3D Classics Excitebike was a free release for early 3DS adopters, and although I've had it for years now I hadn't really sat down and given it a whirl. I'd spent some time with the original NES game several years ago and quite enjoyed it, although even at that time I pointed out that the WiiWare follow-up, Excitebike: World Rally was superior in almost every respect.
The game is pretty much exactly the same as the original NES title, so pretty much everything I said about that game still applies. Basically the game is surprisingly fun and even though it only includes five courses (plus five variants) the gameplay is enjoyable and presents a good amount of challenge at the higher stages. This version has a couple of additions, aside from the glasses-free 3D (which isn't that noticeable and really doesn't add much to the overall experience). This version lets you save your custom-build tracks, although there's still a noticeable lack of a sharing option. The view takes advantage of the 3DS's wider screens and so is about twice as big as the original. This provides a minor benefit in that you can see obstacles further in advance, which is nice. The B mode, which adds CPU opponents, is still fun, but winning still feels a bit too random due to the density of the other riders. It's still very satisfying to trip other bikers by hitting them with your back tire, haha. The way the bike clips with the obstacles doesn't feel quite like the original (or at least how I remember it), but otherwise the port feels pretty good.
In general this is a perfectly serviceable version of an NES classic. I would've ranked this as high as the original, but there's really no excuse for not providing custom level sharing options in this day and age. The game is a nice bonus, but probably not worth paying for if you already have the original in any of its many incarnations.
Classic 3D Classics Excitebike links:
- All the links from my review of the original NES game are relevant, so you should check those out first
- Maps of all the qualifying mode courses (i.e. the easier versions)
- Review of the 3DS version at NintendoLife