These are exciting times. Videogaming has been accepted as a mainstream form of entertainment, Iím nearing my graduation ceremony and gearing up to enter the professional workforce, and Excite Truck - the spiritual successor to the seminal 8-bit hit Excitebike - has totally overwhelmed my craving for extreme off-road rage.
Whatever souped-up monster truck you choose, youíll be tearing up the pristine landscapes, ramming rival truckers into hazardous terrain, and launching off makeshift environmental ramps to catch some incredible air-time, snagging a boost while you’re at it to make for a grand landing at the forefront of the pack. If youíre looking for a driving simulator here, you are most definitely in the wrong place my friend.
Strewn about each massive course are a number of pick-ups that serve to juice you up with some insane power. Some alter the terrain in a myriad number of ways, from creating narrow ditches to elevating the road in front of you some thousand feet high. Another supercharges your engines so that you can blaze ahead and knock down any friend, foe or straggling tree that dares to halt you in your tracks. Itís brain dead simple, and with the intuitive tilt controls offered by the Wii-mote, driving (or crashing) your reckless Excite Truck couldnít be any easier.
“If youíre looking for a driving simulator here, you are most definitely in the wrong place my friend”Apart from the main races and challenges, there isnít much else to mess around with here; quite unlike most driving games which are littered with a raft of options and customisations. Excite Truck is definitely aimed towards the casual gamer who just wants to strap in and run amok. Two-player is in, but itís a rather empty experience without any other opponents to liven up the place. Itís a shame that there isnít any multiplayer mode, on-line or no-line, but thatís what sequels are for.
Nevertheless, Excite Truck is a damn exciting ride if you just want to let loose and allow your instincts to guide you to all manner of ridiculously out-of-this-world rough-and-tumbles. The music is rocking good, but if youíve got better tracks in mind you have the option of loading your own ones via SD card. Whatever beats you prefer to jam to, Excite Truck is a brilliant showcase of what Wii-interactivity can do for such a simple idea. Now add in about five times as much content and beef up the crazy stunts even more so and next time Nintendo, youíll have totally wiped the floor with road-kill.
Seven out of ten
- Detailed graphics with lots of impressive particle and shimmering effects
- The soundtrack rocks, but you can use your own tunes too if you want
- Motion-tilt controls are a breeze
- Flying trucks!
- Lacks content: just over 20 trucks, a dozen unique courses, and no multiplayer?!
- Even a slight graze off a tree trunk is counted as a crash
- An inevitable sequel will make this title redundant