Urban Trial Freestyle launched on the Nintendo eShop today for the Nintendo 3DS making it the first trials bike game on the Nintendo 3DS – ever. I decided to try my hand at this game which originally launched on the PlayStation Network and PlayStation Vita to see exactly what the hype was all about.
I have a soft spot for trials games, I love watching it and I love playing games such as Trials Evolution for both the challenging gameplay and the terrible ways you can maim your rider – c’mon, I’m not the only one.. right? Well Urban Trial Freestyle is now on the 3DS bringing it’s challenging level dynamics and stunt challenges to Nintendo’s 3D console. What makes this game different from the PSN and PSVita version before I’ve even opened the game is that it’s the only title that comes with a level editor – something I decided to use after playing a few levels.
The first question I asked myself – because I do that quite often, perhaps I need to see someone? Anyway, the first question I asked myself is “I wonder if the level editor will give you as much customisation as some of the quite in-depth levels I came across in the game?” the answer to that is yes, yes it does.
Some of the tracks in the game are quite in-depth in terms of routes for you to take, there’s not just one singular track full of various jumps and obstacles, there’s often two or three different variations of the same route just at different hight levels. The level editor compensates for that giving you the option to move the starting checkpoint fairly high up letting you build from there. Essentially if you felt creative enough you could create a giant plinko game with your rider as the coin. You’re given use of 200 obstacles and ramps which you can place however and wherever you want – the world is your oyster. You can create up to 30 different tracks using all of the environments available in the game.
Now we’ve discussed the level editor, how does the game actually play? It plays pretty well actually providing you have the 3D on low or off all together. I’m not faulting the 3D, it’s actually executed really, really well in fact, it’s the best I’ve seen the 3D used on a game. It keeps up with the fast pace of the graphics and doesn’t cause any discomfort. The problem is that for the 3D to function well on the 3DS it needs to be kept still in front of your eye line. With a game such as this you’ll probably find yourself moving the console to over exaggerate the balance, if you have a 3DS you probably know how it looks if you move the DS a little too much it’s this that actually hinders the game somewhat and causes you to miss-balance or miss the gap completely which is actually a real shame – blast my over exaggeration!
I feel that the game itself doesn’t take itself too seriously unlike some trials games which I find really fun. Though there’s a large scoring aspect to the game you can quite easily just enjoy zooming through the levels with ease without really worrying too much about your score. Personally I’m no pro at games like this and it’s really nice to be able to enjoy the game without there being too much emphasis on getting a high score.
The level mechanics are brilliant. Some parts of the levels are very physics orientated such as barriers that need to be knocked down, planks of wood on barrels that move on the slightest touch, rocks that come barrelling down hills towards you, and rope bridges that collapse after you’ve ridden on them. There’s also a huge amount of timed physical obstacles such as launch pads which fire your rider up in the air, if you don’t catch it in time or over compensate you’ll find your rider being launched into a wall. As well as that example there’s also certain pathways which are made when you get near to them such as storage containers falling at just the right time or huge metal platforms collapsing at one end forcing you onto the lower part of the level.
The levels themselves are also pretty in depth with some consisting of two or three different platforms. Along the way you’ll find yourself with a split second choice to either keep steaming your way towards the wall hoping that you’ll be able to catch the edge just right, or slowing down and letting gravity take control. This also adds a level of longevity with the game due to the in-game currency. Within the game you’ll earn money by finding various money bags hidden amongst the level. This money is then used to purchase rider outfits or bike upgrades. You can re-visit each level and explore every direction to find all of the cash if you’re so inclined.
The various different environments in the game are very well done too, they’re not just flat images, you can tell that some thought went into the overall environmental design with certain levels drenched in that Autumn yellow-y brown glow with trees clinging onto their last few leaves, or underground sewers are lathered in blue making it feel cold and damp. For a 3DS game it’s pretty well done. The environments also come alive when the 3D is turned on with different parts of the level jumping out at you as you pass by giving the game a sense of immersion that you don’t quite get with it turned off.
There are two different game modes in Urban Trial Freestyle; Time Attack, Challenge, and Stunt Mode. Stunt mode is probably the most fun because you’re given certain challenges at various points throughout the level such as Highest and Longest Jump, Biggest Flip, Precise Aiming and Speed Check, it takes the pressure of trying to get a good time and lets you concentrate more on executing that perfect jump. You’re also given the option to pit yourself against another player from around the globe via a multiplayer asynchronous ghost mode and via leader boards. Also, if you find yourself struggling with Stunt Mode, you can change to Time Attack mode and try the level that way.
Overall Urban Trial Freestyle for 3DS is a fantastic game and it’s loads of fun. At times the continuous buzz of the motorbike can become a little annoying but with sound on or off it doesn’t really deter you away from playing. There’s a huge selection of levels and with the different game modes you’re given almost endless amounts of gameplay and that’s not even including the level editor!
It’s a real shame that the 3D is so good, yet my spastic hands decide to move when I’m doing a tricky jump. If you can keep your hands super still whilst playing this game then I’d recommend playing with the 3D on, but if you have spazz hands like me that like to over exaggerate the turns, keep it low or turn it off.
You can download Urban Trial Freestyle via the Nintendo 3DS eShop for £6.29 in the UK, but because of the launch the game has 20% knocked off of it, so you can actually get it for £4.99 until July 4! I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a lot of fun.