Superbike World Championship offers realism
by Alan Zisman (c)
published by Vancouver Computes,
EA Sports Superbike World Championship
Windows 95 Pentium 166, 16 megs, 144 drive space
Despite bearing the EA Sports label, Superbike World
actually one of the rare British games to have hit these shores, being
designed by Intense Entertainment Interactive. It?s not EA?s only
game?Electronic Arts (without the hyphen-Sports) offers Moto Racer 2,
while that product lets users build their own 3D tracks (shades of the
old DOS-classic Stunt Driver), Superbike World Championship keeps both
wheels firmly planted in the real world?at least the real world of SBK
motorbike championship motorcycle racing.
The game succeeds by offering new levels of realism,
from the bikes
themselves (you can adjust tires, gears, and suspension) to the race
on the Superbike circuit (the game holds the official SBK license). EA
claims that even the trees alongside the tracks have been realistically
modelled. Five models of racing bikes are included: Ducati 916, Honda
Kawasaki ZX7R, Yamaha YZF, and Suzuki GSXR, along with real
riders and teams.
And where would bike racing be without crashes? The
a lot of time to lovingly recreate the physics of crashing bikes?bikes
and riders each go their own way, and the TV-style replay lets you get
all the details. Of course, realism may prove to be more than you
for?15-year old game tester Joey found he had all he could handle
to get his bike around curves at anything resembling respectable
too often, he was the rider wiping out on the instant replay.
Players can race a whole season, travelling to 12
or just dive right in for a quick race whenever the feeling strikes.
way, the computer-generated competition is tough?be prepared to get run
off the road by the other racers!
The game supports 3D accelerator cards and force
feedback game controllers.
We tested it using Microsoft?s Sidewinder Force Feedback steering
and it rumbled and shook as advertised, adding a new dimension of
to the gameplay. Up to eight players can connect to race over local
network, modem, or serial port connection, but there?s no provision for
A playable demo is available as a 26 meg download from
website. Joey rated the game a solid eight out of a possible ten,
its realistic look, feel, and sound.
If only it had a ?training wheels? mode, where new
riders could stay
upright a little longer!