Super-Bikes Riding Challenge

Thursday 13 July 2006
We've had a surprisingly high number of bike games hitting the shelves over the last few months. Some have been exceptional, like MotoGP 2006 on Xbox 360; others a little uninspiring like Polyphony's Tourist Trophy. But where TT failed to truly ignite PS2 bikers' 700cc hearts, Super-Bikes Racing Challenge just might.

For starters, this is another deep simulation of motorcycling, but not the kind that sees you tinkering with brake balance and changing minuscule variants on gear ratios. No, this is all about the rider. Upgrading your bike is more about improving your rider's attributes via an RPG-style levelling system.

Above: The circuits are real, but city tracks are more like shortened sight-seeing tours

As your abilities increase, your stature will improve, allowing you to intimidate other riders into making mistakes simply by breathing down their exhaust pipes for a few corners - much like Namco's R: Racing.

Of course, as with every motorbike sim, it's very difficult at first. You'll need to use both analogue sticks in order to effectively tame your two-wheeled beast, as gently caressing the throttle is the only way to avoid going arse-over-tit every few yards.