The feeling you get when you face a sudden drop on a theme park ride is exhilarating, adrenalin-pumping, heart-pounding, stomach-twisting and above all else, barrels of fun which is precisely what Trials Evolution is. This bundle of joy comes from the Xbox 360 Arcade Marketplace from the masterminds at RedLynx.
With Trials HD, their predecessor, being amongst the top 5 for all time downloaded XBLA games it is no surprise that Trials Evolution has built on its success, to be an even more thrilling motor bike racing game. The simplicity in the game mechanics cannot be emphasized enough with the gamer, riding a motorbike and having control of only the speed and balance of the bike. The vehicle’s direction is set on a one way track so there is never any need to steer.
But don’t let this simplistic idea fool you. You will be tearing at your hair as you try to perfect the more difficult tracks. There will be times in which you will restart a track, no joke, fifty times. Yet its addictive nature makes this okay, because that feeling of completion is truly heavenly.
The game is packed full of stunts, explosions and gangster rap music that brings so much excitement to the living room. The dynamic track backgrounds are extremely detailed with so much action going on it does get a little distracting at times.
Although the tracks are 2D this doesn’t feel like it at times with so much twisting of the camera angles and moving features it has completely immersed the gamer. Tracks vary from Limbo-inspired, to war-torn battlefields all the way through to tracks amongst the clouds.
For every stingy gamer out there that is worried about the dollar versus game-time ratio, rest assured that there is an abundance of user generated content that makes this game a steal for only 1200 Microsoft points (roughly AUD$20). The way the filters work when browsing the user generated content makes it easy to separate the garbage from the real treasures as well.
The game eases you in to the difficulty of the tracks nicely with the beginner and easy tracks able to be enjoyed by anyone. They slowly progress and the maneuvers that must be performed get outlandishly hard and trying to get through an extreme track becomes a nightmare. There is enough content though for the casual gamer to not be off put by the more difficult tracks.
The overall aim is to get through the tracks with as few crashes as possible and in a fast time in order to receive a gold, silver or bronze medal. Included in the single player mode are mini games and tournaments. The main aspect which shines in the single player mode is that of the leaderboard. Your Xbox friends and even your previous best time will appear as small dots during the races. Your scores are then compared at the end which increases the games re-playability to infinity!
Multiplayer via Online or LAN is just as engaging. The choice of tracks here was some what limited, however the rapid growth of the community should see some exciting new maps coming out soon.
Trails Evolution has a playful tone throughout. This is mainly prevalent with the rather amusing finish to every race as your driver will die in a different manner every time. This may be from an explosion, items falling from the sky to crush you or catapults.
Where Trials Evolution falters is probably the choice in character and bike customization. You will find yourself building up a lot of cash with not a lot of inspiring things to spend it on. This is a minor flaw that really has no bearing on the love I now I have for this game.
In my book any game that is easy to pick up and difficult to master is always going to be a party pleaser and a great game to play with mates. Trials Evolution is no exception with everyone’s inner competitive streak coming out to play. Add me on Xbox Live @ Kwate and bring it on!!!