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Old 01-30-2008, 07:29 PM   #32
Seraph
>:3
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 11,005

Nintendo Wii
1-2 Players
Developer - Monster Games
Publisher - Nintendo


My Bias
I love the Excite series (Excite Bike, Excite Bike 64)

My Completion
All races passed in Super Excite

Story
None. Racing games don’t need stories.

Graphics
Supports 16:9 Widescreen and Progressive Scan

The graphics in Excite Truck are average. Seeing the game in motion looks a whole lot better than it does in stills.

The environments look pretty bad when your truck is standing still. If you stop and take a good look at the dirt or trees, you will notice they are made of very bland and stretched out textures. Luckily in this game there is never a reason to stop, and most of the time the environments will be blurring past the screen. The actual trucks look average as well. They all have your typical overly glossy glass look that all racing games have.


Bland by todays standards but not ugly


When you hit a boost (which happens a lot), it automatically blurs the outside edge of the screen which gives off a greater sense of speed. The draw distance is more than enough for this game, I never recall seeing the stage cutoff in the distance.

Bottom line is that the graphics aren’t anything breathtaking, but don’t look ugly.

Music
The music in this game isn’t anything to write home about. The opening/menu music is a pretty good guitar riff and really built my anticipation for the soundtrack when I first heard it. However the rest of the music was a big letdown compared to the opening theme.

A lot of it is very bland rock, and some of it gives me a headache.

I think a lot of time didn’t go into the music due to the support of custom soundtracks. This game supports MP3 playback via the Wii’s SD card slot. It’s a welcomed feature and solves the problem of the crummy default soundtrack. However it’s still no excuse for the original soundtrack.

Gameplay
It’s easy to write Excite Truck off based off its visuals and music. It certainly doesn’t look like anything special. It’s a game you really just need to play to understand. I have showed Excite Truck to many people who have never even heard of it before and the reaction is almost always “awesome”.


Trust me, you just gotta play this game to understand

Steering is done by tilting the Wii Remote like a steering wheel. At first it feels clunky because the natural reaction is to turn the Wii Remote a full quarter-circle which causes your truck to turn way too much. The next usual reaction is to compensate by quickly turning a full quarter circle in the opposite direction. I’ve seen so many people pick up the controller and start doing this.

The key to Excite Truck is to make slight and precise tilts. The controls are very responsive and once you get the hang of it becomes a very intuitive way to control your truck. This is especially true regarding tilting your truck forward and back to land jumps properly. It also helps if you steer as if your holding a normal steering wheel and not that of an 18wheeler.

There is a good selection of different cars in this game, 21 to be exact. Each car has its own stats and handling, and get this: 12 Custom Colors!!! The course selection is somewhat limited. There are only 6 areas in this game, and so you wont see a big diversity in enviornments during your races. There are about 3 tracks to each area for a total of 20 different courses.


Lots of trucks to choose from.

Gameplay is very fun. Instead of winning races based off your time or finishing rank, victory is based off your final score. You collect points by pulling off tricks as you race. Such tricks include catching major air, holding a drift for a long period of time, or smashing other trucks. While you do receive a large amount of points for winning the race, it isn’t required to finish first to win. It is a great change of pace from standard racing games as the focus becomes less about beating the other cars and more about doing the best possible run.

What makes this game even more awesome is its non-linear course setup. Since you drive trucks on dirt, it isn’t plagued by the traditional racing game rule of “go off the course, start losing speed”. This opens up a world of shortcuts and different routes you can take. If you think you can cut seconds off your lap by navigating through an offbeat path full of trees you can do it.


If your a pro like me you can navigate trees like this

Also along the tracks are Terraform items which instantly mutate the track in front of you. Some will create giant jumps and some will make lakes appear. What’s awesome is that you can Terraform ground out from under other Trucks and send them flying.


The trucks must have wings in this game

This game reminds me a lot of the Burnout series by EA. It’s heavy on speed and flying past dangerously close obstacles. It also puts a big emphasis on crashing into other cars.


This racer crashed to his death moments later

If you don’t want to take my word for it and are still skeptical, take a look at this thread. It’s full of great testimonials of gamers who scoffed at this game only to later give it a chance and be blown away.

Along with the main game, there are side challenge modes. These modes include driving through gates, driving through rings, and my personal favorite, Crashing into other trucks.

Multiplayer

The 2 player mode is exactly what it says. 2 players, and only 2 players. There is no way to race with 2 players and the rest of the computer players. However despite the last of computer players it is still pretty fun to race agianst another person, especially when you start terraforming the ground out from under eachother. I’m disappointed there wasn’t any 4 player option as this game would be a blast at parties.

Lasting Appeal
It took me about 20 hours to get as far as I did. I have played this game on and off for over 40 hours though.

Because of its nature it has some good replay value. This is one game I will want to pick up off the shelf years from now and still enjoy.

Final Thoughts
Excite Truck isn’t a top of the line big budget racer. What it is however is a fun pick up and play game.

If you’re looking for a racer with tons of cars, options and tracks then this isn’t the game for you. However if your looking for an over the top arcade style racer, this game is a great buy. This game full of so many “holy $&#^#” moments, it gives off a great rush. It lives up to its Excite name and I encourage every Wii owner to at least rent it.

Gameplay Video

Last edited by Seraph; 08-22-2009 at 02:03 AM.
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