• Nov 21, 2009
Spike's Video Game Award finalists -- Click above to watch trailers at Spike.com

Spike TV has opened up the voting for its Video Game Awards, and the finalists are down to four: DiRT 2, Need for Speed: Shift, Forza Motorsport 3, and Gran Turismo PSP. It's a bit of a motley list, but then again it's been a motley year for driving games, and we're still waiting for a vision of the unicorn otherwise known as Gran Turismo 5. If you want to vote, cast your ballot on Spike's site. If you need a refresher because you insist on being an informed voter, follow the jump and check out some gameplay.

[Source: Spike]









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  • 35 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Personally, I find GRID to be the most enjoyable driving game. Enough physics and realism but still lots of "play". Sure GT is more of a simulator - but for me I need a little bit more "fun".
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dunno, IMO GRID is probably one of the worst games ever made. The physics are way off, the game has a bad tendency of glitching out (Mmmm floating headlights) and it's graphics are subpar compared to Dirt2 (Which uses the same company, Codemasters, as their graphic design team).

        GRID was good for it's day, yes, but in comparison to today, it's not even comparable. I only play it from time to time to drift my FD around it's Yokohama Freestyle track for 10 minutes at a time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with some of the other posters, about NFS Hot Pursuit 2 being loads of fun. Underground 2 was also pretty entertaining, as far as arcade racers go, and the cops in Most Wanted were really fun. Carbon wasn't that great, for the little while I played it. And I never played ProStreet or Undercover, so I can't comment on them. I still prefer simulation-style racers over the arcade ones, so I was really looking forward to NFS Shift.

      So, I bought Shift for the PC a few weeks ago. It's a valiant effort, and a step in the right direction for EA's NFS franchise, but it has some major flaws. You can't go through the menus with a gamepad (need to use keyboard or mouse), and the cursor is always visible, regardless of whether or not you're using the mouse. Come on EA, NFS Underground 2 didn't even have these problems! The drifting is screwy too (more so than in the other NFS games, it seems). And by far my biggest complaint is the handling: some of the cars are unmanageable. And overall, all the cars just don't feel quite right, even after I've tweaked the controls for an hour or two. Really makes me appreciate Gran Turismo games though. (I'm sure I'd like Forza as well, but I haven't played any of them before.) Plus, making changes to the cars' suspension, etc. doesn't have the clear effects the way GT4 did. It's just that in GT4, you could tweak a setting, and then you could clearly notice what it affected. In this game, you question if you even changed anything sometimes, or if you're just imagining the effects your tweaking has made. All in all, Shift is fairly fun, but it could be so much better, and I don't feel it's a valid competitor to Gran Turismo at all.

      So it comes as no surprise that the Gran Turismo series is still my favorite. I'm strongly considering getting a PS2 just so I can play GT4 again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One more thing: the track selection (and definitely the car selection) from Shift really pales in comparison to Gran Turismo (and presumably Forza as well).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dirt 2!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wasted money on Gran Turismo PSP. Worst of all Gran Turismo games. Polyphony was on crack when they made this one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's gotta be Forza 3 this year, even though I still feel like MS is emphasizing the casual/social aspects of the game too highly. Sure, we got tracks back with Forza 3 (that were removed in Forza 2), but the real emphasis is still on the marketplace and painting cars in Forza 3, and changes to make it more accessible to the less-serious racer (like rewind, the auto upgrade system, the initial setups being more tuned by default).

      MS, how about some stuff for the hardcore? How about sequential (not computer-shifted) tranny support? How about special conditions races (rain, snow, night)? How about some offroad/rally racing?

      For the hardcore, it still can't even match up to TOCA Race Driver 2 in terms of features. Isn't it about time?

