SBK X: Superbike World Championship Review


While the last of Capcom’s MotoGP has been evolving since March on HD
screens passionate about motorbikes, boys Milestone try again to prove
the superiority of the Superbike format with their latest baby date.
Again, the goal is to cast the net wide by offering a highly permissive
Arcade mode on one side and a realism mode that can be configured in
vied with each other. But if Milestone is beginning to have the habit,
the big facial gap remains a figure very difficult to implement
…Compared to SBK’09, this is not a simple evolution, but a complete
change in mechanics. Any new engine, content revised upwards, provided
playability for players of the two extremes (simulation pointed arch and
exaggerated behavior) to be open to a wider audience as possible …
Irvin Zonca, producer, Milestone , has detailed all the new bike next
game his team before we leave the handle on both races riding the Yamaha
world champion in 2009.

We must admit that compared to car games, titles that are biased to
motorbikes are not rushing. It is in this context that SBX X: Superbike
World Championship , the next episode of the series, was presented to
us. Developed by the studio Milestone , the title is ambitious in trying
to gather a wide audience. Thus, unlike 10.9 MotoGP , which is located
halfway between arcade and simulation, the studio wants to offer two
distinct visions of the Superbike. With the "Arcade" offers a simple
handling for everyone to play easily. Not worth to have peeled all
previous games motorcycle to get to a turn buckle properly in this mode.
The speeds are going by themselves, the trajectory is suggested,
braking at the last moment and far from crippling and it is even
possible drifter.

During the collision, no one but adding that fall buries definitely
unrealistic side of this mode is the inclusion of an unlimited boost.
The whole is very dynamic, affordable and perfect for players wishing to
start slowly. Carl Fogarty, four-time world champion Ducati discipline,
we then did a demonstration of his talents in this mode and it really
seems preferable to start with this one … In terms of content, the
sub-mode "Story" is to unlock and complete a series of challenges. The
increase in the challenges can also get class vehicles, more and more
superior, passing in the Superstock Supersport. All this is fine but
still anathema to the devotees who swear by the discipline. Fortunately,
Milestone has thought of everything the world and has also integrated a
mode close to reality in its X SBK: Superbike World Championship .

About the game:

Speed, courage and adrenaline: live again the extreme challenge of the
Superbike World Championship thanks to the fully renewed experience
offered by SBK X. Mode "Simulation" appears much more complete than
"Arcade". Also based on real licenses, it offers the classic "Racing
Rapides", "Counter-trial" but more importantly a way "Career" that puts
you in the shoes of a driver created from scratch for eight seasons.
Whether you’re keen on 100% realistic races or you simply want to gas
your bike, SBK X is the ideal game for you.

Checkout the Game Trailers:

Progress is slow and difficult but ultimately provides a much more
interesting in the long run you in the "Arcade". Another element which
aims to strengthen the credibility of the races is the dynamic change of
the track from one round to another. Along with the Simulation mode –
completely customizable – you will find the brand new Arcade mode to
start skidding, tailing, and wheeling like a real ace. Two games in one
to enjoy the best of the Superbike championship! In both Simulation and
Arcade modes , SBK X will allow you for the first time to race the 3
different classes: Superbike, Supersport and Superstock 1000. Dozens of
riders and the best bikes in the world await you!

Game Features:

