SBK? Oh yeah, I’m there!

I’m at Best Buy because the family dragged me along since they needed my plastic… Mr. Slow is up to no good, as is the norm. He’s going to get my daughter @BrandyyPants and her fiancé a PS3 system for their upcoming wedding. This used to be my favorite store, before motorcycles took over my life. I meander through the aisles looking almost forlorn. I definitely lost my geek. Wait! What is that I see? A PS3 title called “SBK” in the value section. $19.99. Well… I snatch the box up and turn it over to read the back of the jacket. You can see the girl wearing a Hayabusa vest nodding to herself, the smirk of devious satisfaction slowly emerging and replacing her quasi-bored facial expression. This promises real physics and real track layouts. Digital knee dragging for twenty bucks? Gotta have it. This is educational software. Uh-huh. Now if she could only roll her S1000RR back into the living room and park it in front of the LCD TV, that would be sweet… but she promised Mr. Slow that the crotch rocket would stay outside after the last incident that made the house smell of carbon monoxide for a week.

SBK '08

Looky what I found in the bargain bin: Educational software!

As I insert the disc into the console I realize that I haven’t touched a video game controller in earnest in over two years. I have an account on the thing, but don’t remember creating it. I patiently wait for the game update to finish and go find my eye glasses that I’m supposed to wear since childhood but refuse to put on 90% of the time. But it does make it easier to read backlit fine print, so I succumb in the name of wrinkle reduction by less squinting. I go into options and set everything up to be as realistic as possible: physics, inertia during braking, unlinked brakes, tire wear, damage and injury on, traction control off, off-track help off, blah blah blah. I also change the controller’s mapping, since the default does not make any stinking sense to me. R1 becomes the front brake, R2 is changed to rear brake. L1 is turned into a downshift and L2 into an upshift (because I shift GP style, thank you very much). Left stick left and right remains steering, whereas up and down becomes rider position, forward and back respectively. The previously unmapped right analog stick now pulls acceleration duty. The remaining functions are remapped to the ☐,✕,Δ and O buttons. There that should do it. Now everything is how it should be.

I start the game. Loseil International Circuit. I am controlling some German road racer whose name I can’t remember on what looks to be a Ducati 1098. As I sit on the grid — pole position, no less — waiting for the signal, I notice that the bike seems way too big for this dude… and why can’t I pick a damn girl?!? Oh, that’s right… these are all digitized versions of real racers on their respective machines. Oh well… can’t have it all. Go! I rev it up, put it in gear and dude puts his right foot on the peg and is off, pulling a wheelie in short order and I loop it. Spectacular!!!! Restart. Ready. Set. Go. Rev, shift, shift, turn in… going extremely wide and end up throwing rocks everywhere since I’m off-roading it on Pebble Beach. Shit. Shift, shift. Gas. Wooohooo… back on the track and immediately off the other side. Hell! Front brake, oversteer… German dude ends up in the grass, shortly thereafter executes a glorious face-plant onto his front tire. Damn! That had to hurt. Restart. Throttle… click… click… brake, turn in, steer… weeeeee… I’m still going wide, but I stay on the racing surface (barely). Crap, I forgot to shift, my RPMs are way down, shift, shift, throttle, wheelie, back brake, front slams down, throttle, Turn 3, judicious use of the grass (yet again), clippings and dirt flying everywhere… results in a lowside. Dude’s ass bounces once or twice, too. Nice. Restart. Highside, lowside, stoppie gone horribly wrong, lowside, off-roading, running out of time. I decide to change my approach. I granny it. Run out of time… damn! Guess I should go faster that 60 mph. Crap. Screw this.

I back out of the menu and decide to see what’s shakin’ in the pits. Hot damn! They got garage space. Nice. Snap-on tool boxes?!? Sweet. Oh, look a pit crew and my dude (Neukirchner? Is that his name???) just sits around chatting with the engineer. Must be nice. I look through the options and see all sorts of things one can tweak to their desires. Most of which I recognize and know what to do with, except I don’t know how much German dude weighs or what his riding style is. I’m assuming the game has set his bike up for him? Oh well….

