Quick Review: Excitebike 3D

This game is free for a month. After July 7th, it will be $5.99. Is it worth it at that price? Yes… and no.

Yes: Excitebike = addictive, simple fun. If you haven’t played the game before, expect a motocross racer in which you pop wheelies over ramps and try to get past everyone as fast as possible. You will crash a lot, but the feeling of getting #1 on a hard ass track is second to none.

It has 3D! Minds will be blown when changing from 2D to 3D mid race. Polygons are suddenly retrofitted to a game you always saw in standard two dimensions. The 3D slider also does something no other game on the 3DS does: it completely changes the camera angle of the action. It’s hard to explain, so watch the video below:

(That isn’t my voice, or my video. BUT COOL HUH?!)

Like always, you can create your own tracks. But unlike the original NES release, you can save up to 32 of them. This definitely extends the replay value — once you finally defeat the treacherous fifth track in the game, you can make a whole slew of insane ones for yourself.

No: It’s Excitebike. The simple nature of the gameplay just doesn’t lend itself well to long sessions. After racing a few tracks, you might be ready to move onto another title.

What was once amazing family entertainment back in 1984 has been passed up (pun) by experiences with a lot more depth over the ensuing 27 years. It’s not a bad game — some of the best ones are as simple as this. But, those who haven’t played it before should be warned: this game is VERY, VERY simple.

There is no ability to share your created tracks with friends, which is unfortunate. It’s arguable that maybe it’s intentional; we are pretty much playing a NES game. But on the other hand, the NES edition did not have the option to save 32 custom tracks in crazy stereoscopic visuals either.

The price is a bit much for what you’re getting. $5.99 only makes sense when you factor how much NES games cost on the Wii (an overpriced $5). If you have six bucks to spend and are choosing between this, and say, Link’s Awakening, would you really pick this?

At least it’s free right now! Obviously you should download it ASAP if you have a 3DS. Above all else, Excitebike 3D is fun, even if it’s shallow and fleeting. You will enjoy yourself. And hey, maybe that 3D effect is worth the six bucks come July 8th. Maybe.

***/*****

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