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Excite Truck
Excite truck
Developer(s) Monster Games
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s) United States/Canada November 19, 2006
Japan January 18, 2007
Australia February 27, 2007
Europe February 16, 2007
Genre(s) Racing
Players 1-2
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone
Media Wii Optical Disc
Input Wii - Wii Remote
Predecessor Excitebike and Excitebike 64
Successor Excitebots: Trick Racing
Excite Truck at Nintendo.com

Excite Truck is a game published by Nintendo and developed by Monster Games for the Wii video game system. It features malleable environments and tilt based controls. The game was one of the launch titles for the Wii in North America. It is a spiritual successor to the Excitebike series (Excitebike and Excitebike 64).

Gameplay

Excite Truck uses only the Wii Remote, without the Nunchuk attachment. The player holds the Wii Remote on its side, horizontally, as in Mario Kart Wii. Steering is done by tilting the Wii Remote from side to side like a steering wheel. Braking is done by pushing the 1 button and accelerating is done by pushing the 2 button. To land major jumps, the player has to tilt the Wii Remote so that all four wheels will land parallel to the ground. Turbo boosts can be accessed via the Directional Pad.

Players are required to go through a series of practice/training runs (similar to Gran Turismo) before they are allowed to play the full game. After finishing the training levels, both single and multi player modes are available. At the strat of the game, players have only three trucks: the Boulder, the Firefly, and the Wolf. More trucks can be unlocked by reaching benchmarks.

All the trucks in the game are fictional, though some bear resemblance to real-world trucks; for example, the Wolf appears to be modeled off the Jeep Wrangler.

References to past Excite titles

The game is a spiritual sequel to NES title Excitebike and the N64 title Excitebike 64. The developers passed down and updated many features that made the original bike games popular. For example, the giant cliffs and jumps from the NES title return here, as the courses feature many hills and cliffs that make the player jump unrealistically high altitudes with their truck. In fact, it is possible for players to morph the land to make the levels even more "extreme" than they were originally designed. As in all Excite titles, it is important to adjust the angle of the vehicle so its wheels land parallel to the ground; in Excite Truck, a massive turbo boost is rewarded for a perfect landing.

A gameplay element also carried from both the NES and N64 titles is overheating. As players use turbos, their engine begins to overheat, slowing their vehicle. To eliminate the overheating state fastest, they must stop the truck and wait for the engine to cool down, adding a sense of strategy into the game. Driving the truck into shallow water will instantly cool the engine all the way down, so infinite boost can be used while in water (this is a real-life impossibility, as putting cool water in a hot engine will crack the engine block). Also, whilst in mid-air, the engine cools down so a player could boost and over heat approaching a jump and then have a cooled engine when they land. Water can be either part of the course or it can be reached using a land-deformation powerup. However, the truck will be counted as "crashed" if it drives into darker-colored deep water, and it must be reset the same way as any crash.

The track editor present in earlier titles does not appear in Excite Truck.

Scoring

Unlike most racing games, the primary objective of Excite Truck is not to finish first, but to instead collect “stars”. Stars are scored for a variety of stunts, and for the player’s placement at the end of the race. A letter grade is awarded for each race, corresponding to the number of stars obtained, with the "S rank" being the highest grade possible. Getting "S ranks" in all tracks on the regular "Excite" difficulty level unlocks a harder "Super Excite" difficulty level. Getting "S ranks" in all tracks on the "Super Excite" difficulty level unlocks an even more difficult "Mirror Mode" level.

In single player "Excite" mode, all tracks have a required number of stars for the track to be considered "passed". The player is not required to finish in first place (they can finish in last place and still win) so long as they gain the requisite number of stars during the race. Races are timed to prevent players from reversing back across high-star areas and completing the same stunts over and over again.

Winning races

In single player mode, the player receives bonus stars following the race depending on how they placed. These stars are applied to your score before determining if the player has completed the track's minimum score.

  • 1st Place: 50 bonus stars
  • 2nd Place: 25 bonus stars
  • 3rd Place: 15 bonus stars
  • 4th Place: 10 bonus stars
  • 5th Place: 5 bonus stars
  • 6th Place: No stars awarded

In multiplayer races, the player who crosses the finish line first receives a bonus of 15 stars. Additionally, once the first player has crossed the line, a 30 second countdown is triggered for the second player, and the person who first crossed the finish line gets an extra one star for every second it takes the second player to finish. If the timer expires, the second player is disqualified with no score.

Play modes

Excite Truck features several gameplay modes, most of them for a single player.

  • Excite Race: The basic campaign mode in which the player competes in several cup races. After completing each race in a cup (a race is completed by racing it and scoring the required number of stars), a new cup will be opened, and new tracks can be raced. The new tracks are accessible immediately in Excite Race and Versus modes.
  • Super Excite Race: The harder difficulty campaign mode unlocked after completing every race in the Excite Race mode with a score of "S". Consists of 5 cups, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond.
  • Mirror Race Mode: An even more difficult mode in which all the tracks are in reverse and the rings are smaller, unlocked after completing every race in the Super Excite Race with a score of "S".
  • Challenge: Maneuver your vehicle through a series of Gate, Ring, and Crush Challenges.
  • Versus: The multiplayer aspect of the game, which allows two players to race one another.
  • Tutorial: 4 tutorial sections (Basic I and II, and Stunts I and II) provide short, interactive tutorials on playing the game. They range from basic acceleration to advanced jumps and stunts.

Release

The game was released in the US on November 19, 2006, simultaneous to the launch of the Wii console system. The game was not as successful in sales, possibly due to having to share the sales with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the rest of the launch titles, but it did have a modest success, being the 9th best selling game for Wii during November. [1]

The game was released January 18, 2007 in Japan, February 16, 2007 in Europe and February 22, 2007 in Australia.

Trivia

  • Excitebike was released on the Virtual Console service in Europe on February 16th, to mark the European release of Excite Truck.
  • Excite Truck is the first Wii game to allow users to play MP3 files during the game via a SD card.


Sources

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