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Trials Rising – Easy Allies Review


If you’ve ever played a Trials game
from Finnish development studio Redlynx, then you are likely to agree that they are masters
of simulated physics – sometimes to a painful degree. Their latest entry in the long-running series,
Trials Rising, puts on another show by delivering increasingly
more challenging and elaborate courses. Reaching the finish line isn’t so much about
raw speed or power, but about overcoming the intricate
physics-based obstacles in a puzzle-like fashion. The painstaking detail put into Rising’s physics system
is impressive and lives up to the series’ reputation. This meticulous approach has caused
more than a few headaches for newcomers in the past, drawing criticisms that the games
haven’t offered enough training to master the more difficult mechanics
required to complete later levels. Rising addresses this issue
by including an optional tutorial section that allows players
to get accustomed to not only the basics, but eventually try out the more advanced techniques
like the dreaded bunny hop. These lessons do a fantastic job
of explaining the various tricks of the trade, but even the most detailed account
won’t instantly translate into practical skills. The best advice one can give you
is to be patient and understand you’re going to fail a lot before things begin to click. Once you grasp it all
and learn to put it to use in each level, you’ll see rapid improvement in your completion times
and rankings. The levels start off easy and are designed
to accommodate a wide margin of error. Early stages don’t require much more
than knowing how to hold down the gas and lean your bike back and forth. Eventually, levels become so difficult that you likely won’t even be able to complete them,
let alone earn a medal. That’s part of the beauty of Trials;
there is always room to improve, and while there’s a bit of something for every skill level,
the skill ceiling stretches really high. Just take a glimpse at any of the ninja difficulty levels that look like you need to be a wizard to complete. Even if you can’t overcome
some of the game’s harder levels, you can always go back
to improve your performance on previous courses. Or you can try your hand
at one of the various user-created stages to see just how creative the level design can get. While not every course is a winner, there are
plenty of moments that highlight the sense of awe and wonder at the insanity
of some of these levels’ gimmicks. Not to mention, in similar fashion to previous entries,
there are a few secrets scattered throughout the game. Some produce visual surprises, while others
unlock hidden paths you’d otherwise miss. These provide another fun incentive
to go back and replay older courses. While there certainly is enough
to bring you back for more, Rising crosses the line in a nasty way
by outright forcing you to periodically return to older levels in order to progress. Your character earns experience
as you complete levels and challenges, and at first, the level system appears
only to be tied to unlocking new bikes. However, at some point, you are likely to hit a roadblock
denying access to a new course simply because your experience level is too low. It’s ridiculous
that the feat of completing previous stages isn’t sufficient to allow you to move on
to your next objective, especially in a linear, level-based game like Rising. This is a huge annoyance
that can quickly put the brakes on your enjoyment by forcing you
to essentially grind out older levels for XP. Further compounding this problem
is another of the game’s nuisances: the inability to simply see all the tracks in a list view. Instead, you’re forced to select levels
from the world map, which is fine at first, but as you start making serious headway into the game,
things get a bit cluttered. It’s a small quality of life oversight
that the developers acknowledged during the open beta, but as it stands at release, this feature is still missing. One area Rising prides itself on
is the addition of character customization, allowing you to change up your rider’s wardrobe
and bike parts. It’s strictly cosmetic and adds a little charm to the game, but while it would otherwise be harmless,
these elements are tied to a loot box system. Every time you level up, you’re rewarded with a loot box
that contains three random superficial items, ranging from bike parts to stickers to new poses. All of these items can be obtained
strictly through in-game means, but at the same time, you can spend real money
to purchase more loot boxes if you’re so inclined. So while it’s not pay-to-win, it’s still another game
that sadly embraces a practice that is all but normalized at this point in the industry,
despite increasing scrutiny. Though we played the full game on PlayStation 4, during the open beta period,
we were able to try out the Switch and PC versions. All have issues with visual fidelity to some degree. The PC and PS4 versions suffer from extremely long
load times, whereas the Switch version doesn’t. However, the Switch is an outright downgrade,
with missing assets on every level, and at points,
it utilizes weather effects to mask the discrepancies. Rising has moments
when it dazzles with its effects and set pieces, but it definitely lacks polish. Even after the long load times, textures and models still take time to fully render, sometimes not fully appearing until well into the level. There are also momentary freezes
that occur near the start and end points of levels, too. One final noteworthy issue with the Switch port
is that the shoulder buttons do not allow for pressure sensitivity,
so it’s a binary stop or go. The work-around is the right analog stick, which functions the same as the gas button
on other platforms, but that configuration will likely prove awkward for most people. Otherwise, Rising’s controls are at the top of their game
on all platforms. Online multiplayer runs smoothly for the most part,
and it’s easy to find matches in no time. The only weird thing is that you only see
the other players as “ghosts” during the race, rather than seeing them side-by-side in real-time
as in the local party mode. The one major hiccup
with our time in the online multiplayer is the trend of more skilled players
picking the hardest levels from the available selection. The level with the most votes wins, but all too frequently,
the hardest levels were selected. This leaves less experienced or more casual players
at a severe disadvantage to the point that you might get stuck
on a single obstacle until the game times you out. This is absolutely no fun at all and it’s a major turn off. To make matters worse, there is no recourse for this
as there is no custom rule setting or option to allow losers to pick the next course
which would alleviate some of the frustration. There doesn’t seem to be any logic to the matchmaking
at this time, so it’s not like you can get paired with people
at your skill level, either. Finally, even courses you have never completed
could come up in the selection of levels, which feels a bit unfair. There will be a private multiplayer option,
but it’s currently listed as “coming soon.” On the flip side, the local party mode makes its return, allowing up to four players on a system to go against
each other in various levels and challenges. Players select the courses they want to play and can then set friendly wagers with each other
to be determined by the outcome of the competition. Seeing each player in an individual lane
rather than as a ghost not only increases the immersion, but also revs up the tension. Rising also adds a form of jolly co-op
with the new tandem bike. Two players control this unique bike in a team effort
to reach the finish line in one piece. It’s a fantastic idea for those
who want to have a good time playing together and laughing at the insanity that ensues. Playing through levels in Trials Rising
is as addictive as ever, and the in-game tip making fun of the
“just one more time” joke still rings true. For most players, the challenge becomes
unbelievably difficult toward the end, but there are always other alternatives if you hit a wall,
whether it’s multiplayer, trying your hand at the complex track editor, or going back to previous courses
to improve your times. There are certainly a few faults along the way
given the visual hiccups, the lackluster soundtrack,
and the lack of options online, but this is another solid performance
from the Trials team. Easy Allies Reviews are made possible
by generous viewers just like you. If you like what you see, check out
patreon.com/easyallies to help us make more. For just $1 a month, you can gain access to weekly
updates, spoiler discussions, and exclusive shows.

