“ Jump on the bike and tear around the track in the new arcade style rookie mode. The only place to race the complete superbike world championship including the 3 new circuits. Watch rain drops fall from the sky and blast across bike windscreens. Full dynamic reply cameras with commentary by Leigh Diffey. „
EA Sports Superbikes 2001 attempts to bring the sense of speed and excitement from the track to the home pc and they have done a very good job. It is possible to play this game as anything from an arcade racer to a complete racing simulation with the high number of game options available in the game, but be warned even on Rookie settings this game is still difficult and some effort needs to be put in before you can stay confidently in the pack. Although once you?ve cruised up the inside of another racer on a slow corner eased him off the racing line before blasting away down the straight you?re hooked. Superbikes is different from Formula 1 car games in that the racing is very close with lots of overtaking and bunching on the slow corners, this makes for a very exciting game with lots to do from start to finish. The downside to the close in racing is if you make a mistake it can be costly with huge accidents taking out five or six riders at a time and your rider sat at the side off the track waiting to remount. The graphics in Superbike are simply stunning if you have a reasonably fast computer and a good graphics card, the in game views are very good ranging from being behind the rider to seeing just the handle bars. Replays are also spectacular and you may well find yourself replaying a whole race to find out where you were gaining or losing speed or more likely to start off with to replay those huge accidents! Sound is also good and can be useful in warning of an approaching ride and even locating him if he?s on your left or right, although in common with most racing games it is a bit monotonous and tinny. The steering is definitely one of the more contentious parts of the game, if you use a wheel as the control method to move from hard left to hard right a much bigger movement is needed compared with car racing games, l?m not sure if this is to deliberately emphasize the leaning of the riders or not but it?s certainly different
and adds to the time needed to learn the game. Hopefully in Superbike 2002 an option to shorten the turning arc may be added. A Gamepad can make a very good alternative and even keys are reasonable. Overall Superbikes 2001 is a very good game which deserves the time spent to master it.
Superbike 2001 is, funnily enough, a superbike racing game, and blow me down if it isn’t a pretty darn good one! As per usual for EA racing games, you get all the different race options - from a practice run round a track to a quickie race, to taking part in a full championship. The game uses the 2000 750cc season data, with all the riders’ statistics, teams and tracks faithfully reproduced. This was Carl Fogarty’s last year of racing, so if you fancy riding Foggy’s Ducati then this is the game for you… I played demos of both Superbike 2000 and 2001 before deciding on the second. I found the playability and the feeling of realism to be quite amazing in 2001, especially if you're brave enough to use the 'virtual helmet' view. Yes, really, it is actually scary to play in this mode, as the feeling of 'being there' is so complete and the sense of speed is terrifying! The gameplay is excellent, and can be customised from basic arcade-style controls through to full-on simulation. I tend to leave it fairly basic, as I really bought the game for quick arcade fun – a break from the heavy-going Baldur’s Gates and Deus Exes of this world. Even at this level, it still feels ‘real’, and I guess that is the biggest accolade a game like this can get. You can customise the level of the AI, and the length of the race – I find a nice little 3-lap sprint is perfect for blowing away the cobwebs… Crashes, incidentally, are spectacular, with bikes flipping, riders flying through the air and bouncing on the tarmac, and other riders shaking their fists at you when you nudge them. If you have realistic crashes turned on, you’re not carted off in an ambulance as I thought might be the case, but you do have to pick your bike up and gently open the throttle while hopping along the track trying to straddle it and not fall over again. It’s great attention to detail, and th
e action replay function means you can watch it time and time again, from every possible angle, and even save it to show your mates later. As for the graphics, they are absolutely superb - although I admit I'm running the game on a relatively high-end Athlon 800 with a GeForce 256 graphics card. The graphics are crisp and clean and border on photo-realism. The sound quality is also fantastic, although I have yet to encounter any game that fully recreates the din of 20+ bikes belting round a track! The bike sounds were apparently recorded from the real machines, so maybe it just loses a little something coming through PC speakers… I should turn it up louder, but the ensuing parental grief isn’t worth it! The 3D sound is excellent though, and you can easily tell without looking that, for instance, someone is coming up behind you to your right. There are multi-player options, but I don’t know much about them - we would have tested it out in our lunch-hour at work, but we couldn’t really justify having half a dozen joysticks littering the office! That’s another thing to bear in mind, it’s very hard to play with cursor keys. If you don’t own an analogue joystick you won’t get the same experience out of this game. Overall, Superbike 2001 is a brilliant racing game. I have never been a fan of racing games in the past as most are formula 1, but this is refreshingly different and far more exciting. Get a copy!
Since its debut two years ago Superbike has pretty much dominated the sales charts in this genre, with the only competition coming from MicroProse's exacting GP500 game and Midas' Castrol Honda Superbikes. The first version was a comprehensive and difficult simulation with a rather cheesy interface, while last year's version seemed to muddy the waters a bit, making the bike easier to ride but slightly less realistic in the process. The 2001 season has had a general tidy up, and the interface is now attractive and easy to navigate, while the graphics surpass all rivals in the level of detail offered, even on my mid-spec PC, 333MHz, G400-equipped Celeron. The full track listing includes Misano, Valencia, Laguna Seca, Brands Hatch, Assen, Ostersleben, Imola, Kyalami, Phillip Island, Sugo, Monza, Hockenheim and Donington. You can compete on any bike, with all the official riders in single races, single weekends or entire seasons, and Super Pole has been introduced to give riders their starting grid positions. The 2001 addition includes an interactive drive-tutorial around all the 2001 season tracks, telling you about approach speeds, blind bends, potential driving surface problems and giving examples of actual accidents that have happened when places like Coppice Corner in Donington haven't been treated with respect. Road surface details are important as you'll occasionally encounter grip problems on parts of certain tracks without much visual indication of why it happened. Head to the drive-through tutorial and you'll often discover the reason. Overall this game isnt as good as EA's Superbike 2000 but it only has small downfalls such as the graphics not being as good, but appart from this it is a good game worth the money spent on it!