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Game Over Online ~ Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing

GameOver Game Reviews - Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing (c) Ubisoft, Reviewed by - Rad

Game & Publisher Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing (c) Ubisoft
System Requirements Pentium II-233, 32MB Ram, 3D Accelerator, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 80%
Date Published Thursday, June 8th, 2000 at 02:33 PM

Divider Left By: Rad Divider Right

Back in 1997, UbiSoft published a game developed by Criterion studios called Redline Racer. It was a decent motorcycle racing game that featured some of the most beautiful graphics at that time. Now, Criterion and UbiSoft are back with Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing. Don't let the name fool you though, although this one has the official Suzuki Alstare Team License (Redline Racer didn't have any license), this game has little to do with its actual title. Of course, it features real bike models and actual Alstare team riders, but other than that, this game is just an improvement of Redline Racer. UbiSoft could have easily called this one Redline Racer 2 or something of the sort. In any case, Alstare Extreme Racing is an overall fun and enjoyable title. Released simultaneously on the Dreamcast, PC and Gameboy Color, it features (like it's predecessor) amazing graphics and unusual physics.

This game is definitely an arcade racing game and any attempt to associate it with bike racing sims (as one might be inclined to do in light of the Suzuki license) would be futile. The controls are very simple and the physics are easy on the player. You don't fall off your bike at every little bump to the side of the road; instead, you jump in the air and leap over the obstacles (which can be anything from a big rock, to a road barrier). When you do fall, your bike will perform numerous pirouettes and hooplas in the air until hitting the ground. Same goes for the poor rider. This physics model, although highly unrealistic, proves to be most helpful when taking a look at the type of tracks we are presented in this title.

In real life, super bikes usually ride on the road. Usually a closed circuit reserved for the race, sometimes similar to Nascar tracks. This is definitely not the case in Alstare Extreme Racing. The tracks range all the way from sunny beaches to snowy mountains and busy city streets. Veterans of Redline Racer would recognize these types of tracks immediately. In fact, some tracks seem almost identical to the ones in Redline Racer. Anyhoots, when one of these speed bikes even tries to ride on a dirt road or sand, it should not perform as well as you'd think. Again, not the case with Alstare Extreme Racing, where you speed at 200+ mph on the sandy beaches of 'Tropical Tail' and dodge various obstacles (rocks) on the road at the same time.

The graphics are superb, and although they may not have the photo-realistic quality and poly-count of EA's Superbike 2000, they have a style of their own. They remind me more of the SEGA arcade games (electric blue sky, sunlit sandy beaches), or the Need for Speed series' diversity in tracks. Contrary to your average bike sim, this game had very diverse track elements, such as waterfalls, buildings canyons, etc.

Overall, this game is very suited to the arcade lover. It doesn't have the realism and physics of a real bike game. If that's what you're after, I suggest EA's Superbike 2000. It does have the fun game-play and eye-candy that you'd expect from an arcade racer. If you liked such games as Motoracer, ManxTT Superbike and Redline Racer, you're bound to love Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing.


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