By Steven Wright
When Trials HD came out I disappeared off the radar for a month. So much so that my review of the game was rather late as I could not take my eyes off it. If you have not managed to play Trials yet (WHY?) then let me give you a very brief run through of the game. You take the control of a trials bike and work your way through a 2D level, over and under all sorts of ridiculous obstacles, in the fastest time possible. Sounds amazingly simple, and it is, but completing a level has that “If I can just nail that jump faster” element that makes you come back for more (and more). Wrap all this up in some great HD graphics and you have my XBLA game of the year.
It has been just over 4 months since its August launch and developers Red Lynx have graced us with The Big Pack. At only 400 Microsoft points it brings an astonishing 23 new tracks – 12 medium, 9 hard and 2 extreme, which will test you in ways you have never been tested before – 12 new skill game tracks and 5 new tournaments. At first glance you will see just how good a deal this is, even more so when you settle down to play it.
It features a variety of new obstacles and situations. On ‘Dangerous Ride’ you have to stop and balance yourself on the top of wrecked cars as they move down the track. On ‘Skyway’ you have to fly your bike over massive gaps thanks to the giant air vents beneath you. ‘Donkey Business’ is a track made entirely for the Micro Donkey 60cc bike and is ridiculously hard. Red Lynx have even referenced their retro roots by including ‘1 bit trip’, a Spectrum parody level that is set in green and black – a joy for old-school gamers. Add these to the plethora of other tracks that I have not mentioned and you will get a sense of the variety this DLC brings.
The thing that surprised me most is the difficulty of the new tracks. Having new obstacles and physics to master will shake even the most skilled Trials player. Which I suppose is what we want as we have beaten, and possible mastered, the majority of the originals. You get a feeling that Red Lynx have looked at what the community has been creating – and asking for – and have designed these levels especially for them. It’s great to see a developer support such a great little game.
Also, for anyone who is addicted to achievements like me, they have simplified the near impossible Marathon achievement by changing the levels in the tournament from the extreme tracks, to easy and medium tracks. It’s still going to take ages to complete but at least I can do it now. I think. Also included are fixed leaderboards, patched glitches, the list goes on. If you have Trials then you have to buy this, although it will frustrate you all over again, it is literally too good to miss.