Excitebike: 3D Classics

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2011-06-15


Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: June 6, 2011 Available On: 3DS

Excitebike is back and it is better than ever. Nintendo announced at E3 2011 that they would be re-releasing the game with updated stereoscopic 3D graphics. The game still has 2D sprites, which help it to keep old-school charm, but the updated visuals definitely help to make it a more interesting play in the 21st century. Better still, Nintendo announced that the game would be free until July.

The main draw, of course, is the 3D visuals. This is something that has never been done before with any of the numerous Excitebike ports and it is the main selling point of the game. Part of the reason why the game looks so good is that it makes good use of the widescreen display found on the Nintendo 3DS.

Depending on how far you move the 3D slider, the depth of play will change. The slider reveals more of the crowd in the stadium and even the sky. You will see clouds in the background for the first time. Of course you can play with the 3D turned off, giving you a classic 2D Excitebike feel, but it just isnít as good in my opinion.

The game is broken between a time-based race mode, a competitive race mode against other computer-controlled racers, and a track builder. The time-based mode gives you a certain amount of time to get from start to finish in three laps. The goal of the competitive race mode is the same, except you play with computer racers on the screen (which can act as obstructions if you hit them). Finally, there is a track builder where you can design your own course.

Racing is as simple as pressing the A button to accelerate. You will need to avoid roadblocks meant to impede your progress and grass that will slow you down. Since you are on a dirt bike course, you will be climbing up dirt mounds, some of them fairly steep, jumping ramps, etc. You can use turbo with the B button, but it will cause your engine to heat. If the bar at the bottom of the screen fills all the way up, the bike will overheat and your playerís bike will stall for a bit.

There are only four included maps in the game, but once you factor in the thirty-two save spaces for you to create custom tracks, it becomes more acceptable. The custom track builder is really quite accessible and user-friendly. Simply select which piece and where to put it on the track. I made a competent track in just about three minutes. You can then test it before you save it.

Nintendoís 3D Classic line of games for the 3DS has promise. Excitebike has proven that. It is a good thing that they include it as a free download, since I really do not see paying $6 for it. If Nintendo is going to stay competitive with online downloads, they need to consider reducing their prices to something similar to the App Store. However, as a free game, there is enough here to make it worth at least a couple hours of play.

Please note that we are not providing category scores because this is a port of a NES game. Using today's graphical standards would unfairly impact the game's overall score.

Final: 7 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review

Reviewed by Kyle Bell