Ducati World Championship Review

Back in 2000 (give or take) I owned a Ducati racing game, but I don’t remember the name. One of the big enjoyments I got out of it was creating gigantic crashes. You were able to crank up the number of racers, and creating a huge crash was always hilarious. With that said, Ducati World Championship from Strategy First is a big crash in the enjoyment department. I’d say the highlight of the game is the overly attractive yet unnecessary buxom woman that opens up the game’s intro movie. Other than that, the game is rather generic.

The first notable problem is the controls. Like any other racing game I’ve played over the years, my fingers were already on the arrow keys during the countdown. Once the lights hit green and my middle finger was on the up arrow to go forward, nothing happened. As is my luck, you can’t access the key configuration menu in-game, so I ended up randomly pressing buttons till I began to go forward — it’s the A key, by the way.

In order to access the menu while racing, you have to hit the pause key on your keyboard. In other words, unlike every single game in the world you can’t use the Esc key to get to the menu. While navigating the various menus you use the Delete key to go back, which is weird. The entire game is filled with little control issues that aren’t broken so much as don’t make sense. There’s no official control scheme for all genres out there, but come on! There are unwritten rules! On the flip side, the game supports a joystick, if you prefer that route. I’d highly recommend it.

Visually, the game looks rather mediocre. I’m surprised; Ducati uses RenderWare and there are plenty of recent games that used RenderWare and look great, but just playing Ducati is a drag. I’m talking horrible character textures (seriously, they’re bad), boring-looking racing tracks, ugly bikes and golf course grass (i.e. no grass whatsoever). The game supports some neat little visual flair, such as dirt kicking up on the camera and motion blur but those are pale in-comparison to the ugly visuals.

Ducati offers a few different gameplay modes: Quick Race, Career, Championship, Capirex Challenge and multiplayer. If you want to create your own racer and enjoy a nice racing career, than the Career gameplay mode is for you. If you want to take a pre-existing racer and go through the same races as Career, than Championship is for you. Capirex Challenge is a series of different challenges for you to undertake. They range from performing wheelies or indos to just general challenging races, such as racing against a rival, time trials, endurance races or a flash race (complete six various challenges in one lap). Multiplayer is a throw-away since that’s basically a two-player mode.

On the customization side, Ducati offers quite a few ways to not only customize your bike but also your appearance. In the end though, whomever I picked for my biker looked really, really ugly. As for bike customization, you can switch up your gears, brakes, clutch, suspension, chassis, steering and tires (spelt tyres).

Physics are pretty bad, too. While racing, if you happen to as much as tap another racer everyone will act like nothing happened except for you; you’ll slow down while everyone else will just zip on by. The hit-detection is also rather flimsy since it’ll look like you didn’t hit someone, yet you’ll slow down and everyone will flip various gestures at you. The audio is (surprise!) rather mediocre as well. While navigating the in-game menus, the music just randomly fizzes or cuts out. As for in-game, the music tends to skip randomly. If you happen to hear the music, it’s your rather generic metal you really don’t find any value in listening to, and this is coming from a huge metal fan.

It’s very clear that Ducati is just an average racing game filled with numerous below-average aspects. Everything about it is rather mediocre; graphics, racing modes, multiplayer and physics. The various challenges in the Capirex Challenge mode are pretty neat, but they only escalate in difficulty and not in innovative challenges. If you prefer mediocre games which really don’t do anything well and completely bomb in several areas, then Ducati World Championship is for you.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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