"Ride," a new video game by Bandai Namco entertainment, has been released. This is important because it’s got awesome kickass motorcycles in it, and Common Tread is for people who like kickass motorcycle stuff.
I have perused the website, done my due diligence, and read all the reviews. I’ve even talked with folks who have played the game, which is probably as close as I could get to playing it myself. This title is available for Microsoft XBOX 360 and One, Sony’s PS3 & PS4 systems, as well as PC. I am unable to test this game because my Commodore does not meet the system requirements, and this is not yet available for the Jaguar platform. Still, though, trust me: I'm fully qualified to bring you the info on one of these-here vidya games.
I'll preface this article with a truthful statement: this game actually sounds fun. But it's technology, which I do terribly with. And I love making fun of things, so we're off to the races. Evidently, according to the game website, gamers can “choose from 114 fully licensed and meticulously recreated motorcycles from 14 of the top manufacturers in four different categories: naked, supersports, superbikes, and historical bikes.”
First problem: I did notice that my beloved Harley-Davidson appears to be missing from the list of bikes one can race. Just sayin’. Second, the oldest bike you can use in this game is an 1987 Honda RC30. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a badass bike, but “historical” doesn’t even get back to the year of my birth. Man, do I feel old. But I will say, these bikes sure as hell look real. We’ve come a long way since "Road Rash." I think I can see the nibs on the tires. (God, the idea of using a cattle prod while atop a bike is still awesome.)
I digress. I still wish they offered a nice Peashooter or a WR. I mean, come on, they offer Bimotas. Hell, they even have a Lightning. I mean, Lightning doesn’t even sell bikes, do they? (Seriously, it would be a toss-up for me between the 2014 Bimota BB3 and the 2006 Kawi ZRX.)
Once you get your bike, you can start tweaking, in true biker fashion. You can modify the appearance, running gear, suspension and brakes. It’s pretty impressive. (At least it is for a guy who played Duck Hunt all through college. I'm not kidding, I even have a pixelated duck tattooed on me.) At risk of sounding cranky, the following modification choices leave me wanting:
- Eletronic [sic] Control Unit
- Air Filter
- Cylinder Head Porting
- Oil Replacement
A pipe, Power Commander, and air filter? Those are “first weekend I owned it” modifications, not dreamy video game budget-is-no-issue items. An oil change? For real? That’s... um, not a performance modification, that's maintenance. What's next? Valve Adjustment? Hell, if Oil Change is in the race bike modification category, then I expect Swap Meet Frame and Wheel With Questionable Bearings That Should Probably Be Replaced to be items I can also purchase in the speed shop.
There are a bunch of racing options — Trackday, Grand Prix, and Drag — but no Gypsy Tour. I want a mode where I can meander through the countryside, fully loaded for touring, and have from dawn to dusk to find delicious fried food with bonuses for items with cheese.
Even rider customization is available. I swear, you can choose different boots, jackets, even visors on the helmets! No word on whether the option exists to create a lifelike Lemmy racer with greasy canvas pants, an old chopper T-shirt, and customizable wallet chains.
I think this will make good winter fun for the video game people who also ride. I would totally waste a 12-pack and a winter afternoon doing this as opposed to rebuilding a star hub wheel. (I lied. I’d do both.) Secretly, I hope I can create that Lemmy character, and then in the game’s offseason, force him to sit down and watch product-placed Anthony videos.
I’m off to visit the Marketing department.