not currently, but as you can see they have sold less than even the very underpowered DS, this is because the DS offers a whole host of amazing games, and not just for you, the gamer, but also for your Grandma, your 3-year-old child, or your best friend who only plays Facebook social games. The DS has a line up as vast as the PlayStation family, and a fan base as dedicated as League of Legends, or World of Warcraft. It has the games, and offers a lot more than what you initially invest in it.

Hopes for Next Generation

My hopes for the next generation are not small. If the new consoles want to do well, this is one way they can do this (but not the only). What they need are a few amazing launch games, only 3 or 4 at most, along with some smaller indie games following up shortly after. This does look like what the PlayStation 4 is doing, to some extent, but not the Xbox One.

The Xbox One needs to be less motivated by launch games, and think, what is it that our console will offer a year, or 18 months down the line? Will the games offered go stale, making sales drop, or will they keep on bringing out great new games, or sequels to already great games, and just make them better?

This means that a console, or any platform, needs to be able to not only offer great games at launch, but also be able to prove it can offer great content further down the line, otherwise the sales will only go down.

So, how do you do this? Well, I will be honest with you, I have no idea. That job is down to the marketing, the research and development and game developer teams out there. But also the publishers, they need to take more risks, and have lower budget games, a friend of mine wrote an interesting article on sequels, and game budgets here.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you going to buy a next generation console now? What was your fondest memory of any console (I bet it involves a game, not the apps offered on the console)? Let me know what you think, or what you don't think, in the comments below.