Developer: Monster Games
Release Date: Nov. 9, 2009
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site
In a nutshell: Nintendo made a seamless online experience? That can't be right...
0:00 The original Excitebike was hands down one of my favorite NES games, but I was severely underwhelmed by the overly technical 3-D update on the N64. This one looks more like the original, but with online play and track sharing. Sounds like a winning formula to me!
0:01 I've already downloaded the game to my SD card, but before I can play it I need to clear 201 "blocks" on my Wii system memory so the system can load the game. So long Wii Fit Channel. I wasn't using you regularly enough anyway...
0:02 A few seconds of loading and a nondescript title screen pops up. I like the synth- and nostalgia-heavy remix of the original's intro music. Once that 10-second bit runs out, though, the tune advances to some new hair-rock anthem that's not nearly as good.
0:03 "Normal" controls let me tilt the Wii Remote to tilt the bike. "Classic" controls let me use the d-pad. It's a no brainer for me ... Classic! Some games do NOT need motion controls.
0:04 The options screen lets me set the "lane indicator" to "Terrain," "Flat" or "Off." Wish I knew what the difference was between them. OK, off to the World Tour. The Bronze Cup is all that's available. I guess I'll do the optional training first, even though I doubt I need it.
0:05 The first lesson teaches me how to switch between the four arrow-straight lanes by tapping up and down on the d-pad. There's a regular gas pedal and a turbo pedal that can lead to overheating if I use it too much, just like in the original. I'm also introduced to arrow-shaped "cooldown strips" that reset the engine temperature magically to zero. Is that what those are? Did they cool down in the original game too? I saw them all the time but never knew the purpose! Hey, I never said I was GOOD at the original.