Nitrobike Review for the Nintendo Wii

Combining bikes and jets – what could go wrong?

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 09, 2008

Nitrobike, published by Ubisoft and developed by the same people that brought us Excitebike 64, is a motorcycle racer with a giant twist - jets. If you have played Excite Truck, released near the Nintendo Wii’s system launch, you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Welcome to the world of Nitrobike, featuring normal motorcycles with attached jets strapped to the back of them. Be prepared for one fast race!

The player is immediately put into the action with simple to follow menus and quick race setup time. In a matter of seconds I was put into my first tournament with little load time. Be warned, the first time playing will be a new and challenging experience.

Game Details
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Left Field Productions, Inc.
Release Date: January 15, 2008
Avaialable on: Nintendo Wii, ( Sony Playstation 2 in September 2008 )
Number of Players: 1-6 online

Immediately I was forced to learn the control system, which can make or break a game very quickly. Like many Wii titles, Nitrobike utilizes the Wii’s motion control system – by holding the Wii remote sideways you control the bikes steering by tilting left or right and the bikes angle by tilting up and down. Although frustrating at first, within a few races the control scheme is easy to pick up and quite enjoyable. The game introduces an immersive factor that many other consoles miss out on. Within a few races it is easy to become comfortable with the controls and you’ll soon find it hard to go back to traditional racers using a control stick.

As you race you will quickly notice the graphics, or lack thereof. Although the newest generation consoles may miss out on the Wii’s control scheme, they shine in the graphics department. Unfortunately, Nitro Bike is just an average or below average looking game for the Wii. It has very limited detail on the bikes and course surroundings and limited special effects that are not pleasing to the eye. Why not make the flames from the back of the bike look realistic; it is called Nitro Bike for a reason. Such is not the case as the graphics looked rushed. Thankfully, Nitrobike keeps you occupied racing and not looking at the scenery.

As for the audio, it is simple, but it works. The game features immersive music that draws you into the game more. The game also features simple but pleasing sound effects of the nitro as you push on the Wiimote to win the race. Not many more sound effects can be heard or are present in the game. The audio gets the job done, but don’t expect much more than that.

Another helpful feature to prolong the life of the game is an added online mode. Players can race opponents from all over the world and try and prove how good they actually are. Once a game is found, very little lag is had. Be warned, however, as it can be difficult to find an online game at all. Props to the game’s creators for including an online mode, as many Wii games still struggle with the idea.

Nitrobike does an excellent job with replay value featuring lots of unlockables like characters, bikes and tracks. Opening more tracks will keep you going through the tournaments trying to open them all.

Overall, Nitrobike is an extremely fun and competitive game – especially with the split screen mode or online. It may not have the fancy graphics and big name audio tracks that many new games feature, but it does have extremely fun game-play value and a lasting appeal. Although the controls may seem daunting and frustrating at first, a few races later and you won’t be able to put the game down. Nitrobike is a great game to pick up, especially at the discounted price.

Gameplay 8 / 10
  • Easy to learn and immersive controls
  • Fun to race against friends and online gamers
Graphics 6 / 10
  • Not the best title on the Wii by far
  • Not enough detail
Audio 6 / 10
  • Audio is present and fits the game but won’t leave a lasting appeal
Lasting Appeal 7 / 10
  • fun to pick up and play a quick race
  • multiplayer and two player mode increase lasting appeal
  • lots to unlock
Overall Score 6.5 / 10
  • Fun game to pick up and play with friends or race online. Online is a nice feature if your able to find a game. Easy immersive controls and enjoy ability factor will keep you coming back to play again and again.