Indie Review: Trials Evolution
Can this extreme game get any more extreme?
- Worth The Time?Extremely.
- Things LovedThe Extremity (okay I'll stop now), tracks, physics, brilliant custom track community, multiplayer, skill games, vastness of the environment, customization options.
- Things HatedSoundtrack, physics sometime just don't work like they should, textures failing to load at times.
- RecommendationIf you're a fan of platforming, bikes, a challenge and fun then go get it. Now.
- Quick ConclusionBeautifully crafted platform racing game with an endless amount of custom tracks and opportunity for self-improvement. Truly one of the better arcade games out there. Soundtrack and physics sometimes just don't work, however.
- Name: Trials Evolution
- Genre: Platform, Racing
- Players: 4
- Multiplayer: Yes
- Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade
- Developer: RedLynx
- Publisher: Microsoft
- Price: 1200 Microsoft Points
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Following the success of its predecessor, Trials Evolution set out to prove something. That it can be bigger, faster and more extreme. Quite the tall order for a simple arcade game. Did it succeed or did it fall face first into a ramp (like I always do).
Actually, it pulled it off beautifully. Everything is bigger and better in this sequel, when compared to Trails HD. In fact, it borders on epic. In Trials HD you were constricted to a single warehouse packed with various forms of obstacles. Trials Evolution went quite a few leaps forward by making the tracks more expansive by using forests, entire cities, rocky mountains and even a Limbo themed track. All are beautifully crafted and are quite a sight to look at. There was the odd texture not loading, however, and this often distracts you from the beauty of it all.
Trials HD was infamous for its ungodly difficult tracks and Trials Evolution is no different. The beginning levels are all easily pulled off with no faults, but then it gets brutal. It goes out of its way to annihilate you with constant crashes, making you feel worthless. It’s almost like that kind chubby girl who treated you to a nice dinner and made good conversation, before proceeding to drug you and whip out a strap-on dildo (not speaking from personal experience, I swear *shiver*).
But it gets easier once you learn the track and how to use the bikes to their full potential. There are a multitude of tracks available in the singleplayer mode, with some of them having their own custom made theme and unique characteristics. The game teaches you how to play by making you achieve licenses, which ranges from D to A. The difficulty of the tricks increase accordingly. It helps make new-comers feel welcome without eliminating the challenge the game puts forward.
The game uses a medal scoring system with Gold being the best. In order to achieve Gold you need to complete the track in the set amount of time, where you’re allowed little to no faults. It is challenging to say the least and only the most practiced players will be able to achieve the coveted Gold medal, especially on the Hard and Extreme tracks.
There are skill games available and they come in various spices of wacky or challenging. It’s not only bike games, however, as you get to play other forms of games too, like rolling a ball along platforms. It gives a nice distraction from the singleplayer game, and offers you the chance compete with the people on your friendslist.
The jewel of Trials Evolution lies in its custom tracks that are made from users. The game gives you tons of editing tools to fully craft your favourite scenes, be it a gigantic penis or a model of your entire city. You also get the Pro editing tools where you can actually toy with the game’s programming, to make your own little game. With all these tools available, the Trials community got straight to work, and boy, did they do an excellent job.
There are hordes of creative tracks available on offer, and some are just absolutely brilliant. I was playing Takeshi’s Castle in all its glory (and difficulty), where after that I was playing Angry Birds with a biker. There was also a Portal 2 stage that actually made use of custom Portals and set-pieces from the game. You can also create your own mini-game using the editor. For example, I played a Space Invaders game that looked almost identical to the original. The possibilities are quite indeed endless and more and more tracks keep popping up. You will never be in short supply of fun tracks to play. They take mere seconds to download, so you can stock up on quite the sizeable track collection in no time at all.
Something new to the franchise is the multiplayer mode. You still have the ghosts of the people on your friends list haunting you while you’re playing a track, but now you can also take them on face-to-face in two game modes: Supercross and Trials. Trials is just the usual tracks that can be played, where the fastest to do it, with the least amount of faults wins. Supercross is basically racing your bikes from one point to the other in the fastest way possible. Both modes are great fun with friends and you would soon be cursing yourself for doing a faceplant in the first 2 seconds of the race.
For every race you complete, and medal you earn, you earn money to buy various parts for your bike and clothes for your biker. While these are not essential, it does give you the freedom to make your suicidal rider unique to the other insurmountable horde of riders. There aren’t a lot of options, but just enough to make the best of it by using different colours.
Trials Evolution isn’t without its issues, however. Sometimes the physics don’t respond as they intended, which then in turn causes you to crash and waste your chance at getting a Gold medal. It can become rather frustrating at times to know that you crashed, but it wasn’t at all your fault. Often when you restart a track the textures don’t load properly at all, and when you’re going fast it doesn’t load either. It’s not gamebreaking, but it’s quite the nuisance.
And then the soundtrack.. Oh no RedLynx what were you thinking? The first thing you hear when starting the game is a bad rap in the form of the Trials song. It’s bad and makes me want to kill myself. Then the game suddenly turns into a hormonal teenager. One time it’s a techno beat, then it’s a rock song then out of the blue comes a screamo-emo metal song. It’s just all over the place and starts to grate a little later on.
Besides some stupid music choices, Trials Evolution is a brilliant game. It does so many things right and with the wealth of custom tracks you will never be bored with it. If you have an Xbox then why don’t you have it already?