Tuesday 23 May 2006
If there's one type of gaming that truly benefits from Wii's sensory-overload controller, it's the racing genre. Instead of holding the wand like a pointer, you use both hands to position it horizontally - and turn it like a steering wheel. This makes Excite Truck all the easier to play and its accessibility is only enhanced by its amazing simplicity.
The early version we played featured two courses - one tropical and another an arid desert. Regardless of which track we played it was clear that Excite Truck was all about speed. Accelerate and brake are assigned to the two buttons on the wand's surface and while in the air (and you will catch some serious air) you can rotate the wand to re-level the truck. Get a solid landing and you're rewarded with a fiery speed boost that rockets you ahead of the pack. And that's it. Jam down the gas and go.
Above: Hold the Wii-mote like a steering wheel and let your instincts take over
So, yes, it's fast and it's fun. That's the most important part. But Excite Truck is pretty ugly at the moment. There's still plenty of time to clean things up and, for what it's worth, it does look like a modern-day GameCube title. Visual effects are pretty scarce, too - in our playtest the trucks didn't even seem to mark the dirt tracks they were driving on. It looked like they were floating and sliding across the terrain instead of digging in.
It's early days for this 4x4 racer - there's no solid release date yet - but, given its name (a reference to NES classic Excitebike, which was a launch title), there's a pretty fair chance we'll see more joyous trucking soon.