Bike Rider DX Ultra: World Tour

Review: Bike Rider DX Ultra: World Tour

The Bike Rider series makes the jump from 3DS to Wii U! Is the ride smooth, or does it hit a few bumps along the way? Come inside to find out!

3DS fans may be familiar with the rather aptly named Bike Rider series, but for those yet to get a handle on their very own set of two wheels; a bit of background is perhaps in order here.  The Bike Rider series began on Japanese mobiles back in 2006 and the basic premise has changed little since then.  You take control of a little stick figure guy (or girl) and steer/jump your way through autoscrolling stages, while avoiding obstacles and holes of doom along your path to victory.  The laws of physics clearly mean nothing to you as you jump (single, double, triple and even more in some cases with the right timing!) with A and speed up or slow down with the D-pad or Circle Pad.

Screenshot showing the original Japanese mobile versions of Bike Rider

From Japanese mobiles...

Bike Rider DX for 3DS

... to 3DS.


You have two modes of gameplay, one being the stage based World Tour and the other being called Grand Prix.  The World Tour makes up the bulk of the experience and takes you on a journey (you guessed it) around the world through 10 stages of autoscrolling platforming based on each respective country.  Each stage is made up of 5 levels with the same (comically stereotypical) theme and each level introduces new gimmicks that help or hinder your progress along the way such as whirlwinds that push you skyward, powerups such as a speed up icon that does what it says on the tin or a hang glider that extends your jump across long distances and obstacles for you to avoid such as boulders, evil birds and even other bike riders.   While each level is very short, typically no longer than 3 minutes, each one also contains three coins to nab along the way; usually placed in a difficult to reach spot.  As you may expect, these coins are used to unlock bonus stages later on that really put your platforming skills to the test!

Meanwhile, the Grand Prix mode offers a randomly generated endless stage with two difficulty settings, where you shoot for the furthest distance you can survive before buckling from your pedal powered steed; with a local highscore board keeping track of your best attempts.

Simple stuff and very reminiscent of games you may remember from your days of regularly visiting the likes of Newgrounds; but what sets Bike Rider apart is that little “DX” marker, the one that denotes that extra layer of polish, care and attention as well as a healthy amount of content for that price you pay.  The games are simply well designed with tight and responsive controls, simplistic but pleasant visuals that make the game feel good to play, interesting level layouts and enough gameplay gimmicks to keep things feeling fresh throughout.  So with this Wii U edition of the game now bearing a title so embellished as to make Capcom proud, a higher level of expectation is placed upon the game as the handheld series makes its console debut.  So does it justify the outlandish title? Well, yes… and no… and yes!

Bike Rider, now in "HD"

Bike Rider DX in all of its HD Glory on Wii U


First off, it must be said that this is an expansion of the original Bike Rider DX and does not contain any of the stage designs from its sequel, Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy (That seems to be getting its own separate Wii U release, going by its appearance in Nintendo’s last Japanese financial report as "Bike Rider DX Ultra 2: Galaxy Tour"). As such, people familiar with the first game may be a bit disappointed to see that all of the backgrounds are much the same as the original 3DS title, with little changes made other than being in higher resolution (though still a bit on the blurry side overall). However, beneath the surface visuals lies a bit of a surprise... All of the stage designs are completely new! While they feature the same gimmicks throughout as the 3DS original, the actual layouts have all been redesigned and provide a fresh challenge. Generally speaking, they are all generally improved across the board; with blind jumps banished, a wider field of view offered and overall the game feels fairer to the player this time around. It’s just more fun all round, with precision platforming feeling more rewarding than ever before.


The Grand Prix mode is much the same as before, but taking a cue from the second 3DS Bike Rider game, it now comes equipped with online leaderboards! Featuring worldwide overall as well as weekly rankings you can now take your biking skills to a world stage and cycle for glory (I was 81st in the weekly rankings at the time of writing this review, so I reckon I’m not too terrible!) Likewise, the World Tour mode this time around also takes a cue from Bike Rider DX 2: Galaxy in that you can earn golden crowns on each stage if you manage to nab all 3 coins in a level without using the D-pad or analog stick once. A nice little extra that adds a little extra challenge for those seeking to fully complete everything on offer (and if that’s not enough, there’s a bevy of achievement-like Awards that you can aim to complete as well).

Another nice addition to this edition is the inclusion of different costumes. While the styles on offer don’t offer too much variety, it’s nice to see that the game also incorporates Mii support this time around (with your character rather comically permanently staring in your direction instead of looking where they’re going on the track). In another nice little touch, if you look closely, you’ll notice that the colour of your Miis clothes in-game is dependent on your choice of favourite colour in Mii Maker. It’s little touches like this, along with smooth game performance and nice looking menus that make the experience that little bit more enjoyable, even in a simple game like this one.

