Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship

John Marine | 3/17/2010 03:30:00 AM | | | |
I've always wanted to play games from the Suzuki TT Superbikes series of games. This, unfortunately, is the very first one I've played. I've completely passed up on "Suzuki TT Superbikes" and "Suzuki TT Superbikes II." So my first experience with this series will come in the form of its latest title. Now in case you haven't an idea about this game and this game series, let me explain as much as I can about it. But first, here is a picture of the box of this game:

Suzuki TT Superbikes Real Road Racing Championship
^ from: ecx.images-amazon.com, by way of connect.in.com - Enter the most intense motorcycle racing game you will ever play.



--- "Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship" at a Glance ---
The Suzuki TT Superbikes series is all about real road racing. What does that mean? The racing action takes place on actual city and country roads, rather than at proper permanent race tracks. What is the thrill this game provides? Simple- full-speed down long roads. There are no guardrails on either side of the road, so you may be faced with some thrilling, yet dangerous moments. Think about riding at 170 mph while trying to keep the bike pointed straight and not hit a street lamp at full speed. Yeah. It gets pretty dangerous in this game. You almost have to ride with reckless abandon. You can't be too passive if you expect to win races in this game.

There is much more of a sim element to this game than with Tourist Trophy. It is recommended you try out the Race School feature to familiarize yourself with the nuances of this game. You have six classes of racing in all:

• 125 GP - the slowest, but most forgiving class.
• 250 GP
• Super Sport
• Super Stock
• Superbike - the fastest and most unforgiving class.
• Sidecar - one rides while another helps out! Engines are 600cc.

You race across seven different courses. All courses are in the British Isles with the execption of China's Macau Grand Prix course. Here are the courses and the lengths of the courses:

• Aberdare Park - 0.9 miles long
• Ulster Grand Prix - 7.401 miles long
• Oliver's Mount - 2.41 miles long
• Northwest 200 - 8.966 miles long
• Macau Grand Prix - 3.8 miles long
• Southern 100 (at Billown Circuit) - 4.25 miles long (not raced in Race School mode)
• Isle of Man TT - 37.73 miles long

If you don't have the patience to run long courses, this probably isn't your game. I still cringe in Gran Turismo 4 when I'm forced to race the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This game is going to stress the heck out of you just thinking about doing massively long courses. Let me scare you a little more on the courses. If you want to unlock all the courses, you need to clear all six Race School tests for all courses. Every final to each course is a one-lap time trial. If you fail to finish in time or if you collide with something during the tests, you'll need to start all over again. Consider yourself adept if you can conquer all the courses five miles and [much] longer.

To give you some perspective as to how long you'll be racing each course, let me share with you the times for each course in the Race School. The two times are the Gold time followed by the Bronze time. This will give you an indication as to how long you'll be racing each course (at least with the bikes in the respective classes):

• 125 GP @ Aberdale Park - 0:43.00 for Gold and 0:47.00 for Bronze
• 250 GP @ Olivers Mount - 2:08.00 for Gold and 2:15.00 for Bronze
• Supersport @ Ulster GP - 3:38.00 for Gold and 3:45.00 for Bronze
• Superstock @ Northwest 200 - 4:26.000 for Gold and 4:30.00 for Bronze
• Superbike @ Isle of Man TT - 18:00.000 for Gold and 24:00.00 for Bronze
• Sidecar @ Macau - (will be updated in future blog edits)



Race School.

In all tests, you will be disqualified if you collide with anything. The first three tests in each class are begun with a rolling start. Here is a basic overview of the Race School...
• The first test takes place on a small strip of road with one decisive corner. The course is usually a short one from the Start/Finish line. You get a rolling start.
• The second test takes place on the exact same course from Test 1. Only difference is that in the second test, you must do the course from Test 1 on a wet road. You get a rolling start.
• The third test requires you to remain at a speed above some set minimum speed. The best advice here is to let off the throttle and absolutely avoid having to use the brakes. Mastery of throttle usage will help you greatly here. You get a rolling start.
• The fourth test requires you to reach a certain maximum speed.
• The fifth test is an applied cornering test featuring multiple corners.
• The final test is one lap around the circuit. Some of the courses are long, so you need to keep mistakes to an absolute minimum if you expect to unlock the course in Race Now mode. You could be racing some of these courses for three minutes or (much) more, so be patient.

