Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... to steer. There is also a boost facility which you must use wisely to get the most out of it. The game isn't all just about winning rac... more
Simple and surprisingly unique considering this game's age!
Excite Truck (Wii)
Member Name: Anti
Excite Truck (Wii)
Date: 04/07/11, updated on 24/08/11 (14 review reads)
Advantages: Stars gameplay an interesting feature, fairly detailed graphics, some replay value
Disadvantages: Selection of maps limited, controls a bit clunky
Excite Truck was one of the Wii's launch titles and whilst it shows some age compared to more recent title I think it's good for what it's worth- a fun arcade racing game.
Gameplay is simple: you choose a truck (each one having different stats and colours) and race it on different tracks around the world. However the objective isn't primarily gaining first place but collecting a certain number of stars. Stars are earned in various ways: drifting, getting air, doing spins, driving through trees without crashing and more. This is a pretty unique feature that distinguishes Excite Truck from other racing games on the market, plus I liked that the emphasis wasn't just on getting first place (although you still get a star bonus if you come at least fifth out of sixth).
There are four sets of tracks in the main mode (Excite Race)- Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. You start off with Bronze and completing all the tracks on that unlocks the next stage up, and once you complete all those you will then unlock Super Excite, which is a similar mode but harder.
To be honest the tracks aren't that varied among regions/sets. Usually there's one with snow, one with forest and rain etc- not really imaginative at all. Yet the graphics are decent, with smooth backgrounds and even reflections in the water/on your truck. Plus there is the ability to alter the terrain by driving into certain tokens (usually to provide a ramp from what was flat land) and the change is seamless. The choices of trucks do slightly differ from each other in build and design. Generally, they aren't spellbinding, but show the Wii's capabilities at launch well.
At the same time the music throughout this game is fitting but unmemorable generic rock, but the game allows you to play your own tunes via putting them on the Wii SD card. Although I never used this feature it sounds nifty, because if you aren't keen with what's available at least the choice to put your ideal music to race to is there.
The controls in this game are pretty easy to master as they use a balance of wiimote motion and actual buttons. You accelarate with 2, brake with 1, steer the truck by tilting the wiimote in different directions, and pull of tricks and boosts with the directional pad. Despite not being a typical console controller pad, I found this easy to get to grips with thanks to the tutorial mode which can be revisited. But, at the same time, they can be awkward and clunky. This is most noticeable when pulling off tricks- you are in the air for a limited period of time and have to get your wiimote to do two things at once (twist wiimote, hold 'down' on directional pad to spin 360 degrees) and the wrong result could mess up your landing. Then again I'm not a master of racing games since I still ended up crashing into various things (water, trees, solid buildings- you have to tap 2 repeatedly to recover) and/or running out of time. Even so, the game isn't too easy compared to Mario Kart and its ilk.
The other modes include Verses, the multiplayer mode, and Puzzle. The latter involves accomplishing tasks like go through all the rings, or do a certain number of star-earning moves, within a time limit. These modes are challenging but you don't get any rewards for completing them unlike Excite Mode itself. Therefore I wasn't compelled to invest my time in them as much as other modes. Yet Versus is still a fun mode for two-players and keeps it simple with split-screen play- not innovative, but it does the job.
Overall this game is definitely worth a go if you're just looking for a basic racing game. It pales in comparision to later games like Mario Kart, but take into consideration that it's a launch game and you'll see it stands well. The Stars feature is something that you won't see in most other racing games and I like how it balances speed and technique.
Summary: At a bargain price, Excite Truck is well worth picking up.
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