SBK X: Superbike World Championship Preview

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If you’re a Superbikes fan then this is just the game for you! SBK 08, 09, and it’s predecessors were; well..good. This year, it’s simply called SBK X and it’s HUGE! A new physics engine, new game modes, and a suite of audio and visual enhancements seem to back up the claim, and Michael Caletti the Game Director hopes this will be the SBK to take down archrival MotoGP.

What’s new is a garage, where you can talk to your engineer and get advice on how to properly equip your bike. You can also set up your own custom rider–choosing to adapt features such as your face, height, and helmet before embarking on your career. You can’t fully customise your rider, such as altering things like eyebrow type, but you can choose from predefined templates. You’ll also have more control over the business side of things this year, with an office complete with lovely assistant where you can analyse your team interests.

SBK X offers an arcade driving experience alongside the sim counterpart. The arcade mode has a different structure, with progression based on completing challenges instead of simply finishing first in each race. For example, your bike may have a worn-out engine, and there will be a challenge to hold your position until the end to progress. The attention is taken away from the minutiae of bike and racer management and is placed on enjoying the racing experience.

This shift in focus is supported through the use of a more forgiving driving engine in the arcade mode. The management of weight, speed, and gear ratios required in the sim mode are removed in favour of fewer options. While the driving may be simplified, negotiating a sudden hairpin corner is just as thrilling, even without the weight management quirks. The boost mechanic injects the arcade experience with an element of strategic risk and reward, since manoeuvrability is significantly reduced during boost periods.

Developer Milestone has also included a number of user-interface tweaks that make arcade racing a friendlier experience. Uncontrollable factors such as weather have less of an impact on your driving, while a Forza 3-style racing line is provided to suggest optimal braking points. Overall, the arcade racing experience looks like it could open the game up to a new subset of racing game fans. It also provides existing fans the opportunity to use the array of bikes and riders in a less intensive game mode.

There is also a special edition and it will come housed in a metal box and will offer a DVD documentary with 2009 winner Ben Spies. It will also include the Legendary Roster–a selection of classic riders to play as or compete against, including people like Neil Hodgson and Max Biaggi.

SBK X is being released on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on Septermber 28, 2010

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