Written on: 15/08/2011 by PS2Racer (1 review written)
Suzuki Crescent Racing is a budget style racing game, with obvious limitations. However, it was more fun than I expected. Those wanting more serious motorbike racing should look to such titles as Moto GP or WSBK series, TT Superbikes Real Road Racing, or Sony's excellent Tourist Trophy. Suzuki Crescent Racing is the sort of game you play just for fun; to fang a few bikes around, pretend you're Barry Sheene (although he didn't race Superbikes) bounce of the scenery and generally just go ape on two wheels.
Handling is arcade, in that the bikes don't slide or spin out, even when going off course, and you have to hit another bike or the scenery very hard to fall off, but this is actually part of the fun in a title like this. Control is smooth and quite responsive, there are multiple views (1st person NO cockpit, close behind, and far behind - the latter being best for learning circuits) the rider is animated and moves around on the machine and it is fairly easy to get around the courses. It's a good game for those that are new to bike racing games or perhaps prefer car racing but want to have a go at bikes for fun. Difficulty level only adjusts how fast the AI bikes go, the handling is the same in all modes.
You race against 5 other bikes over a series of fictional courses. There are single races, time trials (which unlock more bikes) and championships that unlock courses and bikes when you win them. My advice is to have a practice at single race and time trial then set difficulty to easy and do the first amateur championship to unlock tracks. You can now practice on these and set difficulty higher as you progress. The AI run tight fast lines and will quickly pass you back if you make a mistake, unless you're way out in front.
Graphics are decent enough, quite colorful but a bit grainy, with some effects like dust and sparks. Tracks are well designed with fast flowing sections and tight corners thrown in, plus good elevation changes and with so much trackside detail that some seem a bit "crowded". Sound is basic, and the in game menu music can't be turned off, which can be annoying. There is no bike set-up or tuning, you just run them as they are.
You can also race sidecars, which adds a different dimension to the game.
Despite its arcade handling and simplified physics, it does actually make you use proper racing technique, in that the fast way around the track is to run smooth flowing lines, using lots of room, braking just the right amount, turning in smoothly on corners, and controlling the throttle on exit. Running wide or off course slows the bike rather than throws you off.
There is also a split screen multiplayer mode for those that like that sort of thing.
Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised from this cheap basic game, to find myself having fun and enjoying the racing. Now that I have won the first championship on easy mode, I plan to do the next on medium and the last two on hard, for by them I will have practiced on the tracks and know the lines better.
Originally released in 2004, it can be found real cheap now, and for what you'll pay it's worth it if you like bikes and want some cheap fast fun that doesn't require a lot of thinking.
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