It’s been a while since we last went full throttle in the stunt-tastic Trials Evoluion, having moved on to the latest and greatest games that have been soaking up our time. This 400 point download may have come at the best time then, serving up another slice of arcade antics at just the right time to make for a welcome distraction.
You already know whether you love Trials or not, in which case you might still be tinkering with the track editing tools and leaping around on the creations of others. With such a wealth of content so readily available, does Origin of Pain do enough to stand out from the crowd?
Platform: Xbox LIVE Arcade (Reviewed)
Players: Single-Player, Multi-Player
Genre: Platform, Racing
Release: (INT) October 5th 2012
One thing you should know (and Xbox Live makes a point of stating this at the outset), is that many of the stages are only available once you’ve attained the necessary licences. Seasoned pros can jump right in and enjoy everything from the word go, but those who stalled in the campaign or have yet to spend quality time with the main game may find themselves in a quandary. It’s a strange decision to tie this download to progress made in the campaign, and we don’t expect it to please everyone, but it does at least provide incentive to try out those challenging tracks that confounded you the first time.
You’ll be getting rider gear and new objects for the level editor, expanding the game further for creative types. The two new skill games – one of which fires you out of a cannon – probably won’t do much to impress, but then Origin of Pain is all about the 36 fresh obstacle courses that take you from traditional landscapes through to more outlandish locales. It’s a testament to the development team that the backdrops of Trials Evolution have become increasingly eye-catching and ‘out there’ – clearly, someone’s imagination at RedLynx must have felt stifled by the ‘basement’ mandate of the original title.
Stand-out moments include navigating the pitfalls of a flaming crash site and enjoying the quiet calm of an oriental garden. Other visual treats lay in store as you merrily plough through the stages though be warned; Trials Evolution is just as frustratingly tough as before, and it’s quick to punish players who may have forgotten the nuances of the twitchy handling. Expect the usual cases of swearing over a tricky jump or when a cheeky obstacle impedes your progress for what seems like an eternity. Failure still doesn’t always feel like it was entirely your fault, but if you’ve played and enjoyed Trials Evolution before, you should be well acquainted with its notorious difficulty.
The inclusion of the BMX is a welcome one, trading in the familiar hums of the dirt bike with an altogether more peaceful sound. It’s a ride that also handles differently, where even the slightest tap will shift your weight in the wrong direction. Having it limited to just ten stages will come as a disappointment for some, but it’s hard to criticise a game that offers playable content at such a low price, while full retail titles expect similar payouts for meagre weapons and costume changes.
Origin of Pain offers one more reason to dive back into the crazy, death-defying world of Trials Evolution. Just as we’ve come to expect from the series, it’s an add-on that will excite and frustrate in equal measure, but with an even wackier sense of humour than before. What it won’t do is change the experience in any meaningful way, but at so few Microsoft points it really doesn’t need to. This is simply a neat – if unnecessary – slice of action that seeks to bolster the experience, and so fans content to stick with the user-generated tracks can do so without feeling like they’ve missed out. Origin of Pain is entertaining, but it’s not quite unmissable.
7.0 – Good. Entertaining but is held back by a couple of flaws. It will certainly capture its intended audience but it won’t appeal to everyone.