  • Arcade Mode: SBK
    X assures fun for all, allowing experienced and inexperienced players
    alike to race for the title both online and offline.
  • Simulation Mode:
    SBK X has not overlooked its two wheeler enthusiasts, and has further
    elaborated the game’s realism. Are you ready to prove yourself?
  • Fully Licensed:
    discover the excitement of the championship in three different
    categories (Superstock, WSS, SBK) and challenge more than 90 real
    drivers on their bikes on the official circuits.
  • Career Mode:
    start an incredible adventure on two wheels from scratch and build your
    career by climbing all the categories of the Superbike championship… Be
    your own manager, choosing your offers and obtaining promotions (but
    also dismissals!) according to your results.
  • Story Mode:
    A totally new feature of arcade mode, story mode lets you live the ride
    to the championship of SBK through a series of challenges that will
    determine your destiny among the champions of the Superbike.
  • Customization:
    create your driver and customize him every detail, then prove his
    abilities in all game modes…
  • Evolving Track:
    SBK X is based on a system that modifies the condition of the track
    based on grind from the bikes; this means that, on a dry track, the
    asphalt builds up skid marks in breaking points and acceleration, while
    in the case of a wet track, it dries along the ideal trajectory. So the
    track isn’t just a marginal element but has become a fundamental aspect
    of the driving experience.
  • Graphics:
    Compared to SBK 09, this new episode boasts superior graphical detail.
    Every graphic element has undergone a substantial improvement: from the
    sky, that has a definition four times higher compared to the past, to
    the public, now completely in 3D and interactive, to the trackside
    objects, rebuilt in detail.
  • Multiplayer Up To 16
    the online mode has broadened its horizons,
    offering you the possibility to race against 15 opponents and opening
    the doors to both main game modes (arcade and simulation)

Milestone Developers are people of principle. Once the fellows have an
idea in mind, they do more renounce and relentlessly pursue their goals.
In the case of SBK, this goal has been to produce a title that includes
all types of players under his banner, whether novices or fierce
handlebar. From the outset, the game will ask you to choose your side,
Arcade or Simulation, nag or artist, virtuoso … broken arm or From
this initial choice will depend on the main menu options. Arcade mode,
you can then opt for a fast race, a story mode, and a championship Quick

In Simu however, the story mode will turn into a real career (which may
be spread over a period of 8 years) and the league championship real
fast. You will enjoy the same mode "Weekend Race", a story of touching
all aspects of the software in the shortest time. Nevertheless, and
regardless of your dairy, you know that X SBK will actually have access
Superbike Championship, Supersport and Superstock, about 80 pilots, 10
major manufacturers of bikes and 14 home runs, all obviously enjoying
official licenses, history to convince everyone.

This time it is in fact to follow the peregrinations of young drivers
through the various championships with between each race, a chat with a
member of technical staff. Everything here is obviously done to avoid
upsetting the neophyte who has to finally put his butt on the bike in
his stable before going to backfire on the runway. Good and there are no
surprises, motorcycles are controlled as soaps, have a boost that will
prompt you to activate a push of a button, do not tolerate any weight
and any large blunders may be committed by a philistine: braking on the
corner, too hasty acceleration out of bends, shots skates balanced on
rough estimates, fit-in on another driver, etc..

Clearly, if you like motorcycles and in particular the spin grip but
you’re not decided to take the cabbage, you are welcome. The only
problem is that too will take you by the hand, and despite the
possibility to change the difficulty (Easy, Normal or Hard), Arcade mode
quickly becomes tiresome. It buggers on the slopes, baffles are shipped
rolled in the grass, and it ends when the same first 10 seconds with
the second. In sum, even if you’re not familiar with the motorcycle
world, you may get bored quickly Arcade mode. Come on, do not turn
around as the exhaust for three pellets, spent the first minutes of
discovery, this method has even the slightest interest.

No, the heart of SBK is obviously in X dimension simulation. Here you’ll
find a bike that glissouille on greasy surfaces, it has a bad temper
when pushed beyond limits and it shifts under your little ass when you
make the tiniest error on wet. The software offers three levels of
simulation (Low to High), but frankly, do not rely on such vague
parameters to define an experiment worthy of the name. In fact, it is
really up to you to rummage in different settings to enable or disable
various options to help them start, antilock braking, enhanced braking,
braking coupled (braking torque front and rear on a single key) ,
traction control, realistic inertia, using track outings, managing the
driver’s position, health, management of damage to the bike tire wear or
formal rules of championships .

