Saturday, July 4, 2020

Urban Trial Tricky (NSW) Review

It's the Fourth of July, a celebration for the United States, and SuperPhillip Central has some fireworks tonight of its own with a new game review. It's Urban Trial Tricky, specifically the Nintendo Switch version, and here is my review.

A biking game that sticks its landings more than it bails

Imagine a game that crosses the careful, precision, bike-based platforming of Ubisoft's Trials series and mixes it with the score attack style of the Tony Hawk series. That, in a nutshell, is what you get with Tate Multimedia's Urban Trial Tricky. Unlike either series mentioned, however, Urban Trial Tricky doesn't demand nearly as much from the player's skill. That's not to say that the game won't test your skills or be a walk in the park--or in this case, a bike ride in the city.

Urban Trial Tricky features three types of events in its campaign. These are Timed, Tricks, and Competition. Timed are essentially events where you race to the goal, trying to beat a target time. Performing the occasional specified trick will shave some precious seconds off your total time. Tricks events are Tony Hawk-style affairs where you try to beat a high score within the time limit. Finally, Competition events see your rider having to perform trick after specified trick before time runs out. Sprinkled among these events are tutorials that show you how to perform everything from easy-to-hard air and land tricks.

It's a bird, it's a plane... it's a Hot Superman!
Each of the levels and events in Urban Trial Tricky possesses myriad extra challenges to complete apart from just getting the requisite amount of stars needed to unlock the next level or series of events. These extra challenges range from reaching certain point thresholds, making to the end of a Timed level without crashing, collecting all of the snacks in a given level, or beating the developer's amount of stunts performed in a given Competition event. These extra challenges add to the longevity of the game and are worth pursuing to maximize your time with Urban Trial Tricky.

Completing events in Urban Trial Tricky awards up to five stars depending on how well you perform in them. You also obtain cash for clearing challenges as well as collecting bags of money floating throughout environments. This cash money can be used to buy new bikes, new color combinations for your rider and bike, different exhaust trails, and new tricks. There's no worry about spending cash on the wrong things, as by clearing every challenge and collecting every bag of money, you'll have exactly enough of the green stuff to purchase everything in the game.

Performing a Hot Screw trick? "Nailed" it!
To play Urban Trial Tricky is an enjoyable experience for the most part. It's like a more casual Trials game just with Tony Hawk-style tricks added in. Balancing on your bike, for instance, is very easy to do, so the main cause of concern is nailing tricks without bailing or messing up. Tricks come in the form of air or land, with the latter having you perform wheelies (having your bike's front tire in the air) or stoppies (having your bike's back tire in the air). Tricks are easy to memorize the buttons, as it's not about the direction you hold the analog stick, but instead, it's the order of buttons you press--with a maximum of three buttons needed to be pressed in a sequence for the most difficult of tricks to nail. When it concerns Competition events, the button combination necessary to perform the requested trick is clearly shown on the screen. Otherwise, you can just pause the game and quickly enter the trick list to see all of various stunts at your rider's disposal.

To score high in Tricks-based events, you'll need to keep a combo going. The more unique tricks you pull off in your current combo, the higher your multiplier will go and the more time you'll get to continue pulling off new tricks in said combo. When the combo meter runs out, your combo ends and you'll be rewarded with all of your well deserved points. If you bail or otherwise fail to cleanly land, your combo will abruptly end, rewarding you will a small fraction of the large amount of points you'd otherwise earn if you ended the combo cleanly. So, it's a nice risk and reward here, and sometimes it's good to just end a combo early and safely to get a plethora of points.

That's one heck of a combo! Be sure to stick the landing!
I liken Urban Trial Tricky to a more kid-friendly, newcomer-friendly version of Ubisoft's Trials series. I didn't find the game to be particularly challenging, save for a few events that required repeated tries to complete, and it's also not a particularly long game either. I managed to unlock everything and clear all events and extra challenges within about five hours, possibly a little more. That notwithstanding, I found my experience with the game to be a positive one more than it was a frustrating one. Frustration was one of the last things Urban Trial Tricky was for me.

When it regards presentation, Urban Trial Tricky brings with it a colorful, suitably cheery art style, though obviously nothing that really taxes the Nintendo Switch hardware. The lone character model is a bit crude-looking in appearance, but he animates rather well, especially when performing all of the various tricks and stunts within the game. The level environments sports great visual variety and the abundance of unique billboards, signs, and extras showcases just that. On the sound side of Urban Trial Tricky, the music is dynamic, pumping up with a high combo is executed, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, slows down with a record scratch when your rider crashes, bails, or otherwise loses a combo. The voice work is varied, but you'll no doubt come across the same samples of lines enough that they'll get grating on the ears, particularly one line that closely mirrors Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' "All you had to do was follow the damn train, CJ!" Yes, really.

Urban Trial Tricky boasts a bounty of color in its aesthetic. 
Urban Trial Tricky won't send veteran players of games similar to it through too rigorous of paces, but for everyone else, what Tate Multimedia has made here is a pleasant and overall engaging stunt-based bike game for the masses. Between its lovely cartoon art style, generally polished and smooth controls, and straightforward gameplay, there's a lot to like about Urban Trial Tricky--enough to like that I am pleased to recommend it, despite its apparent length issues.

[SPC Says: B-]

Tate Multimedia provided a code for the purpose of this review.

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