With games sometimes being on the more expensive side, it's sometimes good to look at some inexpensive WiiWare games people can download for a low price. This week we'll look at Excitebike: World Rally.
A remake of sorts of the original 1985 game Excitebike: World Rally has players race on various tracks from different parts of the world. The tracks are similar from one another, but are set up in various ways that include traps, jumps and power-ups. Whoever reaches the finish line in the shortest amount of time wins the race. Depending on one's time players will receive a letter grade (S, A, B or C). However in single-player mode you must get at least a B-grade rating in all four of each Cup races in order to move on to the next cup.
The graphics are good for a WiiWare game, and seem to be almost up to par with those of the Wii Sports games. However some may complain about the 2.5D setup, whereas the last Excitebike game Excitebike 64 had the whole 3D setup. Despite this, however, the appearance of World Rally helps bring back that childhood nostalgia of the classic NES game.
Players have the option of controlling the game in two ways: Regular or Classic, which is played with holding the Wiimote sideways. Both have the 2 and 1 button as the Accelerate and Super Boost respectively, and the Up and Down buttons move your biker onto the different paths. To help angle your bike over jumps and landings differs on which control setting you use. If you have it set on Regular you have to tilt your Wiimote left and right to try and angle your biker properly; you just press left and right on the D-Pad on the Classic mode. However I recommend using the Regular mode, as it is far more easier to control. (I could never really pass the first level of the original Excitebike game due to that blasted control scheme.)
Online play mode is very similar to that of Mario Kart Wii. You can either play with friends (which each has its own Friend Code, though I don't know why they just let you use your regular Wii User Number) against people from all over the world (though -- unlike Mario Kart Wii -- doesn't show where each person is from, which is a damn shame). Players each choose the level they want to race on, and the actual one is picked by a lottery of sorts. Lag time seems to be a bit longer than that of Mario Kart, but it's still decently quick. Players also have the option of creating their own tracks, and then sending them to their friends to see how they manage to race on it. A good challenging track can take around 10-20 minutes to create, which isn't too bad considering most Create-A-Track games take at least an hour to do.
When it comes to replay value, it depends on if your friends have this game as well. You can go back and try to get the S-Grade on all the tracks to unlock more bikes, but I'm not entirely sure that each different colored bike has a different setting to it (i.e.: more power, air time, etc...). Although I will say that if you have plenty of friends with this game, then you will have no trouble going back to it and kicking their asses on it, especially if they don't have any of the other Nintendo Wi-Fi games. And for 1000 Wii Points ($10), it's a good bargain for a decent racing game.
- Good challenging levels and Regular controls
- Online play is on par with many of the regular Wii Games
- Fast and easy Create-A-Track mode
- Classic control scheme is still a pain after 25 years!
- Not much replay value if you don't have friends with this game
- Should have had a 3D camera option
FINAL GRADE: 7.9 (out of 10)