Welcome back! This time around, we are gonna look at our next launch title, "Excitebike"
Excitebike is motocross action! In "selection A" mode, not only did you have to race against time, you had obstacles, ramps, mud, and your bike overheating if you used turbo too much to go faster. In "Selection B" mode, you had all that AND computer controlled opponents to race against. When you launched off a ramp, you can press the controller to make your wheels angled upward, downward or flat to try and gain some speed on the landing. One of the launch titles, this actually had a "design" mode. i think it was 20 different items you could put in a race, making it as easy or difficult as you wanted. I remember building insane tracks, setting it for 9 laps, then having a friend come over and have to ride the track with the most annoying ramps and jumps that never synced up right, making you crash and have to run back to your bike OVER AND OVER.
and to make the game seem cooler, theres this:
THATS A CAMERA MAN! Yes, you were racing in the stadium and it was being broadcast for all the world to see! You were the original X Games!
Graphics--6/10 Yes its a way early NES game, and a LOT of resources are used over and over again (for example, the "bales of hay", i assume those things on the sides of the track are), but watching your racer flail around as he runs to his bike after falling off, the movement of the bike, it works and it works well.
Control--7/10 Control is considerably better in this game than others so far on that I've played. You can really swerve back and forth in lanes easy, you can make your rider angle facing downward on the backside of a large ramp on the way down, etc. It controls well. Later NES games would clearly do better controlwise, but this is pretty dang good.
Sound--7/10 Theres not much here. General crowd noises, the BBBBRRRWWWW of the motorcycle, the higher pitched version of it when you hit turbo, there isn't much special. Until you get to this:
(Video: Youtube, User Kunio89ro)
Skip to 1:30 seconds. See the person finish the race and get the new record time. Thats just great music. This is a launch title that you dont want to turn the sound off of after 3 minutes. First game to say that so far!
Is it FUN? 7/10 Oh yeah, it is. When I play them I think of 2 questions. (1) do I find it fun NOW? (2) if i was a kid and got this game, would I like playing it THEN and would I be able to get others to play it with me? This game still holds up and I remember playing it as a kid and having people come over to play it. Having a design section, essentially do it yourself DLC, adds a ton. The game is great, even leading up to having the bike rider in Smash Brothers as a trophy and an attack. This game is clearly head and shoulders above the other games so far!
Total--27/40 Wow, highest scoring game of the launch so far! Thank you, Excitebike, for teaching us how to laugh and love again!