Excitebots: Trick Racing

Having Excitebots: Trick Racing in your Wii is like having a fridge filled with nothing but cake. You might enjoy it for awhile, but too much of it may make you sick or hyper.

Nintendo Australia Excitebots: Trick Racing
  • Nintendo Australia Excitebots: Trick Racing
  • Nintendo Australia Excitebots: Trick Racing
  • Nintendo Australia Excitebots: Trick Racing
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Constant minigames and a unique ranking system ensure races are never boring or meaningless.

Cons

  • Game can get a little too crazy, the graphics and sound are subpar.

Bottom Line

Excitebots: Trick Racing is one of the most intense and frenetic racers I've ever seen, and it actually brings quite a few new things to the genre. However, the audio and visual elements of the game aren't quite as impressive, and the gameplay is sometimes too hectic for its own good.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

Having Excitebots: Trick Racing in your Wii is like having a fridge filled with nothing but cake. You might enjoy it for awhile, but too much of it may make you sick or hyper.

Excite Truck was one of the more overlooked and underrated launch titles for the Nintendo Wii. The fact that a game featuring trucks flying hundreds of feet through the air and into each other managed to fly under the radar is a feat in and of itself (blame Wii Sports and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess), but developer Monster Games have ensured that the sequel, Excitebots: Trick Racing, won't suffer the same fate by loading the game up with an unprecedented level of insanity.

I get the feeling playing Excitebots: Trick Racing that the word "no" was never uttered during a feature pitch meeting. Anthropomorphous bugs and animals that can race, run, and fly? In-race minigames dedicated to making sandwiches, collecting butterflies, throwing pies, and kicking field goals? An entire mode dedicated to a racing-poker hybrid? All of these concepts had to be pitched, and none of them were rejected. It makes for one of the unique games I've ever played, and it certainly keeps the races from getting boring.

Race Like Crazy

The "standard" racing mode in Excitebots consists of four cups, consisting of five races each, set in locales all across the world from Canada to Kilimanjaro (good luck telling them apart, save for a randomly placed landmark or two). At the beginning of each race, a star goal is given. True to the game's insane features, winning in Excitebots takes way more than finishing in first. Throughout the race, engaging in the aforementioned minigames, completing mid-air tricks, crashing through competitors, and swinging from vertically and horizontally oriented bars all earn differing amounts of stars, with better bonuses being doled out for finishing closer to first. A final grade is then assigned according to the total amount of stars collected. Due to this system, it's possible to fail a race while finishing in first or pass while finishing in last, both of which happened during my time with Excitebots. There's a reason to go above and beyond when racing, however, as stars also act as the game's currency, allowing you to purchase new animal-automobiles, paint jobs, and other assorted collectibles. The racing seems to be fairly balanced, and the controls for most of the tricks are natural enough whether you're using the Wii Remote or Wii Wheel. The only major issue is the breakneck speed at which obstacles and stunt opportunities are doled out.

The other modes and minigames all have the same similar goal (earn a certain amount of stars), but vary wildly in execution. Poker Race consists of collecting different poker hands by gathering cards scattered about the course, earning more stars for better hands. It's a very interesting (and bizarre) concept that ultimately fails due to the speed of the game betraying the more methodical nature of poker. I have a hard enough time determining what cards I need when one is doled out every 30 seconds, much less having to choose from five when they're rapidly approaching.

The minigames fare much better in execution. If one of the many in-race oddities tickles your fancy, you can try your luck at events that consist of nothing but one particular minigame. Whether you're flipping from bars like a gymnast made of steel, grease, and wheels, or tossing darts at a multitude of targets while blasting by them at high speeds, most of the minigames serve as suitable distractions should the main game get too hectic.

Buzzkillers

While the insanely-paced races of Excitebots can serve as either a plus or minus depending on how fast you like to go, there are a handful of things that are genuinely annoying. The game isn't easy on the eyes, as the racers and tracks aren't much better looking than Excite Truck did at launch. The music is still god-awful, and you aren't afforded a customisable soundtrack this time around. And while the game has added online multiplayer featuring up to six racers, offline competition is limited to two-player, hardly-extreme splitscreen.

When posting an interview I conducted with the game's developers, my cube-neighbor Patrick Shaw commented that Excitebots: Trick Racing looked like "the tackiest game of all time," which is about the most apt compliment and complaint I can apply to the game. It tries everything, and is maybe a bit too crazy for its own good, but it's definitely unforgettable. Your mileage will vary in accordance with your sanity.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?