Review by horror_spooky
"What if the 3DS existed during the 80s?"
Back on the NES, Excitebike was one of Nintendo's more popular titles, garnering pretty damn good sales, and launching the "Excite" franchise that still lives on today with Excite Truck and Excitebots. In an effort to advertise their new eShop service, Nintendo is offering Excitebike as a free download for the 3DS (for a limited time), remastered with 3D visuals that take advantage of the system's unique features.
3D Classics: Excitebike is more or less the same game as Excitebike on the NES. It's just a port, but one that allows for 3D visuals. So, what did Excitebike play like back in the day exactly anyways? Well, it was just okay back then. I never found myself spending much time playing it on the NES, and if I was going to play a game with a bike in it, it was probably going to be Paperboy. I don't think Excitebike was the best way to show off their new service with a free game.
The gameplay is so basic and boring...it's truly unremarkable in every sense of the word. Players can choose from a variety of different tracks, with ramps and such placed on the track that work like obstacles. The goal is to get a good time, but it's so montonous. You just through the different lanes, hitting ramps, and trying very hard not to crash. That's really all there is to the game. There's nothing fancy or gimmicky about it, which is disappointing, since some of the flambouyance that Nintendo is known for would have gone a long way in this game. As it stands, it has a very boring and generic feel that's hard to shake.
There's a track editor in the game, which I thought was a neat feature. The track editor allows players to create their own tracks. It's a nice touch, but it's still not enough to make anyone want to play this game for more than just a few minutes at a time.
Graphically, the games looks like an NES game. It's a bit disappointing that the visuals weren't upgraded much at all. The game runs a lot smoother than it does on the old NES, but that's not saying a whole lot. The 8-bit graphics feel horridly dated, though the game does have a nice color scheme that is bright and vibrant. The 3D is also kind of neat. It does the 3D in the same way that Super Street Fighter IV does, making it seem like the racers on the motorcycles are living in a little diorama or something. The 3DS has so much damn potential with this new 3D tech, and even though it's a pretty bad game, 3D Classics: Excitebike is a testament to this.
Audio-wise...it's a mixed bag. I felt that the tunes in Excitebike were pretty damn annoying. And the game also tends to be extremely loud. Even with the volume turned nearly all the way down, the irritating and repetitive music still felt like it was blasting through my 3DS's speakers. The audio was more of an obtrusion than something that actually made the game more enjoyable.
3D Classics: Excitebike is meant to be played in short bursts. And that's really the only way to get any enjoyment out of it. The game can be mastered in one sitting, and after that, there's really not much else to do. The track editor will get old sooner rather than later, and overall, the game just lacks horribly in the replayability department.
However, a free game is a free game. 3D Classics: Excitebike isn't a good game by any stretch of the imagination, but while it's free, I can go a little bit easy on it. To actually pay money for this game would make my stomach hurt and my score would be a lot lower than it is right now.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 06/14/11
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