Excitebike 64 is a video game published by Nintendo and developed by Left Field Productions. It was released in North America on April 30, 2000 for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It is the series' first 3D game. Excitebike 64 is the sequel to the acclaimed NES game Excitebike and is the second title in the series. It was later succeeded by the Wii game Excite Truck.
You can choose from one of six riders, each with his own pre-set handling attributes. To control the bike, use the analog or D-pad moving the bike A to accelerate, B to brake, R for slide, and Z for a turbo boost. Just as in the original, holding down gives you more air on jumps, while holding up aims your front wheel forward to enable landing on slopes. The game isn't meant to be an accurate motorbiking simulation. It chooses to follow the original in giving "extreme" jumps and physics, creating a far more "exciting" atmosphere.
The main game features a 20-track season mode. Completing races unlocks more tracks and features. Also included is a tutorial that will teach you how to play through 17 different tracks. Also included are a variety of exhibitions and time trial modes that let you do more activities other than the main game. A major feature is the track editor, were you can create your own fully-functional track and save it into the game.
This game supports the expansion pack for the N64, giving the game a higher resolution of 480i. The game visuals were, at the time, very impressive for a Nintendo 64 game. The framerate went a little bit slower compared to other titles of the system, varying from 30 to 15 frames per second and anywhere in between.
features six riders to choose from, five of them American, and the sixth one English. They are:
- Jim Rivers (25 years old, from Seattle, Washington), nicknamed "Jumpin' Jim": the most balanced character, thus recommended for beginners and veterans alike.
- Ricky Stern (14 years old, from Los Angeles, California), nicknamed "Tricky Ricky": the youngest rider. As his name would imply, he excels on air hangtime, and is also good by corners. However, he has poor top speed.
- Sarah Hill (28 years old, from Miami, Florida), nicknamed "Sugar": her stats parallel those of Ricky, though she has slightly better cornering and turbo, at the cost of having her jumping and landing stats just below maximum.
- Bobby Malone (16 years old, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), nicknamed "Big Dog": has great speed, but all his other stats are low, which makes him recommended for more advanced players.
- Nigel York (28 years old, from London), nicknamed "The Duke": along with Bobby, has the highest speed in the game, and a decent jump as well, but his landing and cornering are terrible.
- Vicky Steele (19 years old, from Houston, Texas), nicknamed "Vixen": she, like Jim, has average stats, but a slightly better turbo, at the cost of a slightly poorer landing. She is best recommended for intermediate players.
- Nigel York is called the Duke in honor of the dukes and duchesses of York.
- Sarah Hill's nickname is based on a rap group's name which is the Sugarhill Gang.
References to past Excite titles
This game is quite a departure from the original Excitebike game compared to Excite Truck, but still keeps a lot of gameplay elements that are similar and pay homage to the first game. The turbo boost appears in this game, just like it appeared on the first game and its sequel. Also returning are the series' trademarked giant cliffs and jumps that let you jump unrealistically high altitudes with your bike.
Its strongest references perhaps is the level editor, that was present in the original. Also is a remake of the original Excitebike track, but done in 3D. Also, as an unlockable, you can play the original NES Excitebike thanks to an emulator included in the game.
The game was revealed by Nintendo
to the public at the pre-E3
conference on May 12
The game was later shown playable the next day. IGN
saw how similar it was to another racing title that was yet to be released called Supercross 2000
On May 2 2000, to coincide with the game's release, Nintendo launched the game's very own website. This was rare back in 2000, and it showed that Nintendo was excited about the game. However, after the redesign of Nintendo's webpage, the website has been taken down and cannot be seen again.
The game received an average 88 out of 100 from the review compilation site Metacritic