Castrol Honda Superbike World Champions
|a game by||Interactive Entertainment Ltd.|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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With car-based driving games almost at saturation point, developers are Increasingly turning ttieir hands to two-wheeled shenanigans. Hot on the trail of Ubi Soft's Redline Racer, this latest effort comes courtesy of accurately named newcomers Interactive Entertainment, pre-empting Virgin's promising Superbikes World Championship by months.
Castro! Honda Superbike World Champions forgoes the transient thrills of arcade tomfoolery, and touts itself as a hard-nosed motorcycle racing sim. The team responsible lor the game are clearly big bike fans, a fact that becomes all too evident when a casual perusal of the various options reveals a choice of sprockets, whatever they are. Not interested. However, an in-depth knowledge of motorcycle mechanics isn't really necessary, as the novice rider is ably catered for. In tact, with braking and steering assist switched on and an automatic gearbox, you scarcely need to be there at all. These moron -proof options do give you a chance to leant the courses though, and eventually you'll have the confidence to take the stabilisers off and attempt to control 160 brake horse power of throbbing motorcycle unaided. At which point you'll inevitably career into the nearest concrete abutment. But despite CHSWCs simulation pretensions, rather than being tossed around like a rag doll and incurring severe cranial injuries, you simply keel over and then get back on your trusty steed; although, in fairness, the bike can incur a variety ol damage it desired.
The official CH endorsement has given Interactive Entertainment licence to go to town on the bike, and you get to straddle the 750cc RC45, probably the most advanced four-stroke machine in the world, offering the latest in programmable fuel injection, a distinct V-four engine full of lightweight titanium parts, and a chassis with enough variation of adjustment to ensure the machine can win at every race track in the world. Which is nica It does give the game an air of authenticity though, as do the tracks, with a brace located in each of England, Greece, USA, Indonesia and Motegi (in Japan and owned by Honda). An entire championship can be attempted - with qualifying and everything - or single race weekends can be contested.
It is CHSWCs flexibility that gives it lasting appeal, as pretty much everything can be tweaked Graphically, it's clearly an improvement on Fun Throttle on the ZX Spectrum, although in these accelerated days, stunning visuals are taken for granted and it occasionally looks a bit scruffy, with some dodgy clipping and a tendency to jerk (the minimum spec claim of a P133 proves no less than heresy). But if these foibles can be forgiven, there is enough hereto while away more than a few hours, and the game is certainly challenging enough to keep you coming hack for more. Innit?