Okay, I messed up and missed yesterday’s #ThrowbackThursday, so instead have a #FlashbackFriday!
The first ever video game console that I owned was the Nintendo Entertainment System or the NES as it’s now known, and among games like Super Mario Bro’s and Duck Hunt was one little gem that kept my 8 year old self glued to the TV and that was Excitebike.
Excitebike was a simple motocross racing game that pit you up against a few other AI players or solo if you prefer. What made this game both simple to pick up and play but also addicting was not only the side scrolling platform gameplay, but the jumps, the crashes and the ability to knock other players off if you hit them right with your rear wheel. What added a sense of difficulty to the game was the motorbikes temperature gauge, this is something you had to keep an eye on because if you filled up the bar your motorbike would cease to function until it cooled down. It makes a difference from todays MotoX games where you can just go hell for leather around the course. Another added difficulty was landing, if you landed incorrectly your little pixel biker dude went flying!
The controls were fairly simple especially with the NES’s simple 4 axis Dpad and A and B buttons. Up and down controlled the players position on the track, forward and backwards controlled the angle the player was at, pressing backwards whilst on the ground caused the little man to do a wheelie, pressing forward in the air tipped the pixel biker forward helping land on the ramps smoothly.
Excitebike was the first ever game that introduced me to the level editor feature called the “Design Mode”, though fairly simple it gave anyone the ability to make a course using various different jumps and ramps some of which could be completely ridiculous and often ended up with all of the players crashing at some point.
Overall, this game was the game that got me into racing games and games that had some sort of level creation within them. It was a brilliant game for me in the early 90’s before the release of the SEGA Megadrive.
You can actually download Excitebike on their 3DS from the Nintendo eShop!