The much anticipated Nintendo eShop is finally here, so let’s celebrate by downloading one of the available software titles. Available for free for a limited time, 3D Classics Excitebike is the first of many NES titles to be remastered in full stereoscopic 3D. Excitebike is one of the early NES games and has seen a fantastic sequel for the N64, a port for the GBA and a great remake for WiiWare. And then there’s ExciteTruck and ExciteBots for Wii. With the Excite series going back to its roots, will this 3D outing be worth the (free) download?
Excitebike is one of the first games released for the NES, in its classic black box series. For its time, it was a very varied game with fun gameplay mechanics. This new version hasn’t changed that, making the game feel a bit dated. Still, there is plenty of stuff to do: you can race solo or against competition and try to finish first or set the fastest time. You can even build your own tracks and race on them and save 32 of your custom-made tracks. Unfortunately neither track records nor created tracks can be shared with friends. And there are no online functionalities whatsoever. /p]
If you’re willing to sit down and learn the mechanics of the game, you will find a lot of fun and depth in Excitebike. The game is about speeding, boosting, taking jumps and landing properly so you won’t slow down much. It’s very basic, but can be very fun. Until you find your rider crashing and getting launched from the bike. When that happens you’re forced to sit in agony until the rider is back on the bike again. When you’ve finally figured out how to time your boosts and take the jumps and keep on speeding to the finish line, you’ll find the game very entertaining and rewarding.
The game has “3D” in its title for a reason; the game implements 3D in a unique way. Not only does it add depth to the track and the background, it also changes the camera angles by zooming out more as you increase the 3D effect. The effect itself is not very functional when it comes to the gameplay; it just makes the game look better. Other new additions are a new title screen and some new menus and buttons.
In the sound department, hardly anything has changed. The first thing you might notice is that the sound is awfully loud. Playing the game at full volume isn’t pleasant so the first thing you’ll probably do is turning the volume down a bit. The second thing you’ll notice is the catchy new theme playing on the new title screen. It’s also the only new audio you’ll find in the game, but that’s okay. The original 8 bit audio is charming despite the noisiness and it’s easy to accept the developers have left it like this.