SBK 08 Superbike World Championship [MULTI5]

SBK 08 Superbike World Championship [MULTI5]

Plataforma: XBOX360

Idioma: Espanol English French Italian German

Genero: Conduccion

Formato: ISO

Tamaño: 3.69 GB

Fecha: 17-06-2008


Earlier this year, Capcom announced with relatively minimal fanfare that it had picked up the MotoGP license from Namco (that s MotoGP, not Moto GP -- the space does make a difference, as THQ still holds the rights to the spaced version). With Namco having developed its motorcycle racing games internally, it raised the question of how Capcom was going to handle things. After all, it isn t exactly a developer known for racing games (remember Auto Modellista) -- much less motorcycle games. The answer was to hand the game to Italian developer Milestone, which has spent years crafting motorcycle racers with its own licenses. It was a smart move, pairing up a developer intimately familiar with the sport with a license that could be easily adapted. Problem was, MotoGP 07 had the unmistakable feel of a rush job, looking far more like a budget title than something that continued the tradition of Namco s highly polished, sometimes beautiful two-wheeled racer. We ended up giving the game a 5.5. So why the history lesson about a different game from a different publisher? Because Hannspree Ten Kate Honda SBK Superbike World Championship (and yes, that s the last time I ll type the whole thing out) is MotoGP 07, it just happens to use Milestone s more established license. It has the same control scheme, uses the same RenderWare-based engine, and even has Milestone s trademark challenges for things like braking and speed trials. Here s the thing, though: despite SBK coming from a value publisher (the same fine folks that brought us the painfully bad Mountain Bike Adrenaline), it s actually a better game than MotoGP. I m not sure if it s the bikes (MotoGP crotch rockets are custom-made, non-street-legal offerings while Superbike rides are modified commercially available models) or if it was just Milestone s familiarity with the tracks and vehicles, but the game feels faster, controls better (with less pre-set configurations, no less) and just feels like a better game. Sure, it still feels like a budget title to a degree -- what with a simple season, race weekend, single race and cookie cutter multiplayer offerings -- but it at least feels more solid than Milestone s other motorcycle racer. Beyond the copy/paste feel of the physics, visuals and controls, there s a more refined and intuitive set of default assists. Rather than feeling like the game is steering for you, the arcade set-up is forgiving without holding your hand too much. The sim version will have you spinning out and tipping over constantly, but change any of the default options (which change from power brakes to helping shift weight to tipping over and more) and you ll create a custom setup. By going through the familiar challenges (stuff like popping a wheelie or endo for a certain number of seconds), you can learn how turning off various assists affect the overall handling of the bikes, and like Milestone s other racers, the challenges (just 20 in this game as opposed to the whopping 100 in MotoGP) are the primary attractor. Once you ve exhausted them, you ll be a far better driver, but actually racing against 21 other riders tends to feel a little blah. It should also be noted that the challenges are also the primary source of the game s longevity as winning medals in each of them unlocks up to four chances to flip over five post-challenge cards, which can reveal pictures of race day hotties (dubbed umbrella girls), videos and stills of tracks and riders, more playable riders, and so on. They re modest rewards, but the slightly randomized feel of everything at least makes unlocking more pictures of cute girls mildly entertaining, even if the rest of the game all comes off as a bit underwhelming. The game s graphics certainly don t help in this respect; plenty of aliasing and flicker abound, and though the framerate stays fairly solid even with the full pack on the screen, there s never really a sense that the game is pushing the PS2 hardware -- even seven years after the system first hit. The odd bit of sideline detail like trees and packed stands may be one of the reasons why the game feels a little speedier than MotoGP s comparatively more open tracks, but they do little to add to the overall visual appeal of the game. The audio is even sparser than the visuals, with fairly peppy engine sounds and little else. The menus in the game are peppered with about a half dozen or so mostly forgettable tunes that dabble a little with heavy synth and slightly splashy electro beats, but the actual in-race audio is relegated to naught but a heavily muffled and indistinguishable announcer whose comments are utterly lost due to all the echo. Near as I can tell, the commentary isn t in English anyway, so it hardly matters, and really is just there for ambience. For all the ho-hum audio and visual detail in the game, you d think zipping in and out of races would happen a little more quickly. Pre- and post-race load times are excruciatingly long, lasting more than 30 seconds as the same images of yellow-tinted umbrella girls fade in and out in patterns. It s honestly mind-blowing that a game that looks like this takes as long as it does to load up, and for some may actually end up killing what little fun the game provides.


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