Release Date: 8/12/2009
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The Good: Great graphics, superb physics, challenging tracks, lots of mini-games, nice level editor
The Bad: Which some are impossible, later tracks can be hair pulling experiences, retry, retry, retry…
Trials HD is a game that PC gamers will recognize thanks to the amazing (yet buggy) Steam. Trials HD is very simple, but hard to master, and is a motocross physics game. The basic goal is to get from one end to the other using physics and the environment around you and also make the best time.
Trials starts out with a simple tutorial to get you familiar with the controls, and they are easy but hard to master. You use the weight of your body by leaning back and forth to hit jumps just right. These jumps are crazy with huge leaps, teeter-tottering beams, and even a super hard move to master that has you jumping off the ground over large pipes. The game is a 3D/2D side scroller and the tracks are built out of junk such as wood, tires, cones, ropes you name it. There are four different difficulty to master and 3 different medals for each track. The medals are based around a time limit and these limits are fair, but there’s a catch. Yes, yes I KNOW just listen, you can retry as many times as you want, but to get the gold medal you have to be perfect or screw up within the designated limit. Some tracks have a no restart qualification and the harder tracks will let you restart over ten times for gold medal…yeah they get THAT tough. Most of the tracks you’ll be on for over an hour just mastering the tricky maneuvering while some you can just blow through.
The physics engine is spot on though since the bike feels just right and you have complete control of where it goes. Later on in the more difficult tracks you will NEED to master the control of the bike. Throttle and weight distribution are the base elements of making your fastest time. If you just hold the throttle you’ll fall backwards, and if you brake to hard you’ll fly forward.
There are also mini-games that help you with your skills such as climbing, ball rolling (which is impossible), bumpers, and just flying off your bike and seeing how far your ragdoll man can go. Most of these mini-games are fun, but a select few are just a nightmare, especially getting the gold medal. Trials HD also looks great with HDR lighting, high-res textures and your next-gen fix that you would expect out of a $15 arcade game. The money is well worth the investment thanks to the level editor which allows you to make your own easy or god awful track and upload it online.
There’s not much else to say about this complicated yet simple game. If you love physic games go for it, if you love racing go for it, if you love retrying a lot…go ahead.