Also new to this Ultra DX version is the 2-4 player multiplayer mode! Now this one is interesting in that it stands as both a co-operative and a competitive experience. While you all work together to nab the three coins on the track and complete the level to unlock more stages, the game keeps track of various stats that ultimately crown the winner of each level; including who grabs the coins first, who loses the least lives, who survived for the longest on the track without failing and who ultimately finishes first. It’s a surprisingly engaging little multiplayer game that may have you giving dirty looks that that person next to you who unceremoniously decides to use you as a footstall to reach that one shining gold coin.

Picture of me being beaten in multiplayer

 Or two in this case...


Interestingly, while the majority of the game within the multiplayer World Tour mode takes place on a shared screen, occasionally you’ll come across some levels that play out in a splitscreen mode; typically they tend to be ones that feature a larger amount of branching paths and riders who are looking to get in your way.  These levels work well enough, but some may find it a bit hard to see your rider, given the shrunken down display.  It would’ve been nice to see some sort of stronger highlight given to your smaller character and the obstacles coming your way, but it doesn’t prove to be too much of a problem really.

Splitscreen screenshot that shows a smaller view for each player, but I'm still managing to win anyway so I'm happy.

 You may have to squint a little, but if you look closely, you’ll see I’m winning the race this time, so it’s all good.


In addition to having multiplayer support for World Tour, the game also offers a 2-4 player Battle Royale mode; where you compete on randomly generated tracks over a period of time for the longest distance possible.  As you’d probably expect, the last rider standing wins.  It’s simple and surprisingly enjoyable in short bursts.


The Battle Royale options are quite extensive. You can change the number of matches, the time limit, the number of lives available and even turn player collisions on and off.

 There’s a fair amount of options on display to customise the game to your liking – I’d recommend keeping Player Collisions on for maximum fun though.


Sadly, while the game does have online support in the form of leaderboards, there is no online multiplayer.  However, for those of you with buddies nearby, you’ll be glad to know that the game supports nearly every single control option available on Wii U (that’s Gamepad, Wii Remote, Classic Controller/Pro and Wii U Pro Controller for those not keeping count), so you should have little trouble getting a game up and running if you have local friends at the ready.


Screenshot showing the support for almost all controller types. Even the Wii Remote speaker is supported when that controller is used!

 Another nice touch is the fact that the game actually supports the Wii Remote’s speaker as well for when you pick up items.  It’s the little things…


As far as Gamepad specific support goes, there’s Off-TV play and nothing else.  In a game like this though? It’s all it really needs though.  I should also mention that there seems to be an unfortunate little bug I have noticed though, regarding the menu screens.  It seems that if you have the game stored on a USB Hard Disk Drive, the menus have a tendency to chug and splutter a fair bit.  This can be avoided by moving the game to the Wii U’s internal storage, but it’s a shame that this slipped by the developer to begin with.  Hopefully a patch will be coming to fix this issue.

Overall it’s just a really simple but really solid little autoscrolling platformer with a good amount of content for the small price you pay and a surprisingly enjoyable multiplayer mode added on for good measure.  It’s not going to change your life, but anyone who finds enjoyment in a simple pick-up-and-play title will find a lot to like about this one.  That being said, this review would be woefully incomplete if I didn’t give a special shout out to the music.  The tunes are all the same as the ones featured in the original 3DS game but as anyone who has ever played it would tell you, that’s not a problem because they are absolutely fantastic! It’s all Hi NRG techno from various electronica bands that are famous in Japan and it will get you P.U.M.P.E.D! The music is so good that I’d actually say that it’s worth buying the game for it alone! Anyone with a penchant for thumping techno beats will find it near impossible to not continuously jump along in time to the music (as I would continuously do, even to my inevitable failure as a result).

Have a listen to some of the music in this footage below and see if you agree... 

N-Europe Final Verdict

Bike Rider Ultra DX World Tour is the best version of the original Bike Rider game, with simple but satisfying gameplay, a feeling of polish throughout (mostly) and a surprisingly engaging little multiplayer mode. Did I also mention that the music is fantastic?

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals2
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



Simple controls and fun gameplay with a healthy amount of content
Online leaderboards and addictive high scoring that have that Just-One-More-Go factor
Support for almost every Wii U controller
Great music


Some blurry backgrounds here and there
Splitscreen stages in multiplayer sometimes make it a bit hard to see what’s going on
An unfortunate bug regarding USB HDD storage devices

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