      Still, I would find it odd if GT5 could catch up with Forza 3, so it isn't all bad. I'd just love to see it get better in several areas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given the choices, Forza wins for sure. All will change when GT5 comes out, hopefully its next year as indicated by SCEA. NFS Shift is decent, however no matter how hard I try I can't take it seriously as a simulation game. IMO, NFS is more an arcade type game.
      • 5 Years Ago
      seriously??? The clear winner is Forza 3...in terms of overall experience... forza 3 wins hands down.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't have an X360, and I'm more of a PS3 guy myself, but Forza 3 is the clear winner in my eyes. It has everything; the tracks, the cars, the customization, the physics, the visuals. Right up there with Gran Turismo as far as a simulation goes. Not a hard choice for me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, Forza 3 is the best of this list. But how do you list the visuals as a plus? The graphics are barely improved from Forza 2, graphically GRiD, DiRT 1, DiRT 2 and Need For Speed: Shift all blow it away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed! Forza 3 FTW! AWESOME game!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Forze 3 is good fun.

        I'd have to say the level of detail on the textures is incredibly high for F3 compared to Shift and F2, though not sure about the others.

        All I wanna know is - spend 8,000 credits on an Aveo5 or 10,000 credits on a Cobalt SS? :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        Forza 3 is absolutely amazing. Good enough that I can thankfully say I won't waste anymore money on an unchanging and never evolving Gran Turismo title!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have played all of them except for GTPSP, and only because my PSP is out of commision. Forza 3 is the hands down winner between the three that I have played, with Dirt a very close second. NFS Shift is a joke.

      Man oh man, I cannot wait for GT5 to be released!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The most redeeming aspect of GRiD was it's absolutely terrific replay system.

      I thought Shift would be yet another joke, but it is actually a really good game. Sure, the physics model was neutered (it's a shame, because the developer, Slightly Mad, has plenty of experience with race sims), but I think the brightest spot was the cockpit view. They looked nice, sure, but that's not the best part. The shift and steering animations, the ability to look around the cockpit, the exaggerated vibrations and screen and controller shake really creates a far more engrossing experience.

      The polar opposite to the NFS cockpit view was the Forza 3 cockpit view, which seemed to me like an afterthought: the plasticky, artificial textures and the lack of shift animations and cockpit look-around make for a fairly sterile experience.

      Still, Forza 3 is a more fleshed out game, but I feel a lot of it is carry over from Forza 2. Though the menu system has been totally revamped for Forza 3, I feel like very few things actually changed. Sure, new tracks, slight upgrade to the paintshop, and the better-than-nothing cockpit view, but I there really are only a handful of new cars and absolutely no new aero upgrades, something I had really wished Turn10 would work on. Most importantly, after seeing the immersion a realistic cockpit view can provide (Shift), I feel like that would've really pushed Forza 3 over the edge.

      Anyway, ideally, we'd have Forza 3 with Shift's cockpit view. Forza 3 is a good game, but I definitely think it was way too over-hyped for what it is. Hopefully GT5 can deliver more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I only played the demo of Shift, but it just didn't feel complete to me. First of all, turning all the stuff to expert mode didn't make it drive very well at all. Second, I set the units to km/h, it dutifully did that, but then one of the goals for the race would be to "reach 180mph", and that would be listed on the screen. Am I supposed to convert mph to km/h in my head as I fly down the straight?

        I think as much as Shift really is a big improvement, GT5 and Disney's racer (Split/Second) come out next year and between those, the good direction Shift is headed in will get short shrift and be forgotten.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My favorite games are:

      Grand Theft Auto 4
      Forza Motorsport 3
      Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix
      Gran Turismo 4
      Test Drive Unlimited
      Need For Speed Carbon

      But Forza 3 (now playing (in a 2010 Audi R8 V12 TDi (engineswapped V10 model)) is the best!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't own an Xbox so I can't say anything about Forza3. I haven't played Dirt 2 yet so I can't say anything about it either. But I did get NFS Shift and so far I don't like it at all. There is supposed to be a patch coming out today to fix a lot of problems so hopefully that will help. But I still don't like the fact that you have supercars wanting to drift around slow corners all the time while the AI cars never miss a beat.
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