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Trials Evolution Review

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A trial? Far from it

★★★★

With its outrageous physics, ingenious levels and madcap action that cleverly blends racing, platforming and puzzle-solving challenges, it’s little wonder that Trials HD was voted Best Arcade Game of 2009 and has shifted over two million copies via Xbox Live Arcade. And for the absurd sequel, the developers have sensibly opted not to fix what ain’t broken, and instead polish the experience by taking the series’ reckless racing to the great outdoors.

Although the aim of the game is still to throw your motorcycle around the stunt-strewn courses as quickly as possible, Trials Evolution transports the core action from the cold, bland warehouses of the first game to extravagant locations such as explosive warzones, spooky forests and decaying ancient ruins, bringing more personality to the game and making the insane action even more enticing. Even better, as players can finish the levels with a ridiculous fatality that sees their rider being hurled off a cliff, blasted towards the moon or squashed under the weight of an articulated lorry, playing Trials is more fun than ever, and gives you a warm sense of satisfaction beyond nailing the perfect jump or landing your ride on an impossibly-small platform.

Although the game loses its way when it comes to the humdrum unlockables players can earn, and the macho rap-rock soundtrack that becomes intensely irritating within five minutes, Trials Evolution is still one of the most exciting, amusing and downright enjoyable games on Xbox Live Arcade, and is made even more tempting by the simple course editor which allows you to create your own tracks and try those built by other players, meaning that the maniacal motorcycle mayhem could last for years.

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