Petrolheads have always had a large selection of car racing games to choose from, whether it’s Gran Turismo on the PlayStation systems, Forza on the Xbox 360 or Need for Speed games on all platforms. The same cannot be said for those who prefer their riding action on two wheels, rather than four. Enter SBK X Superbike World Championship to fill that gap.
Choosing your riding realism level
You can pick your poison when it comes to the level of riding realism because the game is divided into three main modes, namely Arcade, Simulation and Multiplayer. Once you've hit the tarmac the choice between Arcade and Simulation greatly affects your bikes’ handling. The Simulation mode takes some practice as the racing experience feels real and very involved, giving you a good idea of the effort that goes in handling a superbike to deliver the fastest laps.
In Arcade mode, you lack the depth found in Simulation mode, but you’ll be able to set a blistering pace without much practice, as your rider is virtually super-glued to his bike. You’ll also be provided with a coloured strip, indicating the perfect racing line to take as well as where you’re supposed to ‘gooi it’ and brake hard (strip goes from green to red).
There is also a boost function available to you in this mode, which allows you to power your way past other riders on long straights.
Other sub-modes such as Story mode (in Arcade) as well as Career mode (in Simulation) add further depth to the game by allowing you to create your own racer and also offering a fair amount of customisation options for your two-wheeled stallion.
The choice of modes isn’t the only thing that has been done well; Black Bean Games also did a good job on the modelling of the bikes and riders. Overall the graphics are competent, but not spectacular enough to move SBK X to the front row of the desirability grid. The presentation of the game could also do with some sprucing up as it feels somewhat uninspired for the most part and doesn’t really add anything to the racing action.
SBK X sports some competent graphics, impressive physics (in Simulation mode) and enjoyable, ''look ma’ no hands'' racing (in Arcade mode), but it runs out of petrol in the race to obtain a broader following than those people who know the difference between Superbike racing and MotoGP.