Review: Excitebike

NES Review

NOTE: This is Virtual Console review. As such, there's none of the usual scoring at the end.Just text and a quick verdict.

So, first on the list is Excitebike. This was a fairly inevitable release since this Friday (16th February) Excitetruck is finally hitting European shores. This arcade style motorbike racer was released in Europe back in '86, featuring a rather ingenious play style, where you could basically go fast or really fast. Using the games innovative over heating system the player can choose to go at either a normal speed or speed the bike up. This however meant that the bikes over heat metre would slowly fill and if the bike becomes too hot then it crashes to the side of the track and you have to wait for the bike to recover. Sounds complex? Well for people who played it in the past, it's really not. A side from the games over heat system, Excitebike didn't play like the average racer of the time. The game used different kinds of ground obstacles such as mud patches, ramps and verts to try make you crash so you had to negotiate whatever you ever going to land on by controlling your bike in mid air.

The game also features two modes of play: Selection A is time trial and Selection B is a text book versus AI affair but they mostly play the same way. Both only feature 5 tracks, which are fairly short but as anyone who has played the title knows there's quite a lot of tactics and skill involved. You can make the AI crash by making them hit your back tire with their front meaning even now you hold your breath as you approach and try to overtake the AI. Excitebike is an incredibly fun title and it surprisingly still plays, looks and sounds the part even today. Its music is instantly recognisable and you'll still hum it. The emulation is also handled very well, with no kinks, bugs or slowdown.

Excitebike was originally released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan; meaning players could save and load custom tracks as well as race on premade tracks. Thankfully, Nintendo actually fixed a bug that plagued the original release. If you ever tried to save or load a track you made, the game would lock up. This was due to it being a quick port from a disk system game to a normal NES cartridge. The track editor for its day was incredibly robust and if anything shows up some modern games for not including them! Excitebike's quick style of racing is pure fun from start to finish even now and is probably better than its younger brothers Excitebike 64 and the new Excitetruck. The only downside to this title as people know is its shortness. The game doesn't have that much to offer in terms of an actual game, it's very much a play for 30 minutes or so kind of title. Should you buy it though? If you were a fan in the past or if you've never played Excitebike, then yes, as it was a staple of the NES games library and I can highly recommend it.

Verdict: 7/10

N-Europe Final Verdict

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