Welcome to B4UPlay! Your ideal destination for all things sequels and prequels. To help get your priorities straight, we thought it would be awesome to bring you insight reviews of original titles as we get ourselves warmed up for everything coming up and to get you ready for your next pre-order! We had a look back through the Trials series of platform racing games to prepare us for Trials Rising which releases in February 2019.
Score: 7/10 | PLATFORM RACING | SINGLE-PLAYER STORY | RAGE INDUCING
“Where Trials of the Blood Dragon shines are the varying ways to play the game from the standard series-defining motorbike to side-scroller levels, to shooting targets on the move, to using a jetpack to navigate space, and the use of the grappling hook changed the dynamic of the levels it was featured in.”
Trials of the Blood Dragon is a crazy fun platform racing game developed by Red Lynx and published by Ubisoft Entertainment in June 2016 for PC, Xbox and PlayStation. It’s the only single player story-based version in the Trials series. With Trials Uprising releasing in February 2019, I thought I’d look back at previous entries in the series.
Whilst the series dates to a browser game in 2000 and Trials 2 in 2008, my first foray into the Trials series was in 2009 when Trials HD landed on the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade. Once I started my first race, I was laughing my ass off at the physics of the game and the insane stacks I was doing. The gameplay was infectious and addicting, and soon enough I had my housemate Sam and other mates Grant and Justin on the bandwagon as well. I remember one night coming home from somewhere to find the house pitch black except for the glow of the TV and the sounds of Trials blaring, and in the darkness was Sam staring intently with Xbox controller in hand. As I walked in, he said “I bloody hate this game!” as he tried attempt after attempt to get past this one section of a track.
Man was it fun, but boy was it rage inducing as you got towards medium and hard difficulties. Extreme can go for a long walk off a short pier, stuff those levels! Anyone that can take on extreme is a gaming god in my opinion! It was a white-knuckle experience with fits of near controller-throwing rage, and my mates and I couldn’t get enough of it! Check out the video below of a player who struggled through an extreme track, but at least he can complete it unlike my noobiness!
Next came Trials Evolution in 2013 which was the series’ first return to PC. The beauty of Evolution was they added the Trials HD tracks from the Xbox, so you could play from the beginning on PC. I struggled playing it with the keyboard so invested in a cheap wired Xbox controller which worked wonders but left me wanting to play more on the Xbox. The next year, along came Trials Fusion and with it came the series’ first multiplayer experience which my mates and I had been longing for. There are track leader boards, so you can race against the ghosts of your mates and this led to many text messages simply saying ‘beat ya on track 5!’. Five minutes later I get a response “bet ya can’t beat that new scor!”. More importantly though, you could play some hilarious multiplayer tracks side by side. Many a pizza and gaming night was had with this bad boy!
June 2016 rolls around and the legends at Ubisoft released Trials of the Blood Dragon. Think the art style and name looks familiar? It’s a story continuation of the 80s VHS vision of the future from Farcry 3: Blood Dragon and the adventures of Sergeant Rex “Power” Colt. Trials of the Blood Dragon has you playing as Power’s cybercommando kids, Roxanne and Slayter as they charge headlong into Vietnam War 4 in the year 2019.
At first glance this game plays like any of the other Trials games, just in a way-out-there themed world with some great backdrops depicting the jungle initially and then futuristic settings later. However, a few missions in and we now have a gun that we can use whilst riding to shoot these pink blobs which then releases a log or opens a gate to progress the track. A few more missions in and we’re playing as Roxanne in a first for the series, a side-scrolling platformer level. Later she controls a turbo flip remote-control car to get into tight areas and there are a heap of other vehicles including a mine cart, a jetpack and an 8-wheel tank.
The game features 30 missions across 7 different worlds and there are fully animated cut scenes between missions progressing the story from your efforts. My OCD started me off getting A’s in every race in the first chapter, however after that it all went pear-shaped. There were some missions where I have absolutely no idea how people are acing them as I was finishing them with ‘F’ ratings on my best efforts! As you complete the chapters you unlock collectible stickers for a sticker book and some racing uniforms that can be worn once you complete the game. You can also check out the track leader boards sorted by worldwide stats or those of your friends.
The biggest addition to this Trials game is the grappling hook which extends the gameplay and level design to another level. It took a bit of getting used to having to aim at the shiny green sections, and the levels towards the end of the game that had grappling stages were intense. There was one section that took me honestly about 20 minutes of attempts as you had to chain together multiple grapples as well as negotiate falling fireballs. It was frustrating to play but oh so sweet when I finally nailed it, 30 restarts later. But trying to get A in all races, that task goes to a special kind of someone with the patience of a saint!
Overall, I gave the game 7/10. This is a single-player story-driven game that upholds the principles of the other Trials games in the series but kicks it up a notch with the retro style graphics and way-out-there storyline. Where Trials of the Blood Dragon shines are the varying ways to play the game from the standard series-defining motorbike to side-scroller levels, to shooting targets on the move, to using a jetpack to navigate space, and the use of the grappling hook changed the dynamic of the levels it was featured in. The gameplay is varying enough to keep you wanting to play more levels whereas the motorbike races of previous games in the series got a little tiring after a few hours.
This review utilised the Xbox version of the game with 6 hours of gameplay. Trials of the Blood Dragon is rated Mature for Coarse Language, Dangerous Stunts and Violence, and is available on and PC, Xbox and PlayStation.
From the official Ubisoft site, Trials Rising is the newest iteration of the gripping motorcycle platforming series. Combining the core gameplay and over-the-top action of the Trials franchise with all-new features, more competition, and a fresh visual look, Trials Rising is the biggest and most ambitious title in the series to date.
Competition is all over the globe with a world map featuring tracks located across several continents and featuring races on landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Mount Everest, to name a few. I played the closed beta test in September and loved it! You gain loot boxes that contain driver clothing, helmet skins and bike skins so you can customise your character as you unlock various items. Also, one of the biggest and coolest features I can’t wait to try is tandem bike riding! Two riders, each contributing fifty percent of the power ands balance, ride together on one bike. This mode is going to be hilarious with my mates, and I cannot wait! Trials Rising will release on February 12, 2019 on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.