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Superbike 2000
"If the game moved any faster then most of your time would be spend trudging through those dreaded sandtraps"
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Developer  EA Sports Game Type  Racing
Distributor  EA Review Date  Mar 00
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Setting the Scene:
 
      Sequel to the acclaimed Superbike World Championship, Superbike 2000 is an out and out arcade racer of the two-wheeled variety.

It features real name motorbikes from the likes of Ducati with their world dominating V-twin four stroke Performance 996cc, the high speed (313 kph) Castrol Honda RC45, Suzuki's fuel injected Alstare GSX-R750, Kawasaki in-line four-cylinder four-stroke ZX-7RR, the Yamaha Racing Team's ultra-powerful 160 bhp YZF R7 OW02, and not forgetting the V-Twin engine of the Aprilia DeCecco Racing RSV 1000.

Guiding these beasts are 25 of the top SBK Superbike World Championship riders including Great Britain's record four-time world champ Carl Fogarty, last years runner up Texan tornado Colin Edwards and 1996 champion Australian Troy Corser.

Where better to set the pace than 13 of the official International Superbike World Championship circuits, including Donnington, Monza, Leguna Seca and Brands Hatch.

Now it's your chance to prove that you can handle 150 hp of faithfully modeled bikes, bike physics, riders, and tracks.
Vvvrrroom! Vvvrrroom!

Sound and Vision:
 
      If there is one thing that EA Sports development team have proved over the past few years it must be how to set up the tempo of a game. The intro rips straight into a non-stop barrage of live footage featuring all of the thrills and spills associated with the sport of motorbike racing. Bikes jockeying for position, kneepads scraping the inside of a chicane, lots of leather, loads of girls and stacks of crashes, all backed by thunderous rock music. All of this is culminated by a biker smashing straight through the middle of the title screen.

In my opinion the best in-game graphics witnessed in a motorbike racer on Playstation are those from Delphine's original Moto Racer, another Electronic Arts published game. I found them to be rich in color and sharp in quality, yet the speed of the game was never compromised. The visuals in Superbike 2000 are difficult to compare with Moto Racer because the developers have opted for a totally different style of animation. Actually it would be more suitable to compare the graphical content with four-wheeled racers such as Need For Speed 4, Newman Haas Racing and Formula 1 99. The entire background has that misty, pastel shaded appearance (in fact it looks so soft it could possibly be used as toilet roll).

Meanwhile the detailed bikes and motion-captured riders appear much more solid than the backgrounds allowing their colors and numbers to be easily identified in an eight-man race. The rider animations are some of the best I've seen as each twist and lean into every corner has been meticulously captured. Most noticeable are the gestures of annoyance following a collision, while the 'look back' action provides a realistic motion from the rider.

All of the circuits that make up the Superbike racing season are present, capturing every straight, corner and bump of the real tracks. Many of you will instantly recognize a lot of the venues, which have already appeared in past Formula 1 racing games. You can clearly see the track way, way ahead and considering how far into the distance the horizon appears I was amazed that there was little sign of any pop up. Even when you are jostling for position with several riders there was not the slightest hind of any slowdown.

There are four ways to view the race. The two 'up and behind your rider' positions work well and will be the preferred view for many. There are also two first person perspectives allowing you to sample the rollercoaster thrills of a superbike racer. Choose between handlebars or full-screen.

Up to date race information is permanently displayed on-screen with a lap counter, race position and speedo but sadly lacks a helpful map of the circuit highlighting the whereabouts of your opponents.

The two-player mode is strangely only available in vertical split-screen style and badly lacks CPU opponents to beef up the challenge, which in my book sucks. There is a slight reduction in speed and detail but it's the lack of competition on longer circuits that will bore the socks off you. I mean... which two gamers will see each other more than twice in any given race.

Throughout the entire race a realistic engine whine cuts through the cheering din of the crowd. The commentary is also professionally presented in a style more accustomed to TV.
 
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