Acclaim Entertainment and the most prestigious motorcycle manufacturer of the modern era, have teamed up to bring us a cool game about life as a motorcyclist with plenty of money to burn! Now all you need to experience the joy of buying, building and racing a Ducati is a Playstation, Dreamcast or a decent computer, (which you already have). We tested this game on a Playstaion.
This title was developed with a grand scheme in mind, and it was not to be an ultra realistic racing game. Rather it was designed to be an arcade style game, with a bit of sim thrown in for good measure. It was a way to draw people into the Ducati lifestyle by familiarizing gamers with the machines and the history that accompanies them. Obviously the PS console does not provide the most realistic of graphics, but the game still looked good. The arcade style gameplay and real bike physics, allows for some serious paint swapping, reminiscent of the venerable ‘Road Rash’ titles, only better!
The game has two modes to choose from: Quick Race or Ducati Life. In Quick Race mode you cut the BS and get right to the racing. You get to earn the right to ride bikes from the entire line of modern Ducati machines ranging from the ‘entry level’ Monster series, to the venerable 916. From there you get right to the track where you can hone your skills until your ready to enter the much more involved option, Ducati Life.
In the Ducati Life mode you are faced with many difficult decisions. First of all you must purchase a starter bike and decide which angle to approach the Ducati Life challenges set before you. You can buy a bike and ride around doing nothing but checking out the scenery, or you can work towards becoming the next Ducati roadracing hero, it’s up to you. Obviously you will want to fill the shoes left vacant by King Carl, so it’s off to the track! There are only 8 unique courses to race on so you can get familiar with them rather quickly. Fortunately the NPC’s are not to tough at this stage, so you can earn some money without too much trouble.
Now the challenge is to earn money to build your new (or vintage), machine into the bike of your dreams! If the modern machines don’t suit your fancy, then you can always select from an array of Vintage Duc’s. Now, you can keep your bike stock and save your cash, but why would you do that? Engine kits, exhaust systems, tires and a few more pieces of hardware can all be purchased with your winnings. If your good enough you can earn money to move up the food chain a bit and purchase a 748 or even a 916. Where can you pick one up? The game offers you a Dealer, Classifieds or the Ducati Magazine as tools to buy and sell your bikes.
If you are brave, and you make enough money to buy a spare bike, you have the chance to win one in a head to head challenge race against the NPC. Be wary however, these guys are good, and they like to take unsuspecting newbies pride & joy, just for kicks. Once you’re tired of working the beginner circuits and the challenge races, you can earn your racing license and battle with the big dogs.
The only problem with that plan is that the tests are not that easy. It takes a steady hand and a bit of patience to finally get them, but it means you have a shot at earning the big bucks! After playing the game for a week, we finally made our mark and found that the Ducati Life title was an pretty fun game. It is simple enough that the kids can choose the quick race and get right to the action, yet interesting enough to keep the older crowd entertained. The selection of bikes, the performance shop, courses and license tests provides plenty of variables to keep it from getting boring too quickly.
We just touched on some of the features of this game, so if you want to find more info, download the demo or buy it then check out Acclaim.com.