That over-the-top mentality is what sets Nitrobike apart from traditional motocross games. You've seen top dog, elimination, and gate-crasher style events before, but they gain fresh energy here because you're leaping three hills in a single jump or plowing through a camera tower that another rider just knocked over. There's also rarely a moment where you're not speeding through dust clouds or kicking mud back into the camera.
All of those sweet, messy details help make up for the fact that the action frequently slows to a crawl, and that the graphics, just on the whole, aren't as sharp as they should be. The explosions of mud and fire also make it easier to ignore the droning engine noises and the generic 80's rock that's supposed to pass for music.
Sadly, the one flaw you won't be able to ignore is how unpredictable the controls are. Following in the footsteps of Nintendo'sExcite Truck, Nitrobike employs a "waggle only" control scheme whereby you hold the Wii remote horizontally and physically tilt it to steer your bike. Turning the remote like you would actual handlebars feels intuitive and should help draw you into the action. However, the game isn't consistent in interpreting those movements. Will you gradually veer through a curve, spin a doughnut, or not turn at all and slam into the wall? Those are the possibilities every time you gently move one side of the remote.