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1. Posted: Fri 19th Jun 2009 00:29 BST
Excitebots: Trick Racing
Does this little-known racer deserve a second chance?
Platform: Nintendo WiiRelease Date: April 20, 2009Publisher: NintendoDeveloper: Monster GamesPlayers: 1-2 (2-6 online)Genre: RacingOnline Function: Online Play, earning currency online for buying stuff offline. Hello there. Today is my first video game review on Nintendo Life. I've done some reviews at Video-Game-Info Forums and one at Crystal Cave (Where DarknesstheCurse is the administrator.). I plan to do series of reviews of games that I have for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSiWare, WiiWare, and the Virtual Console and games that I rented. I hope you enjoy my reviews, give out your opinion on it by commenting here. Let's get to my first review for the site:
Past Overview: Excitebots Trick Racing_is part of the Excitebike_series. There are four games in the series, you may notice that these games are famous.[/i]
The series got started as a launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System with _Excitebike. You were riding in a motorcycle and the game gave you the ability to create and save tracks. You've also played again three COM opponent in series of races. This game was acclaimed all right. The game was released in the North American Virtual Console on March 16, 2007.
After a 16 years absent, signs of Excitebike being a series begin in April, 2000 for North America with Excitebike 64 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Unlike the previous game, you could save your file, not just track. It's also the series first venture into 3D. The game got very positive reviews from critics and scores an 88% from Metacritics.
The next installment, Excite Truck for the Nintendo Wii was released as a North American launch title. Unlike the previous games in the series, instead of bikes, you take control of trucks. The game got mixed review and scored an 72% from Metacritics. The game was praised for it's graphic and good gameplay, but criticized for lack of depth and absent of online.
Now to the main review:
Graphic: This is an gorgeous-looking game for the Wii. The water looks realistic and I also love the enviroments. The cars also look good too, even when boosting.
Sound: The game music was panned by critics, however, I have to say, the music is good. I really enjoy the main menu soundtrack a lot. I also like Mexico and Finland soundtrack too. Most of the other soundtracks are good to great, and a few are okay. The sound effect is very useful. When your about to accidently overheat your car, you get an warning that tells you to stop boosting for a second so the car can cool down. Very useful.
Controls: You have the option to play with the Wii remote hortizontally or Wii Wheel vertically. I suggest going with the latter, since we're going to explain that.
Acceleration is done by pressing the 2 button. In order to turn, turn the Wii Wheel left or right. Boosting is done by pressing up on the D-pad. When you jump off a hill, while airborne, press up on the D-pad to turbo boost in order to fly higher. While in the air, you can make circular motion with the Wii Wheel to do an air spin. In order to spin when your bot is attached to the Red Bar, move the Wii Wheel in circular motion. To release your bot from an yellow bar, when your bot is the the bottom of the bar, when it tells you what to do, thrust the Wii Wheel forward. The same is done with the Elevator Bar. You can use an item with the A button when you have equiped it. Drifting is done by you bot turning in the same direction for awhile. When your about to collect notes while riding the Song Rail, as soon as the command comes up, thurst the Wii Wheel up to collect up to five notes. When in Leg From, moving the bot is done by seesawing the Wii Wheel as possible. This is also done when gliding in the Leg Form. When you are doing backflips after going up from an Flip Bar, move the Wii Wheel in circular motion. Be sure to catch the Flip Bar to get stars. Oh and press the + button to pause.
Gameplay: Note: The first paragraph after this talks about what happends during the race. The rest talks about the modes. It'll be a long section, so hold on tight!
