Trials Evolution | Review (XBLA)
Some games never get old through time. Whether you think about Tetris, Frogger, Peggle, and many others, a core gameplay formula will always have you coming back for more. This is what Red Lynx is trying to do with Trials Evolution, a new entry in the popular racing/puzzling action franchise that started many years ago as a free flash game. Thankfully for the fans, this new title holds up to the high standards set by the previous title.
For those of you who don’t know what Trials is about, consider this game as a 2D racing title using left and right balance as its core mechanic mixed with puzzle elements through its environments. Basically, you control of one crazy motorcycle freaks and must gauge its balance as well as its acceleration in order to get through some crazy obstacle courses. While it might sound like an easy job, the game gets complicated rather quickly with original objects obstructing your way such as steep hills, fires, mines, TNT crates, saw blades, and much more. Luckily for newcomers, each difficulty setting comes with a mandatory tutorial, making it easier to understand how to overcome specific situations. The game does feel like its predecessor (Trials HD), but the physics in the game are somehow slightly more “realistic”. It is not much (most players won’t even notice) but the bike feels heavier, changing how you approach each jump compared to what you were used to.
As far as the single player is concerned, nothing has changed much in terms of single player progression. You get through progressively harder levels, earning new bikes along the way. The only notable changes are the possibility of customizing your character and your bike as well as the aforementioned tutorials, which are all simple but great additions. New skill games are also available and are a great change of pace. From skiing down a hill making flips to flying in a UFO, or controlling a huge silver ball (Marble Madness style), each of these little mini-games are fun to play and can even make you forget you are playing what is supposed to be a motorcycle game. Still, Trial Evolution’s impressive improvements can be seen in the great online multiplayer and on the overhaul the track editor received.
The online multiplayer option is a great new addition to what is already an awesome game. You can play ANY of the countless tracks the game has to offer as well as new Supercross levels in which four players simultaneously appear on the level (on different “tracks”, just like Excitebike). This brings a totally new dimension to the game in which winning is much more about being consistent in races than having a lot of patience to get THE golden run.
As for the track editor, Red Lynx has gone totally crazy and given players an insanely great creation tool. Not only will people be able to create good traditional trials track, but they will also have the power to create mini-games that do not necessarily have anything to do with the core gameplay mechanic. That means players can create top-down racing games, first person shooters, side-scrolling shoot ‘em ups, and more. In short, Trials Evolution’s map creation tool is essentially like LittleBigPlanet level creator included with what is already a great game. Even better still: levels can be shared with the rest of the world easily, providing players with an infinite amount of levels to play. An all you can play Trials game? Sign me up.
Graphically, Trials Evolution is as beautiful as its predecessor. However, the game does have more variety in its environments that are more animated too. Instead of being stuck in rocky levels, mountains, or abandoned factories, you will get to see many more environments such as backyards, rooftops, back alleys, and even a baseball field! As for the audio, nothing had really changed. The same type of motocross type music (intense punk/hardcore music) was kept in the game and the sounds are more or less the same too (crazy bikers yelling and the motorcycle’s “vrrrrrrr! Vrrrr!”).
However, the game is still not perfect. The new online multiplayer supercross events do come with some frustrations due to the weird camera angles that can sometimes obstruct your own character. This causes you to have to guess in what posture your character is and most of the time making you fail because of not knowing this crucial information. Also, load times are much more noticeable than in Trials HD, killing the fast rhythm of the game that was so enjoyable. However, it is not such of a big deal since the game’s addictiveness makes up for these small flaws.
If you own an Xbox 360, you must get your hands on Trials Evolution. While some would say it is only more of the same experience that Trials HD was, the game is highly addictive and fun to play. You will have trouble putting the controller down and will keep coming back for more to beat your friends’ scores over and over. This is one of the best downloadable games to have been released on Xbox LIVE for a long time.
- More of the same old Trials awesomeness
- Faced-paced online multiplayer sessions are great additions
- Skill games are a good and fun change of pace from the real game
- The Track Editor is just perfect
- Weird camera angles in Supercross multiplayer sessions
- Rather long load times kill the rhythm of the game
Game experience at time of reaction: All Single Player tracks - Gold, played some Skill Games, played some online games.
Trials Evolution is available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points (around $15 USD).