Excitebike 64

By: Nintendo
Rating: 90%
Platform: Nintendo 64
Available: Now
Price: $59.95

But Does It Get the Chicks?

Good possibility. The multiplayer setting encourages one-on-one fun with that special gal -- or two, or three.

playboy.com / digital culture / software / excitebike 64

The indoor dirt-track settings can all seem alike, though they're more challenging to steer your rider through due to their tight layouts and sharp corners. The outdoor settings are much more scenic, encompassing forest, canyon and winter environments. Many of the outdoor racetracks have hidden shortcuts you can take to give you an edge over competitors.

The frame rate of the graphics animation is smooth and mostly flicker-free, even when the screen is crowded with several racers at once. It looks great when you make your character pull off a stunt. And you can't help but wince when your cyclist and bike tumble in separate directions after a wipeout.

The game's biggest fault lies with the sound. While the music track, covering rap and punk, is decent enough, the sound effects are choppy -- particularly the bike engines. This was probably a tradeoff made to achieve an acceptable frame rate for the animation. It's not terribly distracting, but it is an unfortunate setback for an otherwise flawless game.

Even if you manage to master the solo races, there are enough features in Excitebike 64 to keep you busy for quite a while, and the multiplayer games have indefinite replay value. Still, if all of this is too much, you can always return to the original Excitebike to catch your breath.

back to digital main

Freelance writer Howard Wen has also covered videogames for Salon, Wired and the O'Reilly Network.

1 | 2