Excitebots: Trick Racing is an crazy racing game for the Nintendo Wii. The goal of the game is to get as many stars as possible, which is done by placing well and performing lots of stunts. There are two or three laps in a course (Almost all will be two laps.). There are up to six racers in a course. At the top of the screen, you can see how many stars you have and how many stars you need. On the top left corner is the currrent place your in. On the top right corner is the time elaspe. At the bottom left corner is the number of laps you have done. The Temperature Gauge is at the bottom right corner. Boosting can your bot faster and you can use it anytime you want, but that will fill up the Temperature Gauge. If it full, the car will overheat and not be able to boost for a little while. So, make sure you conserve when using the boost. When you get an question mark trigger, it'll either change the terrain, give you items (Which are unknown until you get them.), or sports mico-games (Like WarioWare, but it doesn't interfere with the gameplay.). When a bot is thrown in the air during the change of terrain and your responsible for the change in terrain, you do a Bots Throw. You can earn from three to five stars doing this. If the Question Mark Trigger reveils items, you can choose from three items, which are hidden in an box, so you cannot see them. Once you get an item, you have to learn how to use it in order to earn maximum stars from it. Items are scares however, about just once per lap. When it's a sport microgame, you must perform a simple task with your bot. Do it successfully and you'll earn up to ten stars in bowling, five in soccer, football, dart, and hitting an baseball. Depending how well you spin on the Red Bar, you can earn up to ten stars. You can earn one, three, or five stars (Depending on how well you do) with releasing your bot from the Yellow Bar and Elevator Bar. On the Song Rail, you can earn up to five stars, which depend on how many notes you get. When your using an Flip Bar, you can do backflips for up to five stars. However, if you fail to latch on the bar while doing backflips, you do not earn any stars.You can also get your bot to temporarily run by getting an red wrench, which is called Leg Form. This will make your bot much faster while running and gliding way easier. While gliding, there are butterfly in a bubble that you can rescue. Get the butterflys and depending on how many butterflys you rescue, you earn up to 20 stars, five for resucing a butterfly, which add up until you rescue all 20. You can earn stars other ways. You can hit another bot to earn Stars (You can earn up to five stars, depending on how hard you hit another bot.). Doing an air spin can earn you up to five stars. When in Leg Form, you can do Leg Smash, by hitting another opponent by Leg Smash. This also earns you up to five stars. Getting stars for Tree Run is done by going between trees without hitting one. In fact, you can even earn a star for crashing! When the race is over, depending on how well you did, you get Bonus Stars. 50 for 1st place, 25 for 2nd place, 15 for 3rd place, etc. until it gets to 6th place, where the loser gets none. That is added with the stars you've earned with stunts for your final score. The grades are D, C, B, A, and the highest is S. So, not only do you have to win the race, but also do as many stunts as possible. After the race, you can choose to retry, choose a new course, quit the mode, or send a ghost or replay of a race. You can send the race or ghost data to your Wii friends and yourself and give a brief message on it.
But, before starting the game, you have to choose a save profile. You have four to choose from. Then, you'll be taken to the main menu. You can do Excite Race, Poker Race, Minigames, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, see your collection, or go to the option menu.
The first mode that we're explaining is the Excite Race Mode, since (Adside from Collection and Option) is the only playable mode in the game when you first start up the game, and then only the single-player mode. You can choose from more than to twenty bots in the game. Some like Frog and Bat (My personal favorite) is available from the start. But the majority has to be unlocked and paid for. Which reminds me, Stars are your currency. When you earn Stars in a race, it'll be added to your currency. Money you have now can be used for buying, but moneys that you have over the course of gameplay can't be used, but it has a good function. Once you earn enough Lifetime currency, you unlock a car, but you still have to pay to ride it. However, it's not all that bad, especially since you only have to pay a fraction of the Lifetime currency, which is the reason why I'm not complaining about it. However, until you unlock the Super Excite diffculty, not all (More than) twenty bots can be unlocked from the screen, so before telling me that I lied, make sure you beat the Super Excite mode. After choosing what mode you want, it'll take you to the cups to see what course you want to race in. One of School courses has a tutorial for you, in case my explaination of the controls confused you. Only School is available from the start, after earning all B's in that course, you unlock Bronze. You'll also unlock the rest of the modes playable modes, the local mutiplayer in Excite Racing, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Minigames, and Poker Race. Each time you get all B's in a cup, you unlock another one. In order to unlock the Super Excite diffculty, you have to get S's on every single course on every single stage. After that, you can choose what bot you want to race with and pay for bots that are not available from the start (Still have to unlock most of them first!). After choosing your bot, you can choose what color you want your bot to be. Then the race begins! The gameplay mentioned in the first paragraph is the exact same thing.
When you unlock Local Mutiplayer, your able to play with another friend on head-to-head racing. The rules are the same, except that there are no CPU, it's just you and your friends! The one who gets to first wins the race!
After unlocking the other modes, you can finally access the following modes (Except Option and Collection, which are available from the start.). Poker Race, Minigames, and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
The first of the three modes are Poker Racer. Your basicilly playing poker while racing for 1st. For people who don't know how to play, here it is. The goal is to do as high position as possible and get as much star as possible while playing poker. Getting two of the same card will get you a pair, which earns you five stars. Fifteen stars are awarded with Three Of A Kind, when you get three of the same card. You get 32 stars for a Flush, when there's three of one card and two of another card. Twelve stars are awarded with Two Pairs. The one with the most stars at the end wins the race, not the one in 1st place. However, you do get bonus like in Excite Race and it's the same amount.
