Excite Truck (Wii) Reviews

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Excite Truck (Wii)

By: Rex Inego | Mar 05, 2007 10:17 AM

Drive a massive truck at amazingly fast speeds, smashing other vehicles and making death defying jumps through the air. That is Excite Truck in a nutshell relying on nothing more than frantic, mind blowing races and extreme stunts. While it may seem like a shallow idea you wouldnt be too far from the truth, but that is Excite TruckҒs greatest selling point.

To control your truck you simply hold the control sideways and use the 2 button for gas, 1 for brake and the D-pad for boost (however use the boost too much and your truck will overheat.) The handling on the game is certainly difficult to begin with as it feels odd to tilt the control rather than rotate like a steering wheel, but give it a few races and you will quickly get the hang of things.

What separates Excite Truck from its competition are three key elements. The first being that while you do race for pole position that doesnt necessarily guarantee you first place. Seem odd? Well the actual way to win is by gaining stars from doing reckless things such as driving through a tree infested pathway or doing a 1080 spin in the air. Think Burnout Takedown where youҒre rewarded for your no-holds-barred racing. Obviously winning the race will give you even more stars, but really the main idea is to perform as many stunts as you can crashing as few times as possible. Its a great system that works really well and provides a lot of challenge as at the end you will be given a grade based on your performance which you will want to come back and top. The second feature are the (!) and (POW) icons. Hitting a (!) icon will cause something to happen on the course. Most of the time it will shift the ground ahead into a huge ramp giving you a good chance to catch some decent air. Others though cause volcanoes to erupt, lightning strike or even a hurricane tear down parts of the road. ItҒs these surprises that keep the game exciting and unpredictable. The (POW) icon on the other hand will give your truck speed and invincibility from trees making shortcuts a lot easier to take and smashing opponents a cake walk. The final trait is the fact that you will spend most of the time in the air rather than on the actual ground driving. Excite Truck is the furthest you can possibly get from realism and instead lets you glide your vehicle through the air like a paper plane spinning and making jumps impossible in real life. You will drive a fair bit still, but you will also be relied on to handle your truck in the air as well as on the floor.

Option wise Excite Truck is your basic affair with a main mode (Excite) consisting of 19 tracks spread over six countries. These are put into four medal classes in which gain in difficulty as you progress. Complete this with perfect rankings and you will unlock a harder mode called Super ExciteӔ which is more or less the same but with an extra track, harder opposition and greater star goals. There is a final third mode too as well as a challenge mode which involves you racing between gates, jumping through rings and even taking out other trucks. Throughout the single player mode you will unlock over 20 trucks each with differing speed stats and handling as well as their alternate paint jobs. The overall package is nice but it would have been great if there was a campaign option offering more variety in the challenges and races.

It shouldnt take you very long to get through the ғExcite mode but as you attempt ԓSuper Excite and the third mode you will notice a large difference in difficulty. These final two modes and also the challenge will last you a while and to beat everything with an ԓS ranking and unlock every truck will last even longer.

The tracks in the game have six distinct locations from countries such as Scotland, China and Canada. They all consist of massive jumps and trees scattered throughout but they all have some subtle differences. China for example has the great wall that you can ride on if you have the skill and Scotland displays a lovely looking castle you can jump over. What also makes these tracks so much fun are the alternate routes they have. One may cause you to drive through a nearby river in order to cool you engine and boost to your hearts content while the other may offer rings to jump through giving you more stars. ItԒs great to have the choice and offers an element of strategy asking yourself whether you go for speed or go for the stunts.

Multiplayer will seem like a missed opportunity. With only a two player option available not even offering computers to race with as well it is a very restricted experience. That isnt to say itҒs not fun though, because playing with a friend is great and due to the star scoring system can make for some close battles regardless of how long youve been playing it. On a positive note every track and truck youҒve unlocked is selectable to try with a mate but all this is aching for a four player option or some of the challenge modes.

The game looks great with nice looking environments ranging from sunny beaches to snowy mountains overlooking water that shimmers in the Sun. It isnt near the standard of any 360 or PS3 racer, but it gets the job done and focuses more on the speed of things never showing a hint of slowdown. That isnҒt to say this game doesnt have many nice effects though. For one when you reach top speed youҒll notice the corners of the screen going blurry. Or at a later stage youll be faced with a full on downpour of heavy snow as you launch over an oil tanker in Finland. Overall youҒll like what you see.

When it comes to music Excite Truck falls short. The game supplies you with cheesy rock that will more than likely annoy people rather than please them. However if you have an SD memory card then up to 100 of your own songs can be played during races which is a very welcome feature. Sound wise the game fares better and shows off some nice effects. For example when you are flying high in the air the music fades out slightly and the sound of the wind can be heard as you plummet to the bottom. Small things but add to the experience.

Pros: -Extremely fast paced -Use your own music! -Looks good and some nice effects -Large selection of trucks

cons: -No four player -Single player quite short and basic

conclusion: Excite Truck delivers what its meant to. Simple, adrenaline fuelled racing. ItҒs sorely missing a four player option and really needed a campaign mode for the lone gamer but still offers loads of fun. Expect things like a vast single player campaign or loads of customisation for your trucks and youre going to be deeply disappointed. However accept it for what it is and youҒll love every minute of it.

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