Do you ever have the desire to turn your whole entire body into a piece of road rash? Does crashing into a hay bail at 90 mph get you all excited? Do you crave going so fast your eyelids peel back from the force? If you answered yes to even one of those questions, strap on your motorcycle helmet -- it's time to review Superbike 2000. I had the opportunity to review last year's game from EA Sports, so I was chomping at the bit to play this one. For the first time street racer, let me give you a rundown on what the game is. SB2000 is racing simulation game that lets you steer some of the fastest street motorcycles in the world. You get to race on 13 real life tracks taken from the 1999 racing circuit. What makes SB2000 so fun is the ability to make the game a real as you desire. If you wish to see what an actual race weekend is like you can set it up so you start racing on Friday and end on Sunday. If you are more into quick races, you can set it up so you skip all the hoopla and just race without qualifying. For the mechanic in your family there is the option of tinkering with your bike. Be forewarned though, tinkering can become addictive! Last but not least is the Internet option of play, which lets you test your riding skills with other people. I never tried online play for the mere fact that I was barely able to make my way around the track against computer opponents with the difficulty set to easy.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
I've got two words for you: Extreme Simulation! SB2000 is the most realistic motorcycle racing game I have ever seen. You can spend hours just tinkering with your bike setup -- everything from gears to shocks can be adjusted. This isn’t the type of game where after a few times of playing you beat everyone. You will find it takes quite a bit of actual riding time to get very good at all. Which brings me to the one down side that really bugged me. Last year's version of Superbike had an option that allowed you to turn on hoops, which were then put in place around the track so you could learn the line of the track. Unfortunately, they did not include this option in SB2000, but there are tons of other options that will help out the first time rider so he or she doesn’t get turned into ground hamburger too fast. I found the overall gaming experience to be serious but fun at the same time. SB2000 might not go over very well with the arcade style of racing gamers but they should at least give it a try just for the awesome graphics alone.
I had a pretty set mission when it came time to reviewing the graphics for SB2000. I asked myself, "Are the graphics better or worse compared to last year's Superbike?" Well, I’m pleased to note that the graphics are even better this time around. Don’t get me wrong though, most of the changes are pretty small, so it still has the same feel as the last Superbike. They have added sun glare to the screen now, which can be downright maddening at times. The actual motorcycles themselves look much crisper and more defined. One thing I found neat this time around was the fact that when I drove off-track my tires picked up sand or grass depending on what surface I was driving on. As for the graphics of the racetracks, I found them to be pretty much the same in quality as last years Superbike. I found it very easy to immerse myself into SB2000 because of the degree of realism in the graphics. If you’re a street bike racing fan, you will love the graphics. Enough said!
I love it when audio comes together nicely with the entire game. The audio in SB2000 definitely fits the bill, working hand in hand with the rest of the game. You will really love the audio when it comes to race day because EA Sports picked a real life announcer for the game, which adds so much to its authenticity. Your heart will be pumping after you hear him announce your name at the starting line. Bike sounds are as realistic as ever and same goes with the crowd noises. All in all, a pretty kick-butt job.
Win 95/98, 233 MHz or faster processor, 32 MB RAM, 300MB free hard disk space, 4X CDROM, High Color capable 2MB PCI or AGP video card, DirectX 7 compatible sound card, and 56Kbps modem for Internet play.
At first glance I was a bit disappointed with SB2000. I was expecting eye-popping change to be evident and was let down when that wasn’t the case. But then after a week of steady playing I really began to notice the subtle changes made to the graphics, audio, and the options section regarding track setup. The more I played the more I liked it and can now stand before you and say that EA Sports did a great job with SB2000. I won’t lie to you though and tell you that this is an easy game to learn because it is not. You will find yourself spending a lot more time learning to ride and take corners in SB2000 than any other motorcycle racing sim out there. But you will also find it is darned gratifying once you have mastered the handling of the bike and you turn in the perfect lap. On that note I will give SB2000 a score of 90/100. The score would have been higher if the training hoops had been left in the game and if there were a few more tracks.