First Impressions: Trials Rising (Nintendo Switch)
I’ve missed you, Trials.
I remember it like it was yesterday (it was 16 years ago, my god I’m ancient), sitting in a computer class in high school. Luckily, being from a small town in the south, our computer lessons were simple and hadn’t really caught up to what we probably should have been learning at the time. That meant plenty of free time on the computer while waiting for the classes to end. It was during one of these lulls that I first discovered the Trials series.
Trials Bike Basic was my first experience with the physics-based obstacle course motorcycle game. Being Java based, I was able to play it in the computer lab, and let me tell you, I played quite a bit of it. From there, it was as the saying goes, “off to the races.” Other titles came after that, some from the Trials branding, others not, and I spent some amount of time with all of them. It wasn’t until Trials HD on the Xbox 360 however that I really started to appreciate the series. I’ve been playing ever since.
Which brings me to now – Trials Rising. The newest title in the series, it is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and surprisingly, Nintendo Switch. I’m here to talk about the Switch version.
Trials Rising on Nintendo Switch
When realizing the game would be released on Nintendo’s portable console, at first I was ecstatic, this was exactly the type of game I wanted on the Switch.
My second thought, however, was not so great – without analog paddles to control how much gas you give the bike, how would the game control on Switch? So much of the Trials experience (especially at higher levels) requires loads finesse and precision to master. Throttle control plays a huge factor in that, so how will it translate to the Switch.
Well, from my limited time with the game (~3 hours), it hasn’t been bad. Granted, I haven’t hit the upper echelon of levels, but I haven’t missed having the analog controls. I do imagine that will change once I get closer to the final levels, however. It should be noted that you can use a GameCube controller with this game and get those sweet, sweet analog triggers back.
How it plays and what is available
So far, I’ve been enjoying my time with the game. The courses look great, even on Nintendo Switch, and I haven’t noticed any frames dropping as of yet. Everything plays like a Trials game and early levels like Hollywood help showcase some of the interesting things Ubisoft and RedLynx are doing with the title. Sadly, Trials Rising isn’t the best looking game on the Switch, but it never takes away from the experience.
There are various modes to enjoy in this offering of Trials. You have over 100 courses available, with different types of races available. Some are speed trials, others are stadium races that pit you against NPCs, but at the end of the day, your goal is the same, get the best time possible crossing the finish line.
That being said, there are these things called Contracts that ask you to beat levels while meeting certain requirements. These contracts are how you impress your sponsors, which you’ll need to do to continue to gain experience to unlock new tracks (more on that below). The ones I’ve seen so far are easy (beat a level without making 8 mistakes), but I hear they get much more difficult.
There is also a leveling system and a loot box system aspect in Trials Rising. The cosmetics are honestly not that stunning (at least the ones I’ve pulled), but character customization through RNG loot boxes seems to be the staple in games these days, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it is included.
Completing contracts and improving on your times are a couple ways that can help you gain the experience needed to level up. This unlocks new bikes and new levels, and early on, you’ll be leveling up with ease. The leveling system has yet to pose a problem, but again, I’ve heard not so great things about it at the end game.
Overall, however, it’s a fun game and if you are a fan of the series, this one is worth your $25.
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