Trials Evolution Review

by Ben Salter XBLA Featured

5 Comments 15 Votes 2233 Views 19/04/2012 Back to XBLA Reviews

Trials HD quickly became the Xbox Live Arcade game that everyone owned in 2009. It was considered by many to be the perfect game for such a platform, and its sequel, Trials Evolution, has come along and replicated its success overnight three years later.

What Trials Evolution Got Right

XBLA Game of the Year? - Claims of “XBLA game of the year” may seem premature in April, but I’d wager that we will be talking about it with little competition come awards time. It grabs your attention immediately and infects you with an indescribable desire to better your own scores. That’s exactly what we want from an XBLA game, especially when it’s very reasonably priced at the same cost Activision sting us with for a couple of maps. This is what you should be spending your 1200 Microsoft Points on, children.

For anyone who missed the HD craze, Trials is a side-scrolling motorbike stunt game based around its advanced yet exaggerated physics. Your aim, generally, is to get from start to finish as quickly as possible without falling off. If you do, there are a number of checkpoints, so you don’t have to restart all the way at the beginning, but cripple your time for the convenience.

There are a few tweaks on this, such as being tasked with scoring high points, flying through the air, ditching the bike for skis and even navigating a ball through a challenging maze MoneyBall-style. While these still earn medals to progress and unlock new modes, they feel more like mini-games than part of the core experience.

Challenging - The challenge comes later in the game. At first, it seems coasting your way through events earning token bronze medals will be enough.

Wrong.

You’ll soon be stopped in your tracks if you haven’t earned enough silver or gold medals to progress, and there’s good reason for such frustrating madness. After a smooth introduction, the difficulty quickly ramps up before a gradual climb into the realms of impossibility. While it's nowhere near as punishing as Trails HD quickly became, the challenge is there.

Track design - Evolution really expands its track design by removing the shackles of a giant warehouse. Most events now take place in exotic outdoor locations, opening up a range of new obstacles to avoid, jump over and crash into. The levels are varied, with no two similar tracks put next to each other, and most importantly, feel clever with a sense of accomplishment when you blast through in record time.

Make your own tracks - The tracks included are all fantastic, but why stop there? Developer RedLynx has done the hard work, and left gamers to continue the legacy by including a track editor. At first, the editor may look a little complicated for every noob and his dog, and that’s because it’s the actual system the developers used to craft their masterpieces.

With a bit of practice, it becomes surprisingly easy to use, especially since the best tracks aren’t always the most overcrowded or complicated. The tools are there for players to infinitely create tracks just as good as, if not better than, those of the developer. The possibilities for replay value are immense, but only if a committed community forms around it.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

What Trials Evolution Got Wrong

Customisation - Trials Evolution includes rider customisation, only I’m not sure why. It feels like it’s there just to offer a meaningless reward for effort. You can unlock new clothes and helmets for your rider, but who really cares what colour his head is? They’re not even close to being worth the effort it takes to unlock some of them, and it’s almost as if RedLynx forgot what makes their game so rewarding in the first place.

It’s worryingly addictive and does something most games don’t even come close to achieving: success in the game is reward enough. Beating your old scores and finally upgrading that silver to gold on a scale you can visually see is one of the most exciting moments in gaming. We don’t need any other token gifts as rewards for actually accomplishing something. Our success in the game is reward enough, and too many games never make it that far.

Skill games are mixed - As I mentioned earlier, the skill games that task you with different challenges feel more like mini-games than anything, but you’re still pushed to finish them. None of them really hooked me, but there are several you’ll never want to see again, deciding instead to take the bronze medal and run.

The Final Verdict

Trials Evolution deserves its early nomination for best Xbox Live Arcade game of 2012. It’s great value at around $20, considering its addictive nature and the potential for users to continue to make fantastic tracks long after a sequel has been proposed. Best of all, it does something most games strive for, but never achieve; beating your own accomplishments and finding success is the ultimate reward. The sense of satisfaction and achievement is unrivaled, even if it does take more time that you would care to admit.

By Ben Salter - Tweet @Ben_Salter

Trials Evolution

Platform: Xbox
Developer: RedLynx
Similar to: Trials HD, Old School Racer
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

Trials Evolution Review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
Looks like a fantastic title. I'll have to snap this and Bloodforge up after getting a bulk load of MS points cheap. Good review.
I am going to play this so hard when I get my 360 back [MOG] [MOG] [MOG]
This game is a lot like Pringles - once you pop you can't stop. Started playing it this morning and I've been going back for a few tracks here and a few tracks there every few hours. So damn addictive. It's everything I loved from Trails 2 and Trials HD rolled into something even bigger and better!
Kiah
+
Ha, having Heller on my friendslist means I have a slightly mentally damaged ghost following far behind me on some maps :P
great review and yes i love the game but i find the controls a little touchy but apart from that this game rocks

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • Trials EvolutionTrials Evolution Video
  • Trials EvolutionTrials Evolution Video
  • Trials EvolutionTrials Evolution Video

Recently Read

Featured Xbox 360 Content

Most Anticipated April game

Most Anticipated April game

1 day ago Polls 3 5
Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious review

Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious review

Gryllis 4 hours Reviews 0 2
EB Expo 2015 exhibitors confirmed, tickets soon

EB Expo 2015 exhibitors confirmed, tickets soon

Gryllis 11 hours News 0 3
The original Xbox was almost given away for free

The original Xbox was almost given away for free

Tano 11 hours News 3 4
Advanced Warfare DLC - SHG talks Grappling in Australia

Advanced Warfare DLC - SHG talks Grappling in Australia

Gryllis 12 hours Articles 0 3
Games of April: GTA V PC, Mortal Kombat X

Games of April: GTA V PC, Mortal Kombat X

Tano 1 day Articles 9 3
Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon hits PS4 in May
Jayden27 1 day News 1 4
EU tables plan to ban geo-blocking

EU tables plan to ban geo-blocking

Tano 2 days News 7 7
Letting children play GTA V is 'neglectful', claims UK school

Letting children play GTA V is 'neglectful', claims UK school

Tano 2 days News 6 8

Community Content

The Phantom Pain will be the last Metal Gear Solid

The Phantom Pain will be the last Metal Gear Solid

zurczner 05/03 News 5 5
Work Experience at The MMGN Office

Work Experience at The MMGN Office

12/01/2015 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

leonqin1 bumped - Nintendo Wii (second hand) + a load of games

leonqin1 2 hours ago
Username

commented on Games of April: GTA V PC, Mortal Kombat X

SlappyWag 9 hours ago
Username

PsFan, Mickyt888 commented on Most Anticipated April game

PsFan 15 hours ago
Username

Zinker posted a news - Next Nintendo Direct announced

Zinker 20 hours ago
Username

commented on DuckTales: Remastered set for mobile rebirth

Zinker 23 hours ago
Username

commented on Halo Online gameplay footage revealed

Zinker 23 hours ago
Username

Zinker, CybaCowboy commented on The EU has the right idea when it comes to the silliness of geo-blocking

Zinker 1 day ago
Username

Kazanagii, sjt333, Mik3y, maxiboy commented on Lykan Hypersport is the first of Project CARS' free monthly DLC

Kazanagii 1 day ago
Username

commented on TPG plans to buy iiNet for $1.4 billion

Cobra 1 day ago
Username

Sonofares just unlocked the Welcomed achievement!

Sonofares 1 day ago