Team Suzuki logo

Gremlin Graphics £24.99 * Joystick, mouse and keyboard

Sit a normal mortal on a Grand Prix bike and they'd spend hours sliding sideways, crashing and generally sprackling themselves. Just how powerful, responsive and fast such bikes actually are is hammered home in the latest rubber-burning spectacular from Gremlin.

No easy rider!
Team Suzuki machines are frighteningly fast-racing thoroughbreds that do not tolerate mistakes. Your mission (Jim?) is ostensibly to win the world's title; not quite a 'Mission Impossible' - but almost.

Standing between you and Grand Prix glory are a highly-twitchy bike, the likes of Mr K Schwantz (World Champ' and Suzuki rider) and 16 courses that must be learnt off by heart.

After selecting a motorbike (125, 250 or 500cc) riders choose the control method - all of which are monumentally sensitive! There are two mouse options or joystick, with a variety of gear-change techniques thrown in for good measure. Then, and only then, it's race time. Fools and speed freaks can dive straight into a full season, while cooler heads will use the 'Single Race' option to study each of the 16 tracks.

A race is preceded by three timed qualifying laps. During a season getting pole position is vital, and it gives riders a chance to suss out a new track. This is essential when travelling at race speed because then the road is almost impossible to read and react to. At full whack the bike has to be banked in anticipation of corners - you can't wait until the track starts to twist./p>

The racing is cut-throat and the speed is stunning. The computer riders defend their position well and collision or loss of control leads to near-fatal wobble. Line the bike up properly and it will hang on in corners at incredible speeds if you lay off the power. Wheelies and power slides easily come about due to the Suzuki's phenomenal acceleration, but they are hard to correct.

Damage limitation
Errors of judgement that send the bike onto the grass or into another rider costs speed and then the damage begins to set in. A percentage figure flashes on the screen and when it reaches 100% the bike is then deemed to have crashed and has to withdraw.

Unfortunately the bike's dash and handlebars (which can be turned on and off, along with the rider 'sprites') do no accurately represent the bike's width.

Countless unnecessary collisions are the result as more outrageous passing moves are tried in traffic.

Team Suzuki have picked a winner with Gremlin. If their race bikes are as sharp as these Amiga cycles then the next few championships are sewn up. Various tracks and tricks must be learnt for success but dedicated riders have some great racing in store.

Team Suzuki is hard to control and demands your full attention. The speed of the graphics and their apt quirks - hit the space-bar to glance over your shoulder - suit racing and are useful. Only the width problem while overtaking mars the thrill of racing the best in the world on the best in the world.

Team Suzuki logo

Es ist unübersehbar - bei Gremlin sind die Motorsport-Enthusiasten ander Macht! Nachdem sie gerade erst drei Autorennspiele hintereinander abgeliefert haben, zeigen sie jetzt auch mal ein Herz für die Zweirad-Fans unter uns.

Als solcher hat man die Wahl zwischen drei flatten Suzis, einer 500er, einer 250er und einer 125er. Die kleinste fährt sich am einfachsten, weil bei ihr der Amiga das Schalten übernimmt, bei den beiden anderen muß man selbst Hand anlegen - und das ist leider eine ziemlich schwierige Angelegenheit!

Grundsätzlich gibt es zwei verschiedene Steuerungsmodi: Bei Möglichkeit A) beschleunigt man mit der rechten Maustaste und bremst mit der linken, raufgeschaltet wird mit der Control-Taste, runter mit Shift. Bei Möglichkeit B) muß zum beschleunigen die rechte Maustaste gedrückt und die Maus dabei nach vorne gerollt werden; zum Raufschalten drückt man die linke Maustaste und rollt das Nagetier ebenfalls nach vorne. Bremsen und Runterschalten funktioniert genauso, bloß in entgegengesetzter Richtung.

Dasselse Spielchen kann man jetzt auch noch mit der Kombination Joystick/Tastatur durchexerzieren, aber das erspare ich Euch lieber. Das Problem ist nämlich immer das gleiche: Während des Rennens hat man eh' schon alle Hände voll zu tun, um die Maschine überhaupt auf der Straße zu halten - wenn man dann auch noch die richtigen Tasten auf dem Keyboard suchen muß, sind Unfälle oft unvermeidlich!

Prinzipiell kann man einen probelauf machen, an einem einzelnen Rennen teilnehmen oder sich gleich in eine komplette Rennsaison stürzen. Vor jedem Rennen (zwischen 5 und 50 Runden) müssen mehrere Qualifikationsrunden absolviert werden. Nur wer hier eine ordentliche Zeit herausfährt, findet sich später auf einer aussichtsreichen Startposition wieder.

Im Rennen selbst staunt man dann über die schnelle "Polygon"- 3D-Grafik, die Maschine fliegt förmlich an den Zuschauertribünen vorbei. Und das nahezu ruckelfrei! Wer es noch schneller haben will, kann auf die Darstellung des Cockpits verzichten; wem auch das noch nicht genügt - die Fahrer der gegnerischen Maschinen lassen sich ebenfalls einsparen. Bei einem Crash bringt der Amiga eine Zeitlupenwiederholung in 3D-Darstellung, was wahrlich beeindruckend aussieht!

Grafisch ist Team Suzuki also ausgezeichnet gelungen, soundmäßig gibt es allerdings nur Durchschnitt. Was das Gameplay betrifft, stehen die Weichen voll auf Realismus: Ohne ein sensibles Händchen für die Bremse geht hier gar nix, denn die Mehrzahl der insgesamt 16 Kurse ist ausgesprochen schwer zu meistern - eine Kurve jagt die andere, gerade Streckenabschnitte tauchen nur vereinzelt auf.

Fazit: Team Suzuki ist eine ebenso schöne wie anspruchsvolle Rennsimulation mit gewöhnungsbedürftiger Steuerung und einem gepfefferten Schwierigkeitsgrad. Motorrad-Freaks dürfen hier also frohen Herzens zuschlagen - sofern sie bereit sind, außer Geld auch noch ein bißchen Zeit und Mühe zu investieren! (C. Borgmeier)

Team Suzuki logo

Gremlin's third speed-freak licence follows on the turbo-charged heels of their Lotus and Toyota Celica Rally games. But this time the steering wheel's been exchanged for handle bars and a 500cc engine.

Team Suzuki is basically EA's Indy 500 on two wheels. The graphical style is very similar, as are the action replays after each crash. What places it above Indy, though, is its speed - it's extremely fast.

Unfortunately, it's also extremely difficult. The bike steers very well, although it's a little too responsive at times. Even after several hours play my abysmal attempts at driving through chicanes left a lot to be desired.

Oversteering is all too easy leading to unwelcome close-ups of the crash barriers. With an abundance of patience a player could learn the courses well enough to complete them in a respectable time but this means trekking around the tracks at minimal speed, which prevents the game from being instantly accessible.

The scenery and bikes are all constructed from vectored polygons, and look excellent. Switching off your bike's display speeds up the graphics, but they're so fast to begin with it hardly makes a difference. You get three different bikes to choose from and a number of tracks to race on, giving you a choice of where and on what to crash.

Team Suzuki is a good effort and definitely one for dedicated bikers.

Team Suzuki logo

Jonathan Davies has never been quite the same since the accident that followed the removal of his tricycle's stabilisers. So he looked understandably apprehensive when we slipped Gremlin's Team Suzuki into his in-tray.

Imagine a flight sim where you actually 'fly' a motorbike and you're there, really. Team Suzuki's got solid 3D graphics, infinitely-variable viewpoints (ranging from a sensible over-the-handlebars one, through a slightly dubious up-thge-rider's-bottom one to a completely useless underneath-the-bike-looking upwards one) and all the other things that normally only pilots have to worry about. All, that is, except a plane.

Instead you'll find yourself astride a throbbing Suzuki motorcycle with any one of 16 race courses beneath its wheels. Ahead of you (assuming you've qualified in last place) are seven other suspicious similar-looking bikes. The lights go gree and they're off. Wondering what hit you, you cautiously try giving the throttle a twist and whomph! You're off too.

Oh no. Oo-er. Eeek! Buildings zip by on either side, bridges hurtle past overhead and your break-fast streams out behind you. Do people really do this for a living? But what's this? A corner? Ah...
Predictably you take it too fast, swerve off the road and cause 14 per cent worth of damage (100 per cent and you're out of the race, fact fans).

Atari St reviewJonathan: I have to admit to being a sucker for anything with filled-in 3D graphics. If they're fast and smooth, so much the better. And if they're coupled with what must surely be one of my favourite types of game of all (the driving game), well then we're really talking.

Team Suzuki has all this and (unlike other recent Gremlin games) I found I had its name committed to memory in no time at all. Two words are definitely enough for me. The trouble is, though, the controls. At first I found myself wobbling all over the place, mainly due to the fact that you need to clear an eight foot square area of table to fling the mouse about int. Although I got better with practice, I never got to the stage where I was really happy with the way things were working.

Team Suzuki definitely isn't Indianapolis 500 - a game it's obviously taken a long, hard gander at. (I checked the box carefully). But it represents a minor triumph for Gremlin and, although it doesn't exactly set the pulse racing, I was rather taken by it.

Amiga reviewPaul: Oh dear, motorbikes. I'm not very good with them. Even keeping my balance on a push bike is frequently beyond me. This might explain why I seemed to spend most of my first 20 minutes on Team Suzuki sliding from one side of the track to the other.

However, after lots of practice and watching more skillful players than myself coming to grief, I decided it wasn't just me being crap (though it was partly that) but the fact that the game is flippin' hard - with the joystick it's flippin' impossible. If you're the sort of show-off who finds most driving sims a piece of pistachio then this will be a bonus. However Metro drivers might be somewhat put off.

As well as the difficulty, I've also got slightly mixed feeling about the graphics. On the plus side they're very smooth and very fast. The way the scenery moves in relation to your bike is excellent. Your own bike, well what you can see of it, is impressively coloured and detailed. However the other vehicles on the track are a bit... erm... basic.

They're okay but they'd look more at home in a flight sim. Rather spookily none of the bikes have riders, which doesn't seem to stop them winning.

Team Suzuki is an exciting, fast game which might be a little bit too difficult for its own good. However, it's a creditable addition to Gremlin's increasingly impressive collection of racing sims.