The next mode is Minigames mode. They are ten minigames that will push you to the limits in a category. This will help improve your skills in racing.
Collection is where you can choose icons, dioarma, and statue. You have to unlock dioarmas and statues and then have to pay for them, they can be seen by you. A few icons are available from the start, but you have to pay for the majority of them. They will be useable online.
Option Menu is where you can change between Wii Remote and Wii Wheel setting, the FX (Sound) volume, and music volume.
The most important addition is Nintendo Wi-Fi. You can play with other people Excite Race and Poker Race and with friends onlline. Your able to race up to six people here. While people are joining, you can choose what bot you want and the colors. Your also able to change the volume of music and sound effects. However, you can drop out too if your tired of racing. Your able to check your and other people statue online. You can see how much money they have, how much they've earned in the entire game, how many Excite and Poker races they won, how many bets they won and lost, and your too! You have an two minute timer. After all players are ready, you go and select your course, which gives you twenty seconds, so pick fast! You can also do random if you don't feel like choosing. After that, a person selection is randomly choosen and then your able to choose how much your going to bet. You don't have to bet, but if you do, you can bet 100, 500, 1,000, and 2,500 of your currency (Not lifetime, but how much you can spend.). After that, the gameplay is the same as what's mentioned in the first paragraph, except at the end, you get place at how much stars you've earned during the race and the bonus stars you got after finishing. Depending on how well you did, the money you've earned can either mutiply by 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x, doesn't change, or lose it all (Just how much you betted.). And as usual, we have friend codes, which nobody but me likes.
Bad: While this is a lot of things in the game, it's not perfect. The first complaint I have with the game is that all the playable modes (Not including Option and Collection, which are from the start) you have to unlock! Now I can understand having to unlock the Nintendo Wi-Fi mode and Poker Race mode, but why the local mutiplayer and Minigames too? People who want to jump in the action immidiately with their friends won't be able to do so and you can't get your skills improved until you beat School Cup courses with all B's. Expect this alone to offset many people (And why the game bombed in retail.).
Another complaint is that the controls are terrible on ice. Trust me, DO NOT GO ON THE ICE! If you do, you'll lose all control of the car and fall behind. It's pointless. Good thing it's only on one course. Make it break up when racing and make sure it'll come back, at least that'll make more sense.
Local mutiplayer when unlocked is a disappointment. Why just two players in local mutiplayer when we have six online? For people who do not have time to play online, this will be a big disappointment to them. We don't even have CPU to make up for this!
Good: The games good points far outweight the bad things about this game. I love the online mutiplayer. There are absolutely no lags in the game. No disconnection, no slowdowns, and no stupid hackers ruining everything for us. This was the main reason why I bought the game, it not only didn't disappoint, but I call it the best Wi-Fi game I've played so far!. I also like the addtition of Poker Race. It really gives you a break from the action and it's online too! Also great is that the game manage to avoid being another generic racer. Robots that resemble animals, crazy as **** action, and more! I feel like I'm actually playing a real racer. But the best thing in the game is that it's purely based on skill. It was so annoying that items could cost you the race in Mario Kart Wii, now we got an pure skill racer where skills is everything.
Conclusion: If your tired of playing Mario Kart Wii and want a new solid racer, look no further then Excitebots: Trick Racing. It makes me sad that this game bombed at retails and Europeans may never get it, but if we can boost it's popularity high enough, hopefully, our Europeans brethern can finally enjoy this insane racer that is recommended to all fans who doesn't mind an non-realistic racer like me. In fact, I consider it superior to Mario Kart Wii. To the who gave this game an 4/10 (Edge Magazine), get a life.
Final Score: 8.7/10
I'm all done with the review, I hope you enjoy it. Please place you comments on what you think of my review.
Edited on Wed 24th June, 2009 @ 06:02 by astarisborn94
2. Posted: Fri 19th Jun 2009 00:33 BST
I read the entire thing. Great review. You should review for the site.
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3. Posted: Fri 19th Jun 2009 00:34 BST
Thanks, but save your judgements until I'm finished. I'm not even halfway yet.
4. Posted: Fri 19th Jun 2009 13:38 BST
I wish this had an EU release date (I'd settle for a Japanese release date at this point...).
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5. Posted: Fri 19th Jun 2009 20:16 BST
Me too, despite the fact that I live in North America, which already has the game. Maybe we'll do a petition to bring the game to Europe? Or better yet, we need to start buying the game.
6. Posted: Sat 20th Jun 2009 02:57 BST
I have to think it will come out eventually, but the release schedule for the rest of the year is looking kinda crowded. I still haven't picked up Tenchu yet!