Game - Motorcycle Club
Release Date - January 20th, 2015
Developer - Kylotonn
Publisher - Maximum Games
Platform - PS4
Motorcycle Club sets a premise where the goal is to race and win. That's it. You control the fate of your own club and its advancement by winning races in order to unlock new bikes. Win to keep going.
The title of the game, Motorcycle Club, provides a slight imbalance with what to expect from the game at the outset. For one, although it is a club, there are few customization options. You may customize your rider by changing the color of his outfit but that is it. Customization of motorcycles is not an option whether it's the color or performance items like nitrous, engine, suspension, etc. This was disappointing because with the name being as it is, you would expect there to be a myriad of performance and customization options in order to fine tune your motorcycle and expand your club. Although this is disappointing, it doesn't take away too much from the rest of the game which is fortunate.
The tracks themselves in Motorcycle Club include a creative blend of strategy, scenery and sound that ties the race together quite well. They are not overly long and allow ample time to switch between your motorcycles during the race. One simple button push allows you to switch between one of your three bikes; Roadster, Custom and Superbike. Each of these have their own advantage over the other with the Roadster being the more agile of the three and maintaining superior handling in corners and turns. The Superbike is more aptly suited for high speed situations like straightaways while the Custom is a blend of the two. The best time for the Custom bike we found was in off road situations or in spots where the street was broken or under construction. It's a nice blend of the two that rounds together the strategy needed in order to finish the race. If you start off on a Superbike and speed off that's fine. All you need to do is hit one button and your Roadster bike emerges from the bottom of the screen to take the place of the Superbike so you can hit that corner with ease. You can utilize unlimited changes during the race and it's imperative to select the proper one in order to win and further enhance your club's standing. One miscalculation or misjudgment on which bike to use could cost you the race or worse, an embarassing slam into the wall, and the set up of Motorcycle Club makes that detrimental to your advancement.
In order to progress in Motorcycle Club, you need to win races. (I know, obvious right?) But there's a twist. Each one of the three classes of bikes encompasses multiple motorcycles within that class and there are multiple steps needed for you to complete in order to unlock them. A total of 22 motorcycles are able to be unlocked in the following categories; 10 Superbikes, 9 Roadsters and 3 Custom Bikes. These are all official motorcycles from 6 of racings top brands of Kawasaki, KTM, BMW, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. First off, you need to win races and complete challenges while racing in order to earn points from your races. The higher you place the more points you earn. Once you are in control of the necessary amount of points, you can purchase Constructor's Challenges. These task you with completing a single lap on a track on each bike that you are attempting to unlock and do so within a set time limit. Of course, each bike requires a diffrent time to be met depending on its class and performance. What I liked about this progression system is that is all tied into the overall game quite well and doesn't include superfluous items. The motorcycles you are trying to unlock are necessary and eventually needed in order to progress further within the game's story. You have to play the whole game in order to unlock everything. After all, that's the point of progression, right?
You can race in three different types of game modes; Quick race, Championship races and Time Trials. In Time Trials, all the tracks are unlocked from the beginning and provides an ample opportunity to practice and master each track for Championship mode. Quick race is your standard mode where you can pick any bike you have unlocked and simply just race. Any challenges you complete will not count toward your progression and you won't be able to unlock anything in this mode. This is where Championship mode comes into play. You start off with limited motorcycles and must race, win and complete the aforementioned challenges in order to further advance your club. Oh, by the way, once you do all that, multiplayer comes in and other players can challenge you and vice versa in order to see who has utilzed the best strategy and amassed the most complete motorcycle club yet.
While you're racing you aren't going to hear a lot of in game music. Although at first it was surprising, it became clear quickly that the lack of music was the intention from the beginning. Each motorcycle has its own, distinct engine roar and hum and the environmental sounds that are included in the game are the focus. When other motorcycles crash you hear their sound. The "Whoooosh" sound when your motorcycle passes another one is executed well in game as well as the A.I. bikes that try and overtake you. The way the maps are set up, it's not necessary to keep looking at your minimap. In many racing games, the viewability of the track you are on is low and requires you to keep checking your in game map in order to navigate or see when that sharp turn is coming up. This back and forth causes you to lose focus and miss what's going on in the actual race. This doesn't occur in Motorcycle Club as, in fact, it's the exact opposite. Since the layout of the track is extremely user friendly and allows you to focus on the race itself, the in game sound effects are further enhanced. This is evident no more than the AI racers that are trying to overtake you. As the racers get closer to you, the hum of the engine increases letting you know they are hot on your tail. If they pass you and take off, that deflating feeling and ego bash you get as you hear yourself left in the dust is louder than any real sound you'll hear in game. And remember, all this is going on while you're attempting to simultaneously adjust between three different motorcycles that best fit your in race situation at that given time. In Motorcycle Club, all your neurons are firing on one thing; The Race
There are many races to complete and enough speed and energy to keep you enthused for a while in Motorcycle Club. The lack of customization options for your bike is a bit disheartening and it would be interesting to be able to challenge other clubs ala Forza Horizon 2 for example. Changing the colors of motorcycles while adding nitrous boosts or other options are always fun, but not necessary. However, that is not what Motorcycle Club is about. Perhaps future titles will add these options, perhaps not. If you are planning to play Motorcycle Club expecting a myriad of customization and social features then, this is not your game. And that's okay, not every game needs to be like that. What Motorcycle Club brings to the table is a terrific blend of fun, strategy, and an in game mechanism that will keep you focused on the race itself. Everything you do in the game is focused on winning. And that's the point because, after all, it's a racing game. What Motorcycle Club does have it does seamlessly and allows you plan your strategy in advance to focus on winning the race. Motorcycle Club is a racing game meant for racers. If you are looking for social features, may we suggest Facebook? If you want to play a solid, interesting racing game with an intriguing mechanic like switching motorycles on the fly, then Motorcycle Club is the game for you.
Available now on PS3, PS4 Xbox 360 and PC