ExciteTruck (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 21.09.2006 20

Excitebike was one of the first games to be released by Nintendo for its 8-bit NES and the launch title quickly became a fan-favourite, despite its extremely basic appearance. But back in 1984 it was more than acceptable, especially considering it was the legend himself Shigeru Miyamoto that designed it and even had a custom track editor included in the package! The game was eventually updated on the Japanese Super Famicom satellite service, Satellaview, revamped with Mario characters instead of unknown riders.

Nintendo has kept the Excitebike flag flying over the years, with an amazing new Nintendo 64 edition created by (former Second Party) Left Field, which even included a special 3D remake of the original game, plus mentions in Smash Bros. and the re-release of it as part of the Famicom Mini / NES Classics range on the GBA. But now the franchise is heading off on somewhat of a tangent as US-based Monster Games is currently busy putting the final touches to ExciteTruck for the Nintendo Wii. Many have said it looked like Nintendo's answer to the Electronic Arts / Criterion Games Burnout series, whilst others have shared their negative thoughts about how it could never live up to Criterion's high standards.

Screenshot for ExciteTruck (Hands-On) on Wii

Thankfully, after going hands-on with ExciteTruck, I can safely say fans of the hi-octane Burnout games will be right at home here as US outfit Monster Games has excelled itself to create a breath-taking racing title that leaves beads of sweat slowly dripping down your brow after a prolonged spell at the controls. The team has previously worked on a stack of NASCAR racers across multiple platforms, winning various awards for their efforts, with the biggest surely being Nintendo handing them this lucrative franchise name. With any luck Monster Games will be working closely with Nintendo much more in the future.

Screenshot for ExciteTruck (Hands-On) on Wii

Rather than being the first to dive in with the title, being the reserved type I chose to step back and let some other sucker take the reigns, just so I could see exactly what was going on in-game. Much to my amusement, the guy's exaggerated movements sent his truck cavorting around the track extremely recklessly. However, with ample use of his boost function, he ended up scraping across the finish line in 1st position.

And so, now with a cocky swagger, I stepped up to the mantel, ready to show people how it should be played. Engines revving like crazy, all the vehicles slowly trundled along as the lights slowly changed...and then suddenly green appeared and *whoosh*! The speed was instantly stunning, and definitely not in a bad way. Frame-rate issues are certainly NOT a problem here at all as all the trucks throttled across the terrain at break-neck speed. Whilst a little daunting, within seconds the driving became almost second-nature, with response being as sensitive as driving a car in real life. The guy assisting with this game barely had to say much as I was gently drifting left and right with ease and naturally adjusted the angle of the truck's flight as I launched through the air simply by rolling the controller slightly forward or backwards as necessary so that landings were spot-on.

Screenshot for ExciteTruck (Hands-On) on Wii

For someone who simply adored what Left Field did with Excitebike 64, scepticism had crept in about how ExciteTruck would play, but all fears were blown away by how simply wonderful this game was! Boosting was done via pressing right (or 'up' in this case, since the Wii controller was being held sideways on, in the way that a steering wheel would be) and for the purposes of the demo, that was all you needed to know

Screenshot for ExciteTruck (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Anyway, not all the modes of play have been revealed and some are stating it will only be a two-player experience. But whatever the case, ExciteTruck is one hell of a racing game and definitely rates as the one to buy on launch day for fans of the genre! Monster Games, I salute you...

Developer

Monster

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Driving

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (23 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

:-D

Nice preview Raz,this was always a must buy for me, but it's good to hear so much positive comments about it.

Nice one, im looking foward to this title, although I really hope theres a online feature.

I think I will be buying this on launch day, it looks great. Having recently bought Burnout 2 on GC, I'm looking forward to the insane speed Excite Truck seems to offer.

360 Gamertag: shiptoncraig
PSN: shiptoncraig
Steam: Guess what?

I have to admit I thought this looked a bit pants/ not my cup of tea when it was shown for the very first time.

However after reading various reports such as yours Adam it really has grown on me and sounds like it will be an immensly fun title.

One to add to.. THE LIST, it seems! :D


Cubed3 Staff [ Retro Editor :: Previews Editor ]

A rent title im afraid, i cant help but feel distant from a Truck, although this is a well written hands on that does tempt me.

Wo33eR ::: Wo33eR.CoM Website :: Cubed-3 :: [ General Writer :: Reveiwer ]

34,723/1,119,437 - World :: 6,399/137,860 - UK

I dunno, this falls into the waverace category of "why does everybody love it?". I simply don't see the appeal, I await to have my mind changed though.

WaveRace Blue Storm or 64? WR: BS was awful, I thought, but the Nintendo in-house 64 version was actually better than MK64!

This has the potential to be better than Excitebike 64, but we'll see what's in the final version...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Looksbloody ace, but no online - No Sale.

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

No online and the possibility of it only being two-player...I wish Monster Games could talk about the game at the moment, but Nintendo has them locked away in silence :-(

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Looks great definitely getting.

Say Raz did you play Ubi's Monster 4x4 Truck racer according to GameCentral it was more accessible than Excite Truck due to it being a bit snesitive but as you said it only requires slight movements.

Is it on launch day?

Pity about online mode let's hope for a sequel or maybe a burnout online.


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

I gave Monster Truck a miss because the machine kept crashing :-(

Everyone: be sure to not forget about the WarioWare: Smooth Moves impressions as well! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

That link is: http://www.cubed3.com/news/6001/

And yes, ExciteTruck is a launch day title :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Double posting Raz tut tut tut yes Zelda, Excite truck two definites, red steel has been taken off due to bad reports and off course Wario Ware a week later.

Raz did you get to play Red Steel


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

wow this is looking amazing. It certainly looks like it will be a hit franchise for the big n.

Bleep bleep blork bleep

it was more accessible than Excite Truck due to it being a bit snesitive

that's a wonderful mistype, Mr. Ashcroft! :Smilie

I stated the wish to lay hands on Excite Truck and you guys did. Thank you!
But I was hoping to read why I sould buy it. Yes, surely it is wonderful, looks stunning, plays like Flatout2... But how big ist the game, why should I pay 60 Bucks for it? How many tracks? Is there a storymode included? Double Dash was fun and decently extensive, but it hat Multiplayer as a long term motivation. With ET only being 2 Player (I think that's not true, by the way) it would lose some of its appeal.
I hope Nintendo releases the NDA on the programmers soon and I can see how exactly the game works.

But it's fun to behold. I want to play it!

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

This is another of my day one purchases, has been for a little while. It looks absolutely brilliant. I love the videos where you seem to be doing jumps that go on for a quarter of a mile...

Good stuff again!

I'm really eager to know what will be in the final package to justify the

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Oh you know i meant it Laurelin.

Hope you have only good things to say about Red Steel i have heard only bad things of late, cheer me up raz man


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

I wasn't going to buy this but the podcast and this preview are making me think again...Damn you Adam!! That might be another $100 I spend! :D

Red Steel is getting better over time - shame the machine at the show kept crashing, though.

tiamat, you're welcome! Hehe Smilie :tongue: You a fan of Burnout then? This rewards you for tearing up the ground with your crazy boosting, and with things like great landing you'll get an extra boost as well.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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