Making, and indeed reviewing, a motorcycle game is always a tricky business. On the one hand, you've got bikers who want an accurate representation of their hobby, which despite its tearaway reputation involves a lot more thought, skill and effort than driving a car. And on the other, you've got gamers, who are more acquainted with car games and Super Hang-On than the delicate physics of bike riding. Understandably, they want to get on and have fun without actually learning to ride a bike before they can play.
Thankfully for both parties, recent years have seen an underground revolution in bike games, with several titles erring on the side of realism, and shying away from slapping a bike licence on game physics which could have been lifted straight from an '80s arcade game. Rider aids and training sections are expected these days to give bike virgins a chance, and if you're willing to persevere a little with braking in a straight line, feeding in the throttle and nailing it out of a corner, you'll come to appreciate the pull of 180mph bikes which cost half the price of a family saloon car.
Superbikes Riding Challenge is the latest addition to this new generation of bike games, and it's clear that a lot of time and effort has gone into including both bikers and gamers. Italian developer Milestone has published three previous World Superbike licensed games, and if its first bike effort in five years falls down anywhere, it's through over-ambition as it has crammed almost every possible idea into one title.