Looking at the Past – ExciteBike (NES)

High-flying 8-bit bikes and action packed racing, could a racing game get any better?


ExciteBike

ExciteBike is a motorcycle racing game released in 1985 by Nintendo for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment system). In 1984 it was released on the Famicom in Japan.

The game is definitely a classic when it comes to racing games. I mean, come on! The game features 5 racing courses; you can’t get any better than that! Mastering the skills of NOT overheating your engine, doing awesome stunts (wheelies only) and landing without losing any speed can be quite a challenge when you first start, but it gets picked up pretty easily afterwards. As soon as the race starts your heart is pumping some adrenaline as you avoid the other racers, jumping over mud while avoiding the crappy ramps that get you stuck, flying with the help of some impressive ramps and grabbing some boosts along the way until you get the relief of crossing that finish line with no other reward than being first and beating your time (where is the classic chick that goes out with you only after you finish first Nintendo?)

There is no story in the game, your main goal is to beat your time or beat the AI (Artificial Intelligence). There are two game modes in the game. There is Selection A, where you race solo against your time, and Selection B, where you try to beat the CPU players. As far as physics go, I am not a master physicist but I’ve never seen better in my whole life. It’s a really fun game to play when you get into it and it is a great game when you only have a few minutes free to play.

As far as the graphics go, they are the best graphics I have ever seen. I had the impression of being right beside my racer feeling the motor roar underneath my feet in the stadium. Seriously though, I love the retro look all games had at that time.

The save and load option for your track do not work on the American and European releases, so you basically lose your track whenever you power of the console. Of course by playing the game on an emulator or on the Wii Virtual Console you avoid this problem easily

Having the ability to create your own track is probably the only reason I played the game. You’re not very good at avoiding traps? Just make a lane without any and be sure to win! If you are skilled enough you can even bypass the maximum length of the track by a lot because of a little glitch (Just add a really huge ramp right in front of the finish line so it gets pushed away).

Overall, ExciteBike is a really fun game to play, it can be frustrating getting the hang of it at first and falling from your bike can really slow you down. I think everyone would enjoy the game if they played it. And remember that the game came out in 1985! Don’t play having high expectations like you would for games in 2012.

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