Trials… Ubisoft’s pioneer in 2D dirt biking platformers. An overwhelmingly simple formula injected with some seriously potent supplements through the years – I’ll happily dish out free handshakes to anyone who can identify another game featuring a cat riding a unicorn.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Trials originated as a free to play browser game back when the screeching of dial up internet was still a painful and recent memory. It’s popularity was eventually rewarded in 2009 with Trials HD taking a place among the best of the Xbox Live Arcade titles. To put this into perspective, I was pulling all nighters on MW2 (Call of Duty) at this stage, painstakingly nurturing my kill/death ratio. My friend suggested a quick reprieve and we tried out a free demo of Trials HD (oh the good old demo disks…) and we were both immediately hooked.
Until recently Trials had slipped under my radar as the unrelenting tide of AAA game releases engulfed my time and my money, but those hours of glorious Trials induced mental trauma were far from forgotten.
Since Trials of the Blood Dragon (2016) had shaky reviews I bought Trials Fusion The Awesome Max Edition instead. Here’s a picture of the box art:
Before you jump in there are some ground rules you should probably know about Trials Fusion.
First and most importantly you must embrace the crazy; don’t just instantly press restart level when you feel yourself failing, play it out, because the death animations are both varied and hilarious. Trials Fusion is absolutely barmy, but the level design demonstrates impressive amounts of creativity and humour.
The second rule is to never be satisfied with the medal you got first attempt. I don’t care how good you think you are; gold isn’t for coming first anymore, its for people who can’t get platinum. There’s a finite amount of levels, but 101 instances in each level where you could have been quicker. And even after all that, you’ve got a friends list to beat and a plethora of near impossible challenges to complete!
The third and final rule is to bring friends. Sure they might have the game too, but there’s only so much butt clenching you can do alone. There is a 4 player co-op mode where questionable checkpoints and disqualifications add more hilarity and outrage than actual issues. But as soon as it’s just the two of you, you both know its high time the extreme levels are tackled.
The time limit of 30 minutes per level and 500 lives is laughable under usual circumstances, where the longest tracks can be completed in under 3 minutes. But when approaching extreme levels one must adopt a zen-like temperament: getting mad makes you tilt, each obstacle must be respected, and honestly you had nothing better to do with that 30 minutes of wasted time anyways…
My best mate has started singing Coldplay’s Fix You whenever I’m struggling on a level. Know who your friends are, 4th rule…
Conclusion. Don’t get this game for the story. Get this game if you have a tolerable level of patience, a sturdy stress ball and an unmovable ego; because it’s going to batter you down, but not before you have an absolute blast playing it! Thanks for reading.