There has been a clear hole in the video-game industry for a game that brings to your living room the thrill of pacing a motorcycle around a roadracing circuit. While SBK X does not fill this hole, it comes awfully close.
The storyline and menus are entertaining and easy to use, which is good considering the game is vast. The expansiveness of the virtual world is apparent in the garage, where you can adjust the racebike’s suspension, change gearing and tires. A “team manager” will “suggest” settings to help you get on-track quicker—a nice quality if you’re not in the mood to tune.
Once out of pit lane and onto the racetrack, the details continue to impress. The engine blips crisply on deceleration, and powering out of corners demands attention and care. Rumble strips rumble, drafting is effective and ham-fisted throttle inputs result in acrobatic high-sides and roadrashed leathers.
There is, of course, a short list of frustrations. For example, when you run off a racetrack leaned over on a slick-shod superbike, you should crash instantly. However, the issue that raised its ugly head the highest was the fact that when all of the suspension settings were tuned for quick steering, there was still no hope of keeping up with the computer-generated riders through a chicane. Video-game controllers have been thrown for less!
For now you can ride, slide and compete in the best Superbike game yet, and cross your fingers that they’ll work out the kinks for SBK XI.
|SBK X Superbike World Championship Video Game
|Contact: Blackbean Games
|Verdict: Three out of five stars
Engaging, entertaining and exciting, but lacks the realistic riding experience needed to satisfy real riders.