Nintendo goes on the motorcross rally tracks to make a game based specifically on that topic,but will this game reach the finish line of victory,like many other titles in the NES library,or should it be retired before the race even starts?
ExciteBike is a Nintendo Entertainment System game released in 1984 on Japan for the Famicom(The NES was called the Famicom at Japan),and as a release title for the system at 1985,when it was released outside of that country.It got a sequel for the N64,some remakes/ports,two spiritual and one downloadable successors for the Wii,and it was also released for the Virtual Console on the Wii,3DS and Wii U some years later.
The game has you on control of an anonymous motorbike pilot,whose color's different from the rest of the racers in the game,and you have three modes to play through,but more on them later.
On the Wii U Gamepad,the controls are pretty simple and easy to learn after playing the game for a short time(these are the automatic controls,as a reminder):A and X are for making the bike run,B and Y are for running the bike faster,and the analog stick/D-Pad is for moving your bike up and down,since the game is played from a side perspective of the race,and can also be maneuvered by moving the stick/D-Pad left or right.
There are a total of three modes to play on ExciteBike:
'Selection A' is a standard race where is just you and your trusty bike on the track,competing to beat certain time periods in two laps.It's basically some sort practice mode for the game so you can understand how the game plays a bit.It's fun for a while,although you may find the other modes more interesting to play on,making this the option you'll probally come back to the least,but that still doesn't mean you won't find any enjoyment on this part of the game.
'Selection B' has you racing against other CPU opponents before reaching the 2nd lap,and even though there are only 5 tracks to choose from,which are also playable on the Selection A mode,they are still pretty chaotically fun and engaging.
'Design' is the game's main highlight,allowing you to create your own track by placing specific things,like small and big ramps,speed boost panels and others.However,you will be confused in which option is which,since the game only give those options through letters,from A to S,and you'll have to memorize what they mean.It isn't that big of a flaw,since it was still a game released on the early 80s,and letting you create your own motocross track for game at that age was still an interesting concept,so consider this as a passable issue.Also,you can even save one track per game data and race them alone or with the CPU,so that's a nice feature.
Gameplay in the races otherwise,it's pretty fun if you're racing alone or with the CPUs,and in both of them,you're given a certain time period to complete the race to earn a spot in the Top 3 rankings.When playing,you have to be careful to not slow down while running on mud and grass,not fall of from your bike when trying to land from a ramp or maneuvering your bike too far to the left and not hit the other racers from behind,or else,you'll be rolled to the outside part of the main track and then wait until your character reaches his bike.Be aware that holding the B/Y for too long will make your bike's engine go crazy,and you will also have to wait a bit until being able to return to the main track again,so use this function properly.The gameplay in a small statement is pretty enjoyable and replayable and a bit challenging to play through.
Nintendo managed to add yet another classic for the already big library of great NES games with ExciteBike,and even with some tolerable non-instructional options for the 'Design' mode,and a bit lacking single-player mode,the rest of what the game has is really satisfying and fun for it's time and even today,as a retro game.As of this review,you can purchase ExciteBike from Club Nintendo of America for 200 coins on the Wii U before it shuts down on June 31th,and if you're thinking on purchasing this game among all of the other games offered at the site,then you will not be sorry of your purchase of this great NES classic.
ExciteBike(Wii U Virtual Console) R-view
Review #7 of my series of game reviews