The Excite series is a line of racing titles from Nintendo, which usually focus on mud-and dirt-based trick racing.
The first game in the series was Excitebike, with was a motocross racing game where the player raced around an obstacle-ridden dirt stadium against other players or NPC opponents. Acceleration caused the temperature to overheat, and tricks could be performed via ramps. It also offered a robust mode that let players design their own courses.
The second game in the series was Excitebike 2: BX Mario Excitebike. It was a Mission-Pack Sequel of the first game, and only available via Japanese-only download service. It replaced the generic riders with Mario characters and added coins and unlimited boosts.
The third game in the series is Excitebike 64, which was a more "extreme sports", 3D take on the game.
Excite Truck was the fourth game, being released on the Wii as a launch title. It switched the format from bikes to trucks, and made tricks more important - both placing first and performing tricks would earn points, and the one who had the most points won the race.
Excitebots: Trick Racing is the fifth game in the series. It is a sequel to Excite Truck. As the name implies, the trucks have been replaced with cute, animal-shaped robots on wheels such as frogs, beetles, and bats that each have special abilities. It also incorporates the leg and arm motions of each robot into the use of the Wii remote.
Excitebike World Rally is the latest game in the series, available for WiiWare. It marks a return to the original NES play style and design, with a track editor and online play.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Commands: Excitebots features these to earn extra points, like "Press to throw pie in clown's face."
- Alien Sky: The Nebula tracks from Excite Truck and Excitebots.
- Animal Mecha: For lack of a better trope, the Excitebots are all based on animals. Most of them are arthropods, with some mammals and herpetofauna mixed in. The only exception is Boulder.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Or rather, paint.
- Announcer Chatter: The more realistic variety was in Excitebike 64; the other games go without it entirely.
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Boulder becomes what is essentially an autobot in Excitebots.
- Astral Finale: The last cup in Excite Truck and Excitebots, Crystal, is set in a space realm called Nebula.
- Breath Weapon: Background features attack you with this in Excitebots Guatemala.
- Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Excitebots offers this in the form of a big magnet.
- Button Mashing: You're shaking the Wii remote, but it is the same principle to right yourself after crashing in Excitebike World Rally.
- Double Unlock: Used often in Excitebots - usually of the "now available to buy" variety.
- Downloadable Content: Excitebike 2 is downloadable content.
- Embedded Precursor: Excitebike 64 lets you play the first NES game.
- Endless Game: The first Excitebike has no ending. You just keep playing until you reach the impossible challenge: Complete the race in 1:06-1:10 on Track 5.
- Fishing Minigame: A rare occurrence in Excitebots, which lets you go fishing while you race.
- Game Music: Excite Truck was the first Wii game to let you play music you had downloaded to an SD card.
- Genre Throwback: Excitebike 64 has an unlockable mode called "Excite 3D", which consists basically in remaking the old NES tracks in 3D and racing them in the game's own engine. Watch it here.
- Giant Hands of Doom: These are one of the enemies in Excitebots.
- Invincibility Power-Up: Excite Truck and Excitebots have a bonus that makes you invincible and lets you plow through obstacles faster.
- Isometric Projection: Excitebike World Rally uses this perspective style, but unlike most, does it with polygons instead of sprites, so the depth is not just perceived...
- Level Editor: Excitebike had one of the more thorough ones in the 8-bit era. Excitebike 64 and Excitebike World Rally also have custom tracks.
- Made of Iron: In World Rally, you can pass other racers directly from behind by doing a wheelie and riding over them. This doesn't cause any bodily harm.
- A tradition in the 3D titles started by Excitebike 64.
- In Excitebots, you play the mini-games while you race.
- Mirror World: There's one in Excite Truck. All the tracks are reversed.
- Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: Excitebots offers giant butterfly-catching, tambourine-playing, pie-throwing, spinning robot animals in rainbow-colored costumes.
- Nitro Boost: Called turbo boost, and every game has it or a similar mechanic. Most of the games limit this by potentially overheating your vehicle from overusing turbo, but each vehicle type also has ways of cooling off without slowing down too much.
- No Antagonist: No protagonist may be the better choice of words.
- Pass Through the Rings: A way to gain extra points in Excite Truck and Excitebots is to jump off a ramp and fly through a set of rings.
- Product Placement: Excitebike 64 had a plethora of extreme sports-related brands advertised in the game.
- Pulling Themselves Together: In Excitebots, if you mess up in a bar spin, your bot with be ripped to pieces. If the pieces stay airborne long enough the bot will slowly piece itself back together, at which point they will hit the ground like nothing happened if you can land them properly.
- Ramp Jump: A staple of motocross, so it makes sense for the bike games and the bots can be excused as well. Most of the vehicles from the truck game are not made to do this, but they pull it off anyway.
- Refuge in Audacity:
- The Exite Bike 64 mini game. Soccer on motor cycles!
- Brought to the racing itself by Excite Truck to differentiate it from the earlier games, and carried over to Excitebots — placing first is not enough to advance, as you must also perform enough stunts and antics to earn the requisite number of points. In Excite Truck, it's typical to do a Super Truck Jump over the Great Wall of China, land in a grove of trees and dodge them by inches at 200 mph, then do a power slide and slam into a competitor.
- In fact, any jump distance that earns you the "Super Big Air" bonus will be invoking this trope.
- Scatting: On the China course of Excite Truck, and in the track intro song in Excitebike 64.
- Sentient Vehicle: While not explicitly said, the Excitebots seem to be this, given how they pose joyously after certain stunts.
- Spiritual Successor:
- Third Is 3D: Exitebike 64 is the third in the series and the first in full 3D.
- The Faceless: Excitebike 2 is only games where the riders aren't faceless. In Excitebike 64, you could see the faces of the riders once you finished a cup; there would be a cutscene of the three first-placed bikers going up to the podium and removing their helmets.
- Time Trial: From the very first game it was an alternative option to racing the CPU.
- Transforming Mecha: In Excitebots, the bots run to the track before turning into vehicle mode. A power up lets you race in legs mode and kick other racers you get close to, knock over trees, ignore most hazards and grind on rails. Jumping off a ramp in legs mode transforms the bot into a glider which can either fly for collectibles or dive for more speed.
- Up to Eleven: The Excitebots official site says the turtle did this to its turbo boosters to make up for its weight.
- Video Game 3D Leap:
- Excitebike 64 was a total overhaul. The cool down spots and stacking ramps gave way to fairly more realistic track designs, the lanes vanished, and perspective shifted to behind. Excitebike has since moved closer to its traditional game play.
- Excite Truck and Excitebots resemble Excitebike 64, but have different vehicle controls and add support items, stage hazards, collectibles and Scoring Points.
- Wacky Racing: Mainly Excite Truck and Excitebots; the Bike games are tamer in comparison.