Manx TT Superbike (Sega Saturn)

by PaulEMoz in , , , , ,

Sega have been responsible, basically, for every arcade racing game I've ever loved. From Turbo in the really early days, they went on to produce (among others) Hang-On, OutRun, Super Hang-On, Power Drift, Daytona USA, Virtua Racing, Sega Rally... and then eventually they came full circle and released OutRun 2, and OutRun Online Arcade on the XBox 360. There have been other racers from other manufacturers... Chase HQ, Roadblasters, Ridge Racer... but I've either not been that grabbed by them or simply, as in the case of the Ridge Racer series, never played them.

So, Sega have held me captive for about 30 years now. But one racer they released and that I'd never seen, let alone played, is Manx TT Superbike.

It's an odd one, is Manx TT. I'm intrigued as to how this was given the green light. I can't say I know how popular the Manx TT road race is in Japan, but although I would have thought the answer would be "not very", it must have a decent following for a Japanese studio to go to the trouble of releasing an officially licensed game.

You need to be quick, but clip that wall and you'll be sorry.

Once you've got over the initial shock at the setting (and the eerie similarity of the announcer's voice to Stimpy the cat), in the arcade mode you have a choice of two courses on the Isle of Man: Laxey Coast (Easy), and the more difficult Manx TT course. No choice of bikes... you have to take what you're given. If you play in Saturn mode, there's a choice of bike and a bit more depth in the gameplay.

Depth isn't that important, though. What's important is fun, and sense of speed. And Manx TT delivers both, although not in as great a quantity as Sega Rally. It really is quite thrilling, though, to be tearing through traditional British countryside* in a worldwide-released video game.

Not Britain.

It's definitely a game to be played in short bursts, though. Like the majority of high-score games or arcade racers, you want to get in, make your mark and get out. You wouldn't play it for two hours at a time, but you would come back to it for a quick blast again and again. I'd certainly have been happy to have had this in my Saturn collection in the Nineties... it's not as impressive to me now as it would have been then, and although it doesn't have quite the appeal of Sega Rally, but it's a good little racer, nonetheless.

*OK, the Isle of Man isn't strictly Britain... but it sure looks a lot like traditional British countryside!