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Game Over Online ~ Superbike 2001

GameOver Game Reviews - Superbike 2001 (c) EA Sports, Reviewed by - Nicky Dimes

Game & Publisher Superbike 2001 (c) EA Sports
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium II-233, 32MB Ram, 400MB HDD, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 70%
Date Published Wednesday, October 4th, 2000 at 08:43 PM

Divider Left By: Nicky Dimes Divider Right

EA Sports' titles are often some of the toughest assignments a reviewer can get. While more often than not their yearly editions are relatively worthwhile, too frequently some of their series get little more than a simple facelift. Superbike 2001 is one such franchise, which makes this review that much more difficult. You see, Superbike 2000 was one of the best racing games of the year. Wait a second, did I just say of the year? I certainly did, because Superbike 2000 was released and reviewed in March of 2000. In other words, Superbike 2001 has made its way to stores approximately 7 months later. What should this tell you? Superbike 2001 is little more than a facelift.

That's not to say that the Superbike series isn't a great franchise. Heck, Superbike 2000 received our Gamers' Choice Award earlier this year. But I'm not here to judge the Superbike series from scratch, my job is too evaluate it as a new product, an upgrade from previous years. In that respect, this is little more than a patch if you purchased Superbike 2000. I could really only recommend this game is if you never acquired a copy of Superbike 2000. If that's the case, than Superbike 2001 should be on your shopping list. If you fall into that category, I suggest you read our review of Superbike 2000 as published in March of this year. For those of you who already own "last year's" edition, let's get this show underway and see what new additions have been brought to the raceway.

Fresh to Superbike 2001 are new bikes for this season. They include Honda's VTR1000SP and the Suzuki Bimota SB8R. Also added to the package this year are new tracks that include Imola, Valencia and Oscherslebe in Germany. Let's see, what else is here. There's a new training mode, which basically guides beginners through the basic elements of a race. You can race every circuit in the training mode and it's an excellent way of learning each of the circuits without having to race against opponents. Yep, that should juuuuust about do it in terms of new additions.

Making a return appearance are the three other modes of play: Quick Start, Single Race and Championship. The Championship circuit now consists of 15 events with the addition of the three aforementioned circuits, and is clearly the meat of the game. Superbike 2001 continues to blend both an arcade style racing experience with a realistic racing simulation. The bikes react and drive like they should as the bike physics and course layout are relatively accurate. The only real downside to the entire racing experience is the lack of damage modelling. You can certainly crash your bike, so convincingly in fact that you can almost hear the bones-a-breakin' and smell the rubber and skin-a-burnin', but you won't see the damage on the bike. If you crash too many times, you're out of the race, not that your bike is worse for the wear, but just because.

Graphically, Superbike 2001 is just as gorgeous, if not more so, than Superbike 2000. Of course, coming from EA Sports, that's certainly not unexpected. This year, they've added effects along the lines of smoking tires, flying bike debris and improved weather effects. The bike models, and riders themselves, have all been realistically motion-captured and the circuits continue to look incredible. The distant environments still lack the detail found within the circuit itself, but overall the atmosphere is fantastic. Once again, the audio is slightly disappointing due to the lack of commentary. In fact, the commentary hasn't been changed at all since Superbike 2000. The bike and ambient sound effects remain the same as well, but that's not such a bad thing.

Superbike 2001 does support multiplayer via LAN, Internet and of course a split-screen two player mode. EA Sports has decided not to set-up a lounge, like they have for NHL 2001 and Madden NFL 2001, so don't expect a match-making service to find drivers for you, you'll have to search for riders on your own.

That's basically Superbike 2001 in a nutshell. Quick review you say? Well, quick review for a quick release, so quick in fact that EA Sports hasn't even set-up a website for Superbike 2001. I guess they didn't think it'd be out this quickly either. If you're interested in some of the more intricate details of the Superbike series, such as handling, suspension settings, gear ratios and other customizable options, I suggest you read our Superbike 2000 review, it covers all of those areas. It'll also list the different bikes in the game and the circuits as well. Why didn't I mention any of those in this review? Because this game is the same as Superbike 2000, been there, done that. The choice is simple my friends: If you never purchased Superbike 2000 and you're a fan of motorbike racing, Superbike 2001 is a game you don't want to miss. If, however, you did buy Superbike 2000 earlier this year, there's been very little added to Superbike 2001 for you to shell out more of your hard-earned moolah.


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