Retrogaming – Rally Bike (NES)

Rally%20Bike-full[1]The cover on this game makes it look much cooler than it actually is.  Or I suppose this just isn’t my style of game.  I like racing games in general, but this one didn’t knock my socks off.

Part of the problem was that everything you touch makes your wipe out, doesn’t matter how small, or what it is.  And the other drives know this, so they try to get in front of you, or hit you from the sides, or just get in your way.  They don’t wipe out when you hit them of course, just you.

Also, wiping out means you’re out of the race, you can’t stand up and get your bike running and keep going.  Who gives up after one little crash?  Though I suppose the speed thing says you’re going like 200MPH so crashing at that speed would probably suck.

There isn’t really much to say about the game, you are riding a bike, there are other people, you start in 50th place all the time, and have to try to get to first.  Oh, and you have to watch your Gas gauge.  I have no idea how it works, but it goes down over time.  I think it’s just a pure time elapsed and not speed driven thing, because it didn’t seem to matter if I was going slow and trying to conserve gas, or holding down the up key for turbo speed and blowing past everyone.

Rally Bike Start

There are these gas pitstop places, where you can fuel up.  You are the only one that ever seems to need to do so though, so when you stop a whole crew of people will fly past you, and it really hurts your chances to coming in 1st place.

There is probably some depth to the game that I’m missing, but the game doesn’t actually help you out with it.  I forget sometimes how unhelpful the games of the past were, you basically have to guess, and see what happens.  If you come in top 3, you get to beef up your bike for the next race.  Which for some races is the only way to place in the  top 3 (or so it seems).  The manual gives you an idea of what the pieces are (there are 3 different tires and 2 engines).  But that doesn’t tell you which is best for which track.  Like, should you use the slick wheels or the 4 stroke engine for the best speed on the highway tracks, etc.

Rally Bike Level

Even trial and error doesn’t help much, one set of tires is for rain.  I have never seen it rain while playing, so what would be the point?  Also, how would you know it was going to be raining before the race starts?  It doesn’t seem well thought out.

I have used save states to try different things on different tracks, but it’s hard to know whether my driving was better, or if the part made a difference at the end of the race.

FYI – the races are long and complex and without save states I would probably still be on the first one.  The races have no problem crashing you to win.  Even knowing which turns are coming up, it’s hard to be in a good position where you aren’t on the inside or outside of another bike and can’t move over or you’ll crash, and the corner clips you on the way by.  So be careful, and good luck.

Rally Bike Win

PS – After finishing all (5?) races, you just go back to the start and keep racing.  Nothing seemed to change, there was no “You win the game” kind of screen, so this one is purely for people who want to race, over and over and over again and not win anything.