3D Classics: ExciteBike
Motor your way through the old school NES racer, now in 3D.
Unlike a lot of the NES-era titles, Excitebike is one of the few that continues to be almost as entertaining now as it was nearly three decades ago. No, really.
OK, it doesn't exactly rival Trials HD for the title of best stunt bike racing game anymore, but there's a depth and accessibility to the game's design that still make it feel fresh and fun.
And with slightly superfluous 3D depth effects applied to the game's functional-but-appealing visuals (now in widescreen!), there's more reason than usual to go back and wallow in its addictive allure. It's also free for the next few weeks, so get in quick.
Gameplay is the same as it ever was, with two distinct modes to meddle with: the Selection A solo time trial and the Selection B races against AI racers. The excitement, if you can still call it that, comes from mastering the angle of your landing and judging the exact momentum you need to avoid the obstacles.
Basic stuff by today's standards, obviously, but that doesn't mean it's no longer fun. However, it is a shame there's no online leaderboard or any way to share your track creations, especially for a game that is eventually going to sell for a premium price.
Right now, though, Excitebike represents a pleasing, if not essential, example of how Nintendo is planning to overhaul some of its true retro treasures.
Used under license from Eurogamer.
What's Hot: Cool 3D effects, same old (and great) Excitebike, creating tracks.
What's Not: Free until July 7, will cost $5.99, no leaderboard or track sharing option.