Superbike 2000 is the sequel to Superbike World Championship as
released in 1999 by Electronic Arts. It was a little known racing title
that received great acclaim from the media but sold poorly mostly
because nobody knew the game existed. This year's edition was
once again developed by Milestone but this time around EA Sports
is branding their name on the title, a move that should bring more
attention to this stellar racing simulator.
Superbike 2000 offers three modes of play: Quick Start, Single
Race and Championship. The Quick Start mode allows you to jump
right into the action without worrying about qualifying rounds or
practice sessions. You can compete with as many as 20 computer
opponents on a set track. In Single Race mode, you get to compete in a single
championship race complete with qualifying and practice rounds.
Once again, you can compete with as many computer opponents as
you wish and you can select from any one of 13 circuits. The
Championship mode is the crème de la crème, allowing you to
race a full championship season through all 13 of the circuits.
One of the main differences between Superbike World
Championhip (SWC) and Superbike 2000 (SB2K) is the style of play.
The original Superbike title offered an excellent arcade style
racing experience while Superbike 2000 has added a new
dimension to the game. It's managed to weave it's arcade style
action with a realistic racing simulation. The end result is one of
the best racing games to come out in quite some time.
The graphics in Superbike 2000 are absolutely incredible. Not that
the original Superbike wasn't breathtaking itself, Superbike 2000
still manages to raise the bar a few levels. The entire game is
photo-realistic, from the bikes and riders to the tracks and
environments themselves. It comes across almost like it would if
you were watching the race on television. The game offers three
different cockpit views with improved HUD features that now make
information available regarding tire grip, wear and rider intervals
and more. The track designs and graphics are some of the best
seen in a racing title. While some objects remain 2D sprites (trees,
etc.), the overall effect remains stellar. The level of detail is astounding in terms
of the riders and their movements and there's even weather effects
featured in the game.
In terms of audio, Supebike 2000 has made some improvements
but still lacks that EA Sports touch. Commentary consists of a
British announcer ringing off the names of each of the riders
before the start of a race. The announcer will also keep you alert
of any crashes that might have taken place ahead or behind you
on the circuit, but there's no commentary during the race in
regards to who's winning the race or things of the like. The sound
effects are slightly better this time around though, as each of the 6
bikes has their own set of distinct sounds. There's a lack of
ambient sound though and this is one area, if any, that the
Superbike series could definitely improve on, especially when you
consider some of the audio marvels that EA Sports continues to put
Superbike 2000 has everything you'd want in a racing title. The
stats package has been updated for the 1999 SBK Superbike World
Championship Season with new stats, bikes, riders, teams and
tracks. There are 13 circuits from the 99 season such locals as
Phillip Island, Brands Hatch, Laguna Seca and Nurburgring. As I
mentioned above, there are 6 different bikes available in the
game: Ducati 996, Honda RC45, Yamaha YZF, Aprilia RSV 1000,
Kawasaki ZX-7RR, and the Suzuki GSX-R750. There are 20 different
riders to race against each with varying difficulties and riding
styles. Motion capture has been used to offer up a little more
realism when riders crash their bike.
There are several options in the game that you can tweak as well.
Areas such as bike damage and engine failure, bike setup features
including rake, trail, suspension settings, gear ratios and much
more. You can customize your bike and your settings to reflect
your level of skill, and beginners can jump right into the game via
the Quick Start mode with the help of braking and throttle assists,
auto transmission and adjustable rider difficulty settings. There are
track fly bys and replay features that will show you the race from a
multitude of different camera angles. Everything that you'd ever
want in a racing game is all right here in Superbike 2000.
In terms of multiplayer, there are several options available.
There's a two-player split-screen mode that while nice in design,
seems to be the only time during the game when I experienced
lag. There's also support for LAN and Interplay play. There
currently aren't any servers up for Superbike 2000 though, since
the title was just released, so you might find it hard cruising for
Superbike 2000 is a winner through and through. The presentation
had been pretty stellar to begin with but the gameplay has been
improved ten fold. The added emphasis on simulation and overall
AI and physics design has given the series new life. If you're at all
into the motorbike racing world, Superbike 2000 is a game you
don't want to miss.
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