Milestone’s team wanted to mark the significant difference compared to
SBK’09. "X", the developers still had that letter in his mouth: new
graphics engine certainly (X Engine), but also what they call the "X
factor". The unknown of a very simple equation, which means that the
perception of the game is conditioned by the player. According to his
ability to master the handlebars, the player makes himself his own
experience of the game. In offering to choose between arcade or
simulation, while combining this choice several parameters affecting the
running of the race (damage, tire wear, penalties, etc..) SBK X offers a
complete graded scale ranging from motorcycle racing fun "ready to play
"a very sharp confrontation mechanics.

Once the angle of approach chosen, Arcade or Simulation therefore, there
are several game modes available to the player. The mode "Quick Race"
will run straight race by choosing the starting position, the number of
laps, weather, and the level of opponents. In "Championship" is about
the same, except that it runs on multiple channels (ie 14 of the regular
season, or a custom selection). It is also possible to participate in
the qualifying sessions to determine the starting grid. The
"Watch-the-Counter" allows you to practice alone against the clock, with
reference the ghost of your fastest lap. An organization of more
conventional built around three distinct categories: the Superstock,
Supersport and Superbike.

However, these factors directly affect the gameplay, which can make arch
excessively (even mode called "simulation" of the time!) Or conversely,
completely simulated. The interest is eventually disable the driver
aids more possible to really enjoy the game In addition, simulation
mode, the AI seems much more credible: some pilots will eat plant and
gravel, while leaders generally adopt a more aggressive driving. It’s
sometimes a little too much, some nags not hesitate to cut your tracks
and send collapses faster 100 meters away … Add to that a fairly
convincing management of weather (which does not change during the race
however, but must be set before departure) and you get a strong enough
title on paper. In fact, to better adapt, we will attempt to address the
various settings of bikes.

Unlike other modes of play, it does not embody any of the 80 pilots of
the game, but an avatar that can be created from scratch. Face, height,
weight, driving style, equipment (including suppliers of wetsuits and
helmets best known as Arai, Dainese, etc..), But also the
personalization of the office from where we manage all aspects of our
Career foal. The aim of the latter: change status from "Rookie"
(newcomer) to champion indisputable and undisputed queen of the

The player has eight seasons before him to become king of the track. We
must run the best to fill out as possible targets of race (beating such
timing, finish at least that position, etc..) To be its reputation for
small type in the eye of the largest stables, but also to move to the
higher category. The benefits are the key to getting good contracts. If
it fails to meet all the objectives we are not left out, but the
opportunities are obviously less attractive. One way to always provide a
promotion and does not allow the less efficient players on their

To put the pace throughout the program, you can use the fifty machines
of the game (all capacities combined), each with its own specifications.
Milestone prompted Vice taking into account the different range data of
each bike in order to obtain even between different machines depending
on their bikes the same preparer. A Yamaha, Ducati, Kawasaki (and many
others) from the stable of a manufacturer are not the same as that of a
private stable. Although the data have not all been obtained (the
competition is very tough, some teams have kept a few secrets for them
running), it helps provide bikes virtual behavior very close to reality.

That’s what bluffing when we take literally the handle. When the choice
is a total simulation, we get a game very precise and diabolically
credible. For example: in order to have some control over the thrust of
the rear wheel of a Ducati 1198 (and not lose control on corner exit)
without diminishing the power, we opted for a larger sprocket chain
tension greater. Just keep a light throttle through the apex after
before opening fully when the bike was adjusted to be catapulted
straight. The couple’s twin desmodromic (characteristic of this jewel
Italian) is already very high at low speeds, even a four-cylinder engine
at full power is not enough to distinguish right after the apex.
Authentic feelings! Add to that the sound of each machine, recorded one
to one at the microphone, and you’re there!

Beyond a certain feeling, the perpetual challenge brought by the search
for the optimal path takes a boost with SBK X. As fans of motorbikes all
have something to put in their mouths, regardless of this level is the
line of progression that promises enormous. Regular practice of a
circuit allows to know the pitfalls, and by consequence, to become
better. It stores the experience whether you are an amateur or a purist
hardcore. Finally, as long as we take pleasure in playing with anything
other than an arcade mode for more permissive (see preview January 26).
Because everybody is not necessarily a fan of the assay of the handle
acceleration, the distribution between front and rear brakes, etc..
Perhaps the only blemish of the game: to love is to evaluate the bike.
It should also want to meet the challenge bodied simulation.

