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Review: Excitebots Trick Racing (Wii Retail) ETR0071

Excitebots Trick Racing
(Nintendo Wii)

(C) 2009, Nintendo

Developer: Monster Games, Nintendo SPD Group No.3
Publisher: Nintendo

US release: April 20, 2009
JP release: August 30, 2011

Players: 2 (local), 6 (online)
Genre: Racing

The sequel to one of the most action packed racing game for the Wii, Excite Truck, is here ! offering you high-speed action. robotic insects, animal racers, bowling, poker, clowns and sandwiches ! this racer now contains wild, crazy, nonstop fun with big-air thrills, funky challenges and blinding speed !

This game still doesn't have a story, it's still a racing game so...

Review: Excitebots Trick Racing (Wii Retail) ETRimgExcitebots-TrickRacing3

Excitebots: Trick Racing (also known as Excite mou Machine in Japan) is a racing game that uses only the Wii remote sideways and also supports the Wii Wheel accessory. The game's controls are kind of similar to its previous game, Excite Truck, you can lean the controller to the left or right to turn your vehicle, activate turbo with the d-pad in order to go faster, lean forward and backward in the air to glide or quickly go down to the ground, performing tricks in the air by just holding the d-pad and the brake (the 1 Button) and lean the controller left or right many times and finally the A Button not only makes you go directly in the correct way of the track if you’re going the wrong way, but you can also use items by pressing it (more on that later on...), but the thing about this game is that it slightly improves it, not much since there's still the slippery problem I have with the previous game, it has thankfully however reduced a little in this game and it even also controls better with the Wii Wheel accessory ! with the accessory it feels and plays comfortable in the game, better than Excite Truck, but not that much.

While the game has some of the features that were present in the previous game such as the main goal of getting the most stars in each and every single race track of the game by doing the similar tricks and stunts from the game, it has also added lot more features in this game this time ! first of all, the vehicles this time are robots made out of small bugs like a ladybug, a grasshopper, a beetle, etc. and also other creatures such as a frog, a bat, a turtle, etc. and these racers each have their different stats about turbo power, handling, etc. just like it's previous game, and it also maintains the balance of it when it comes to the overpowered and underpowered vehicles present in the previous game. But not only it added more features, but they've also changed some things as well ! for example the "exclamation mark in a circle" power-up is now a "question mark on a honeycomb" (the MAX power-up however, is barely in the game though...), while it does the same thing as before where they make the tracks more extreme, they can also spawn boxes in the way that you can use items with ! such as tambourine where you must tune the song correctly in order to gain extra boost, a hammer that can make any enemies nearby where you hit the hammer, you will send the racers flying, slowing them down ! all these and more, it's kind of like the Mario Kart games, but it's actually balanced in terms of overpowered and underpowered items and the gameplay makes it better by making you use them wisely, And the "question mark on a honeycomb" power-up can also spawn items where it will trigger an event in the way where you must interact with it by using the item you got from the box that was spawned from the "question mark on a honeycomb" power-up at the right time to earn extra stars (more on that later on) !

And as for the tracks, this time you have bars, power-ups and others in which it increases the usability of the motion controls and also other thing that increases the way on how you can gain more stars, for example in the red bars, when you grapple them by just running towards them, you must move the controller where the screen indicates you to do in other to get out of the bar and earn an amount of stars and go faster depending on how well did you swing, and then there's sports related stunts where you must kick a football or a soccer ball to the goal by just ramming it and then get extra stars if you scored a goal and you can pull out pins along the way so that you can ram them like a bowling game and the amount of pins you've tumbled, will be the amount of stars you will get, talking about the other way you can get stars you can also be on these rails as well, and they each have some objective in order to gain more stars depending on how well you pass them, for example there's a rail where you must make a sandwich by collecting the ingredients while on the rail by leaning the Wii Remote to catch them. One more thing to mention is that the race tracks sometimes have multiple paths this time, where there's two paths that you can take (even hidden ones in which you can open by doing a certain action like doing a stunt spawned by the "question mark on a honeycomb" power-up) and one of them is part of the track, but the other way can be an easy way to earn more stars, and there's a new power-up in which is the wrench ! in which when you pick it up, you can transform so that your racer can have legs temporally, and when you jump out of a "warning ledge", you will fly and you can control it's flight to sometimes pick up butterflies in the air and then bring them to a sunflower to earn stars, you will also be powerful when ramming on the other racers ! however, one of its disadvantages is that in order to control it, you must lean left and right repeatedly in order to move, in which of course, are the same controls that you use to go left and right ! which means that controlling it this way makes it awkward and even frustrating at times...

