IGN Review of Honda Superbike World Championship
In the world of driving games, motorcycle racers generally take a big back seat to their car counterparts. Gamers are used to how cars feel, whereas bikes offer a different sort of experience that can be hard to get into for some people. They can be rewarding, to be sure, but for the most part, motorcycle racing games tend to be targeted towards a niche crowd.
SBK Superbike World Championship is the latest in the SBK series from Conspiracy Entertainment, and it unfortunately doesn't do anything to warrant me to recommend it to anyone but hardcore cycle racing fans who just want something new. And even for them, you have to be fairly bored with what you already have because the game doesn't offer up anything substantial that would make you want to change titles.
For the most part, SBK Superbike World Championship is a rather bland experience. There's very little flash or fare to be found here, and the whole thing feels pretty dry. With something like Gran Turismo or Forza, the cars become the star of the show and they're displayed in such a way that makes you want to go and earn some cash so that you can buy them. Here, there's none of that, so the only draw is just the act of racing, and that in and of itself in this context is simply not rewarding enough.
The setup is fairly simple, though you do have a number of options. You'll find Time Trials, various Challenges which put you in different circumstances with a series of requirements, a Race Weekend and a Championship. The Race Weekend option is essentially a subset of the Championship, so I don't really see the point spending your time here when you might as well just join a full Championship.
While the Championship includes a handful of ways to manage your bike and all that, it feels very dry and utilitarian. Before you even get into a race, you're able to take part in multiple practices and qualifying sessions. With four or five to go through, I wound up skipping past all of them pretty much every time and just stuck with the last place starting position.
The racing mechanics work well enough, though they can be a little touchy at times. Your bike will sometimes feel a little unresponsive when trying to correct its path, or it'll sometimes veer off a little bit to the side when you didn't mean to, though generally speaking you'll get used to all of this and will be able to drive it without too many issues.
However, once again, there's just not much here to draw you in. The game lacks character in a big way, so the races themselves feel about as bare-bones as they can get. Pass guys when possible, get in your requisite number of laps and move on to the next race. There's just not any "meat" to the experience that draws you in and helps the races feel exciting.
©2009-04-01, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved