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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Riding Spirits (PS2) - Q&A / Facts / Screens

by Rainier on May 22, 2002 @ 11:24 a.m. PDT

Riding Spirits is an exhilarating, fast paced motorcycle racing game currently being developed by Japanese publisher and development studio Spike. An experienced multi-platform developer, Spike are best known for the beat 'em up hit, Fire Pro Wrestling, which BAM! launched on the Game Boy® Advance last summer. Riding Spirits is scheduled to ship to stores in June this year. We have a developer Q&A and a boat load of screens for you!

Hit the road on over 200 of the fastest two-wheel machines on the planet from companies like Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki in the most accurate motorcycle racing game ever created. Start your career as a lowly squid and then start speeding to victory and winning much needed cash. Spend your winnings on new bikes and all the racing gear you'll need to make you look as good as you ride. Drop serious dollars in the shop, adding better wheels, tighter suspension and bigger engines to your bike, taking it from stock ride to tricked-out racing machine. Anyone can wheel a bike out of a dealership -- can you tune yours to be a winner?

Test the limits of your abilities on courses where a split-second decision means the difference between victory or defeat. Start your career and begin building your rep, as you crank open the throttle across different tracks in America, Japan and Europe. Second place is for suckers, winning is everything. Are you good enough to take the checkered flag?

Key Features

  • Over 200 real-world motorcycles from manufacturers like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Each bike is modeled in exacting detail after its real-world counterpoint right down to the engine noise.
  • Earn cash for winning races in different racing classes -- the better you place, the bigger the reward.
  • Begin a career with the goal of mastering every racing class or jump into a straight-up quick race
  • Buy the latest helmets and racing suits from Shoei, Arai, Alpine Stars, Dainese and others top manufacturers.
  • Purchase after-market parts to upgrade tires, engines, gears, frames and suspension to trick out your bike. Or just use your winnings to add a new bike to your collection.
  • Race head-to-head against a friend in the VERSUS mode or against the computer in a DUEL.
  • Learn the basics of motorcycle handling in the safety training courses and then master the corners in circuit training.

A partial list of the bikes included in Riding Spirits:

  • HONDA CB1300 Super Four, HONDA VTR1000SP-1, HONDA NR, HONDA NS400R, HONDA NS250R, HONDA VF750F, HONDA CBX400F, HONDA CB750F, HONDA CB400Four, HONDA RVT1000R, HONDA VFR
  • YAMAHA FJR1300, YAMAHA VMX1200 Vmax, YAMAHA XJ600S Diversion, YAMAHA XJR1300, YAMAHA
    YZF-R1, YAMAHA FZR750R (OW01), YAMAHA FZ400R, YAMAHA RZV500R, YAMAHA RZ350, YAMAHA
    TZ250, YAMAHA XJR400R
  • KAWASAKI X-12R, KAWASAKI ZEPHYR750, KAWASAKI ZRX-II, KAWASAKI BALIUS-II, KAWASAKI GPZ900R, KAWASAKI GPZ400R, KAWASAKI KR250, KAWASAKI Z1000Mk. II, KAWASAKI Z750FX, KAWASAKI 750RS, KAWASAKI 750SS
  • SUZUKI GSX-R1000, SUZUKI GSX-R750, SUZUKI GSX-R600, SUZUKI GSX750, SUZUKI INAZUMA, SUZUKI GSX400IMPULSE, SUZUKI RGV-G250SP, SUZUKI GSX-R1100, SUZUKI GSX-R400, SUZUKI RG250, SUZUKI GSX750S.

Developer Q&A

Q : Please describe your game:

A : ‘Riding Spirits’ for PlayStation 2 is a motorbike racing sim game. With accurate technical data for more than 200 bikes ‘Riding Spirits’ is being touted as the ‘Gran Tourismo of bike games’. Spike has licensed bikes (vintage, current and not yet released models) from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc, riding suits (from Alpinestars, Dainese, Kushitani, Nankai, etc.), helmets (from Arai, Shoei, AGV, etc.), alongside tyres and bike parts. With 8 stages from around the world based on realistic environments (including Japan, USA, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, etc.) with city and open terrain racing included in most ‘courses’. Night and day racing. ‘Riding Spirits’ has a career mode as well as a ‘quick start’ racing option and it is in this mode that the size of the game can be uncovered. By racing different cc bikes in different tournaments the player can win vital credits/ cash to upgrade bikes with the available parts or buy into bigger, better bikes enabling the player to race more and more competitively. The number of changes that can be made to each bike is huge; from engine, tyres, mufflers, and such like, which have a real effect on how the bike handles, to the more ‘cosmetic’ elements such as indicators, mirrors, headlights, etc. The bike and the rider (by changing riding suits and helmets) can be different for every single race! Once the player is able to start winning races and tournaments he can move across categories and tournaments uncovering ‘hidden’ circuits and ‘hidden bikes’.
Using an original game engine developed in house at Spike Japan, ‘Riding Spirits’ has all the elements and polish that we have come to expect of the great Japanese ‘racers’ and the comprehensive content that is needed to be a market leader.

Q : Does the game include multiplayer modes?

A : Yes 2 players can play split screen

Q : What separates this game from others in its genre?

A : The sheer number of real motorcycles (as many as 200 models!) and accessories to choose from makes RS a superior ‘sim’ to the more arcade style games such as ‘Moto GP.’ Also, the system in which players can upgrade and customize machines by earning credits is new and very unique, making RS distinctive among other riding games. It is not riding a limited selection of racing bikes, but it’s riding your dream bike along public roads, as you would do in the real world!

Q : What technical challenges did you face on this project?

A : To make the realistic motion of riders was the hardest part. Riding Spirits is the very first game in which riders’ motion varies as they lean, and to make it possible, we developed ‘lean-control’ system. It was hard to make every move natural and true physically but we are more than pleased with the results.

Q : How have you found working with this platform?

It is advantageous, informative and motivating for us to work with the platform that has the biggest share of the market in the country and a worldwide user vase that is vast.

Q : What parts of the game are you most proud of?

A : The ‘realism’ in all aspects that enables motor racing fans to have the real joy of riding. The 200 kinds of motorcycle in the game are all authentic and players can purchase, remodel, and gear up their favourite machines or machines of their dreams. With that they are also able to ride them off circuit, at real locations of their choice! Our desire to create ‘reality’ is seen by the beautiful graphics, as well as the smooth motion of the bike achieved by introducing the new lean-control function in which rider’s right-and-left shift of weight actually affects in balancing the motorcycle. Considering the ‘realism’ and the number of materials available for players to choose from, it is truly the motorcycle version of ‘Gran Turismo’.

Q : What were your influences on this project?

A : The enthusiasm and love for riding motorcycle; we think it’s fun, cool and satisfying.

Q : What products have the team previously worked on?

A : “Decoration Truck” for PS2

Q : How long has the game been in development?

A : For more than 2 years at Spike’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Q : How have you found working with the licensors?

A : The game content, bikes, helmets, riding suits, etc, are all based on licenses – in each case it was vital that Spike’s development team worked closely with the manufacturers to ensure their products were accurately represented. All are pleased with the results!

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