ashleychittock's Trials Evolution (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

Avatar image for ashleychittock

Polished, addictive and packed full of content, XBLA perfection.

Trials Evolution is the perfect XBLA game, the result of seven years of refinement to the groundbreaking downloadable medium that is Live Arcade. It is not only one of the most polished titles on the service, but it's also a more complete package than many physical, £40 titles. I've still got at least another three or four paragraphs to go of this review and I'm already struggling to think of anything I don't like about this game. I'll give it my best try.

If you're familiar with XBLA, chances are you'll also be familiar with the Trials series. Trials HD came from nowhere to surprise everyone with it's unforgiving difficulty curve, leaderboard-driven addictiveness and solidly-designed physics based racing. Evolution really doesn't stray from the first game's formula drastically, but it wasn't a game that needed much change. The bikes handle exactly the same, and if you managed to complete Trials HD's hardest tracks you'll breeze through the first two-thirds barely stopping to catch breath.

The great thing about Trials is that the easy levels and the hard levels are equally fun in different ways. Easy levels still challenge experienced players to beat their best performances through constant comparisons to your friends' times, and hard levels require a level of technical skill that will leave many a casual gamer punching their armchairs in frustration. The difficulty curve is slightly reduced in Evolutions by an incremental series of tutorials that new players will be thankful for, but the levels themselves still offer enough of a challenge to keep veterans entertained throughout.

There's much more visual variety in Evolution than there was in the first game. Trials HD was mostly confined to dark and dingy warehouses, occasionally stopping off in a science lab or trials track, but this game stays out in the open. The tracks span a far wider distance both vertically and horizontally, and catapult you across gorgeous vistas, ruined castles and post-apocalyptic warzones. It's a very bright-looking game in comparison to it's predecessor, and nails a very distinctive art style.

There aren't many new additions to the series, but what has been added is largely worthwhile. The new multiplayer component is welcome, although I personally still have more fun racing my own personal bests than other people's virtual riders. A whole bunch of new skill games have been added, some great and some not so. Some of them seem to have been included in the game purely for bragging rights and to say "look what our level editor can do". Yes, RedLynx, it is great that you can create a Marble Blast Ultra clone in your level editor, but if I wanted to play that I'd boot up Marble Blast Ultra itself. No doubt some people will do some incredible things with the creator tool in the future, and if the community stays well-supported it'll have almost infinite longevity.

So whilst there isn't much actual evolution in Trials Evolution, the incremental upgrades that have been made hit all the right notes. It's worth the 1200 point cost and more, and I'll be playing it for a very long time. It's been a strong week for the Live Arcade. Along with Skullgirls and Fez, Trials completes a hattrick of well-made Marketplace releases, and long may the trend continue into the future.

Written by Ashley Chittock. Read more http://ashleychittock.blogspot.co.uk

Other reviews for Trials Evolution (Xbox 360 Games Store)

    Trials Evolution 0

    Something about a wildly convoluted obstacle course taps directly into my brain's pleasure center. Growing up, watching Nickelodeon game shows like "Legends of the Hidden Temple" made me painfully jealous. I was certain I could do better than those kids on TV. I knew how to put the Shrine of the Silver Monkey together . The dozens of enormous obstacle courses in 2009's "Trials HD" were no substitute for a temple run, but they kept me chasing platinum medals for months after the game's release. A...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    Sequel with a change of direction 0

    Trials HD was, and probably still is one of the best games on Xbox Live Arcade. Not only is it my most played game on the platform, but it also broke every sales record there is on XBLA. People loved Trials HD and that love was further cemented with two satisfying DLC packs. But even those were not enough for some. Come Trials Evolution...By the point Trials Evolution arrived I was entirely done with Trials HD. Each track and skill game was done to my absolute best and by the numbers I was large...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.