Forza Motorsport 2
- - March Car Pack - 400 Points (GBP 3.40 / EUR 4.80)
Surely it must be a coincidence of cosmic proportions that, as the PS3 geared up for Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, this update to Microsoft's Gran Turismo rival featured among its thirteen new cars...the Maserati GranTurismo. Ooh, cheeky.
Also jostling for garage space within the 55MB download are the 2008 Audi S5, 2007 Audi TT Coupe S-Line, 1971 BMW 3.0 CSL E09, 2008 BMW E92 M3, 1989 Ferrari F40 Competizione, 1996 Ferrari F50 GT, 2007 Ferrari 430 Scuderia, 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, 2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR and the very tasty 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 (997). The pack also includes the #1 Peugeot 207 Super 2000, which is available as a separate free download. All cars must be purchased in career mode before you can drive them.
It's a solid line-up of desirable motors and, at around 26p per car, any complaints about omissions are rendered mostly pointless. I'm still holding out hope for another track pack soon, but this is a fine stopgap.
Test Drive Unlimited
- - Test Drive Collection Volume 6 - 350 Points (GBP 2.98 / EUR 4.20)
As a pioneer of openworld racing, it's a shame that Test Drive Unlimited's structure hasn't allowed it to expand in the same way as its peers. With the exception of the Hardcore Pack, which introduced a new difficulty level, new content has been exclusively centred around adding new cars to the game's plentiful showrooms. Within this narrow band, at least, the game has been incredibly well supplied with a steady stream of saucy vehicles, both free and paid for, arriving to tempt the petrolhead faithful. As one of the oldest games in this roundup - it was released in September 2006 - the fact that new content is still turning up is commendable in itself.
This latest pack offers six cars for your 350 Points, all of which must then be purchased from the dealers using your in-game money. For fans of cut-and-pasted lists, the cars are: Nissan 350Z Roadster 2004, Audi A4 Touring Car, Cadillac Sixteen, Dino 246 GTS, Triumph Dayton 995i, Pontiac Solstice and - ooooh - the Lamborghini Diablo GT. The Nissan Roadster is also available as a separate freebie download, for the financially challenged.
As with the previous five updates, and removing personal vehicular taste from the equation, it still presents pretty good value but isn't quite so generous when you consider what games like Forza 2 and PGR4 have offered for 400 Points or less. Still, Test Drive Unlimited is undoubtedly a game for car lovers, and the painstakingly rendered exteriors and interiors of these swanky motors will continue to appeal to this crowd. Plus, as the name suggests, you don't have to buy them to take them for a spin.
- - Turbo Boost expansion pack - 350 Points (GBP 2.98 / EUR 4.20)
Additional downloads for Live Arcade titles can struggle to offer genuine value, considering the low cost of the original games, but with this grab-bag of new content Gripshift has set a pretty high bar for others to match.
Eight new race tracks and eight new multiplayer arenas are available, which already justifies the 350 Point price tag as far as I'm concerned. However, on top of that you also get a new online mode - Reverse Tag, in which the person who is "it" must keep away from the other players - and three new mini-games. Penguin Bowling is pretty much how it sounds. You hurl your car into penguins, who stand there like monochrome bowling pins awaiting your onslaught. It's a little bit Yeti Sports, but amusing all the same. Playground provides a stunt-flavoured bowl of ramps, secrets and stars to rampage around, but it's Snaker that I can see becoming a new personal favourite. It's the light-cycles from Tron given a Gripshift makeover, a winning combination that is predictably hard to put down.
You also get 18 new music tracks, rounding out a very generously proportioned download for an extremely low price.