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Gaming Influence: Excitebike

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Hello, everyone, this is Vaude Influence.

Welcome to the sixth edition of Gaming Influence where I review video games from old to new to show people the good games, the bad games, and games that people don’t even know existed.

If you haven’t read the other five editions of Gaming Influence, you can search it up here on this site and it will pop up. Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?


Excitebike (NES)

First, I review platformers, then I review action adventure, and after that, I review RPGs.

Now, I’m reviewing racing games.

Which racing game series will I review?

The answer to that is the Excite series.

The first game I will review for the Excite series is none other than, Excitebike for the NES.

Now, what is special about Excitebike compare to other racing games?

To me, Excitebike is special because the game really feels like you’re actually riding a motorbike on a race track since the game feels realistic. In addition, the game is easy to play and it’s a series that I would like to see make a comeback one day.


Background Information: The game was first developed on November 30, 1984, in Japan for the Famicom (Japan’s NES). The game was then released in North America on October 18, 1985, and in Europe on September 1, 1986. The game was once again re-released worldwide on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007, the Nintendo eShop in 2011, and the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013.

Just like in the name itself, this game is exciting and is full of excitement. Why is that? I’ll get to it with this review.


Race Courses: Every racing game must have some fun race courses for the player to drive. In Excitebike, there are only five racing courses where they all have generic names: Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Track 4, and Track 5 (They can’t come up with interesting names?), but all of them are different in their own way that makes them different compared to the race courses.

Even though all the tracks in the game look the same, each track in this game stands out in their own way whether it be a different color theme, different obstacles in the way like mud holes and ramps, or having no road in certain areas of the track.

Image result for excitebike tracks

Despite not having a lot of different variety of tracks, these tracks are different enough to stand out from the other tracks that have their own unique obstacles that the player has to go through in order to win the race and that makes it exciting. However, I wish they do have more tracks, but that’s just me.

Not only that, I feel like they could have come up with better names for the tracks like Track 1 be Beginner Track, Track 3 be Blue Track, etc.

Okay, my names for the tracks aren’t necessarily better, but at least they’re a lot more creative than the names the game gave. It’s not much of a nitpick so it doesn’t bother me that much.

7.5/10


Gameplay: In order to have a great racing game, the controls have to be easy to use, fun, but also challenging in order to execute some skills while racing. In Excitebike, the gameplay for Excitebike is pretty simple, but also requires timing and technique while racing on the track.

The game is your typical racing game, but in this game, whether you play solo or against CPUs, you have to race against a certain time limit. The goal of Excitebike is to get third place or above in the challenge (preliminary) race in order to qualify for the Excitebike (championship) race. The times to beat are located on the stadium walls (for first place) and in the lower left corner (for third place). Usually, the best time is eight seconds ahead of third place. When a player gets first place, they will get a message that says, “It’s a new record!” and additional points are earned by beating the previously-set record time.

Image result for excitebike new record

The controls are pretty simple to use as the directional pad controls on the Y-axis is where the position of the red motorcycle will be while the A and B buttons control the acceleration of the motorcycle. The B button causes greater acceleration, but as a result, the temperature of the motorcycle increases which is located at the bottom of the screen as a bar. Once the temperature bar reaches its max, the player will become immobilized for a few seconds while the bike cools down. Also, when driving over an arrow on the track, it will reduce the bike’s temperature.

Image result for excitebike temperature bar

You can also adjust the pitch of the motorcycle by the use of the directional pad controls on the X-axis. When pressing the left direction pad control, it raises the front of the motorcycle while pressing the right direction pad control, it lowers the front of the motorcycle. However, doing it in the air, it rotates the bike, but also can be used to create wheelies on the ground. Pushing up or pushing down will turn the handlebars of the bike left or right when it’s on the ground.

If a player runs into an opponent in the race, lands badly from a high jump, or crashes into a ramp, they will be knocked off the bike and will fall in the grass. Pushing the A button repeatedly allows the player to run back to the bike and continue to race.

In addition, at the start of the game, the player can choose one of the five tracks in which to race.

Even though the gameplay seemed very simple, there are some skills in this game where you time your technique in order to get ahead of the other racers. It is also fun too where anyone can play. Just make sure not to crash into anyone, or else, you’re a bad driver.

9.5/10


Modes: Every racing game must have different modes in order to change things up from the racing and in Excitebike, there are three different modes for the player that will keep the player occupied while still having a lot of fun.

In Selection A, the player races solo as the player races to beat the time. In Selection B, CPU players will join with the player as the CPU players will act other obstacles for the player as the player can hit the CPU players in the back which cause them to fall off their bike while the CPU riders can hit the player’s rear wheel which will cause them to fall off.

The final mode of Excitebike is Design Mode. Design Mode is a mode where the player can build their own racing tracks. The player can choose hills and obstacles of various sizes on the track and place them anywhere on the track that is represented by letters from A to S.The player can also choose where to finish the lap and how many laps there are within the track where it can go up to nine laps at maximum. After the track is done being created, the player can race that track in either Selection A or Selection B.

Even though there are only three modes in this game, the modes are fun to play especially the Design Mode as you wouldn’t expect a mode like this back in the 80s, but to have it there is pretty cool.

I feel like a lot of racing games should have a design mode for racing games because it would change the dynamic of how racers race each track.

For example, if a player keeps running the same track over and over again, they will know all the tricks and shortcuts of the track, but a designed track from another player can really change things up as you don’t what to expect from it as anything can happen.

Granted, if you play the same designed track, that would be different. However, since it’s a designed track, it can always be changed and that to me makes Excitebike exciting.

9/10


Graphics: Even though it is not the most important aspect of a game, it really helps to have nice visuals in the game for players to keep playing. For Excitebike for its time, it has good graphics that has nice colors and the 8-bit pixels of the game are well drawn out in terms of the racers and the tracks themselves.

Even though it definitely falls short compared to modern games’ graphics, the game’s graphics have a certain charm and looking back at it, it still looks pretty good to this day and it goes well with the game as well as it fits.

Image result for excitebike graphics

8/10


Music: Every racing game needs to have some type of good music that will get you into the mood racing at full speed without limits. With Excitebike, there is not much music as most the game in terms of sound comes from the realism.

The sounds of the engine of the bike, the overheating of the engine of the bike, falling off a bike with big impact, and hitting other bikes making those players fall off their bike are all there where I find it assuming.

Despite not having much music, they do have music in the game, but it’s very short for like a few seconds. However, it is catchy to listen to.

8.5/10


Author’s Note: Special thanks to WC User Shogun Mamoru for helping out with this series.

Excitebike
8.5/10 Reviewer
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Summary
Excitebike is a game that anyone can play that is fun and exciting. It may be a typical racing game for most people, but the game has its own features that make it stand out compared to other racing games. I mean, do you know any racing games that let you create your own tracks? Not many and Excitebike being one of them is great. If you enjoy racing games, you will enjoy Excitebike as you will be excited.
Criterion 18.5
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Therefore, I’ve given this game a score of…

7.5 + 9.5 + 9 + 8 + 8.5 = 42.5/50

8.5/10 – Very Good

Leave your rating of the game or your review of the game up above.

Thanks for reading and I will see you in the next installment of Gaming Influence.

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