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Release year: 1984 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by Nintendo (Nintendo R&D1)
Excitebike (AKA エキサイトバイク Ekisaitobaiku) is a motocross racing video game originally developed by Nintendo for Japan’s Famicom in 1984. Then, in 1985, it became the Nintendo Entertainment System’s (NES) launching title for the Black Box.
In the game, the player may choose to play the game in three modes. The first mode (Selection A) is like a training or practice mode where only the player’s rider runs in the race. The second mode (Selection B) is where the player’s rider competes with other riders (CPU-controlled) in the race. In the third mode, which is the design mode, the players can create or design their own race tracks.
The custom-made tracks can’t be saved in the NES models released in Europe and the US, but it was originally savable and loadable using the Japanese Famicom Data Recorder. Nonetheless, the finished custom tracks can be used by the players immediately for their next race in either Selection A or B modes.
When racing, the player can change the rider’s position using the up and down keys. The motorbike’s pitch can be controlled using the left and right keys—left to raise the front and right to lower the front. The A and B buttons are used to control the motorbike’s acceleration. Pressing B will increase the acceleration but will also cause the motorbike’s temperature to increase. When the temperature hits critical (Temp level is displayed at the bottom of the screen), the motorbike will automatically halt for a few seconds to cool off before the rider can resume racing. Also, in case the rider is knocked off the bike, the A button can be pressed repeatedly to allow the rider to run back to his bike and resume the race.
The game is created in basic raster or bitmap image graphics. It may not be so attractive to eyes that are used to 2D and 3D animations, but it’s adequate for the purpose of the game and so, so, so addictive!
This game may not be stunning by the looks of it, but it brings fun for the challenge-loving gamers. The game may look so easy to play, but it really isn’t. It requires concentration, quick thinking, and fine dexterity. Only the dedicated Excitebike gamers can truly achieve success in this game.
Excitebike has been ported to Arcade, Sharp X1 computer and Game Boy Advance