Monday, August 17, 2009

Trials HD XBLA Review

Like many people, my first encounter with Trials was a few years ago on one of the many Flash game websites. The aim of the game was get your 2D bike and rider to the end of each level using only accelerate, brake, lean forward and lean backwards. Levels varied in difficulty from easy to pull-your-hair-out difficult.

Following a popular sequel, we now get Trials HD. Red lynx have taken the original formula, added 2.5D graphics, explosions and realistic physics to create a title worthy of XBLA.

When you first load up the game, you'll notice that the levels are banded under different difficulties. A word of warning to all, do not underestimate these titles, extreme actually means your controller won't last the night. Conversely, the easy levels are exactly that, easy. I found myself breezing through these levels, only really hitting problems on medium and even then it was one or two faults before finishing.
I started having major problems at Hard onwards; I once had to restart the level because I hit the fault limit of 500 and the time limit of 30 minutes. There is a saving grace though, the top 5000 leaderboard replays are saved, complete with a little graphic showing exactly how that person is better than you. You can then attempt to replicate this on your own run.

On top of the 50 or so levels, are also Skill Games. These involve completing tasks such as going as far as you can in a wheelie (because your front wheel falls of), or breaking as many bones as possible in crash. These games are truely brilliant when you have a few people together who can compete for bragging rights or just save anyone one person from the madness of infinite repeat.

The final mode is the User Content. Essentially, this is a map creator which you can share with friends. This creates some strong competition between you an your buddies as you strive to create a truly diabolical run to stump your friends, therefore causing embarrassment on their part. The only shame of it is, there seems now way to share levels with the masses, not yet at least.

To summarise, this game will make you angry, very angry. You'll want to through the controller down. BUT you won't. You'll keep playing it, and keep trying it, over and over. Why? Because your mate beat you by a 500th of a second and you don't want to be 2nd. You're a winner, and you want recognition by being on top.

Buy this game; it’s a great replacement for everything else in life, including food, drink and conversation.

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