Digital Integration 

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 V room! Vroooom!!

"On yer bike," the Ed said. And I was just about to get my you-know-what into gear and go you-know-where when he gave me TT Racer. "That bike!" Oh!

Now the closest I've ever come to 500cc is a carton of orange juice, so I wasn't going to pass up the chance to race round the Nurburgring with a juggernaut between my knees. I'd soon polish off that Mr Sheene.

Right, rev up, release the clutch, whoa a wheelie... and we're off. Right off. Still, if this had been for real I'd have gone A over TT and ended up in hospital with more metal plates in me than a works canteen. But perhaps it was a little ambitious to start off with the big boys at Grand Prix level. Let's have a go on the 80cc phut-phut at club standard. And sure enough, within half an hour I'd won my first race. I don't know how because I still hadn't mastered the little things like gear changing but the Ed wasn't arguing when I sprayed champagne in his direction.

But that's the beauty of TT Racer; it provides enough options to keep you burnin' rubber till your Dunlops drop off. So, you can pootle off on a noddy bike with all the trappings like fuel indicator, speedo and wing mirrors - everything (barring the fluffy dice) that real racers have to dispense with to keep down wind resistance. You can even choose the automatic gear change - just don't let anyone see you 'cos that's for the real wimps! Then, once you've sussed out the technicalities of the throttle and the rev counter (no, it's not a device for adding up vicars), you can work your way up to the megamachines and win a place on the Grand Prix circuit.

The big test of any simulation, though, is just how realistic it is. It doesn't matter how many permutations of the original scenario it offers if none of them give you so much as an inkling of what it really feels like to be flying a plane, burning round Brands Hatch or becoming a Back Street Hero. TT Racer certainly convinced me. It convinced me that it's as close as I ever want to come to spreading myself like strawberry jam round the Silverstone circuit. Nothing can ever hope to capture the exhilaration and raw fear of trying to keep your tyres touching the tarmac while you're attempting to take a comer at 110 mph but this'll do for me.

And just take a look at how far over this baby tilts. If this was for real it's a wonder your ears don't catch fire in the friction. Swinging from side to side to take the S-bends on the Salzburgring can almost make you feel sea-sick. But you must master the corners if you're ever going to make it. You have to put yourself in a position to take the most direct line through them, brake, lean and then accelerate out again. One hint as well - don't use a sloppy joystick or you'll be wobbling all over the road and probably get done for being drunk in charge.

A couple of minor quibbles. The sense of speed doesn't seem to alter whether you're on an 80cc donkey or a 500cc mean machine. But then I'm still spending most of my time trying to stay on board and not really noticing the scenery as it whizzes past. And when you're racing against other bikes they all get out of your way when it comes to overtake - not as realistic as all that bobbing and weaving but a darn sight less dangerous.

If you're keen to take the chequered flag without getting spattered and only want your bike made by Yamaha not your organs as well, you'd be well advised to take the Ed's advice. On yer TT Racer!

The Right Track...

Welcome to the New Nurburgring in Germany. If you can get round this track in one piece you should be ready to tackle just about anything. And since the game included eleven more tracks for you to rev your way around, you should have plenty of opportunity. When you've reached Grand prix standard, you can choose the Season option that takes you through all twelve tracks, monitoring your progress as you go. If you're just starting out, I found that Silverstone was about the best to cut your teeth on without knocking them all out on the tarmac. It's got some good long straights and the bends aren't too hair-raising. At least no-one can accuse Digital Integration of having a one track mind!

Graphics    GRAPHICS


Playability    PLAYABILITY


Addictiveness    ADDICTIVENESS



Overall Score    OVERALL SCORE

 Overall Stars

Reviewed by

Tommy Nash




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