It’s a typical male thing: Shining engines, beautiful bikes, exciting races, breathtaking speed, hyper efficient pits and most important, the steaming hot pitbabes! Men can go on about them for hours, perhaps because they all have one thing in common: There’s testosterone written all over them. Let’s see if SBK 09 delivers what was promised: a wicked race game.
After starting up the game you go straight up to the pit lane. The pit environment is a nice addition to the ambient of the game, and a lot more entertaining than classical menus. Nevertheless I prefer the stylishness and overview of those last mentioned, but that’s just me of course.
Let’s not stick to the menu, let’s start talking game! It’s all about racing. SBK 09 offers all official engines, with fitting drivers. In contrast to the menu, the racing spirit is hard to be found on the circuits. There are only a few tribunes and no road-side fans at all. Those elements aren’t really vital for the game but still, they provide that little something extra compared to others of its genre.
The racing experience was very pleasant. The real wow-feeling isn’t really there but it can be pretty exciting to beat the other contestants. The various difficulty levels see to it that everyone finds an enjoyable game play and even if your motorcycle knowledge is next to nothing, there’s nothing to worry about. A nice extra the game offers is the ability to adjust the bike to the weather and circuit conditions. Provided by an assistant that knows it all and gives a lot of practical information, there shouldn’t be a problem for anyone to find the ideal modifications. For those among you that already know every screw and bolt of an engine I can assure you the game goes very wide in its adaptations and won’t let you down. The car and engine sounds are, once on the tracks, a little suppressed by the music, which sometimes prevents you to hear your contestants getting near.
The biggest downside of the game is the lack of variation. Regular racing fans will be very pleased with this game, but whoever is looking for a little more is looking at the wrong title. There is a championship, a raceweekend and a challenge mode. The objective of the latter is to complete a part of the track in a certain time. This, and the trophies of course, will keep the collectors quite busy. SBK 90 also provides a multiplayer mode, but only on internet and thus no LAN possibility. It’s not really clear to me why they didn’t look for it. I think it’s always more fun to beat someone sitting next to you rather than someone you don’t know but the devs seem to have forgotten about that. Another thing I couldn’t help notice was the abundant presence of loading screens, accompanied by annoying gong-sounds which were really getting up my nerves.
SBK 09 offers a proper racing experience with a wide range of adaptations to the engine and very nice bike graphics. The environment en circuits could have been better, and next to the challenge mode there’s nothing we haven’t seen yet. To conclude I can say SBK 09 is a good game, but it doesn’t stick out in its genre.