Latest Game Reviews

Speed Kings Review - PS2

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Acclaim boasts an extensive range of racing titles in their portfolio. With the popular ATV series, Dakar 2, SX Superstar and the new futuristic racer XGRA, there's rich roots embedded in the developer's history. But arguably Acclaims crowning glory is there Burnout series. The concept of street racing and the popular success of Burnout and Burnout 2: Point of Impact across the console platforms should provide enough previous knowledge in the genre to create more successful racing titles. Speed Kings is a new concept that has the excitement of motorbike racing with the hustle and bustle of the city streets, street bike racing. The swift handling of a motorbike weaving in and out of the highly active street circuits should provide some furiously fast gameplay. Do the developers of the triumphant MotoGP series on Xbox and PC, Climax have what it takes to create a top draw street racing title with Speed Kings?

Gameplay

With a relatively simple button structure Speed Kings offers a easy and in-depth training mode where players learn the basic's of accelerating, braking and wheelies. But also gives players a walkthrough the stunt system and other neat little tricks like the enzo and surfing. By pressing the triangle button on the controller the rider performs an insane move called a 'powerdown' the rider drops to the ground and slides along the gravel for a couple of seconds. This trick is a useful inclusion to the game it allows players to sneak under hovering obstacles above the track surface, and it looks really cool.

Speed Kings offers twenty-two motorbikes available to riders in the game across eighteen different tracks. The bikes don't actually withhold the bike branding name with them but with such a large range there's something there for everyone. Some bikes and tracks will need to be unlocked to make available for use but unlocking things can prove half the fun of the game. The feeling of racing games is a vital, after all what is a racing game if you can't sense a feel for what you're driving? The handling and feeling in Speed Kings is great, the freedom that the handling provides is very fun to utilize on sharp corners and whilst weaving through rush hour traffic. The feedback on the dualshock controllers is nicely done with appropriate feeling in the needed areas, it's like the programmers simply put in a 'rumble here' code in all the right places.

Single player game modes available are single race which is just a single track race of three laps around the track involving five other riders. The main mode is meets, consisting of three lap races in a series of three tracks against five opponents meets is what you must compete in to open new tracks for further gameplay in this mode. Opening new tracks is done by a points system, the points system is based upon performance in the races. The other points system is a respect point system that runs on doing three objectives during the ... (continued next page)