Glenn Chapman

81 Comments

  1. Microtransactions ruining what is otherwise a good/potentially great game? I'm shocked!

  2. Somebody should play my life. Its called "Trials: Forever" and the physics are terrible.

  3. At 4:29 the review is inaccurate about the loot boxes in this game. You cannot buy them at all with real money, only with soft in-game currency.

  4. Xbox One X version doesn't have the "hiccups" the PS4 Pro version does. Also, you can't buy loot boxes for real money, so the review is wrong about that.

  5. When I was a kid during the NES era, there was 0% expectation that you would finish a game when you started. It’s why “beating the game” was a badge of honor. Most people didn’t.

    I miss that era of gaming and Trials is a great testament to that era. Who cares if you beat the game? The point is having fun.

  6. I found the look into the technical and control differences between different platforms very interesting and distinct from other EZA reviews. Good stuff.

  7. Damn, are we still not over loot boxes? Was Battlefront 2's crucifixion not a strong enough message that gamers don't want loot boxes in their games?

  8. Who the needs a training mode in trails!?!? It's a one button game….just feather the gas most of the time and make sure ur bike is angled correctly…it's gonna be a challenge but come on man….

  9. Loot boxes = No buy, period. Even if it's cosmetics. It's time we put our foots down.

  10. I enjoyed the very first one, but I find they get too hard too quickly for most to enjoy. I find the physics are way over exaggerated and they never fixed or improved them in the sequels.

  11. Isn't this like the 80th trials game? Looks like the same game we've been playing since 2012 w/ some prettier graphics. EDIT: since 2009

  12. Everything sounded great until I saw that it has lootboxes.
    I'm not purchasing a game with them.

  13. This one read like an 8, I was a bit surprised to see the final score. Great game so far though, probably the most creative level design yet from RedLynx.