Crash & Burn

Crashed: Not one of mine, but a little Google image search ripoff for illustrative purposes. Mine were way more spectacular. Because UR the suck. ;P

I enter a real race. 22 laps? Hell no, my arms and thighs protest after about eight and I’m ready to hit the pits… we’ll do three, just for laughs. I change my position on the grid to the very last one (since we want to keep this as realistic as possible, even though German dude does not do my buttocks any justice) and start the race. Umbrella girls? I want an umbrella dude! For Chrissake! How sexist is that? Oh yeah, I’m a dude… ok, but I have the ugliest chick on the grid. Damn, just my luck. Oh well… The race starts and I promptly forget to put my bike in gear and over-rev the engine. Ouch! Ok. Click. Everybody’s gone in a hurry and vanished around the first turn meanwhile I’m still trying to get up to speed, of course I forget I have front brakes and try to take the first corner at twice its speed and make judicious use of the grass (maybe that’s why I like Barber so much, all that lush, awesomely soft and manicured lawn everywhere, it’s inviting)… two lowsides and a highside later the game stops and tells me that my Duc is trashed. Damn. I try a few more times then throw the controller at Mr. Slow and tell him that this is shit. I’m better than this in real life. WTF?!? He mumbles something about the lack of feedback and the problem with realism in video games without realistic input and controls and then shows me how he rolls. Showoff! He did manage to cartwheel his bike onto himself after a stoppie. Nasty! That’s gonna hurt in the morning, I’m sure of it.

Too bad this thing doesn’t have an easy way to record some of these glorious get-offs. I think I made Troy Corser execute the longest ass-slide in the history of WSBK. He actually out-slid his bike and passed it on the right. Take that!

I suck at racing games. Always have, always will. I can’t judge distance nor speed and even though my brain knows what needs to be done and what must happen, my fingers apparently don’t want to respond. Did I mention my feet were twitching? I’m freaking weird… I need a damn track day like a junkie needs a fix! No, seriously. I’m going nucking futz here!

6 Comments on “SBK? Oh yeah, I’m there!”

  1. MsXXFast says:

    You always have the most awesome blog posts!! This is definitely one of my favorite!! I SUCK at Roadracing games, but not so bad on F1 open wheel racing :))

    We’re off to ridge ride, wish you were here!

    • MissBusa says:

      Gawd, and here you always complain how you don’t have a life… man, we would be so tearing it up together!!!!! After I learn that is. LOL But I’m sure you’d fix me right up and give me a crash course… no literally. Hahahaha…

  2. mtajudy says:

    I thought I might want to give a little kudo to Best Buy…. thats where I bought my electric motorcycle, the Enertia. No…this is not a scooter but the electric equivilant to a 250cc real motorcycle. Best Buy was the first to carry then outside, the makers of the bike. Check out the new bike, called an Empulse… also electric.. that hits and holds 100 mph, has instant torque, and goes 100 miles on a single charge. My LITTLE bike is fast as sh-t!! Imagine what the Empulse is like.
    So.. you can still think of Best Buy as a great place to be because they actually sell motorcycles!! I should also mention that there are only 5 that sell the bikes and they are all on the west coast, but… still!! 😉
    Great post..

    • MissBusa says:

      I didn’t know Best Buy sold the Brammo motos. 🙂 I’ve been following Brammo a little on their progress. I think it’s great what they are doing, although I don’t think it would be for me (I would so miss that cavewoman feeling that I get from cracking the throttle on some outdated internal combustion rig *gggrrrrroowwwwlllll*) I want them to succeed and give us another option in our two-wheeled choices. I would love to test ride one though, I’m curious how they ride… I just can’t imagine running through some twisties not hearing the purr (nor feeling the vibes) of my engine. I used to own a Prius and I loved that car, but well… it fell victim to the need for a pickup truck that could haul Team PLD’s junk around. And Mr. Slow feels like a man again in a ride worthy of stocking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in the fridge and owning a shotgun or two and maybe playing a Banjo. 😉 Of course I wouldn’t let him do any of those things… LOL

  3. Awesome post! I love car racing games, but the whole tilt thing the moto does on the screen, that I can’t do anything with. I must feel the g’s to know what to do… So I understand where you’re coming from.

    One note though: Isn’t Carbon Monoxide odorless?

    Also, mtajudy, I too like Brammo and their new Empulse concept. I can’t wait to see one in person, and if possible, take one for a spin. I think it might be my first e-bike. However, I beg to differ in that the Enertia is equivalent to a 250cc. Maybe a 140cc. My ninjette does 100mph, and as you stated, that’s the goal for the Empulse. And as much as I enjoy the sound of my exhaust, I would feel better about burning less hydrocarbons, so I am quite jealous of your peace of mind.

    • MissBusa says:

      LOL Yes, it is. Carbon monoxide is indeed odorless, this was artistic license. My house smelled of internal combustion by-products… since I cranked the Beemer up in the hallway. I had this need to be under power when I rolled through the door down the ramp… silly, isn’t it? Then I lost my nerve and stayed there for far too long with the engine running… Yeah, Mr. Slow was not amused.

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