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Superbike 2001 Preview

发布时间:2019-04-14 19:02

For many racing fans, the announcement of EA Sports' Superbike 2000 came as somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Two years prior, it was assumed that Electronic Arts would abandon the SBK Superbike license after its 1998 racing simulator, Superbike World Championship, suffered from dismal sales, despite critical acclaim from the press. However, Superbike 2000 sold relatively well, and its amazing graphics and unique gameplay elements earned the game high marks from the gaming press. It now looks as if EA Sports' Superbike franchise is here to stay, as the company unveiled the third game in the series a mere six months after the release of Superbike 2000. The sequel, Superbike 2001, will feature new bikes, riders, tracks, as well as a host of new gameplay options. We've been playing the latest build of the game for a while, and since Superbike 2001 is almost complete, the additions that have been incorporated into this sequel are already showing progress.

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Because it was such an accurate simulator of high-performance motorcycle racing, Superbike 2000 suffered from a steep learning curve. Managing the added element of adjusting your rider's balance before every turn no doubt proved to be a hassle for more than a few novice players. Making Superbike 2001 more accessible to a wider audience was EA Sports' primary objective for the sequel. But that's not to say that the advanced physics model of Superbike 2000 has been dumbed down. Rather, Superbike 2001 will have a number of difficulty levels and driver assists that'll make it easier for beginners. Many of the standard bike controls have been removed, so the computer handles those tasks instead. Rider assists will include an intuitive icon system that will warn you of upcoming turns, tell you if your speed is too high when you enter curves, and alert you when your bike is losing traction. New to 2001 is a slider gauge that displays how your bike's weight is balanced across the front and rear tires, which is a great tool for avoiding both high-side and low-side crashes.

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However, the best new feature that will make it easier for beginner riders to get into Superbike 2001 is the enhanced free practice mode, which now features a narrator who gives a turn-by-turn synopsis of every track in the game. These instructions will include advice on what speed and which gear to be in while you enter a curve, where on the track you should start braking for the turn, and what your optimal exit speed should be. And like most racing games these days, Superbike 2001 will also include a visual representation of the best driving line for each track. All these new features should make the game accessible to curious gamers who don't have any prior racing experience, and because the features are all optio新开激情完美私服nal, they won't take anything away from the game for more-seasoned racing fans.

The Bikes

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Of course, it's the high-powered motorcycles that are the stars of SBK Superbike racing, and Superbike 2001 will feature seven recognizable factory rides, one of which is brand new to the series. You'll be able to select any of the following bikes and a respective rider from the outset of the game - you won't have to finish the game or complete any other feats to "unlock" any of them. Here's a basic overview of each:

Ducati 996 RS 2000: Even though the Ducati remains essentially unchanged from last year's SPS model, the bike is still one of the most predictable and dependable factory rides available in the game. It's no wonder that it walked away with the 1999 SBK Superbike championship.

Honda VTR 1000 SP-W: Honda's classic RC45 has been replaced with the VTR 1000 SP-W, which is based on the company's brand-new street-legal RC51. Although the VTR 1000 SP-W has 15hp less than its predecessor, its top speed is faster than the RC45's, and its longer wheelbase makes it more stable at high speeds.

Kawasaki ZX-7RR: The 2000 ZX-7RR has few, if any, updates from last year's Kawasaki. Its 749cc four- cylinder engine produces only 158hp, and it doesn't accelerate nearly as fast as the other factory rides.

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Suzuki GSX-R 750: Suzuki's GSX-R 750 was a great choice for novice riders in Superbike 2000 because it was one of the easiest bikes to handle. But despite its forgiving demeanor, the GSX-R 750 was also one of the fastest motorcycles in the game. This great combination of qualities has been carried over into Superbike 2001.

Yamaha YZF-R7: Even though it looks the same, the 2000 model of Yamaha's YZF-R7 has undergone some drastic changes for the new game. The engine now uses a more traditional four-valve system - one less than last year's model - which gives it an extra 10hp and a slight boost in top speed. Like the Suzuki, the Yamaha is also a great entry-level bike.

Aprilia RSV 1000: The RSV 1000 in Superbike 2000 was one of the most unstable bikes in the game, and its lack of power made it impossible for all but the most seasoned veterans to coax any performance from its 996cc V-twin engine. Unfortunately, the Aprilia in Superbike 2001 is more or less the same one from last year.

Bimota SB8R: The Bimota will make its debut appearance in Superbike 2001. It sports the same signature twin-exhaust setup as the Ducati does, and for the most part, it handles much like its Italian cousin, but without quite all the power.

More Details

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The core of Superbike 2001 lies in its single-player campaign mode, which simulates an actual 13-event SBK Superbike season. These events, called race weekends, take place over three separate days. You'll be given the o变态完美sfption to skip some of the events, although you'll probably want to get as much track time before each race as possible. The first day is made up of a free practice session, as well as the first qualifying round. The second day starts off with more free practice time, another qualifying round, and it is capped off with the Superpole event, which will ultimately decide who takes the pole position for the following races. These races take place on the third day, after which your points are calculated and you move on to the next track and repeat the events of the weekend. As in any racing simulator, you don't have to place first (or finish the race at all) on every circuit for a successful championship season, but you do have to remain consistent from race to race in order to place high.

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Superbike 2001 will have 15 tracks in all, including some of the more recognizable ones in racing such as Monza, Hockenheim, and Laguna Seca. Three of the tracks - Oschersleben in Germany, Imola in Italy, and Valencia in Spain - will be brand new to EA Sports' Superbike series, and needless to say, they're all accurate representations of their real-world counterparts. The other circuits include Brands Hatch, Assen, Kyalami, Phillip Island, Sugo, Donnington, Misano, and Nurburgring. In addition to accounting for the intricacies of each track, you'll have to adjust for the changing weather from course to course. Weather effects like wind and rain can even vary during a single racing weekend. Thankfully, Superbike 2001 will let you adjust numerous performance and handling variables on your bike, including rake and trail, tire compound, ride height, and gear ratio. This option makes it much easier to handle any adverse conditions that might arise.

As you can tell from the screenshots, the same photorealistic graphics from Superbike 2000 are being carried over into this sequel. While the bike models use a lot of the same textures as the older game, the polygon count has been raised to account for enhanced visuals that include more detailed brake calipers, rotors, and swing arms. The graphics are so clear and the textures so sharp that Superbike 2001 in motion, especially during its replays, looks remarkably like an actual motorcycle race on television. Adding even more realism to the visuals is a new damage model that causes bikes to wipe out in spectacular fashion and then send pieces of debris and dirt flying up into the air.

Judging from our build, Superbike 2001 is progressing along nicely as it easily surpasses the level of quality set by its excellent predecessor.

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