Thursday, August 21, 2008

Burning excitement or fizzling fun?

Fans of the excellent motocross title Excitebike 64 have been waiting for a sequel for quite some time now. So, in 2007, developer Left Field Productions happily obliged. Released in January of this year, Nitrobike was the first Motocross title for the Wii.

Nitrobike uses the Wii Remote held sideways to control motorbikes powered by jet engines. One of the trademarks of Excitebike and Nitrobike is the turbo boost. By pressing Up on the + pad, players can use a turbo boost to go faster and jump higher. However, these boosts are limited. In Excitebike, the bike overheats and you can't accelerate for a few seconds. In Nitrobike, the bike itself explodes, which, to be honest, it pretty hilarious. But it's a good way to keep the boosts balanced.

There are several characters and bikes to choose from, each of which has different stats, such as tighter controls or longer boosts. There are also several tracks to race on, many of which need to be unlocked first. You unlock levels by winning a circuit of races, or getting a fast time on an certain track.

Overall, the game controls a lot like Excitebike 64. Unfortunately, it's not quite as polished. Sometimes the controls don't react as well as you would expect. And, the boosts, while exciting and fun, have some more serious glitches. For example, if you rapidly tap the boost button 3 or 4 times, the bike will automatically explode. This, obviously, can get quite annoying.

Another part of the game that can be frustrating is the difficulty. Not only is the game a big challenge, but there are times when unexpected things happen, making it extremely difficult to win. Sometimes the game will say that you went off the track, when you really didn't. But then, instead of putting you back on the track, it waits a few seconds, then puts you back further behind than when it thinks you went out. Essentially, it moves you backwards. That is simply unacceptable.

But all glitches aside, the game has great multiplayer, especially when you unlock the hilarious Bowling mode. Basically, you drive your bike into a short wall, making your bike explode, launching the player into a set of giant bowling pins. Standard bowling scoring applies, of course.

In any case, the game could have been much, much better, but it's not that bad. And since it
hasn't sold well, you can get it for $20 or less just about anywhere. That price is ok with me.

This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hehe, yay for bowling! Tu es amazarzing Benny Boo!! I love you! :)