Vs. Excitebike

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Vs. Excitebike

Vs. Excitebike - FDS - Japan.jpg

Famicom Disk System - Japan - 1st edition.jpg

Developer Nintendo
Publisher Nintendo
Published 1984-12-??
Platforms Famicom Disk System, VS. System
Genres Racing
Themes Powersports
Series Excite
Multiplayer Alternating versus, Simultaneous versus
Distribution Commercial

Vs. Excitebike is a dirt bike racing video game developed and published by Nintendo for their VS. System in December 1984, then for the Famicom Disk System on 1988-12-09. The game is a reworking of the original Excitebike, but for the arcade. In this version of the game, there are seven tracks, some of which are similar to the original five, each of which must be completed twice. The first race on each track is a qualifier without opponents (like mode A in the original) and only requires a single lap. The second race is played against opponents (like mode B) and requires two laps. The game also adds a bonus round where you jump over busses, additional music jingles, a slightly more detailed awards ceremony, better high score keeping, and the ability to earn continues with good scores, but, as it is an arcade game, removes the track editor. The opponent AI is a little different as well.

The later FDS port, being a home version, adds back the editor, includes a title sequence, completely reworks the music and adds background music while you're racing, lets you save your tracks and best times to disk, darkens the shadows of the tracks, adds a continue cutscene, and also adds an enjoyable two-player split-screen competition. All of these additions to the original game makes it feel more like a complete product.

Personal

Own?No.
Won?Yes. Finished track 7. High score: 219,590. Best times: 1 - 0:56:72, 2 - 1:02:73, 3 - 1:10:28, 4 - 1:12:27, 5 - 1:11:95, 6 - 1:12:00, 7 - 1:20:50.
FinishedFDS: 2024-02-18 / VS. System: 2024-02-26.

Having grown up with the NES original, I always wished that the save/load feature left in the game worked, and thought about what it would be like to amass a large collection of great tracks. In my 20s, when I found a collection of FDS disk images online, I tried out Vs. Excitebike and was pleased to see a save feature that actually worked, but I was very impressed at the two-player simultaneous split-screen. I was saddened that I didn't have access to this when I was a kid when I could have actually played the game with my friends. In 2024, I decided that I would try and beat the new tracks, and, after over a month of playing the game, finally did. After that, I beat the VS. System port.

Review

Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
5 4 4 4 7

Best Version: NES

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • I like all of the additions. The new tracks are challenging, having to play each track with and without opponents makes the game more complex, the award ceremony looks better (the loss animation is hilarious), the new music by Soyo Oka fits the existing theme, the bonus stages are a fun change of pace.
  • The FDS saving feature, which applies not only to the track, but also the player's best times, is fantastic; what I always wished for on the NES game.
  • The two-player simultaneous split-screen makes the game more enjoyable.

Bad

  • The game seems to take a turn for the extra difficult in track four. The very first time I played, I didn't have much difficulty reaching it, but, it took me dozens of tries to finally get past it. This is from a combination of a harder track and smaller time margin to finish successfully.
  • I've encountered a bug every so often when, when you knock down an opponent, you palette changes and you never overheat. However, it goes away when you next fall.
  • I wish the game would keep track of your scores in the qualifiers.
  • The opponent AIs gets to cheat by out-pacing you on straightaways and jumping higher than you on ramps.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Graphics

Videos

Longplay - FDS.
Longplay - Vs. System.

Play Online

Famicom Disk System

Representation

Strong female character?FailThere are no female characters.
Bechdel test?FailThere are no female characters.
Strong person of color character?FailThe characters don't appear to have a race.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.

Credits

The original game doesn't have credits, but NES Virtual Console, official sound tracks, and Vs. high score lists help identify several of the developers.

Role Staff
Executive Producer Hiroshi Yamauchi
Director Shigeru Miyamoto
Producer Shigeru Miyamoto
Programmer Toshihiko Nakago
Graphic Designers Minoru Maeda, Takashi Tezuka
Original Music Akito Nakatsuka
New Music Soyo Oka
Audio Programmer Yukio Kaneoka
Other NEW Content Unknown

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Vs. Excitebike
Japanese VS.エキサイトバイク VS. Ekisaitobaiku Vs. Excitebike

Links

Link-MobyGames.png  Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-GameFAQs.png