Castrol Honda Superbike Racing is a simulation-style racing game featuring the Honda RVF-RC45 motorbike and 14 real-world venues. Adjust your bike's gear-ratio settings, transmission, and tire composition before competing against seven computer-controlled riders in either a single race or a 13-event tournament. Individual practice and training sessions allow you to learn each track's layout and optimal racing lines prior to the event. View the action from a first-person perspective behind the bike's handlebars or from a third-person vantage point. Six difficulty levels and various other customization settings let you determine the degree of realism on each course. Challenge a friend to a head-to-head race via LAN or split-screen display, or compete against up to five players online.
Since its inception into the World Superbike arena in 1994 the Honda RVF-RC45 has never failed to place in the top three overall, and team rider John Kocinski even captured the world title with this impressive machine last year. Superbike World Champions, developed hand-in-hand with the 1997 Castrol Honda World Superbike Team, lets you take control of this snarling beast, which boasts a top speed of 187 mph, does 0-100 in less than five seconds, and has enough horse power to blow the chrome off a trailer hitch.
While it doesn't have the down and dirty action that Motocross Madness offers or the elbow throwing thrills of Road Rash, Superbike World Champions does offer a stimulating road racing experience and boasts that it is the "most realistic motorcycle simulation ever," faithfully replicating Honda's finest and fastest crotch rocket. However, this strength is also the game's greatest weakness: you can only ride the RC45, so you better like it buddy.
This aside, Superbike World Champions is a great game with some really neat features. Options such as automatic transmission, best course line, braking assistance, and on-screen help allow novice racers to hone their skills while experienced speed demons can opt for more realistic physics and bike damage. There is also a trainer mode where an experienced Castrol Honda team rider shows you when to brake and where to turn on each of the 10 tracks. And, as with most racing simulations, you can customize your RC45 before the race by altering gear ratio and tire type.
On-the-track visuals are Superbike World Champions' real strong point. The terrain is incredibly detailed and beautiful, and the settings are visually stunning and look extremely realistic, complete with indigenous geological features and buildings. In a fuel-injected sprint at nearly 200 mph, you may not get a chance to enjoy the scenery, but a cinematic replay of the entire race is played after you finish. It's really cool to recap your moves as you scream around corners and down straightaways while edging out your opponents.
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