In 2008, RedLynx released Trials 2: Second Edition on PC, bringing the tough-as-nails “Trials” action that we enjoyed in previous Flash-based games into a full-fledged release.
It went on to release multiple Trials titles exclusively on XBLA over the next few years – improving the formula with each new release. Many have tried to recreate RedLynx’s formula, but none have succeeded… until now. Tate Multimedia has entered the mix with its PSN title, Urban Trial Freestyle, and not only can it stand proudly beside RedLynx’s Trials series, in some aspects, it even races ahead of it.
“Urban” is its setting, but it is not just any setting, it’s the setting that gives the game its explosive sense of style. The action found within these urban environments is dynamic; meaning that each level is absolutely jam-packed with action. Bridges collapse right out from under you, cop cars skid into your pathway, creating new obstacles to overcome and there’s even one breath-taking action point that finds you in admits a full-on highway collision that involves a speeding semi-truck coming to an instantaneous metal crushing halt. These points are controller gripping intense the first time witnessed, but brilliantly, these points are the fundamental building blocks of each courses’ layout. When you are trying to shave seconds off your currently fastest track time – in the hopes of placing your avatar atop the leaderboards for all to see – the tracks are still the same with each sequential run.
Where RedLynx’s Trials Evolution took that series outside of a warehouse and into the world for the first time, Urban Trial Freestyle puts you right smack dab into urban environments; one’s that are filled with denizens who don’t like you ripping it up either – throwing boxes and flaming barrels in your path. There’s a wild, crazy sense of adrenaline junkie action to be found here and it keeps you coming back for more.
If you’re still unfamiliar, Trials is a sport where specialized motorcycles are used to manoeuvre through either natural or constructed obstacle courses. Very few can succeed within this highly skilled sport and in videogame format, the extreme difficulty and frustration has been carried over – staying true to the sport’s roots. Getting from one end of these deceptive tracks to the other is the primary goal. It sounds simple in theory, but getting there as quickly as possible and with fewest amounts of errors is what separates the winners from the losers. The fine-tuned controls and physics give you exactly what you need to achieve this, but it’ll take practice and skill rise to the top.
Urban Trial Freestyle for the Vita allows you to take the same action-packed gameplay found within the PS3 version of the title with you wherever you go. The addictive online leaderboard multiplayer featured within the title fits the 3G capable Vita models perfectly, but the dynamic action had to be toned down somewhat to fit the portable – losing a small amount of its style in the process. Still, the stunt zones and unique gameplay style are still very much intact here and the addiction level still remains sky-high.