Graphically is smoother than SBK’09. The use of X Engine displays
details of better quality. In practice, it has circuits much more
beautiful and more credible than before. Even if the movements of bikers
are a bit steep, it’s still much more flattering to the retina. So that
stopping on the side (voluntarily or after a fall), you can not see a
lot more stuck pixels in two dimensions, but rather a crowd waving 3D.
While this is trivial, because finally acquired a lot of racing games,
it deserves to be emphasized.

In terms of driving, the physics of motorcycles seems pretty true to
reality. It did say "seems" because, in practice, the version
"simulation" of the demonstration which we played was completely
pre-configured. Unable to estimate the level of simulation in the race
(the impact of driver aids, the level of conduct, etc..) Or setting of
the bike. Difficult to estimate the realistic value of a motorcycle
racing game with an automatic transmission (without clutch) and no
separation of front brake from the rear (a heresy for those who, like
myself, actually practice the track). Sbk ’09 offered a good feeling
running mode "simulation", SBK X should offer at least as good if not
better with the X engine.

The other game mode od SBK X that is Career mode (one that will be
justice when assessing the game), changes in approach from that of
SBK’09. In fact, it will issue three classes of machines, with more than
80 pilots and fifty teams officially licensed. Obviously, the three
categories represent different levels of competition and the most
accessible being the start. In this mode, you can create your driver,
make him a stable integration and advancing gradually as your victories.
The more one earns, the more our reputation grows, the greater the
chance of typing in the eye of a team with more means. This is to win
the supreme title of World Champion Superbike having led all 14 circuits
of the game.

On the multiplayer mode, it is a question of fighting to 16 participants
online or only house of any party (or will be automatically designated
to accommodate one). This method allows you to centralize races through
independent servers as P2P, and reduces the maximum "lag" and other
nasty downturns in the race because of differences in connectivity
between players. Another good point for SBK X. .. although we expect a
more complete version to forge a more concrete opinion on the title of

SBK X brings out its old system. Before each running session, either
free practice, qualifying or the race itself, you will have access to
the advice of an engineer for suspensions, steering, gearbox, to brakes,
tires and even chain tension. However, we realize quickly enough limits
of this aid, more of a decoration than a genuine exchange with the
engineer, since the ideal settings can be loaded to get the best
performance in qualifying or the race. Purists will always bypass and
prefer to settle their bike themselves through an interface still fairly
complete. They may even rely on telemetry data to see the effects of
certain settings on the behavior of the bike.

But you will agree, is still on the track that plays everything really.
No luck, SBK X shares to a large extent the fault of his elders. One
sometimes has the impression that the bike does not stick to the road
and simply drag it strangely, never being one with the surface. The
feeling never really leaves us, even if we eventually get used to.
Curiously, the transfer of masses, including ultimately right, do not
always seem very well made. It is also particularly the case for bubble,
where it feels that the rider is sometimes bolt upright on his horse.
Maybe this season, the drivers all opted for a spine transplant titanium

For the rest, say that the behavior of motorcycles is quite realistic.
We will usually respond with intelligence, look at the right time, be
wary of undue excesses, and touch controls rather than clubbing. In
short, the feeling is still there and once mastered the various
championships, which should take a long time in this release boosted the
SBK, we gladly turn to the online multiplayer mode, now able to gather
up 16 players (cons 8 SBK 09) for free or races in ranked. It ends with
the usual final disappointment, because this new version of SBK it still
will not parties split screen.


Always wait enough, the series SBK slowly changing. Game of the most
enjoyable motorcycles, SBK X is expanding patiently but revolutionizing
anything, both in terms of achievement than gameplay. Significantly more
simulation oriented than its only competitor, I called Moto GP 09/10,
the title will convince fans disappointed by it. Still, the regulars
will SBK can be difficult to give up their hard-earned euros for this
nice update, however, boosted by the Superstock and Supersport classes.


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