September 22, 2000

Suzuki Alstare Racing

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Origin RRP
19/12/1999Ubi SoftCriterion StudiosEurope$89.95

When you think about it there really hasn't been a great motorcycle racing game for quite a while, especially if you exclude EA's Road Rash series. It was with this void in the gaming world that UbiSoft decided to release Suzuki Alstare Racing onto the Dreamcast.

Released as Redline Racer in Japan, the game was received moderately well by the press and public alike. But Ubisoft aren't going to release the Japanese version here. It's going to be enhanced for release in Australia. Criterion Studios, the developers of the game, are also including several new features.

The most notable change is the sponsorship from the Suzuki Alstare racing team. The game includes 4 real drives including Stephane Chambon, Pierfrancesco Chili, Katsuaki Fujiwara and Fabrizio Pirovano. Also included is the teams motorcycles: the Suzuki Alstare GSX-R750 (Superbike) and the Suzuki Alstare GSX-R600 (Supersport). The handling of the bikes in the game has also been altered to match the real life counterparts. Sounds effects are also supplied by the Suzuki bikes to add more realism into the game.

UbiSoft have also boosted the visuals in the game since the Japanese version was released. Firstly there is an all new introduction to the game which sets the mood of the title beautifully. The actual in-game graphics have also been dramatically improved with new backgrounds/textures and new lighting effects. This is one truly breathtaking game.

There are also 4 game modes in Suzuki Alstare Racing. These included Arcade, Pure Arcade, Against The Watch and finally Championship. These don't really require an explanation so I won't give you one. Of course no racing game is complete without the 2 player split screen mode. The game also includes several new tracks not found in the Japanese version which are sure to boost the games longevity as well.

Suzuki Alstare Racing looks like it will be the only motorcycle racing game for quite a while. Fortunately it looks pretty good so petrol heads need not worry about missing out on their beloved sport on the Dreamcast.