There's even new modes in there as well ! there's "Poker Race" where you collect poker cards placed on the track which are set up at certain points, and try to make the best hand before exchanging the cards for another hand, but the tricky part is that you will also be racing with the other bots in the meantime as well, meaning that one of them can grab a card first if they are ahead of you ! and the Challenges are now called "Minigames", this time it has 10 minigames in which you must compete several challenges, such as dart throwing, bowling, or gliding while trying to gain as much stars to achieve a higher score. As for the same things that haven't been removed or altered from the previous game, the objective of this game is still the same: you must race in each track and earn a passable grade by collecting stars by doing stunts, tricks, etc. in order to unlock another track and then another cup tournament, with grades ranging from a D (lowest grade) to an S (highest grade), with the acceptable score being a "B" in order to unlock another track, and the main game "Excite" mode, is still there.

The game still supports the same local multiplayer for up to two players where you compete with each other but there won't be other bots to race with though, however the game also supports online multiplayer up to six players ! you can play "Excite" races and "Poker" races and it's also very unique too ! since you are able to place bets on yourself by placing some amount of your hard-earned stars by other players, and if you won, you can multiply the bet and gain more stars ! and another unique feature is that you can register a friend via a friend code for this game and play together, but you can also communicate with him by sending him a message, giving him you own personal record so that he can try to beat it, your own replays, and other such things !

This game greatly improves over its previous game "Excite Truck" in terms of content, features, and much more ! the game is really great thanks to its improvements ! however, while it has improved a little, it's still has the slippery control problem from before and the game can be mandatory when it comes to motion controls, since you might struggle if you're not used at them, and the game can be too fast in which you might lose focus on earning more stars, but still, I had some great fun with the game and the improvements and the amount of new features it includes ! while also keeping it's fast, action-packed, and fun gameplay that was in the previous game and making it better !

I think it's just me, but I thought that the game looks better that its previous game ! I thought it has more polish this time, the vehicles are more detailed and shiny, the environments have a little more vibrant color and variety, even the fire effect looks somewhat more forward than its previous game,  I think overall everything else looks better by it being a little more detailed and more polished and also having more variety when it comes to graphic details in the vehicles and the obstacles.

Review: Excitebots Trick Racing (Wii Retail) ETRexcitebots_trick_racing_4

Music and Sound
The soundtrack is, again, a little better than the previous game, it does however have kind of a different tone rather than the Rock and Roll theme than the previous game, to where it's more "extreme" and has more of an impact this time, the menu music is somewhat catchy and well-mooded for this game, but the music in the race tracks still sound ok-ish and not very memorable, and unfortunately, the game removed the feature from its previous game where you can play MP3 music from an SD card...

The sounds are still pretty good ! the racers sound just like they should be, the sound from picking up an item and other similar things sounds good, ramming on the racers may lack impact, but the game's sounds still do its job well, and the game has no voice acting at all... and the game is English only, again, just like it's previous game...

As you can probably tell from this review, this game... is very weirdly random ! it has insect robots and other animal robots racing each other, pie throwing at random clown faces, making sandwiches on a rail, extra boosts by playing a nice tune on a tambourine, butterfly catching, bar swinging and leg racing madness ! I mean sure, all of the game's race tracks are includes some redesigned tracks from Excite Truck, in which all of them are modeled after real locations on Earth, such as Fiji, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, Scotland, and Mexico and it also includes new ones such as Kilimanjaro, Guatemala and Tasmania, however as I've said, this locations have been remodeled to look more "extreme" and not as down-to-earth as Excite Truck was before, since there will be some moments where the scenery will change, like for example in Guatemala, the Moai statue heads can breathe fire at times making you overheat your engine if you touch them, and in Tasmania, several rock monsters will alter tracks to slow down and/or make you crash by making them change directions by including more obstacles on their way, and while the weird nature of this game is pretty much all it has when it comes to its presentation, it's not awful though, in fact, it's actually rather great and fun for a certain type of game like this, I mean yeah the weirdness can make you puzzled, but not a whole lot thanks to its well done execution of it and it's fun take on its own concept.

The game also has been released on a bundle in which it includes the Wii Wheel accessory and the game as well, and if I learned something from playing this, you must absolutely get IF you don't have a Wii Wheel accessory, if you do have one, then get the game alone then, unfortunately for Japanese gamers, you can only get the game alone from the Nintendo Club website of japan for 1000 coins and not on retail or any other place, there is no news about it being released on retail with either the game and/or in bundle as of the time of this writing.

Review: Excitebots Trick Racing (Wii Retail) ETRexcitebots-trick-racing-wii_6167-1

As for the replayability, some of the features from the previous game are back and also adds some more of it ! in fact, the stars can actually be used as money to purchase trophies and such without losing your chance of earning another racer by earning a certain amount of stars because of its "lifetime" stars counter where it counts the amount of stars that you have collected throughout the game, even if you spent some of it in other stuff, as for returning modes, there's the "Super Excite" mode which is the harder version of the main game, "Mirror Excite" which is a mirror version and a much more harder version and the last cup which is "Crystal Nebula", an extra course of the game and all of these features can be unlocked the same way as its previous game (by gaining all of the race tracks with an "S" grade in all of the cups in each and every one of the modes), and the "Boulder" from Excite Truck can be unlocked if you get them all ! there's also new custom and special paint jobs for your racers by racing them a certain amount of time and by getting a certain amount of "S" grades in them, new bot racers that you can purchase and also their regular and special paint jobs, Icons that you can purchase to put in your profile, dioramas of a stunt that you can unlock and purchased by doing that specified stunt a certain amount of times and finally statues of the bot racers that you can unlock and purchase if you race and win with the specified bot racer a certain amount of times, it would've been nice if you didn't have to purchase them with your stars to obtain them, but overall, you can have a great amount of time with this game !

