There is a certain level of skill and frustration that is created as a result of the Trials games, and its easy enough to say that it is probably what brings people to purchase them time and time again. We can be happy in knowing that the latest game in the franchise is just like those of the past and remains just as enjoyable. The latest game in the franchise, Trials Fusion, is the first of its kind to get a proper release on blu-ray and it offers plenty to new and old alike.
The game takes place in the future. A time where apparently motorcycle stunt courses exist in public places and in high traffic areas. Trials Fusion is just like all past Trails games as the goal is to achieve gold medals in every course given. The world of Trials is filled with varying locations and a variety of skill based challenges to complete and a game so packed full of content that it can keep you busy for a number of hours.
The main mode of the game is the career mode, which is all about achieving the goal presented to you. The main part of career mode is about going through puzzling courses and trying to get the best possible time without crashing. Each course you are challenged with has a series of obstacles that become increasingly more challenging as the course continues. Ensuring the correct landings are made and proper speed is used up hills becomes a major challenge, but in the long run it is what makes the game enjoyable. Figuring out the best course of action and the fastest way to get over obstacles is a key challenge in the game and it becomes more enjoyable as the game progresses.
The difficulty of all these courses have increased from the previous games. Initial courses are simple to beat, but remain hard to master. Likewise the further you progress, the more the challenge of each course becomes. Some of the harder tracks are simple enough in concept, but the game does get deceptively challenging the further along in the game you go. At points however, I do feel that the difficulty of level did ramp up a bit to much and some courses felt unbalanced from the others in terms of difficulty. For example, I completed a good selection of the medium difficulty courses achieving gold in almost all of them, however at times I did encounter one or two that were almost impossible to complete without trouble. The hard courses I also found the same problem with, some were easy enough to get through even if achieving gold is a challenge, some other courses seem almost impossible to beat.
As well as offering speed and skill based courses the career mode also offers a series of stunt challenges. These require you to perform flips and a series of other motorbike stunt challenges in order to strive for good scores. Mastering these tricks is not easy and requires being able to acknowledge correct landings, bike positionings and knowing how to perform all the different stunts possible. To learn these you are initially given a basic tutorial which tasks you with performing specific tricks in order to learn how to do them, then performing them across the course. Of course mastering how to perform the tricks and moving the joystick in that particular way is simple but it really get's challenging in trying to make good landings and achieve the best score. When doing this I did come across an issue even when I had my joystick, bike and person in the right stunt position the game would only respond to the stunt and provide a score every so often which did get really frustrating and did break a good run and mess with my final score.
Expanding on the game is the excellent create mode which is where a lot of Trails Fusion fun is to be had. The community behind the game is full of creative minds who sit there and build excellent courses to be played and enjoyed by other players. Likewise the developers RedLynx have created a good selection of tools for building great courses. A selection of ramps, hazards and environmental features are all available to be used, but notably there is quite a challenge possessed in building individual courses. While in theory it sounds easy enough and there is definitely many hours of playability possessed by the game. At times some of what is offered with the creation may be a bit to challenging for some to complete. The creation mode is set on a 3D plain so ensuring you line up all your ramps and everything correctly is part of the challenge. Since stages only exist on a 2D plain confusion can arise if they are not lined up and you end up riding on nothing. For the creative minded this is still perfect, all the tools given and the freedom you get when creating your courses mean you can easily enjoy the mode and I suppose part of the fun is learning how to create courses. Trying your best and creating a really challenging course of your own design and performing at the course is quite the accomplishment, and the game rewards you for that. I will still say I am pretty bad at making courses but I have enjoyed trying to accomplish something good.
Trials Fusion is just like it's predecessors, it is stressful, it's challenging, but it is enjoyable none the less. The amount of hours the game offers are essentially endless and the game continues to be vastly enjoyable even late into the game. The little issues do break some of the value and bring unnecessary frustration to the game but it can be forgiven as most of the time things do work out. I don't ordinarily play these type of games but I will say what the game offers will definitely offer people a good amount of fun regardless of whether or not they enjoy this particular type of game.