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Forza Motorsport 4: Week in Review 3/30/12

Brian Ekberg
Friday, March 30, 2012

This week I discovered the power of descriptions. As I’ve been trawling the Forza Motorsport 4 storefront, looking for tunes for my beloved Country Squire for use in this month’s Rivals Mode drag racing event "The Regatta", I’ve had the pleasure of taking advantage of a well-written write-up. First, it’s probably worth mentioning that I am no drag expert—from the delicate science of tuning cars to the demands of the quarter/half/full mile, to the precise throttle control needed to get the maximum burst off the line, much of drag racing has been a dark art for me up to now.


As I’ve been exploring different tunes and techniques in "The Regatta" event, I’ve learned a lot by trial and error. But as I dug into the storefront a little further, I began looking at the descriptions written by some of the tuners, full of helpful hints on how to make the most of that particular tune. A few examples:


16.6’S hold at 7000rpm redline let drop an catch at line before 2000rpm turn trac off

Rivals drag tune. Mech, no assists required. Must hit 2000 rpm at launch. I hope it helps.

Start at 6k and drop to 3,500 RPMS.

Launch @4200-4400 catch @2000-2200 redline shift 4 gear set up


Now, this is the kind of information a Forza 4 player—especially a relative drag racing rookie like myself—can use! It got to the point, earlier in the week, where I was ONLY downloading tunes that featured explicit instructions on how to make the most of that tune. It’s brought out the best in my performances (though, admittedly, I’ve yet to beat my current best time of 16.700) and it’s taught me a lot about the subtle differences different tuning approaches can have on a car. For example, I’ve tried long four-gear approaches and had just as much fun as I did with shorter-geared five-speed setups. I might have already hit my personal ceiling on "The Regatta" in the Squire, but it’s been a great learning experience. It all proves that, even for someone who spends so much time in Forza 4, there is always more to learn.



Now, my time might have plateaued, but I haven’t given up on my Country Squire. With just a few more days to go before we say goodbye to this month’s crop of Rivals Mode events (and "The Regatta"), there’s still time to send me a tune that can improve my time on the leaderboard. I’ll be rewarding a unicorn car to those folks whose tunes improve my standings; all you need to do is post up a Country Squire tune with the description SQUIRE MECHBERG. Good luck to everyone!


April Alpinestars Car Pack 

While I won’t be giving up my Country Squire any time soon, I’m sure I’m not alone in my excitement for the April Alpinestars Car Pack. From the raw fury of race cars like the 2011 Mercedes-Benz #34 Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3 and the 2011 Aston Martin #009 Aston Martin Racing AMR One to eccentric classics like the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible (so cool, Elvis drove one!), this DLC pack is equal parts high performance and pure style. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the April Alpinestars Car Pack trailer that we released earlier this week:



The pack will be available next Tuesday, April 3 for 560 MS points. Which cars in the April Alpinestars Car Pack are you most excited about? Hit up the Alpinestars Pack thread in the forums and let us know! 


Game With Devs Recap 

It was so fantastic to finally get back on the road with the Forza 4 community this week. It’s been three months since our last Game With Devs event—and the whole community team was itching to get back to racing and hanging out with you guys. The event was great fun—we got a chance to debut our brand new dedicated Game With Dev page on Facebook (including an awesome new chat client that is roughly a million times better than what we were using last year). More importantly we got a chance to hit the road with you folks, and give out lots of unicorn cars and DLC codes. Look for a more complete recap of Game With Devs in John’s Rear View Mirror column on Monday. 


Community photo contest honorable mention goes to xWannabeStigx 

Rivals Mode Update 

A new batch of cars to download also means a new set of Rivals Mode events to try out in the Community Monthly channel. Here’s a brief rundown of next week's new Rivals Mode events to whet your appetite: 


Coming To America -- After many impressive finishes in 2011, the Mercedes-Benz #35 Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3 has come to America to take on the legendary elevation changes and sharp turns of Road America. Each week, one hundred randomly selected players taking part in the Coming To America Rivals event will win a 2002 BMW M3-GTR, a “unicorn car” available only from Turn 10. The April Alpinestars Pack will be required to participate in this event.

Drive Like It's 1999 -- The 1990s brought the world many wonderful things such as the love of flannel, slow running lifeguards, and the panic that was Y2K. Most of all it brought us some amazing cars. Take to the Top Gear drag strip in a selection of these fine automobiles to see which car comes out as the best of the '90s. Tuning setups are allowed within restrictions.

