“Excite Truck” crashed and burned
Along with Punch-Out! and Super Mario Bros. 3, Excitebike is often considered by gaming historians as among the most revolutionary titles within the Nintendo Entertainment System library.
Aside from the game’s unique and original atmosphere, Excitebike was one of the first racing games to efficiently produce graphics at rapid speeds, ultimately pioneering the home console racing genre.
After a six-year Excitebike void, Nintendo has decided to shift gears (and vehicles) with their Wii edition of the 1984 racing game entitled Excite Truck.
Unlike previous “Excite” installments, the primary objective of Excite Truck, in addition to crossing the finish line as quickly as possible, is to perform stunts to earn a specific number of stars.
Players are rewarded stars for executing a variety of actions, such as drifting, colliding into another vehicle and flying through airborne rings.
While finishing the race as fast as possible will reward players with an exorbitant amount of stars, performing specific actions will primarily assist gamers to unlock an assortment of prizes.
Among the game’s weakest elements, aside from the monotonous single player mode, is the multiplayer option.
Excite Truck’s multiplayer aspect allows two vehicles to race against each other on unlocked tracks, as opposed to Nintendo’s other launch title, Wii Sports, which offers a four player option.
In addition to the bland multiplayer option, Excite Truck does not utilize the Wii’s internet capabilities, and thus does not feature an online versus mode.
While some players may tolerate the repetitive concept and insipid multiplayer aspect, audiences will find that the game’s most prominent weakness are the controls.
In this regard, the primary issue is the unclear in-game tutorials, which gamers must complete prior to proceeding to the excite sessions.
As opposed to providing videos demonstrating the motion controls, the tutorials offer bland descriptions and vague visuals regarding the fundamentals of executing stunts and steering vehicles.
Although most of the tricks are not bundled with excessively complicated motion controls, players may find that the air spinning stunt, for example, is among the most difficult actions to perform.
Unlike previous “Excite” titles, which utilizes a D-pad or an analog stick to control the trucks, players hold the Wii remote horizontally, similar to an NES controller.
Since the vehicles drive at powerful speeds, the trucks can only execute narrow turns.
While the game does not contain several wide corners, players will not appreciate the steering controls when one must turn abruptly to evade a barricade that will obstruct their route. Gamers will often find themselves overcompensating wide turns by tilting the controller vertically, causing vehicles to drive off the track, and collide into an obstacle.
Despite Excite Truck’s disadvantages, the title offers a solid variety of vehicles and tracks, as well as SD card compatibility, allowing players to listen to personal mp3 files, as opposed to the game’s soundtrack.
Ultimately, The overbearing controls, combined with the blistering speeds will cause players to perpetually re-orient their vehicle on the track, as opposed to completing their primary objectives. The repetitive and frustrating nature of Excite Truck will only persuade audiences to play other racing games that offer more fluent controls, such as Burnout or San Francisco Rush.