As a little hint, you can go off the road in a Race School run, but you can't hit a wall or something. If you waste too much time trying to reach the finish line, the session will automatically end, and you will have to re-do the test.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY: The third Sidecar test at the Macau Grand Prix course is near impossible. Remember that each third test requires you to stay above a certain speed limit. Well... it's damn near impossible to clear this test because of the automatic braking (that can not be toggled). You may have to skip this altogether and find some other way to get the Macau Grand Prix circuit.



--- Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship vs. Tourist Trophy ---
There isn't really too much to compare since Tourist Trophy has been around for a number of years while this game was released in 2009.

The biggest difference between the two games is that you feel so much more in control of your motorcycle in this game than in Tourist Trophy. This game replicates the scary sense of speed motorcycles can provide. Tourist Trophy is obviously much more accessible without as steep of a learning curve. Even Gamespot said that those who have the patience to understand the dynamics of this game will appreciate it fully. This means that the game can be enjoyable by anyone. Trouble is, this game has a steep learning curve even on the Novice level. Tourist Trophy completely blows away this title in the graphics department. While "Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship" isn't a totally glamourous game, it isn't exactly an ugly title.

So it really comes down to this: Tourist Trophy helps you to appreciate motorcycles of all kinds. Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship helps you greatly appreciate motorcycles. Perhaps the deal breaker is that Tourist Trophy doesn't feature the Isle of Man TT course, while the Suzuki TT Superbikes games have featured this course for the longest.



Handling Dynamics and Tips.

This game will scare you from a sense of speed perspective. You feel like you're trying to fight a raging bull you're riding on. Here are a few things to remember when riding a motorcycle in this game:

• Twisting the throttle all the way while accelerating will NOT mean you will automatically be in full control getting up to speed. If you twist the throttle all the way when accelerating out of a corner, you will be lifting very far back... to the point where you fly off of your bike. Either shift your weight forward or grab the brake. In Expert mode, shift your weight forward and ease off the throttle a little bit to avoid being thrown off of your bike.

• When learning in the corners, you can actually lean too far and end up getting thrown off of your bike. In Tourist Trophy, you fall off your bike at very low speeds in corners. So don't lean too far into corners.

• As you take turns and go over hills, remember to have full control of your bike. Let off the throttle a bit to regain control of the bike. Otherwise, you could be riding right into some kind of off-track object, ending up getting owned in the process.

• Grab the brake when leaning into long corners. You don't want to lean too far to where you can easily fall off of your bike. Just apply a little brake and alternate between throttle and brake to get through corners without falling off of your bike.

• Handling in Intermediate and (especially) Expert is NOT recommended until you get a proper feel of the bike. In Expert handling, you need to constantly gauge the amount of throttle input because going full throttle all the time will result from you getting dumped off of your bike. You also need to take into consideration that the bike becomes significantly harder to control as you could fly off of your bike easily. High-sides and trying to keep the motorcycle tame on the race track will be an intense challenge. The difficulty level of handling in Expert mode is unlike Tourist Trophy.

• Ride fearless, but ride smart. You can't be passive and expect to win in this game.

* This game has some kind of semi-automatic braking feature. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! Because you know you can only go so fast into corners, take advantage of this feature to better be able to take corners. This comes in most handy with the Race School lessons that require you to maintain a certain speed all the way around the section.

• Unlike the MotoGP games, you can actually see nicely when it's raining when in first-person view. You still need to ride very carefully, though.

• Each crash adds about five seconds away from you. Crashes in Tourist Trophy adds three seconds to try to recover.

• You are less likely to be flown off when racing a sidecar. While significantly slower, you can actually corner a little better in a sidecar than you can on a motorcycle.

• Have patience!





Overall...

The key word is PATIENCE. If you have it, this game will impress you in many ways. Lack patience, and you'll become overly frustrated with this title. This game isn't all that bad to me. Don't just hate on this game because it's a budget title. In fact, I think you're getting an intense dose of reality with this game's physics engine than you do with Tourist Trophy. And while there are only five bikes on a track at once (including yours), you're still getting an immensely challenging and complete title.

My biggest gripe with this game is that when you race at Macau, the frame rate takes a severe hit. Macau is really the only track that doesn't run as smoothly as the others.


If I have convinced you with this game, I'd appreciate it if you click on the graphic below to purchase your copy of "Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship." It is ONLY available for the PlayStation 2 and requires 1,130 KB (or 1.13 MB) of Memory Card space. Thank you for reading! I hope you get to enjoy this title as much as I've tried to enjoy it:





Before I close this blog entry, here's an interesting observation. Even though this game is called "Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship," the majority of motorcycles in this game are Hondas!

That's all for this one. Thank you for reading!

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1 comments:

John B. Marine said...

really great game

http://www.trance3.com/

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