System: Nintendo 64
Developer: Left Field
Genre: Motocross Racing
Capabilities: Controller Pak Compatible, Rumble Pak Compatible, Expansion Pak enhanced, 1-4 players
The Folks at NST sure did put a lot of
effort in this game
by including the original excitebike and a soccer mode as seen above.
A long, long, time ago in the first years of the NES days back in 1986, there was a simple motocross game called Excitebike, where you place was determined by how fast you finish the track. Now with the recent popularity in motocross games on the N64 with the release Motocross 2000 from EA Sports and Jeremy McGrath SuperCross 2000 from Acclaim, Nintendo decided to step into the playing field with this game from its 2nd Party developer, Left Field, will it deliver the same excitement as the original? Lets get onto the review and find out.
The graphics really blew me away, all motorcyclists look great and you can easily make out when theyre putting their foot on the ground to brake, or doing the really great looking stunts in mid air. The games opening menus refresh my memory of Microsofts cycle games for the PC, are easy to navigate through. The courses look great, but there isnt that much variation for the indoor tracks, but the outdoor ones are just spectacular. Theres little to no slowdown at all with up to 4 players playing at once. You can change the cyclist and motorcycle colors, but only in single player mode.
There are a few different camera angles, while playing solo, you get a nice little box that pops up that shows a different angle of you doing your stunt which looks really cool. There are 3 different camera zoom angles from behind your player, really close up, medium, and far away, with 3 or 4 players, you should go far the far away view, even though the detail goes down, but this way youll actually be able to make out the track ahead of you. What looks the greatest from the game is the original Excitebike, yes the NES classic is here and its a picture perfect translation with no graphics changed at all, excite on the main title screen of it.
The game borrows some of the starting countdown sounds from the original Excitebike as well an announcer counting it down too. The background music is fairly decent and suits the motocross genre well. The sound effects are nicely pulled off with engines sounding accurately as you accelerate, slow down, etc. The game even uses the same noise that lets you know youre overheating as the first Excitebike did. The game has one major drawback in the sound department and that is the announcer, who is by far the most annoying announcer Ive ever heard in an N64 game, he beats Marv Alberts crappy commentary from NFL QB Club 98 by a longshot. The announcer gets repetitive right away and hes always saying things in odd tones of voice.
The game controls just fine, and it uses a lot of concepts from its 8-bit original, like to wipe out the other motorcyclists, you just need drive by their front tire, and how your cycle can overheat. The control stick handles the steering just right and the brake, like most other racing type games, is conveniently the B button. It only took me about 10-15 minutes to get the controls down, and it should be the same for you.
The big mode of play here is the season which you race in 3 different cups containing 5 races each, and it has a point system similar to Mario Karts Grand Prix mode. You have to beat it on different difficulty levels to unlock the special game tracks like the desert where you race in a randomly generated desert each time, then theres also a really fun soccer mode, and plus the Original Excitebike is also here to be unlocked, and you can design your own tracks in there too and save them on the control pak, plus theres more hidden modes, but I dont wanna give too much away. The multi player is a lot of fun, just pick your cyclists, and pick any course and the number of laps and be ready for hours of fun, if you get tired of that, just head into the special game modes and play multi player Soccer or stunt course.
Theres 6 motorcyclists to choose from, I dont know if their real ones or not because I really dont follow motocross on tv, but they got names that fit the alias of them like Jumpin Jim Rivers and Sugar Sarah Hill. I really wish there was a trick bonus system during races, and not only on the Stunt Course, so doing tricks for the heck of it is really pointless, because you fall behind doing them so theres no point in doing it. I heard there was a code for it, but Im uncertain if its true or not. The computer also seems really tough to beat on the easiest difficulty level. But despite these flaws the game is still a blast to play and are easily forgivable and after a while you wont even notice them at all, except for that damn announcer.
Theres so much you can do that can keep you playing this game forever, theres all the specialty tracks that you can play over and over, then you can be playing for hours with your buds in multi player, then theres the awesome create-a-track which is really nicely laid out and so easy to use, I have loads of fun racing on my own tracks, but I wish you can save more than just one. But any ways this game has loads of goodies to keep you occupied in, plus the fact that the original Excitebike is in here is a great addition too, its like another whole game for free.
+: Lots of extras, the original Excitebike is here intact, and the track editor is great!
-: The most annoying announcer ever, computers too tough, no trick bonus system
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.9
Replay Value: 9.2
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 8
A great motocross game from Nintendo, its better than Motocross 2000 and Super Cross 2000, and all the extras makes the game worth the purchase and the flaws are forgivable(except for that announcer!), especially since the original is in here too. Any ways, if youre looking for a good motocross game to get on the N64, and if youre a fan of the original than pick up this title, you wont be disappointed.