When RedLynx released the original "Trials HD" for the Xbox Live Arcade service three years ago, it introduced a sometimes baffling yet always entertaining motorcycle-racing experience. Skill was just as important as speed, and landings came hard and heavy.
Though it was enjoyable, many complained that it didn't grow progressively more difficult as the game went on. We’re happy to report that the developer has alleviated this problem with "Trials Evolution," which arrived last week after months of waiting.
In this sequel, you’re doing the same thing as before, riding a motorcycle through a variety of indoor and outdoor courses, trying to get the quickest completion time you can. However, as you progress, the tracks become harder, forcing you to properly balance your bike over obstacles and jumps, or risk crashing harder than Evel Knievel ever did.
Unlike the first game, "Trials Evolution" doesn’t immediately hammer you over the head with difficulty, though the later tracks are mind-boggling to get through. Fortunately, the game provides plenty to do otherwise, between a variety of fun skill games and online multiplayer races. If your friends aren’t available, you can still challenge them for the best leaderboard times for each event.
The gameplay is a little tricky at first, especially with the über-realistic bike physics. However, after a few laps in, you’ll soon get used to how the game handles and love every minute of it — even when you’re cursing at a particular obstacle. But, hey, if at first you don’t succeed….
The game also packs a bigger visual punch than the original, thanks to the great new tracks offered. You’ll race everywhere from an abandoned train yard to a crumbling bridge in the sky. And if you don’t see your dream track, you can build your own with a robust level editor.
For $15, "Trials Evolution" is filled with a whopping amount of value. The gameplay is easy to learn yet hard to master. The variety of events will keep you busy; and the presentation is miles ahead of the first game. Here’s a ride you shouldn’t miss.
RATING: 4 / 4