Fun motorbike racer
Bike racing games have basically passed me by. I tried Moto GP on the PSP and after crashing into everything and anything for 10 minutes flat I gave up!
To be honest I have not really enjoyed a bike racing game since Super Hang On. They normally fall into the same trap that formula 1 games fall into. Super realism replaces the fun. This is not a bad thing, true purists would argue that that is how the games should be, but for most the unforgiving nature of these sims can be a real turn off.
It is just forgiving enough to be fun without losing to much of the realism.
As you can imagine I was a bit dubious then, when I received a copy of SBK-07. I had visions of trying desperately to stay on the track for more than 5 seconds and swearing profusely at the unforgiving collision detection! Well I needn’t have worried. Developers Blackbean seem to have created something a bit different here. What we have is a Bike game that is fun! In my first race I managed a respectable 3rd place. At no point did I feel that the other 20 or so riders were my better.
Opening up with a montage of blondes in skin tight leather posing to a heavy metal like sound track, you know this is a bit different. A bit low rent, but in a good way. The menus are basic and a little clunky, but funcitonal.
Choose a bike, a rider and a track then just jump in! From the start the controls feel natural. Handling feels fun. The official site explains how it uses real physics based on data collected from real races. Luckily for us, this does not seem to be entirely the case. Riders hug the corners like they were stuck to the track, ending up in the grace does not mean the end of your race, skidding seems nearly impossible to do by accident. It is just forgiving enough to be fun without losing to much of the realism. This is further enhanced with the AI of the other racers. They seem to act fairly naturally, even crashing on some occasions. This helps you feel like you may be able to win races early on!
It doesn’t look to bad either. It won’t blow you away, but it does the job. Scenery zips by fast enough for you not to worry to much. The bikes and riders all look good, with enough licensed sponsor badges to make you embarrassed! Loading times are a bit hard to swallow, but forgiveable.
There are 11 official tracks to race on. You get official bikes, like the Duccati, Yamaha and Honda. You have Quick Race, Race weekend, Championship and Challenge race modes and even bonus videos and pit girl pictures to unlock. Even with the load times and slightly dated looking graphics there is plenty to keep even the hardened fanboy entertained.
Looks pretty good.
Is fun to play!
The Bad: Bit rough around some edges.
Slow loading times.