RedLynx's Trials Evolution hit Xbox Live Arcade Wednesday for 1200 Microsoft Points. Over 1 million people downloaded RedLynx's last game, Trials HD, making it the fifth best-selling title of all time on the Xbox Live Arcade platform.
Want to know what's new for this third entry in the Trials series? Here's a quick rundown before Operation Sports' full review drops in later this week:
4-player simultaneous races are arguably the best new feature in Trials Evolution. In the past, Xbox Live Arcade racing games have typically limited multiplayer to online modes only. Trials Evolution does the right thing by allowing players to race with a room full of friends offline, or with a party of internet buddies online.
Private online matches were running without a hitch as of last night, but many users reported difficulty getting into public multiplayer sessions. It's possible that some of these public matchmaking issues were NAT-related, but there could also be some server-side problems for RedLynx.
When the multiplayer was working, it was a lot of fun, though some of the 20 premade supercross tracks had visibility issues due to unreasonably dark lighting or course obstacles blocking the view of the bike path.
Similar to the "2K Share" feature used in Visual Concepts' sports games, Track Central is a large hub of downloadable user-made content. Courses for every mode of play can be created or shared here.
Track Central is a huge innovation for Xbox Live Arcade games, as Microsoft previously has restricted the sharing of user content between friends only.
Allowing custom content to be shared publicly should dramatically increase Trials Evolution's lifespan compared to Trials HD or RedLynx's chief competitor, Joe Danger: Special Edition.
Just make sure your Xbox Live account is set to "allow user content from everyone," otherwise Track Central will appear empty and unusable.
Bugs And Glitches
Yesterday afternoon, the Trial Evolution servers went down at about the same time that everyone was returning home from school or work. While the servers were getting flooded, Trials Evolution's autosave feature was taking about 40 to 50 seconds to save after each race. Leaderboards at that time were also super slow to update or simply unavailable.
As of late last night and early this morning, the Trials Evolution servers have returned to normal and the autosave/leaderboard functions are running properly. It will be interesting to see if RedLynx's servers can hold up over the weekend as more and more people download the game, increasing the stress on the Trials Evolution network.
In a separate issue, ranking up and gaining experience in public online multiplayer matches remains bit buggy as of this writing. Player rankings are randomly being reset, and experience points are sometimes not being awarded after an online race.
RedLynx has posted on their forums that they are aware of the issue and are working to solve it:
"[This is] a known bug. Sometimes the results are not submitted to the online leaderboard (that tracks your stats and progress). We are aware of this bug, and are developing a fix right as we speak."
Technical errors hurt but didn't trump the first day of fun. It's almost become expected for games to launch with a few major bugs, and Trials Evolution's release ended up being business as usual for the bumbling video game industry.
Once RedLynx stablizes their servers, Trials Evolution should be fine. The core gameplay is a refinement of the platinum-selling Trials HD, the multiplayer -- when it was working -- is the best thing to hit motocross games since Excitebike 64 and the amount of content should be endless thanks to Track Central.
Stay tuned to Operation Sports for a full review of Trials Evolution by the end of the week.