In addition to the main mode, there's a separate challenge mode that gives you a few extra tasks to perform. One has you launching through scoring rings in an attempt to get as many points as possible. Another puts a bunch of constantly narrowing gates on the course that you have to drive through to continue the challenge. The smash event is probably the most satisfying. It lets you drive anywhere as you chase down other trucks and attempt to slam them. Like the main mode, the challenge mode has more waiting when you clear the stages. But the core action is the same regardless of the mode, and additional difficulties don't add much to the game. There's a multiplayer mode, but it's limited to a two-player split-screen. Four-player, obviously, would have been more interesting, but given that the Wii does have some sort of online capabilities, it's disappointing that you can't take Excite Truck onto the Internet and find more competition there.
You can, and probably will, finish the game's main difficulty in around four hours. How much more you get out of it depends on how much repetition you can handle.
The visuals in Excite Truck aren't very pretty up close. The road textures are poorly defined, and the truck models are decent without really standing out. Additionally, when you're playing at 480p resolution, the game actually looks a little worse. Everything gets too sharp, making jagged edges really stick out and causing some weird horizontal banding to show up on smoke and a few other objects. What this game does have, though, is a great sense of speed. You'll be moving at a breakneck pace throughout most of this game, and it runs smoothly, which is nice. The truck audio is OK, and the tinny Wii remote speaker is used here and there, most notably for an explosion noise when you overheat your truck. There's also a nice wind effect, where the music fades out when you catch a particularly mammoth amount of air. The game's music is an avalanche of cheesy guitar rock and generic funk, like someone locked G.E. Smith into a room and told him to overplay his guitar for a few hours. Once the soundtrack drives you mental, you'll be happy to know that Excite Truck lets you put MP3 files onto an SD card and use those for the soundtrack.
Excite Truck's control and speed give it a good amount of potential, but there just isn't enough of a game here to keep you excited for very long. Ultimately, it feels more like a tech demo than a full-fledged game.
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