Excitebike is a racing game that was released on November 30, 1984 in Japan, October 18, 1985 in North America, and September 1, 1986 in Europe. It was also released on the Famicom Disk System on December 9, 1988, and was released on the Virtual Console on March 13, 2007 in Japan, March 19, 2007 in North America, and February 16, 2007 in Europe. It has also been released on the Game Boy Advance (under the Classic NES Series label), the NEC PC-8801, and the arcade. Excitebike was developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo. It is the first in the Excite series, which also includes Excitebike 64, Excite Truck, and the obscure BS Excitebike Bun Bun Mario Stadium.
Vs. Excitebike was part of Nintendo's Vs. series, which was basically enhanced Famicom games. It was based on Nintendo's Vs. Unisystem, an arcade unit. Vs. Excitebike was first released sometime after the Famicom release in 1984. Vs. Excitebike was also later released on the Famicom Disk System. Vs. Excitebike is essentially the same as the NES version, except for a few differences. There is no longer the Design Mode in the game, there are three difficulty modes to choose from (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced), and there are now seven tracks. There isn't a "Selection A" and "Selection B," but instead the first race is the player racing alone, and then the championship race has computer controlled opponents.
Excitebike is an unlockable in Excitebike 64. It can also be found as an item in Animal Crossing (and it can be played). Excitebike was part of the short-lived e-Reader (title Excitebike-e).
3D Classics Version
To celebrate the release of the 3DSware service on June 6, 2011, 3D Classics Excitebike was available to all as a free download for thirty days. After the thirty days expired it became a paid download on the service. In this version the main new selling point is the 3D mode thanks to the capabilities of the 3DS, it differs from the 3D mode in most of the other games available for the console in that instead of just converting to 3D it also changes to a completely new camera angle in the 3D mode. Another feature in this version is the ability to save the game allowing you to keep a record of your lap times and save up to 32 of your own created tracks.
The goal of Excitebike is to qualify for the championship race (the Excitebike). The goal is the same regardless of whether the player chooses to play alone or against computer controlled opponents. The time to qualify depends on what track the player is on, but is always displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen. That time is for third place, but the first place time is always displayed on the stadium of the stage. Regardless of which track the player is racing on, the first place time is always eight seconds less than the third place time. The game is controlled like many other traditional racing games. The D-Pad controls movement (as well as balance when the player is in mid-air) and the A and B buttons control acceleration. The B button provides a better boost than the A button, but raises the temperature bar. If that bar reaches full (or critical) level, then the player stops until it cools down.
At the beginning of the game, the player has the option to select any track (one through five). Upon qualifying for the championship race, and then placing third place or higher in the championship race, the player moves onto the next track. So, if the player selects track three and fully completes it, then they move onto track four.
There are three modes of gameplay available in Excitebike. In Selection A, the player races alone. In Selection B, the player races with computer controlled opponents. These opponents are essentially extra obstacles; if the player crashes into them (or if the computer controlled opponent hits the player), it will cause the player to fall off the bike.
In the third mode, Design Mode, the player can create a track. The player can select hills and obstacles varying in size and place them in the track. In addition, the player can choose where each lap is finished and how many total laps there are. Upon completing a track, the player can race in it in either Selection A or Selection B. Unfortunately, due to the NES's lack of internal memory, the tracks cannot be saved.