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Wipeout 2048/ Urban Trial Freestyle

March 11, 2013

I’m currently on holiday and one of the main things I wanted to do on this holiday was update this blog a lot more than I have been in the weeks leading up to it. I’ve not done badly so far. This will be my third update in a week which will probably end up at about 3000 words. The problem is making time for all this relaxing typing while actually relaxing. I’m really enjoying putting my thoughts out there for people to read, whether they read it or not. I’m an opinionated person in real life who isn’t afraid of a discussion over dinner if I think somebody is wrong about something. However most of the time I stay quiet and keep a lot of my thoughts to myself. This has at least given me an outlet to one part of my life in which I can talk about gaming without feeling judged. This does take time though. To put together a blog I have to first find a topic. This isn’t too difficult as it’s normally about a game or system I’m playing. However if a play through is taking a while then coming up with a topic that’s been brought up by the gaming press. If this happens then I have to to some research on the topic before posting anything in order to look at least half informed. On a good day though I do have to actually play or use the system for an extended amount of time to form an opinion or at least find something interesting to say. This can take anywhere from two hours to twelve hours plus. Then comes the writing which actually takes two to three hours. While it may read like a skull being smashed open and words pouring out onto a keyboard it definitely has hours put into it especially when editing my awful grammar.
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So if I’m doing something else, say, work, socialize or be on holiday. It can be a challenge. While on holiday I’ve managed to get to the gym in my hotel every day. I’ve been able to sunbathe and visit different towns in Madeira. I’ve also been able to spend time with my wife and family. Hopefully I haven’t annoyed any of them too much by picking up my vita and playing for half an hour here and there in order to put together a blog post with some points in it that you would want to read. I don’t feel any pressure from anyone else to put together a post but I do find it interesting that even while on holiday there is a voice in the back of my head reminding me to start typing. Even at the time of year when I should be happy doing nothing I still get the urge to write, which at the moment I’m going to take as a good thing.
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So onto the actual games. I decided to take on the games that made the best impression on me in the least time. Wipeout and Urban Trials are perfect hand held games. Each session of each game only takes a couple of minutes to complete if that is all the time you have. They can also eat up hours of your time as you get more and more frustrated trying to shave off fractions of a second attempting to get an elite pass/ 5 star rating. My Brother in law has found great amusement watching my face change from the pain of accepting that your run just wasn’t good enough to jumping out of my chair when everything goes right. Both of these games give you a huge amount of satisfaction. Neither giving you anything for free. Wipeout especially rewards you for actually looking up the how to play menu as it will tell you how to boost from a jump and gain energy back. I’ve obviously been playing modern games too much recently that stop you every five seconds in order to tell you what to do next. You’ll have fun just completing both games but mastering them means being prepared to replay the same maps over and over, ironing out every imperfection. This will cause you to almost smash your Vita over anything near by including the brother in law as he chuckles away at your frustrated expressions. Just try to remember that this isn’t just a replaceable controller. This thought over and over has saved my Vita from certain doom.
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I highly recommend that if you have a Vita you pick up both of these games. Wipeout is so very well put together that I can’t think of anything it needs to change. It looks stunning. The best it looks is actually in the focus races. You don’t have to worry about accelerating, just about not crashing as the game slowly increasing your speed to ridiculous levels (It may get to plaid speed but I haven’t lasted that long).
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Classic comedic film reference!

During these levels the tracks are given a very simplistic Tron like finish and if the entire game could look like that I wouldn’t argue. As far as tracks go you are given plenty of choice. They do have a futuristic theme running through them which could look samey if you wanted to be very picky, but they are all well designed and offer a lot of variety as far as track design. 

Each track holds a race(First past the line), a combat race (in which you try to damage your opponents and score points), a time trial and the aforementioned focus mode. There are plenty of races to keep you going and considering how difficult some of the elite medals and playstation trophies are to get, this will last you a long time. It’s also still free with a PS+ membership so you have no excuse to not play this game.
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Urban trials freestyle was released a couple of days before I left for holiday which means I haven’t seen any reviews for it at all so if everyone is saying it’s awful please just take that to mean that this is my opinion rather than a pay off. I’d love to be paid off for a review by the way. Just in case anyone is reading this with that kind of power under the delusion that I also wield that kind of power. I actually wield very little in my life at all. Maybe I should change that…..
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I could wield a drill

Anyway as I mentioned before I’m a huge Trials HD fan and I can’t help but compare the two. Actually if someone reviews this game and doesn’t mention Trials HD then they are either a massive Sony fan boy or have no idea about the downloadable video game market at all. There are a couple of key differences. Using only face buttons to control the acceleration and braking does not afford the same amount of control as Trials HD does. Urban trials does not feel as technical as it’s xbox brother. It offers two different modes on each track. A speed run and a trick run. I prefer the speed run myself as it reminds me of HD the most although I doubt that’s what the creators want to hear. The trick runs seem more chaotic and there are some parts of the game which are almost unfair as you try to finish your run with as few penalties as possible. Achieving this seems more about luck than anything else considering the lessened control. The chaos does make the game stand out. One particular track towards the end of the game called the getaway is an amazing piece of game design and I haven’t experienced that level of excitement in many games. The whole thing runs like an action movies climactic set piece that you control. The level design throughout is excellent and the way in which certain levels disintegrate as you pass them keeps you guessing. 
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Can you spot the difference?

It’s not as hard as Trials HD and it doesn’t offer as many levels but considering I bought the game for £7ish it is a steal.
Urban Trials is not as good as Trials HD. I would be surprised if anyone claimed that it is. It’s not got as many levels, It’s not as challenging and the extra content is not as extensive. You should buy it though whether you’ve played the xbox version or not. It’s still very very good and perfect for picking up for five minutes to grab that extra star you’ve been struggling to find.

With that, I’m off to drink a suitable holiday amount of Coral beer*

As always I’m on twitter gloating about how sunny Madeira is @Urbundave which coincidentally is my XBL and PSN username if that’s your thing.
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*An excellent and cheap Madeiran beer.

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