Games Review: SBK X Superbike World Championship

RACING on two wheels isn’t the same as driving on four, especially when you’re perched on top of a 1000cc motorbike.

Capable of reaching speeds of 180mph or more, it takes time to adjust to the blisteringly fast pace of these sort of bikes and nowhere is this more apparent than when you take one for a spin in SBK X.

Jump straight into a race in the game’s simulation mode and you’ll probably bin your bike on the first corner. Fortunately, the game’s designers realised that not everyone wants to get to grips with the simulation side of things, so they’ve introduced an arcade mode for novice riders.

That’s not to suggest the game has been dumbed down. On the contrary, the simulation mode is as involved as ever, enabling you to adjust everything from steering and suspension to gears, brakes and tyres. A lengthy career option spans eight seasons and you’re able to adopt one of five pre-set riding styles and accept job offers from rival teams. Each race involves a couple of practice and qualifying sessions before the race proper, but you can skip most of this at the expense of fine-tuning your bike.

In simulation mode, you’ll have to be constantly on your racing mettle. If that sounds like too much of a chore, the game’s arcade mode is more forgiving, replacing the weight shifting mechanic and front and rear brake controls of the simulation with a tuck/boost button and one-touch braking. An optional racing line can also be superimposed onto the track, indicating when and where to brake.

Effectively two games in one, SBK X features all the bikes, riders and tracks from the current Superbike World Championship, with the option to compete in all three classes. Everything is unlocked from the start, so there’s nothing to stop you jumping straight into a race with your favourite rider, and evolving track and weather conditions adds to the real-world feel of it all.

Publisher: Black Bean Games

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Price: �39.99

Format: PS3 (also on Xbox 360, PC)

Age rating: 3+

Score: 4/5 Stars