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Urban Trials Review


It was just a matter of time before a rival producer saw the potential of bringing a Trials Evolution style game to the PlayStation, but where do you draw the line between inspired by and a blatant copy? There is no doubt about it, when Tate Multimedia were programming Urban Trial Freestyle they clearly had the Xbox Arcade Trials series in mind, but the PlayStation was sorely lacking in this type of game and one of my biggest wants of last year was to be able to play a game like this on the move so all is pretty much forgiven.

With Urban Trial Freestyle arriving on the PlayStation Network, it's all familiar territory when you start off, control of your bike is very simple with a brake and accelerator to control speed and the joypad to adjust your riders seat position and with combinations of these you are able to scale nigh on impossible climbs and pull off gravity defying flips. Taking the action away from the tracks and to a more urban setting allows for even more chaos, with you negotiating rooftops, shipping yards, train depots and the mayhem does not stop there, with some crazy background action taking place, desperately trying to take your concentration off your bike with police shootouts, picnicking couples in the park to helicopters flying widely out of control. These don't just stay in the background as you will find boxes being thrown at you, trains hurtling towards you and boulders chasing you through caves.



The nature of the urban based tracks allow for some original ideas across the twenty tracks, especially when it comes to using physics, with seesaw style ramps and catapults, pressurized jump pads, explosives and plenty of collapsible platforms. Whilst the PS3 version seems to deal with this ok, there does feel like a disparity between that and the Vita version with the general physics and how certain ramps react requiring very different approaches for the same stunts on either version.

To extend your playtime there are a multiple visits to tracks, once for a speed race, the other a stunt challenge. Speed is a straight forward ghost race, picking a racer from online and racing from start to finish. The Stunt modes will have various stunt challenges dotted all over the tracks with your aim to get the best possible score. With stunts ranging from longest and highest jumps, flips and precision landings there are plenty of challenges with each track being scored out of five stars, with time and stunts taken into consideration when awarding you them at the end of each track.

Another element of replayability is the ability to customise your bike, allowing you to swap from chassis, engines and tyres to suit whatever track you are attempting. These do not come free so you also need to collect cash bags littered through each stage, adding more depth to the levels as many of these bags are very well hidden through the courses alternate routes.

Even with plenty of tracks and reasons to replay the length of the game is of a concern, with myself hitting four stars on all tracks on both versions with a couple of days of play. Even with the five challenges and earning all of the cash to grab all the bike and rider gear it feels a little light in content, however with friends constantly challenging you or if you enjoy the challenge of rising up the online leaderboards you may get a little more out of these games.


Being on two consoles there are some rather large differences between the two versions, you still have the great feeling of control and ability to pull off crazy stunts across some insane courses, but the main differences falls to the power of the Vita, with tracks feeling a little more edited, lacking some extra stunts and also the backgrounds being cut out; it does lose a bit of the frantic action but without owning both titles you would never know the difference. Of course the Vita version also supports touch control, mainly on the menu screens allowing you to swipe through the track selections or purchasing new equipment.

For the competitive gamers amongst you there is also a challenge mode with more online leader boards. Each of the five challenges will push certain gameplay aspects to their limits, including the compulsory driving over an explosive to see how far your driver can fly through the air, a fuel preservation challenge to see how far you can travel on one tank of petrol and a score attack track.

Many will be cynical of what appears to be a total rip off of the Xbox Trials games and you will be right, but actually playing will show many differences like the control, whilst responsive and enjoyable does not seem to have the overall finish of Trials Evolution plus it is lacking a track editor but, on the other hand track design seems to be more enjoyable, though not nearly as punishing.

Overall both versions of Urban Trial Freestyle are great pocket money titles that will entertain for a good couple of days, of the two, if you have a choice the PS3 version is the better, with an overall better look and feel to controls but the Vita is just as entertaining, just a little more frustrating.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3/PS Vita)

Pros

- Classic arcade motorbike action
- Online high scores

Cons

- Vita is the weaker version
- Physics can feel really off at times.
- Game length
- A little too easy

Edited On 27 Feb, 2013

Comments
( 20 )
The Auracle's avatar
The Auracle 4 years ago
This looks like it's worth a punt. The devs aren't knocking RedLynx off any time soon as Trials Evolution and Trials 2 were utterly flawless but it's good to see a bit of competition. Keeps RedLynx on their toes. :)
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Ive read a lot of poor reviews for this. Enough to actually put me off buying it. The lack of Cross buy bugs me a little too. I'm sad to say, I'll wait for the inevitable PSPlus addition
0000000000's avatar
0000000000 4 years ago
Trials HD rip of in my eyes
troublemaker's avatar
That's exactly what it is. It's not generally a bad thing, trials is amazing and PS3 players have been dying for a game to fill that void. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be it!
troublemaker 4 years ago
Johno Muller's avatar
Wasn't it pretty much announced by the devs to be Playstation Trials right off the bat
Johno Muller 4 years ago
0000000000's avatar
i really enjoyed the trials game.. never understood why it couldnt be multi platform though!
0000000000 4 years ago
troublemaker's avatar
Money makes the world go round I guess. My bet would be that MS locked them into exclusivity with their indie contract. Same as Sony did with That Game Company
troublemaker 4 years ago
0000000000's avatar
im just looking forward to some more official announcements.. all these rumours about games and xbox and now EA rumours are doing my nut in!
0000000000 4 years ago
troublemaker's avatar
I fear that anything that comes of those rumours will be to cover up the very kinect-centric reveal that I'm expecting.
troublemaker 4 years ago
PrometheusFan's avatar
To be fair, Trials HD wasn't exactly the first game of it's kind, but yes, it's success is undoubtedly the motivator for this being made. Don't think the Trials games are exclusive to Xbox though, as there was a PC version of the newest game. Devs probably just don't want to release it on PSN for whatever reasons I guess.
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
Hymeleon's avatar
Hymeleon 4 years ago
Cons - Vita is the weaker version

What is this? Why Vita version always compared to PS3 as even? It's a handheld device! If PS3 version is weaker, then devs totally f*cked up...
troublemaker's avatar
Probably doesn't help that in IGN's preview they called the Vita version the "Definitive version" that ups expectations for reviewers and players alike. Plus, it's not like it's a high powered game, the difference should be negligible.
troublemaker 4 years ago
PrometheusFan's avatar
I don't see why other reviewers should worry about what IGN say to be honest. I was under the impression the major difference between the versions was the lack of background visual detail on Vita compared to PS3... but I can see how the lack of analogue triggers would be a major drawback on Vita as well for a game like this.
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
Anonymous user's avatar
HOWARD 4 years ago
Redlynx should just port Trials HD/Evolution to the PS3. This would ensure other devs make better quality products if they wish to compete with this genre.
Johno Muller's avatar
MS won't let them
Johno Muller 4 years ago
inspector 74's avatar
inspector 74 4 years ago
Ha ha!!! I have trials so I have no need to add anything here!!
Anonymous user's avatar
Rachael 4 years ago
trials is an amazing game on the xbox so i am sure that this will be amazing too. vita would be my platform of choice as i already have both trials games on my xbox.
HappyNoodleBoy's avatar
HappyNoodleBoy 4 years ago
I wish I never bought this. It's awful. And the noise the motorbike makes is beyond annoying
Datastatic's avatar
Datastatic 4 years ago
I am lucky enough to have an Xbox and Trials HD so for once mans won't be buying this.
Beazi's avatar
Beazi 4 years ago
Bit dissapointting it cannot meet the XBox versions heights!

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