Trials Evolution Review
The perfect ride?
When you have one of the all-time best-selling Xbox Live Arcade games, trying to top that must be a very daunting task. With Trials Evolution featuring bigger, outdoor environments, online multiplayer and one of the best level editors ever released, RedLynx don’t just top Trials HD, they leave it in the dust.
Trials HD took the Xbox Live Arcade by storm back in 2009 and quickly soared to the top of the best-selling ladder and is still in the top 3 as we speak. When RedLynx announced the XBLA sequel, Trials Evolution, there was plenty to be excited about. For those who may not be familiar with Trials, it is a physics-based motorcycle platformer that you could describe as Excitebike on steroids, with bigger jumps and plenty of explosions.
The single player portion consists of sets of tracks defined by the license you have. As you unlock new licenses, you’ll unlock more tracks, tournaments and skill games. Each track has requirements that you must meet in order to earn a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal. You’ll earn a Bronze medal for just completing the track, regardless of how long it took you or how many times you crashed. Silver and Gold are much harder to get though, with most Silver medals requiring a quicker time, and only a few, if any crashes, and Gold requires you to complete a perfect run. To unlock the more difficult tracks, you’ll need to have Gold in the majority of the tracks, tournaments and Skill games. This may scare off some casual fans, but even if you don’t ever unlock those, there is still a ton of game to play. Plus you can always create your own tracks if you find RedLynx’s to be too hard.
The track editor in Trials HD wasn’t the greatest ever, but it was a nice addition to the game. In Trials Evolution, RedLynx threw everything out the window and they must have went in with the motto “Go big or go home”, because the new track editor is nothing short of amazing. The world in which you can create tracks is enormous, and the amount of objects at your disposal is equally large. If you really want to challenge yourself and get creative, you can also use the Pro Track Editor and create new game types, not just tracks. You have the freedom to try to create your own skill games, but it’s not an easy task, as creating advanced tracks and skill games will take a lot of patience and skill. The track editor creates an endless sea of tracks for all of us, as once you are satisfied with your map, you can share it with the world, and then go download theirs as well. Who needs DLC when you have gamers making new tracks for free? There are already user-created tracks up for download and we’ll be spotlighting some of the best ones, later in the week.
As I mentioned earlier, on top of the standard tracks to complete, there are also Skill games, which is where things get really crazy. These may take away the traditional bike controls or throw you into different situations such as being on Skis, controlling a UFO, having to balance a ball in pipes on your shoulders and there’s even a level that plays like Splosion Man. Sadly there are only 10 of these skill games, but I’m sure we’ll see plenty more as more gamers spend time with the track editor.
Since I’ve been playing the game, and as a reviewer, I’m always on the lookout for flaws in a game. This hasn’t been easy with Trials Evolution. I haven’t encountered any glitches or bugs. I haven’t seen anything wrong with any of the modes, or tracks. The only things that really stand out as negatives are the track editor camera, and the rider and bike customization. The editing camera is a bit awkward and can take some time to get comfortable, but this is also hard to really judge as I make a lot of maps in Halo Reach and am very used to the camera controls in Forge World. The differences between the two games may stand out to me, more than they do to others. As for the customization in the game, it’s fairly limited with the choices to pick from and some of them are very similar. In the end this isn’t a big deal though, because the helmet, shirt or pants my rider is wearing didn’t change how much fun I was having, and certainly doesn’t change how great the rest of the game was.
There is a ton of content in Trials Evolution between the single player tracks and all the user-created tracks that are being made every day, and we haven’t even gotten to the multiplayer yet.
Trials Evolution features four player online and offline multiplayer, across three different modes; Supercross, Trials, and Hardcore Trials. Supercross is all four players racing on multi-lane tracks, to see who can earn the most points after four races. Trials and Hardcore Trials are set across three races, on single-lane tracks, that only show you on the screen, with the other racers shown as ghosts. The goal is the same though, to have the most points at the end of the three races.
Not only can you play the in-game tracks in those three modes, but you can invite some friends and play any user-created tracks that you’ve download as well. It’s a much needed boost to the series to include online multiplayer, and it only helps extend the life of the already expansive game.
People talk a lot about how no game is perfect, and while I agree with that to an extent, I certainly believe there are plenty of games that are as close to perfect as you can get. Trials Evolution is one of those games. It sets a new standard for content in an Xbox Live Arcade game, with over 60 built-in tracks, online multiplayer and a growing list of community made tracks. Add in the fact that it is one of the funnest and most addictive games out there as well, makes it highway robbery that it’s only $15 (1200 MS Points). I’ve paid $60 for plenty of games that aren’t nearly as fun, and only have a fraction of the content. If you have an Xbox 360 and $15, you need to get this game.
Price: 1200 MS Points ($15)
Release Date: April 18th, 2012
Available On: Xbox Live Arcade, Coming to PC in 2013