  14. It could have been 8. I think games should be reviewed within their own genre. and as there is no game like Trial in the industry, we should compare it with previous Trials. What I saw in this review was an improvement to the previous games. So the only negative point of this game was multiplayer and a few freezes. Damiani, I love you man but 8 was fairer for such a unique game. L&R

  15. Switch trigger issue can be solved with a Gamecube controller according to other reviewers.

  16. Is this the guy that played han solo in that high school theatre performance of star wars?

  17. Not a huge fan of the world map and contracts progression system, but that won't stop me to play. Hooked since Evolution!

  18. Lackluster soundtrack!? I heard Jurassic 5 in the beta. They are not lackluster! 😡

  19. Incredibly disappointed that it has lootboxes. Greed is going to kill the industry.

  20. "The later levels get incredibly difficult."

    Challenge accepted, just hold my beer.

    "The cosmetics are loot boxes, including the paid ones."

    Deal breaker.

  21. Feels like a review from someone who didn't wanna go for the gold or improve. Trials has always been a series for the dedicated players, and playing it right now, it indeed feels like you have to get the best medal on every stage to have a minimum of money and xp and continue.
    Also complaining about multiplayer players choosing the hardest track is like… thats not the game, that just the community.

  22. It's a shame that the vibrancy of Trials Fusion has been completely abandoned here as well as the great music.

  23. I believe side-by-side racing is for separate tracks, which is why some have that feature, and others have ghosts. Not sure if they are available online though as this is just knowledge from previous games.

  24. I really have no idea why all reviews mention long load times

    I play on pc.. And never had a load screen longer as 5 seconds

  25. ninja levels are not for humans… srsly it's beyond insanity… I would like to see AI learn to play trials tho 😛

  26. I have no interest in this game but was hoping i would see Don review this just to hear him describe his experience.

  27. I played Fusion and I never bothered looking into customisation. I look forward to playing this one in a couple years.

  28. I like your review apart from the part where you complain about more skilled players picking harder tracks. To us the easy tracks are tedious and no fun, it’s not our fault. There should be options for you to select matchmaking with only up to medium tracks available. Like selecting bronze silver or gold level multiplayer when you start maybe. You could stay on easier tracks till you had more practice that way.

  29. Honestly its really Nintendos fault for not having analog triggers in the first place. So only way i know is buy the smash game cube controller or practice using the stick on extreme tracks. Non the less its still enjoyable.

  30. Its pretty crazy how just seeing the loot boxes totally made my want for the game dump haha

  31. If you have the Switch GameCube controller adaptor the pressure sensitive buttons work on the Switch version.

  32. Thanks for the lootbox warning.
    The only games in which I accept them are free-to-play.

  33. If you play super cross online, you see players side by side. It really shows how little you researched

  34. Multiplayer is supposed to have leagues at some point, which will completely level the playing field and fix these issues.

  35. I actually don’t mind the contract system for ranking up. I play how ever many times I need to get a gold medal first. Then I go back to get the contracts and to me they feel like a challenge with no pressure to complete in any length of time. As long as you already have gold you can finish way slower and still get the contract.

  36. The in game music is total garbage, you’ll end up turning off after ten minutes.
    Customisations are WAY too fiddly, just to put some stickers on your bike is a chore, it then becomes frustrating and boring. Loading screens are just too long and unnecessary, making it feel like you’re not really playing the game much, because some of the levels are too short.
    Don’t believe the hype this game is not as good as these paid reviewers are telling you, the game feels dated, graphically it’s not very impressive, you’ll notice the more you play it.
    It feels at times like a mobile game with added extras.
    You have been warned this game is GARBAGE!!!

  37. loot boxes killed it for me. i was gonna buy but I knew these greedy fucks will put this shit in. idk why I keep my hopes up.

  38. How good is the track editor and track sharing? It was quite awful in Fusion

  39. You can use Gamecube controllers (and not-binary triggers) in the Switch version

  40. I have this on Switch and even though it doesn't have the fancier framerate, visuals or analog triggers, it's an absolute joy to play. This is such a good swimming in 7's game, I feel it deserves an 8!

  41. Best trials since evolution and a huge upgrade from fusion. I’m surprised by the low score. Fans of trials will love this

  42. "Dreaded Bunny hop"? Hehe that's your bread and butter, if you find that dreaded you probably shouldn't go near a Trials Game 🙂
    Great Review the Game is awesome.

    Edit – ps You can use the filter on the world map to show just what you're working on if you like, also clicking on a Stadium will show every track in that league in a line underneath like a list if you prefer selecting courses that way 🙂

  43. Lacklustre soundtrack. Move along with your shitty music tastes.

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