Trials Evolution

9.6 Overall Score
Fun: 10/10
Replayability: 10/10
Xtremeness: 10/10

Nearly everything.

Too dark sometimes I Checkpoint locations

Written by on April 25, 2012 in [, , , , ]


The first time that I ever owned a Game Boy was when I was in my mid-twenties.  Even as a younger boy, I never had the desire to own a Game Boy; however, Nintendo was releasing a special edition unit that looked like an old NES console and they were rereleasing several AAA titles from the eight bit era.

The day that it was released, there was only one title that I even thought about buying.  The game was Excitebike.

For those of you too young to remember a time when Nintendo was synonymous with gaming, Excitebike was one of the first, if not the first, motorcycle based games to be released on the market and its concept was that you had to navigate the course on your bike without crashing on the obstacles.

Trials HD, when it came out on XBLA a few years ago, reminded me of Excitebike more than any other game at the time and this even included the actual Excitebike reboot that Nintendo had released, thus making it my favorite bike racing game on the Xbox 360.

Trials Evolution surpasses this becoming what may be my favorite XBLA game.   Period.

I know that this seems to be a good bit of hyperbole; however, I’ve stared at this blinking cursor for over an hour trying to figure out the most succinct way to explain my feelings for this game.  Every time I try to type out something less enthusiastic, I just couldn’t finish it without wanting to break form and add seven or eight exclamation points after it.

Trials Evolution is more than a racing game.  Sure, you are racing and trying to give yourself better times, but what makes TE more than that is the incredibly fresh and exciting level design.

In most racing games, you have to race through some pretty realistic terrain, and while there isn’t anything wrong with that, the tracks in Trials are designed to be demented in the best way possible.  Without ruining too many of the incredible surprises the game has in store, the tracks included range from rad motocross locations, an abandoned roller coaster, and even other XBLA games.  It gets to the point where you want to keep getting further just so you can see what you are going to see next.


Like any other racing game out there, TE gives you license tests between sections.  Keeping in character, these are not your normal license tests as they require you to maneuver your bike in ways that sometimes seem impossible.  Unlike the normal race game, these sections didn’t bore me or end up making me feel like I’m grinding through it because I need to get to the next race class.  I might even describe myself as being extremely excited at the thought of trying out the next test and utilizing the skills learned in the next race.

The standard racing mode that we came to expect is just the tip of the iceberg.  Trials Evolution includes a fun multiplayer experience, tournament that stack previously beaten tracks, and a Skill section that introduces non-racing gameplay.  You will go from blowing yourself up to make it through a level, to rolling a marble through a maze and beyond when traversing the different challenges.  This section seems to be a primer for the creation features so that you can see what is possible.

The creation feature is what has taken Trials Evolution from a fantastic and fun arcade game to my favorite XBLA game ever made.

I downloaded one of the most downloaded tracks on the server and booted it up.  This wasn’t just some new tracks that were made by the community; this was, literally an entirely new game.  After playing through an Angry Birds type puzzle level (entitled, “Angry Bikers”)and went through a few rounds on a foosball table, I truly wonder what will be next and look forward to poking around the editor myself.

Even though I have gone to great lengths to explain my undying affection for this game, it does have a few issues.

Some of the tracks are lit very poorly and you really cannot see a lot of what is coming at you.  I thought it might have been my TV at first, but everything else looked fine when I turned the game off.  Luckily, not many of the tracks have this issue, but there were enough that my eyes hurt while playing them.

The next thing that I have a little bit of an issue with is the fact that I couldn’t really look over the courses before I went through them.  I suppose that discovering the obstacles as you get to them is supposed to be part of the fun, but it is still frustrating to see a better way to pass an area after you’ve already flown over the ramp necessary to achieve the optimum route.

The biggest issue I had with the game was the difficulty of some of the tracks.  Yes, I understand that they are supposed to get more difficult as you go, but this has more to do with where some of the checkpoints lie more than my frustration trying to get past a particularly difficult section.  In fact, I’m not sure that I ever got truly frustrated with the game, but the tracks where it took me forever to navigate just one series of logs, tires, or an impossibly steep climb just weren’t fun to me.  Luckily, there are the other fifty tracks or so and player created levels that I can go to if it gets to be too much for me.

When I first started writing for The Married Gamers, I hadn’t bought an XBLA game since Peggle and I even wrote out a list of things I wanted from the platform to get me back into it.  Trials Evolution has convinced me that perhaps, the best is yet to come.  It is fun, addicting, and above all, it makes me feel like an eight year old kid sitting in front of my NES giggling with glee.  If there is ever a retro rerelease when I’m fifty, this would be the XBLA game I buy with it.

Trials Evolution was given to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Wallace Phelps View all posts by

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