- I loved Trials Fusion. Like, LOOOOOVED it. It was challenging, yet rewarding, simplistic, yet entertaining, and that menu song would get stuck in my head for days. “Welcome to the fuuuuture. Man, machine, the future…”, I can hear it in my head as I type. I truly loved everything about the game. The gameplay was smooth and seamless, The DLC stages were fun, and some were CRAZY complicated (that Mondrian one!), and Trials quickly became my favorite racing game ever, beating out my OG fav, Excitebike, on NES. (Yes, I’m that old.)
So you can imagine my excitement when Trials Rising was announced. Because I always wait for the PSN sales, I recently purchased it during the May sales event, and I’ve been playing it ever since. I actually took a break from it to write this, right now.
Getting right to it, here’s my beef with TR:
The music is way more annoying this time around. Sure, “Welcome to the Future” could get pretty redundant pretty quickly, but it was fun to make fun of, at least. The array of songs on TR are just annoying enough to be there in the background, but not annoying enough to learn the lyrics for amusement purposes. I’ve spotted some Jurassic 5 (which isn’t as easy to spot when they aren’t spelling out their name in each song), some Motorhead, Reverend Horton Heat, and yeah… that’s all I’ve got.
The new menu layout and interface is… different? It’s honestly not super accessible, and is quite confusing upon first glance. It took me quite a while to figure out that I have to complete the “Contracts” of each level before it would like me move on in the first level, USA. Luckily, once you complete the Stadium Finals in later locations, it opens up more levels at once. Not the greatest UX I’ve seen. And that brings me to, the newly added competitive gameplay added to TR.
Let me say this loud and clear: I AM NOT A COMPETITIVE GAMER. I actually despise it. With a passion! I’ll tell you, if I wasn’t so curious to see how the future levels look, I’d have given up on this game already. The only thing that is keeping me interested at this point is the fun art. There area definitely a lot more things going on in the background of TR which makes for some exciting visuals. My roommate and I are simultaneously playing through the game, and when I pause my game, I get to be a spectator to the fantastical views and silly shenanigans going on in the background of the TR landscape.
Don’t get me wrong, TR isn’t a complete failure, by any means. I’ve definitely played games that are way worse. That being said, there are definitely some things I hope get enough strong critiquing that they’ll reconsider if there shall be more versions of Trials, and I’ll keep playing just to see where the level design goes from here. But, I stand by my word, if it wasn’t for the art direction, I’d have put my controller down and wasted that $20 I spent by now.
P.S. WHAT THE CRAP IS THIS NEW CRATE SYSTEM, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT IT?!
- Beautiful level design
- Fun new approach to obstacles
- Rag doll physics still available (yay!)
- More interactive environments
- Too competitive
- Poor menu design and layout
- Forgettable music selection
- Crate system? WTF
- Have to defeat “Contracts” to level up
- Trophy system confusing
- Poor user experience