Trials games have been far and few between on the Mac App Store, with the dominators of the genre Trials HD, and more recently, Trials: Evolution having yet to leave the Xbox Live Arcade market place. Motorbike has been one of the few successful attempts to replicate the formula, and Trial Xtreme 2 aims to take the reigns with yet more 2.5D biking action. But unfortunately, lack of polish and frustrating gameplay means Trial Xtreme 2 is far off being a possible contender in this adrenaline fuelled race, and is certainly not worth your time or money.
Trial Xtreme 2 Gameplay
Trial Xtreme 2 makes some basic mistakes from the get go. For once, your bike can’t reverse. That may not be a problem if the tracks were designed to keep momentum and gain speed, but steep jumps with awkwardly-angled landings makes reversing your bike a must. The frustrating inability to do this is quite jarring. What’s more, when death inevitably occurs, the game doesn’t instantly throw you back to the last checkpoint. First you need to click continue in an unnecessary menu, which involves taking your hands away from the keyboard and onto the mouse; a beginners mistake if you want to keep frustration low and the player in the experience. It’s almost comical, also, that one touch of your helmet leads to death whereas in other situations you can role the bike upside down so that you’re on the floor with the metal machine on top of you and be perfectly fine and dandy.
But it’s not just small issues like this that makes Trial Xtreme 2 such a bike-wreck of a game. The floaty physics cause your vehicle to seem weightless, with minimal impact when landing. The bike’s suspension system is also way out of whack, with the wheels bending and bouncing like they’re made of rubber.
Arguably, this could mean that Trial Xtreme 2 is an arcade game, not obsessed with realism, and not designed to be a simulation of real life. The level design says otherwise. Whereas an arcade experience would be more about momentum and flow, Trial Xtreme 2 finds every opportunity to halt you with an oddly placed obstacle or tiny tunnel, and the lack of realism makes unfair deaths much more painful to handle.
Trial Xtreme 2 isn’t a looker either. iPhone-ported graphics are never going to compete with natively-designed Mac titles, and the low-polygon count and grainy textures don’t do the game any favours, despite their best efforts to present a 3D environment.
Sound effects are minimal, but the increasingly annoying boos when you die, and the ‘Go’ shouted from the same scantily clad woman at the start and end of every race gets really repetitive. The music on the other hand isn’t too bad.
On the bright side, Trial Xtreme 2 will only run you $4.99/£2.99 on the Mac App Store, but even at $0.99, I still couldn’t recommend Trial Xtreme 2 as a remotely fun trials game for your Mac.
Publisher: Deemedya M.S.
Price: $4.99 (£2.99)
Description: Trials Platforming
Pros: Good music, bearable gameplay.
Cons: Weightless physics, low-end graphics, frustrating.