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Excitebike is another great N64 racing game, it's undoubtedly the best motorbike game on that particular console and its probably my favourite scrambling game of all time. It was around on the NES in 2D format and was a popular choice I believe although I don't recall playing it. Along with the Sega Saturn's Manx TT, Excitebike 64 is one of the best bike related games I can recall playing.
The graphics whilst not amazing today, are not bad and the courses are vibrant, there's nothing to collect when you are racing and it has an arcade feeling to it, it's pure racing and there are several routes within one course occasionally as well as a few alternative tricks such as clinging to the side of a sheer cliff without technically leaving the course.
It takes a bit of time to get used to steering your bike, the trick is to accelerate on straights only and lay off the gas completely going round corners and just as you leave the corner, accelerate again! It's tricky to get correct, if you go too wide on a corner or are too late to accelerate leaving the corner, you may just get cracked on the back of the head by another racer, drop down the field and lose all your hard work.
The gaming is good fun, there are not hundreds of tracks but there's enough to enjoy a championship and there are three levels of ease. It will take you a while to succeed even on the easy level, so it can satisfy (or annoy) you for quite a lot of gameplay for you to win the championship on the hard level.
"Excitebike 64" is a racing video game. It was first released for the Nintendo 64 in 2001 by Nintendo. In the United States, the game received a guidance rating of "E" which deemed it appropriate for all ages.
I tend to get very worried when a vintage two dimensional video game is revived into a modern three dimensional platform. In most cases, the video game fails to meet its expectations and ruins previous conceptions along with my fond childhood memories. I remember being very hesitant when first picking up this video game, however felt it was worth taking a gamble on such a well delivered classic for the original Nintendo Entertainment System.
In this video game the player assumes the role of one of six motorbike racers. It is his or her objective to guide the character through a 20 track season mode with aims of becoming champion. The gameplay is reminiscent of the original Excitebike game with the player being required to bounce and bump their way over a series of hills and jumps within the shortest amount of time. This is accomplished through the minimalistic control scheme which sees the arrow keys guiding the tilt of the motorbike, A accelerating, B braking, R sliding, and Z turbo boosting. What I immediately noticed about the video game is its overwhelmingly difficult computer opponents. The sensitivity of the programming clearly favours a very dominant artificial intelligence and thus it is very rare to see the computer take a tumble on a bump. This can be very frustrating when first beginning the game, however as I progressed I found myself more able to deal with my very tough opponents.
To alleviate some of the strain, Nintendo included a 17 track tutorial mode to familiarize players with the controls and commands of Excitebike. I found it to be somewhat helpful in bettering myself for the rigid artificial intelligence, however it is through successful completion of this mode which brings forth a very pleasant surprise: a full version of the original Excitebike seen on the NES. After unlocking this I spent a great deal of time in a nostalgic trance and found the hidden feature to be how I remembered the original video game. Needless to say I was very pleased when I found this. Also, in aims of simplifying the video game, there is an included track editor which allows one to become more proficient with the turbo boost and slide commands.
The visuals of Excitebike 64 are excellent. Nintendo took great care to add a lot of finer details to the racing experience. For example, in muddy regions, the wet dirt will "cake" on to the back of one's motorbike and fling itself off in fragments when the racer reaches drier land. Racers themselves also animate very well and have a wide variety of gestures and taunts specific to certain events such as the painful jitters after miscalculating a landing and being sent flying from the vehicle. Unfortunately this alluring presentation is hindered by a poor frame rate. In periods where all competitors are near one another, the video game reduces itself to a noticeable choppiness which is difficult to pass. The soundtrack is typical to what one may expect from a racing game with the white noise hiss of the motorbike's engine, and a variety of bone crunching crash noises accenting each mishap.
While I'm very partial to the included NES version, Excitebike 64 provides an excellent racing package in its own respect. I can't bring myself to fault much of the gaming experience and continually find it to be a refreshing and fun play. I would happily recommend this video game to prospective buyers.
After what seems like years of delays, Nintendo's NES classic, revamped for the 64-bit era, was finally released in the UK in late 2001 and guess what? It was well worth the wait. So start your engines (or whatever they say in motocross) and read my review of Nintendo's last BIG game for the Nintendo 64. The original Excitebike instantly became a classic on the NES and in the arcades shortly after release. The game used a strategic angle and encouraged players to use their mind as well as their turbos. The game had a turbo boost and if it was used too much the bike would literally crash and burn, so brain was needed as well as brawn but it didn't spoil the game as you might think. You can download a NES emulator and try and find a copy of the original ROM (I?m not going to tell you where though?that?s naughty), this is highly recommended as the game also contains a track editor, which is brilliantly revived in the 64 update. The way that second party developer, Left Field productions, has ported this 2D game into the world of 3D is an accomplishment in itself and the game loses none of the charm in the process. In the game you can choose from six, awfully named characters such as Sarah "Sugar" Hill, all six of them having ranging stats with some good at turbo and some good at landing, the basic racing formula. The best two racers are probably Vicky Steele and Sarah Hill who both have a mixed range of skills and are not bad at anything just average really. The game is split into a number of modes including Season where you have six races and you have to come out 1st overall after the six races in order to qualify for the next difficulty. While this is all good when you have completed the season you will want something more which is why Left Field have put in some marvellous side-games. You can play footy against your mates but with a difference, your on bikes, (if you have played Street Racer for the SNES then
you will know what it is like), there is a stunt mode a la Tony Hawks and while you might be limited to only a handful of stunts it is still great fun in two player mode. Another mode revived from the original is the track-editor and this allows you to make your own custom track. While this sounds good at first, it is rather a let-down because you can?t really add as much things as you would like. Despite this it is still a great addition and is well worth a go and hammering your mates on it gives you extra pleasure because you made it. Oh yes the multiplayer mode, this is where the game really shines. . Up to four players can join in with the computer and play in the normal race mode or some of the bonus modes such as the football game and this is where that Nintendo magic kicks in. There is no slow-down whatsoever and it is quite possibly the best multiplayer game on the N64 behind Mazza Kart and its stunning battle mode. When you play the game you will find the most visually stunning racing game on the 64 today and possibly the best Motocross/Motorbike type game there is. Everything from the Lens flare and the muddy dirt tracks are brilliantly done as are the little things that your racer does in the course of a race. If he/she knocks over a fellow racer he/she will raise his/her hand in the air and celebrate victoriously. If you crash into the side your racer will grab his/her knee and cry in agony, it's that brilliant. Sound is another factor, which Left Field has pulled off brilliantly. The music is, well, just generic rock music, but play it for long enough and you will find yourself humming the tunes as you walk around. The sound of the bikes as they skid across the track, and as you fire up your turbo is spot on, and even the commentator manages to not make you rip your ears off and put them in the food blender. Left Field have managed to do what only a few companies have done and that is get the most out o
f the N64. Left Field belongs in the category of Rare, Factor 5 and Ninty themselves as classic game developers unfortunately they have decided to leave Nintendo and become a third party developer. This means you won?t be seeing an Excitebike update anytime soon. Oh well?get this while you can you crazy cats. This is the BEST motorbike game on pretty much any console available right now (no that is not an exaggeration), so why haven't you got it??