I USED to be a big fan of superbike racing, or Moto GP as they call it these days - the days of Barry Sheene mangling himself up on a regular basis, then hopping back onto his Suzuki and winning another world title,
If you fancy the idea of riding a massive superbike at 200mph, but aren’t the best rider in the world, then have a go at SBK Generations.
Created by Milestone and Black Bean games, the game is not for the faint-hearted, so be warned.
If you’re a casual gamer you will bore of this title pretty quickly because it is not just a racing game, it is a real challenge.
There are four modes available: free play, career, SBK experience and multiplayer, so plenty to choose from.
In the career mode you get to choose from three simulation modes - low, medium and high - each one giving you more control of your bike and less AI helping you to stay on it.
If you’re new to this kind of game then I would advise starting off in low mode as it saves embarrassment.
The next step is to choose a rider, which is a simple task without too many options. You know the stuff, outfits, helmets, riding style and so on.
Then it’s pick a team, but don’t just pick any old team, it’s best to have a look at what goals and conditions each one is offering.
Another word of warning, make sure you are confident you have the right options set for your rider because once you start that’s it, no going back baby!
Onto the gameplay which isn’t too bad, perhaps a little too perfect in places. You are given a line to try and follow and I mean it when I say try, because this is not easy. If you make a simple error then off you come.
The AI riders are fine but they never make mistakes, which does take away the reality feeling. The only time you see them crash is if you hit them.
But either way you are re-spawned quickly and not far behind. There is of course an injury/damage option, which will result in your rider and bike accumulating damage until either of them can’t compete any more.
The controls are very intuitive and as a bike simulator there is none better than this game. But the control does take a while to master, so don’t expect to win at the first attempt.
Another nice touch is the tuning aspect, where you can tweak and tinker with your bike with an engineer on hand to offer advice to the non-mechanical minded.
The graphics are really nice with some nice touches, especially the weather aspect, and some great in game camera angles.
SBK Generations also offers other little treats like the SBK experience, which to the uninitiated is just a challenge mode.
It is mainly a variety of different challenges from all four seasons, with an option to unlock more riders.
There’s the usual stuff like time trials, performing wheelies for a certain time, and there is plenty to keep you occupied.
Finally, free play is exactly that - you have the choice to create your own championship or just have a race weekend.
The multiplayer option is OK, with up to 16 players online, but no local split screen which is a shame. Again, be wary as there are some real devotees on-line, so practice first.
SBK Generations is a great racing game if you want a change from Forza and the rest, but be warned: it isn’t easy to master and it does get a touch repetitive.
If you’re a Moto GP fan then you will love this game, but if you’re just a casual gamer who fancies a bike sim stay clear, or at least be aware this is a complicated game.
I personally like SBK Generations, it’s a nice change from all the car simulation and dirt bike games around at the moment and it is the only one out there of its kind.
Fine, it isn’t easy to learn - in fact it can be borderline controller-throwing - but if you persist then it can be fun. It’s just a pity about the local multiplayer and the lack of realism with the AI riders.
I give SBK Generations 8 out of 10 because it performs well as a sim game but it is aimed at a niche market.
Publishers: Black Bean Games
Release date: June 1, 2012