Rotary di Positano -- Felix Wankel developed the Wankel engine in the 1950s and Mazda refined the engine in the RX series of automobiles.  Put those rotary engines to the test as you drift around the scenic backdrops of the Amalfi Coast. Tuning setups are allowed within restrictions.

Cone Killer Mugello -- Taming the power of these supercars will be important as you weave through the cones in this Autocross challenge on Mugello. Precision driving will be your key to victory in this event.  Tuning setups are allowed within restrictions.

Forza Tourenwagen -- Get ready for the German touring cars when they roar back into action later this month by hitting the track at Hockenheim in your own touring car. Push the limits as you chase down your rival in a field full of high-performance German race cars.

Suzuka Sportbacks -- European hatchbacks take to one of the most famous tracks in Japan to see which one will dominate on the island nation’s historic speedway. Tuning setups are allowed within restrictions.


Last Chance to Beat JPM! 

A new set of Rivals Mode events means that this month’s King of the Track is also coming to an end so this weekend will be your last chance to take on NASCAR star Juan Pablo Montoya as the March King of the Track. If you haven’t had a chance to take on JPM on the Indy GP track while driving the formidable Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, now’s your chance. There’s free Forza cars in it for those who try the event, those who beat Montoya’s time, and a grand prize for the top overall winner. So get in while the getting’s good!


Community Bounty 

Our Community Bounty for this week is greenPandaMeow and he’s been killing it this week with a great thread for his week in the Bounty spotlight, including offering a gorgeous custom-liveried car to those who beat him. Panda’s challenge is taking place in the Sachs Kurve Drift Rivals Mode event and he’s got some really fun challenges going in his thread, everything from giving an official name to his event to exactly matching his drift score. Panda will be the bounty until April 3, so check out the thread now for all the action.



Community photo contest winner first place shotgunsteve93 


It’s Good to be VIP 

Our April VIP Rivals Mode Event is pretty much wrapped up—based on previous poll results, Forza 4 VIPs be racing a Class S Nissan on Laguna Seca. What hasn’t been resolved yet is the prize that we’ll be sending out for everyone who takes part. That’s what today’s final April poll is all about, so head on over to our official Facebook page, get your vote in this week’s poll, and get ready to take part in next the April VIP Rivals Mode event when it arrives next week.


Speaking of VIP polls, this week we held another VIP Car Battle, between the 2010 Jaguar #33 RSR XKR GT, the 2010 BMW #79 Jeff Koons BMW M3 GT2 Art Car, and the 2010 Ferrari #89 Hankook Team Farnbacher F430GT. The Ferrari took home top prize in the poll and, as a result, that car will be sent out to VIPs as of Friday.


DLC Sale Continues! 

There’s still time to get in on the Forza Motorsport 4 DLC sale that’s been happening this week. Four packs are on sale this week as part of Xbox LIVE’s “It’s All About Speed” Deal of the Week:


American Muscle Car Pack – 320 Microsoft Points (43% off)

November Speed Pack – 400 Microsoft Points (29% off)

December IGN Pack – 320 Microsoft Points (43% off)

January Jalopnik Pack – 400 Microsoft Points (29% off)


So if you’re looking to check out the back catalog of Forza 4 DLC, you’ve got until Monday, April 2 to do so!



Community photo contest second place goes to ceelai 


Video Roundup 

A few cool videos for you guys to check out before we head out for the weekend. First up, a side-by-side comparison piece featuring the Lamborghini Aventador on Hockenheim both in real life and in Forza 4:



Next up, we’ve got the first episode of RedLine Reviews, a new series of car reviews based in Forza Motorsport 4 and produced by some very talented members of the Forza community. Written by Aztech318, narrated by The Shadow Edge, and edited by xam3l, this piece is a must-see for fans of Forza 4, cars, and, well, things that are simply awesome. 


Check it out:



Can’t wait to see more of these! Great work guys!


Finally, Seattle will host the annual Emerald City Comicon this weekend and, being an avowed comic nerd, I’ll be hanging out at the Con on Saturday. If you’re planning on being at Comicon as well, keep your eyes peeled for me; I’m coming armed with April Alpinestars Car Pack codes. Find me (I’ll be the guy wearing the Forza Motorsport 4 gear) and I’ll give you a code, no questions asked! Well, okay there might be a few questions, but they’ll be the friendly type! Hope to see you there!


Have a great weekend everyone!