Published on May 4th, 2012 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
Trials Evolution Review
Platform: Xbox LIVE Arcade
Release Date: April 18, 2012
Price: 1200 MS Points ($15)
It seems RedLynx has another hit on their hands. No doubt you’re asking, “Why is DJ giving up the goods at the beginning of the review?” Because I want you to know before I go any further just how awesome Trials Evolution is before I continue. If you start downloading it right now, it’ll probably be done by the time you get done reading.
That way, you can get on to playing it, because that’s what this game deserves. So without further ado, here’s why that’s the case…
If you’ve had the pleasure of playing Trials HD, then the visuals of Trials Evolution are very similar. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing the original Trials HD, then imagine Excitebike running closer to the visual quality of a game like Gears of War and you have a good idea of how Trials Evolution looks.
The tracks are a varied array of locations, some even spanning one locale to another. You’ll find construction yards, caves, forests, giant roller coasters in the sky, and even places that look like oil rigs and pirate ships. This game has just about everything in it. All that’s missing is a lava pit and a cart ride… (Seriously, RedLynx — we need lava pits and cart rides.) One of the cooler aspects of the environments is the strategic placement of some of the pits. If you fall into a fairly difficult pit, you’ll likely get to witness a spectacular explosion. Of course you’ll be a part of the explosion, but it’s awesome nonetheless.
I mentioned Excitebike early on for good reason, because like the 1985 classic, time is everything in Trials Evolution. Regardless of the mode, how high the jump is, or how many bones you may have just broken in your run, the goal in Trials is to get to the finish line as fast as possible.
The controls are as simple as can be, but the physics engine is what’ll really kick you in the butt cheeks. The L/R triggers are Brake/Gas respectively, and tilting the left thumbstick left or right adjusts your rider back or forward on his dirtbike. Press “B” to go back to the last checkpoint or Back to restart the race entirely. If you’re aiming at the top of your leaderboards at all, you will get to know your Back button very well.
For those of us with a sizeable amount of friends on our Xbox LIVE Friends List, RedLynx brought over the ghost feature from the original. It places a GPS-like marker on the track to show you where your closest friends, your chosen rival, or your closest friend are located at all times. For those fresh to the series, it’s a gift and a curse. It’s a great way to check out where you are in comparison to the leader, but it’s also a great way to find out how fantastically you suck in comparison to that one friend who destroys all of your times and soundly trounces every great score you ever earned.
That means you, timmy and maintenance… You know who you are.
All you’ve just read is just a part of the Single Player mode. There are also physics-based Mini-Games, Circus Games, and even more.
Once you’re ready to get into the thick of multiplayer, there are a couple modes to get into. You’ve got four player local multiplayer as well as four player online multiplayer either in side-by-side events or solo events with other players as the ‘ghosts’.
The Fun Never Stops
Trials Evolution is probably one of the few examples of a ‘never-ending’ game, due to the included level editor. You’ve got a choice between the Simple Editor or the Advanced Editor. Either way, you can go through and create either a whole track or one of the mini games. There are already a ton of them available, and in a great move, the downloads for tracks are extremely small. You can start downloading a track and be playing it within two minutes, counting load times.
Trials Evolution is a game that will have you dancing around in victory, but hurling your controller across the state in defeat. It may not sound like it, but it’s actually the perfect way for a $15 game to be. The tracks don’t stop due to the included editor, and the ones in the single player game will live in infamy due to the leaderboards. You can beat all your friends on a track to eat dinner, then come back to a completely different landscape.
The only question you should ask as to whether or not to get Trials Evolution is this: Can you take the punishment? It’s guaranteed in this game, but it’s among the most fun, annoying, rewarding, soul-crushing and euphoria-inducing punishment possible in the current generation of consoles. And you deserve every second of it.
+ Great example of value for your $1 on XBLA
+ Persistent Friends List-based leaderboards give you constant challenge
+ Easy to pick up, Hard to master
+ Truly a Neverending Game
– Will hand you your ass.. In a good way