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Trials Evolution, the greatest motorcycle platformer since Trials HD, is finally out. Since Wednesday, I've been spending most of my nights taking my rightful position at the top of the leaderboards. In that time, I've sharpened my skills and gotten better at some of the insane obstacle courses that you'll find in this gem from developer RedLynx. Let me help you.
Think of me as the Woody Harrelson character from Kingpin. You know the movie. The one where Woody loses his hand hustling in a shady bowling alley and can only reclaim his former glory by teaching an Amish fellow everything that he knows. That’s basically the course I see my life taking with Trials. If that reference doesn't work for you, then just consider me Haymitch Abernathy, the mentor character from The Hunger Games played by the same Mr. Harrelson. Look, it's really important to me that you think of me as Woody Harrelson. If you can get past that, then join me in applying these tips and tricks, and hopefully we’ll shave a few seconds from our times and still have all our appendages when we’re done.
1.) Forget the B button
After each crash, the player has a choice: Hit the Back button to reset the clock and return to the beginning of the course, or hit the B button to return to the last checkpoint. Trust me…just hit the back button. Allowing the game to place you back at a checkpoint does nothing but waste time and destroy momentum. And you’re going to need all the forward speed that you can get.
More critically, forgoing the checkpoint system is the best way to learn the vocabulary of Trials Evolution. Clearing the first ramp on a level 50 consecutive times provides a deeper understanding than passing it once and forgetting about it. As you begin to understand why what you’re doing is working, you’ll start building skills that you’ll need for the tougher parts of the later game.
2.) You have to use your break (or at least let off the gas every once in a while)
For the love of burning rubber, use your break. You have a left index finger for a reason — to break into jumps so that you aren’t flying through the air like a jerk. Yes, it’s fun to hurdle through the clouds like a stupid cannon ball, but every second you spend off the pavement is a second you aren’t making optimal forward progress.
At the very least, attempt to master the art of strategically letting off the gas at the top of a hill. Usually, the level will have a downward-sloping ramp just on the other side of a jump which you’ll overshoot unless you slow down properly and roll into it. Hit that slope perfectly, and watch the pounds melt away from your time.
3.) Take the path less traveled
My favorite aspect of Trials Evolution is the ghost-dot data. As you guide your rider over massive gaps and through giant loops, the ghost-dots show where your friends were at the same point in the race. However, these can be misleading. Just because all your friends are jumping off a bridge doesn’t mean you should, too.
Nearly every course in Evolution has multiple paths. I guarantee that most, if not all, of your friends are on the most obvious one that requires no creativity. Here’s a good rule of thumb for Trials: If it seems obvious, you’re doing it wrong. For example, if you follow the path of least resistance in an early level named Roller Coaster, you'll end up on a loop that serves no purpose. So many people were falling into this trap that I ended up in the top 500 worldwide simply by ignoring my fellow riders and bypassing that useless part of the course.
4.) Get your back wheel down
As we mentioned earlier, huge jumps are exhilarating, but they’ll slow you down. Momentum is dope, but internal combustion kicks its ass. In order to maximize your speed, you have to get that powered wheel down on the ground to create forward drive. If you have the option to jump over something or drive over it, the latter is typically the best option.
5.) How to get a boost start
In Mario Kart, players can get a quick start by pressing the gas at the right time during the pre-race countdown. Trials Evolution doesn’t have that, but it is possible to get a quick start on some levels — especially ones that begin with a ramp.
Hold down the gas as the countdown begins. As soon as you see “go,” pop the bike into a small wheelie and immediately fling the stick forward. When done right, this maneuver will throw your bike off of the line. This is probably a big part of why your friends pull ahead of you in the first leg of every race.
6.) Watch replays
Trials Evolution allows you to watch any run on the leaderboard as a replay. Sure, you can see what your friend did to finish the Mind Bender level in 51 seconds, but why not watch the top overall player who finished it in 44 seconds? You have the option to do both. This is a great way to get ideas about what will work for you.
Don't be that guy who quits early in multiplayer just because he is losing. The ranking system only takes into account positive attributes and doesn't punish players for losing or for poor times.