Review: Excitebots Trick Racing (Wii Retail) ETR953964-excitebots_online_multiplayer_01_super

I can safely say that this game is a great improvement over its previous game ! it has (somewhat) better controls, more content that's pleasing when it comes to its main gameplay core, and includes some new features that's makes it more worth it's buck such as online multiplayer and a unique system in the friend lists section, however even with its improvements it also brought out more problems, such as making the motion controls more mandatory and uncomfortable if you're not used to it, the slippery issue is still there even if it's reduced a little, the removal of the  feature of playing MP3 song on a SD card and other flaws as well, but still, I had some great fun with this game and even a bit more than its previous game ! so if you like an even more unique take on the racing genre and don't mind motion controls, then go ahead and get this ! but if you're worried or neutral on this one, especially in the controls section, then rent it and see if it goes well for you, but if you don't like the whole new ideas for the motion controls implemented this game, then skip it, as for me this game gets...

an 8/10

8- Great This is a great game that might have a few flaws or could have been better, but is still a game we highly recommend!

Last edited by Jnes5 on June 9th 2012, 12:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

If you only have these two choices, which one will you choose ? to have a game with no story ? or to have a game with the most ridiculous, boring, cliché-filled and horrible story ever ?
Do games need to be epic ?... or fun ?...
Wii #: 0018 2269 1524 9019 (codename Jnes)
Also on PSN ! PSN: jnesDX
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on June 9th 2012, 12:12 pmAmufungal
What a beautiful review Jnes5 Smile
on June 9th 2012, 12:51 pmSupertimbros
Too bad this was never released in Europe. Neutral
on June 9th 2012, 1:37 pmShounenMania
Jnes Your reviews never fail to impress. Review: Excitebots Trick Racing (Wii Retail) 631737971
on June 9th 2012, 2:08 pmSneaker
Still disappointed that this never reached Europe. I loved Excite Truck.
on June 9th 2012, 4:48 pmStaroceancrazy
Awesome review as usual Jnes5 Very Happy
Aqua Cherry Blossom
on June 9th 2012, 5:34 pmAqua Cherry Blossom
I don't understand why such an amazing game was never released here in Europe. Sad
on June 9th 2012, 7:35 pmTowafan7
@Sneaker maybe Nintendo will release this game in Europe this year for platinum Club Nintendo members like Japan did last year. Wink

@Jnes5 this review is another masterpiece. Wink
on June 10th 2012, 12:36 amWarfmasterST
Brian wrote:@Sneaker maybe Nintendo will release this game in Europe this year for platinum Club Nintendo members like Japan did last year. Wink

This would be wonderful and I agree with you mate this is one hell of a review. Very Happy
on June 10th 2012, 12:50 amAussiegamer
I guess we shouldn't complain since the blokes over there in America won't get Pandora's Tower by the looks of it. D-:
@Aussiegamer wrote:I guess we shouldn't complain since the blokes over there in America won't get Pandora's Tower by the looks of it. D-:

No man.
It's a reason to complain even more! From both sides!

These are great games. You want Pandora, and we want Excitebots, so we both are destined to complain!
I would complain as long as there's a chance, and honestly, I do it, by emailing Nintendo every once in a while asking for the games I want.

As by yesterday I got email by Nintendo of Europe confirming that there are no plans to bring Excitebots and Snowpack Park to Europe at the moment.
on June 10th 2012, 5:37 amSneaker
@Brian. NoE got a different reward system then America. We only get stars to buy things from the in store.
on June 10th 2012, 12:29 pmMegatron2000
@Sneaker That sucks. D|
Maybe NoE will add the game to the store? |D
on June 10th 2012, 1:14 pmDigiDestined
Is this game hard to find at Gamestop?
on June 10th 2012, 1:16 pmKingreX32
Somehow Driving a robotic Ladybug at 200 mph isnt fun for me. Thats part of the reason i didnt like this game.
Sakura chan
on June 10th 2012, 2:50 pmSakura chan
I'm glad that this game was finally made available in Japan last year. Smile
on June 25th 2012, 1:37 pmKokorOtaku
This is my second most played wii game, first is SSBB
I haven't played this game before, but it does look fun.
on July 1st 2012, 5:39 pmKokorOtaku
This game is fun its my second most played wii game
Rena Ryuugu Fanboy
on July 1st 2012, 5:57 pmRena Ryuugu Fanboy
I should find a used copy of this game sometime.
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