SBK-07 World Championship
A couple of months ago, Black Bean studios tried their luck and created a superbike racing game. Although the game certainly had its potential, it couldn’t really steal my hearth away and so it quickly landed in the cabinet never to be seen again. However, the question is: Will SBK 07, the successor of Superbike: The Riding Challenge, be able to keep safe of my dreaded closet?
In the previous Black Bean motorcycle racer, the main goal during development was realism and that clearly didn’t change when making the follow-up. It has been improved a bit though. Now there’s a clear difference between difficulty levels. Rookie for example delivers a very arcade type of racing while the hardest level provides you with a first class superbike racing simulation. You’ll need your outmost concentration because when you take your turn a bit wide, you’ll lose too much speed and fall behind quickly letting you taste the burned rubber of the driver in front of you.
Superbike 07 World Championship brings nothing new to the racing scene. The entire concept is based on driving around the track over and over again. No tuning your bike, no painting it, just going round and round in combination with as much realism as possible. These facts were put into the blender and what came out were a single and multiplayer mode.
When you fancy playing on your own, you’ll have the choice of many modes (and these have been firmly improved in comparison to The Riding Challenge).Now you have 22 competitors on one track instead of 8. So, the first option you have is quick race. As in every race game this consists of nothing more than picking your track, your bike and start racing that baby. Second there’s Race Weekend where you’ll have to compete in an entire championship race going from practice, qualification to the race itself. Next you can play some Challenges. These are very much comparable to the training in MotoGP. Learn to accelerate, break, take turns, … Next to that you’ll learn some tricks like wheelie’s and stopie’s, … By completing these challenges you can unlock some extras (more on that later on).
Last but not least, Championship mode. Here you can –as in every other mode- pick up the flag of your team, the beast you’ll be driving and be your hero on the course (Valentino Rossi anyone?). Once you’ve done that, it’s time to begin the season and grab those points to get the golden championship cup. By the way, these are points which show clear improvement compared to Superbike: The Riding Challenge where you didn’t have any real teams or drivers (not that it makes much of a difference to my personal liking, but it remains an improvement).
Multiplayer remains an unknown aspect for the developers. Unknown might be a bit of an exaggeration. It’s present, but doesn’t go further than a 1on1 quick race with 6 other AI racers. It might be fun to do with your bike-crazy friends, but it’s not worth anything more than that. In short: try it, but it won’t be worth more of your time.
The entire lay-out of the game is just beautiful! Intro-movies for every track, a short and simple race-overview to quickly view your best times on certain circuits and, pitbabes. They’re shown on every loading screen which ‘colors up the scene a bit’ and cover up the minor faults. Luckily those loading times are long and Black Bean thinks they need to cover up a lot =D Those guys over at BB certainly understand what we want!
The girls even earned a very own extra topic. Don’t think they’re the only thing you’ll find there, you’ll also find pictures of real races together with a bunch of movies from on and off the track along with a load of other stuff. It’s nice to do when you’re getting bored of racing.
SBK 07 is a fairly monotonous game because of its returning gameplay, but it does remain an interesting game thanks to its difficulty and realism. Concentration is key! On the other hand this game is not the brand of cognac people will be looking for when they don’t like racing or want to start with the genre. Over all this is a fairly good racing game.