Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life
Trials HD – An XBox Live Arcade Game
by a highly entertained Tara
Let me introduce you to an XBox Live Arcade game known as Trials HD. It’s a simple game. You control a motorcycle and rider through a two dementional course. Your only goal is to get to the end with as few crashes as possible and as quickly was you can. And that sounds a lot easier than it actually is. The course is riddled with steep inclines, extreme jumps, little bumps and exploding barrels.
The game starts out easy enough. First you have a short short tutorial and then a basic track that allows you to get comfortable with the controls. From there you do harder and harder tracks along the four difficulty levels while unlocking new bikes and mini-games on the way.
To be honest, I’m horrible at this game. On one track on the hard difficulty setting I’m pretty sure that I crashed +150 times (maybe +200) before I was able to complete it. But it didn’t matter. This game understands you’re going to crash and that you’re going to explode. Knowing that, they incorporated a “jump to last checkpoint” button. If you’re going to fail your jump and you know it, you don’t have to wait to see your character skid face first across the ground before finally coming to a halt half a mile from where you originally crashed (although sometimes that’s fun too)… you can just jump right back, which you will do often. But for some reason it doesn’t matter. It’s almost like after you fail so many times, you have to complete the track to prove your self worth. And the feeling of pride and confidence you get when you beat it is second to none.
And at the same time, just completing the track isn’t always enough to make you feel satisfied. Some times it’s trying to get the gold medal, but other times it is trying to beat your friends. Across the top of the screen during all tracks (and mini games) there is a bar that compares how you’re doing on whatever track to how your XBox Live friends did on the same track. And then on the completion screen, it shows both of your exact times. There is nothing worse to kick some track’s ass to only see on the completion screen that your boyfriend beat you by less than a second. Or equally bad is when you crash and see your friend’s gamer tag zoom by yours on the progress bar.
The mini games in Trials HD are also exceptionally fun. There are several that you are unlocked by completing the different tracks. My personal favorite involves trying to injure your rider as much as possible. You’re given a short run way and the a wall that you have to bail out by. After bailing out your driver goes flying through the air over a series of platforms that are covered in obstacles. Your goal is to fly far enough to hit the ground with a nice smack and break as may bones as possible. There is also a pretty amusing ski jump mini game. You have a short ramp for your bike, and once you have launched off, you explode your bike to send you flying. Just go as far as you can. There is also one where you have to complete a course while keeping your bike balance on top of a giant ball, another where you complete the course while inside the ball, another where you’re pulling a cart full of some explosive (nitroglycerin maybe?) and you need to complete the course with out bouncing the cart too much so you don’t explode. Like I said, the mini games are very amusing.
So, Trials HD… simplicity at it’s best. It’s a great game. It’s addictive and fun. As a friend put it, it’s “ExciteBike brought to you by Michael Bay.” I highly recommending spending the $15 dollars to get this one. You’ll love it.
And of course, here’s a trailer so you know what you guys who don’t have it know what you’re missing.