Trials Fusion Review

Red Lynx’s brand of motorcycle stunt racing is a seemingly bottomless pit of enjoyment. With both Trials HD and Trials Evolution, I spent many hours thrashing through the easy courses, followed by rage-inducing grinds through the tougher ones. The core motorcycle gameplay is so good that you only really need more quality tracks and updated graphics to keep things fresh. Trials Fusion does just that, as it provides a whole new set of tracks to work through, as well as sharp visuals on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game. However, it also introduces some logical new wrinkles to the mix, such as freestyle tricks.

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Mario Kart 8 Review

Maintaining pole position in the kart racing genre isn’t as easy as it used to be for Mario and friends. Mario Kart 7 was a lackadaisical cruise around the block, while Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed ate its lunch through the use of dynamically-changing tracks that required your vehicle to transform between a go-kart, jet plane and hovercraft. Sure, it’s framerate could have used some work and it doesn’t fully execute on all of the ideas it brings to the table, but it was built with a level of passion and innovation that Nintendo’s 3DS kart racer sorely lacked. Mario Kart 8 may not pack enough fresh ideas to completely close the gap, but it makes up for it with great track design, quality online play and a level of polish that makes this game sparkle.

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Jett Plays Trials Fusion

I crash my motorcycle a lot in this clip. As I repeatedly wipe out, I talk about my love for the series and randomly go off on a tangent about the disconnect between theme and mechanics in tabletop games.

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Mario Kart 7 Impressions

There once was a time when I thought that the Mario Kart franchise would always be the king of kart racing video games. Some of its entries are all-time classics, while the rest were still better than any of its contemporaries. But then Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed happened. Featuring crazy tracks, a deep single player campaign and transforming vehicles that fundamentally changed this kart racer into a jet and hover boat racer too, that game took the genre to new heights.

Mario Kart 7‘s big new feature is also air and water racing…sort of. You can glide off of specific jumps and drive under water, though the implementation of it here pales in comparison to Sonic’s latest outing. Unfortunately, besides that, there isn’t much here that you haven’t experienced upwards of six times before.

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Formula D Review

Formula DThe act of car racing is defined by speed. Video games have almost always done a great job of capturing that sensation as well as the act of racers jockeying for position thanks to their ability to simulate racing in real time. But how do you translate that experience into a turn-based tabletop game? Formula D has the answer. With 2-10 players, you can partake in a thrilling tabletop experience that amazingly simulates the magic of car racing. Continue reading

Need For Speed: Rivals Impressions

Aside from one attempt at a Need For Speed iPhone game, I’ve never played any of the games in this franchise. I’ve never held any sort of grudge against it, though its particular brand of racing action hasn’t really grabbed my attention, either. With Rivals, EA caught me at just the right point where their latest entry built up a lot of positive word-of-mouth during a weak console launch. Is this the game that hooks me in for good?
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Hands-On With Driveclub

Driving games are synonymous with console launches. Most console manufacturers use them to demonstrate the raw horsepower of their platform in a way that appeals to a wide audience. Gran Turismo would have been the obvious choice, though Gran Turismo 6 is set for a PlayStation 3 release later this year. Probably realizing that GT wasn’t going to work out in time for the launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony has greenlit Driveclub from the makers of Motorstorm.

I got to play a pre-release build at Fan Expo, which consisted of one time trial race. It was enough time to me to realize that this isn’t for me, and that it may not be the next gen racing game to beat at launch.

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Trials HD Review

Trials HD still stands as one of the most successful games in the history of Xbox Live. You’ll be hard-pressed nowadays to find someone who hasn’t tricked their way through its insane motorcycle obstacle courses. For the longest time, I was one of those people. I’d saw and heard a lot of feedback about the game being difficult, and that was enough to keep me at bay. Had it not been for a Splitkick community game night that featured Trials Evolution, I probably would have passed on the series completely.

It’s sequel won me over in a big way last year, though I’ve only gotten to HD now. While I still have a blast working my way through every course, it’s definitely not a series one should play backwards.

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LittleBigPlanet Karting Impressions

My experiences with Sony’s Play, Create, Share line of games have been mostly negative to-date. I wanted to love LittleBigPlanet, but couldn’t get over how floaty the jump was. Then I tried Mod Nation Racers, which ultimately turned me off due to its generic karting action and some of the worst load times in this generation. Knowing that, I figured that a LittleBigPlanet karting game made by the Mod Nation Racers people was doomed for failure in my eyes. Yet, when LittleBigPlanet Karting went on sale for dirt cheap through a PlayStation Plus sale, I couldn’t help myself.

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