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Excitebike: World Rally Review

Excitebike: World Rally LogoExcitebike: World Rally is the very definition of a retro remake done right. It provides an authentic experience for fans of the 1985 NES classic while adding modern conventions like terrain deformation, online play and optional motion controls. The game also provides players with a decent track editor that allows them to finally save their work.

The single player mode is dubbed World Tour and takes place in nine locales like Mexico, Fiji and China. Much like Excitebots: Trick Racing, you will compete on 16 different tracks separated into Bronze, Gold, Silver and Platinum classes.  Read More…

In order to unlock tracks as you go you will need to beat the B Rank time of each race, but the real challenge (and fun) comes from trying to topple each track’s S Rank time. Excitebike: World Rally could be considered a difficult game to master, though getting there feels quite rewarding.

Aside from adding a few instances of the track deformation mechanic of recent games in the series, Monster Games has left the classic Excitebike gameplay largely untouched. This is, in essence, a slot car racer in which the only steering you do is switching lanes. When approaching a jump, you pop a wheelie to get a boost and then you must tilt your bike to land parallel to the ground in order to maintain momentum. If successful, you will be rewarded with another burst of speed.

Mexico is One of Nine Locales to Race InThe turbo system that requires you to run over cool down spots to prevent your engine from seizing is also maintained in this version and the track designs in Excitebike: World Rally reward calculated risk. In fact, towards the end of the game it becomes clear that judicious use of turbo is the only way to succeed.

There are 19 bike colours to unlock, about half of which are attainable through the World Tour Mode. The rest require you to play against both random people and those on your friends list over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.

Online play is smooth and is handled much like the recent Mario Kart games. Up to four players connect in a lobby and then vote on which track to run a single race on. The system then randomly selects one of those tracks. I found that the earlier tracks would come up at a high frequency because players new to the game had not unlocked the latter ones yet. Disappointingly, there are no local multiplayer options.

As mentioned, the track editor in Excitebike: World Rally finally allows you to save your creations and even share them, though only with those in your friends list. The editor allows you to make a rather large track but you can only have it set in one locale, the familiar stadium.

Excitebike: World Rally looks and sounds great. It runs without a hitch and features three camera angles, including the “flat” look of the original Excitebike. The original music is surprisingly good and the remixes of the original themes sound perfect.

Though it is controlled exclusively with the Wii Remote, Excitebike: World Rally offers three control methods. Classic allows you to use the D-Pad to both tilt your bike and switch lanes. Standard uses motion sensing for tilting your bike, but the D-Pad for lane switching. The unlockable Pro mode uses motion for both tilting and lane switching. All three control methods use the 2 button for gas and 1 for turbo. It’s really easy to develop “claw hand” playing this game so I’d recommend frequent breaks to avoid any stress injuries.

Excitebike: World Rally is a thoroughly intense and rewarding experience in the single-player World Tour mode and the online play is chatotic fun. This game is a must-have for any fan of the original and one of the best WiiWare titles of 2009.

Positives:

+ Three Control Methods, Motion Controls are Optional
+ Online Play
+ Track Editor with Save Function
+ Captures Look and Feel of the Original


Negatives:

-  No Local Multiplayer
-  Unlockables Tied to Online Play


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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward

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Excitebike: World Rally (WiiWare) Quick Facts:

Genre:
Racing
Developer: Monster Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: November 9, 2009
Price: 1000 Nintendo Wii Points
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)