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Suzuki Allstare Extreme Racing (DC)

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      15.02.2010 02:08
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      "Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing" is a motorbike racing video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 by Ubisoft. In the United States, the game received a guidance rating of "E" which deemed it suitable for all ages.

      Most racing video games follow the same premise and that is to guide the player's vehicle to the end of the course in the shortest amount of time. This title is no different, and it pits the player at the helm of licensed Suzuki motorbikes. The bulk of the game is concentrated in the championship mode which was unimaginatively titled "main game". Players will compete in a series of numerous tournaments which each contain three sequential races. High rankings of third and above unlock courses in the video game, and allow players to race on them at will in the title's exhibition mode. There is little by the way of innovation in this game, though I feel it is held back by its control scheme. The analog joystick is often unresponsive to my commands and needlessly sends me off of the course or into the nearest barricade. This aspect unfortunately rears its ugly head quite frequently in play as most race courses feature numerous twists and turns. I found myself able to adapt to his downfall by slowly moving the joystick well before a pending turn, however in some areas turns are quite sudden and can't be prepared for. Using the motorbike's brake system helps, though this gradual loss of speed usually allows quick witted computer opponents to pass me and lower my pole position.

      The graphics are by default presented from a trailing view of the player's motorbike. This can be altered to a first person view. I found the visual presentation of Extreme Racing to be excellent. Each vehicle moves along with a sense of fluidity and showcases a well refined three dimensional design. The courses are likewise pleasing to look at. Weather and climate seems to play a prominent role in this title as the player will find him or herself between two extremes such as snowy blizzards and sun stricken desert regions, and the design of the course reflects its suggested look very well. The soundtrack compliments a racing atmosphere with a series of upbeat and lively musical scores, and the typical white noise hiss of the motorbike's engine following the player throughout.

      While I do enjoy the visual presentation of Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing, I feel it is significantly hindered by its insensitive control mechanisms. This makes me wary about a potential recommendation. It is likely that more involved racing enthusiasts would find joy in this game, however more casual racers may want to look elsewhere.

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