For the first time on a Nintendo platform, the Trials series arrives to the Nintendo Switch with Trials Rising.  If you’re familiar with this physics based, puzzle racer, then you will know that it will no doubt infuriate you like no other game can.  But despite this, there’s something incredibly addictive and fun, as you attempt to have “one more go” or beat your previous time in the hope of getting a Gold ranking.  However, as you’ll soon find, even getting Gold won’t satisfy you, as you’ll constantly say to yourself “I can do better!”  Welcome to the wonderfully over-powered lure that is Trials Rising.

Rather than in previous games such as Trials Fusion where you would simply select the track at hand via the blade-like menu’s, now in Trials Rising you have a big earth map to select which missions you want to take on.  Whether it is a traditional race or skill game, as you progress in the hope of earning a Gold rating, more activities will unlock as you level-up.  The modes are pretty standard for what you might expect from a series such as this one, but one particular mode that is very welcomed and overdue, is a proper tutorial mode.  It’s quite mad to think that since Trials HD came to the Xbox 360 in 2009, this has been an absent mode.  At first I rolled my eyes when I was thrown into this mode, after all, I have been playing the game for years, what more could I need to know?  As it happens, it was quite a lot and I’d certainly not overlook the tutorial if you want to master the later stages of Trials Rising.

For the creative gamer within, Track Editor is back, which grants the Trials community all the tools they need to create their very own track.  You could literally spend hours fine-tuning your creation and tinkering it to perfection, before you unleash it to the online community.  However I must say that as with just about any console platform, I always find track/level editors fiddly when using a control pad in comparison to a keyboard and mouse.  But regardless, it’s still nice to have this feature, especially on the Nintendo Switch, for which the developers could have easily had left out on this platform.

Community creations aside, Trials Rising is full of circuits, each offering a drastic change of setting from the last, such as you’re run of the mill dirt-bike setting, to a futuristic movie set to ancient China and more.  This game will no doubt frustrate the hell out of you at times, but that’s all part of the pleasure of finally getting a Gold (or sometimes settling for that Silver) as you puzzle your way through each testing circuit to beat your best time and achieve bonus objectives.  If you find that you just can’t quite reach that Gold rating yet, you can always live in the hope that you can return with a better suited bike that you might unlock later in the game.

Speaking of unlockables, as you grind your way up the XP rankings, each time you level-up, you will be gifted with Gear Crates aka Loot Crates.  Thankfully everything in Trials Rising is cosmetic, from gearing out for avatar to customising parts of your bike or even adding stickers to your avatar (a first for the series) and bike, to give you a more unique appearance.  The Gear Crates are quite generous as you’ll be gifted one each time you level-up, but naturally that progression will slow down later on in the game.  This is where I guess the temptation will come into play to buy credits with real-world money, known in the game as Acorn’s, which can range from £1.69-£19.99.

If there was one little setback in terms of how Trials Rising feels, is that when using the analogue’s on the Joy-Cons, you can notice the in-superior difference in comparison to the likes of the DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller, especially when it comes to precision using the analogue’s.  So unless you’re playing the game handheld, when playing Trials Rising docked, always try to use the Switch’s Pro Controller if you can.  Also, it’s only been a few weeks after release, but the online lobbies are already seemingly running low.  Recently I’ve not managed to play in a full lobby, in most cases it’s been between 1-3 players, but even when it’s 1v1, there’s still something special about battling it out against one other player.  Trials Rising also supports couch co-op for some old-school multiplayer action.

Visually, Trials Rising looks good in comparison to its other more powerful console counterparts.  Of course Trials Rising will have the additional shine, smoothness and polish on the PC, PS4 or Xbox One, but this Nintendo Switch version almost pips them to the finishing line.  Naturally, playing when docked on the HDTV, allows Trials Rising to look and perform a little better when compared to handheld, but despite that, I’ve found that handheld is my preferred way to play Trials Rising.  I must say that now and again, you do get very slight framerate dips, especially when online, but it’s in no way lessened my fun with the game.

While Trials Rising remains the core game that we all know and love, it’s also somehow managed to evolve itself into something quite fresh.  The gameplay is as fun (and frustrating) as ever, and the circuits have been cranked up several notches to an even more insane, and silly level, and that’s not even taking into account some of the community created tracks.  It also helps that the multiplayer is not intrusive, which gives you the impression that your racing against ghost from other online players, and with the singleplayer missions using ghosts rather than A.I’s, by the time you jump into the online mode, you’re more than prepared.  I’ve been a fan of the Trials series since the Xbox 360 original and the home console has always been my go-to platform.  However, the saying is already cliché for just about any game on the Nintendo Switch, but Trials Rising feels more at home on this hybrid console than any other game in the series in my opinion.  That said, Trials Rising is better than ever and it’s even more fun on the Nintendo Switch.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake