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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Monster Games
GENRE: Racing
PLAYERS:   1-4
November 19, 2006

Excitebike World Rally

Excitebots: Trick Racing



Excitebike 64

 Written by Chris Reiter  on September 22, 2006

First Impressions: This is my Excite Truck face --> >8^l
Not very exciting, I know.

When creating a unique controller like the Wii has, it seems you can't do it all just yet. Between blockbusters that can do everything with a standard controller design and the majority of Wii games that'll only do so much, this will likely lead to questions concerning the Wii controller's limitations over time. Thankfully for racing fans, they won't be the ones left in the cold this fall when Nintendo has an update to the classic Excitebike series on the way. First came the motorbikes, and it was good. But now Nintendo's making room on the table for another vehicle to lead the franchise elsewhere, bringing about the excitement of Excite Truck.

Excitebike is one of those Nintendo franchises from the golden days that hasn't seen much play since its initial conception. Mario's had his fill many times over, and it shows. Link keeps on swinging his sword around and Donkey Kong's been doing a lot more than barrel flinging these past couple of decades. But Excitebike's only seen one sequel on the Nintendo 64 and ports aplenty since the game first released in 1985. This could be looked at as a very good thing, considering how Nintendo often handles its milk. They'll suck the life out of some games, and save some ideas for later. Excite Truck is just one of those ideas that will replace the two-wheeling stunt bikes for that of four-wheel all-terrain vehicles.

Straight and simple, Excite Truck is going to be nothing but truck racing across God's country, which departs a little from the original Excitebike's style of impressing crowds on deforming piles of man-made tracks. Not to worry though, the deformations are still around. Instead of using ramps and bumps on a stadium track, the rallies in Excite Truck will see the ground reconstructing itself across outdoor settings. By passing over certain markers on the track, you could watch as a minor bump turns into a major hill for leaping off of. This will assuredly add a good dose of strategy to the mix, keeping in mind that the opponents may not expect the ground to transform right in front of their eyes.

Deja vu is in the air for Excite Truck, as the way to play the game will all be channeled through gripping the Wii's controller sideways like you would a NES pad. The 1 and 2 buttons will act as the acceleration and brake buttons, where trucks can also find a sonic boost through the d-pad touch every time they fly. Best of all, operating your truck will be kind of like turning a steering wheel when you'll have to tilt the remote sideways and even land an airborne truck properly in shifting its weight by edging the remote forward or backward. The only bad news to report about the game is that it isn't looking so hot. Excite Truck greatly resembles a current-gen title. That's not a good thing in the times of skipping ahead a generation. Its lower-grade graphical capacity and grimy levels are coming along decently if anything, but to think if only they were so much more.

Final Thoughts
Welcoming back a friend from the past, Nintendo seeks to do justice to a racing series in a way that it deserves. Excite Truck will be the first racer out of the gate for the Wii this fall that looks to capture a good bit of fun from all manners of reckless driving like it's not been done before. Motion-sensing driving is in, and Excite Truck is hoping to prove that very soon.

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