The Original Excitebike for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – Best Video Games Ever
Ah Yes. Like Fine Wine.
Excitebike for the NES seriously was a lot of fun. It was one of those Black Box games that they made when they first came out with the Nintendo in the United States. Kids ate up this ultra simplistic motorcycling game.
I'm sure it was coded in like a couple of weeks at most. It's so simple. It was pretty much one of those games that you liked to play for like 15 or 20 minutes after school, you know, just to forget all that insane crap your teachers were babbling on about.
The whole idea was to race through some crazy ass motocross tracks filled with lots of obstacles and giant hills. Those mounds were bigger than Pamela Anderson’s! The gameplay was pretty simple. You would basically just push up and down to transition between four different set tracks as you moved, and you would have to keep yourself from crashing into the ground as you landed after jumps. The temp gauge was important. If you hot tailed it too quickly using your turbo mode, your cheap little Japanese bike would overheat. Then you were stuck on the side of the track waiting for it to work again.
You could also hit the arrows to get a huge speed boost, so the play had lots of variables to keep it interesting. There was a lot of room for improvement if you got good at it.
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Track 1 Speed Run - Cruddy Quality but Sweet Playing
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Not Great for the NES... But It Blew Away Atari Stuff!
When you compare the game to the look of Atari games, it’s easy to see why people thought the game was kind of neat for its time in 1985. Even though everything was just a bunch of drawings, they had a very 3d-ish look to them. With the simple yet effective graphics, Nintendo was also able to make the bike go pretty fast. That was exciting. It was cool to see the little bike jumping around like crazy on a semi-3d style track. For its time, this was pretty impressive.
Excitebike didn’t have a 2 player mode, which is sad because it sorely needed one. The game has a time trial mode and a mode where you race other bikers. Where Excitebike really shined was in the design mode. This mode could almost be considered the 2 player mode, because kids invented ways to use it with their friends.
Basically, you would leave the room and let your friend build a track. Then you could compete and see how fast both of you could finish the track. Obviously, it helped to know your own track. Most of the time one kid just tried to be a giant ass to the other kid, building the most convoluted and difficult track possible. This was minutes of fun – but it was huge laughs
Robot Chicken Parody
Robot Chicken, an Adult Swim show, made a funny parody of this NES game. Check it out:
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The game was extremely simple, but there was a definite charm about it back in the early days. Despite being not particularly stellar graphic wise, it had a certain indescribable Nintendo charm to it.
There wasn’t much music. The actual gameplay sound consisted of a rather obnoxious stream of low beepish, buzzish noises over a tone. It’s hard to describe. The jumps were the only time when this droning sound was interrupted. Eh, but sound isn't all that important for this game.
So, yeah. Excitebike may be a simple little game, but it’s still a great one. It’s one of those simple little Nintendo games that really touches your heart. Nothing says old school gaming better than the original Excitebike. I get all teary eyed just thinking about it.
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