Sunday, April 26, 2009

Excitebots: Trick Racing impressions

Before anyone freaks out and says "That's IT?", no, this is not the article I've been working on for the last few days. I'm just whipping this up quick as some filler until that article is done (Probably tomorrow. Yes, I delayed it AGAIN. I suck at this). Alright? Alright.

After staring at the box yesterday for 4 1/2 hours, I finally got a chance to play Excitebots: Trick Racing today. In one word, my overall impression is "...WHAT?".

Excitebots is no ordinary racer. You thought Excite Truck was crazy? Bots is everything Truck was, plus darts, anthropomorphic vehicles, pie-throwing, bowling, soccer, football, chattering teeth, backflips and more. If Truck was crazy, Bots is flat-out insane.

One of the first things I noticed when I started up this game is how incredibly bright and lively the environments are. It's amazing how vibrant all the colours are in this game, from the common dirt path to the lush green foliage. Overall, Excitebots looks quite a lot like Excite Truck, but with a far more cartoony appearance.

Excitebots retains the same basic control scheme as its predecessor, along with the same excellent level of precision. A few new ways to control are added, most notably the seesawing motion needed when the bot takes on its "Leg" form (As seen above). I find it quite difficult to control where you're going in this mode, though, but maybe I just need to practice more.

The music in Excitebots, as opposed to Excite Truck, is actually pretty fun and suited to the level's theme. This is great news considering that, unlike Excite Truck, 'Bots has absolutely no support for SD card music. Such a pity, too; I was dying to peel across the Mexican countryside in the form of a praying mantis robot to the sounds of Born to Be Wild. Who can honestly say they've never wanted to do that at least once in the past?

Perhaps the biggest and most-wanted addition to the game is the one thing Excite Truck truly needed: Online play. I have yet to give it a go myself, but if Mario Kart Wii's buttery-smooth experience is any indication, Excitebots is sure to boast an amazingly fast and lag-free online mode. A six-player, online, crash-tastic race featuring flying bowling pins and explosives? I gotta check this out, and fast! Of course, if your friends are a little more local, there's always the option of local multiplayer. The major downside to this? A maximum of two players at once. Bummer.

Excitebots is already a whole whackload of fun, and I've barely even begun playing it. Stay tuned for the full review sometime in the near future!

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