Trials Too: Monster Trucks Nitro

By Jim Rossignol on January 30th, 2009 at 10:14 pm.


Remember how we laughed and cried over arcade physics racer Trials 2? Okay, well we did. And lots of people loved it, and lo it was some kind of hit. Well, Red Lynx haven’t been sitting on their hands staring at the ceiling since they made it, no sir, they’ve been making another silly side-on zooming and jumping game, called Monster Trucks Nitro. (Secretly been around for a while, we just weren’t paying attention. Shh!) There’s a demo through that link, but the download is slow. Fortunately you can also get it on Steam too. Hooray!

Now first off I have to say that Monster Trucks Nitro is 38.9% less funny than Trials 2. You might think that the comedy value of lurid trucks with balloon-like tires would make for additional funny, but it’s actually the case that the flailing physics-death of the Trials 2 rider was actually where much of the value of the game lay. It made failure entertaining, which was useful because in Trials 2 you would fail a great deal.

Nevertheless there’s a good deal to recommend MTN: it’s punchier, and more toy-like. Which is to say, there’s exploding stuff in it, and it’s easier. It’s 29.6% more ludicrous, with a nitro boost, other monster trucks on the track, bizarre death loops and vastly more tumbling absurdity than Trials 2. The demo is NOT representative of the crazy shit. You go thundering down absurd slopes, crashing over piles of logs, and making ludicrous leaps across deadly chasms. It’s rather more Micro Machines than Trials 2, and that’s no bad thing. The two-level demo doesn’t quite get that across, as it falls short of the absurd escalation of jumps and detonations that the full game entails. Rollercoaster drops, giant barrel constructs… It is, you might say, a little zanier than these introductory levels suggest.

, , , .

35 Comments »

  1. Ginger Yellow says:

    Hmmm. I really can’t make up my mind. The demo was pretty meh, but I trust Red Lynx to make a game like this and the concept is cool. I’m just not sure if it’s worth £15 for 24 not very tough tracks. I love the brutality of Trials 2 – it gives the game a lot of longevity, and you always feel like you have room to improve. But with this, I’ve seen so little of the game I’ve no idea whether it’s even worth putting that sort of time in, let alone whether you can.

  2. Qabal says:

    Holy Crap! This is completely off-topic, but Mount & Blade is getting an expansion WITH multiplayer! I know this isn’t the thread to discuss it, but seeing this is the site that turned me on to that great game, I think it definitely needs to be posted.

  3. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    Funnilly, MTN reminded me that I hadn’t tried Trials 2 yet (I know, I know).
    So last night, I launched that MTN demo first. Meh indeed. OK fun, but really not more than ok.

    Then I tried Trials 2, and immediately loved it (even if, at first, I wouldn’t have thought it’s my kind of games).

    So from that weird point of view of the guy who tried MTN before Trials 2, I can confirm that the latter is wayyyyyyy better.

  4. Ginger Yellow says:

    Never mind. It’s only £8.50 on steam. I shall report back shortly.

  5. Cedge says:

    Well, the demo was kinda fun, but the game doesn’t seem as “fleshed out” as Trials 2 is.

    Perhaps if they ever add Steamworks integration and replay browsers, like Trials 2 had, I might consider grabbing this one. As of right now though, I think I’ll save my $10.

  6. Simon says:

    I think I’ll pick it up when it’s on sale for €2.50 like Trials was

  7. Rich_P says:

    Qabal: you have a link? Glorious news indeed.

    I bought Trials for $2.50 during the holiday sale and hated it. Oh well.

  8. TelefonHonda says:

    The demo didn’t impress me, and I didn’t like Trials 2 too much. I’m actually more interested in the Mount & Blade news. Sorry, I don’t know how to make the link clickable but: http://www.gamershell.com/news_68490.html

  9. TelefonHonda says:

    Apparently you don’t have to put any tags to make it clickable. Anyways, I’m excited.

  10. teo says:

    Trials is Trials
    It’s good because it’s hard
    This seems nothing like it.

  11. Ian says:

    I still haven’t even tried Trials 2.

    Fail?

  12. Cedge says:

    Ian:
    Yes, fail.

  13. Dave says:

    That is a tiny, tiny demo. It took longer to download than to play through, and it wasn’t that big a download.

    I hit a physics bug in the second level on the third or fourth time; it shot me way into the air and totally messed up my run, and yet I still qualified easily. I don’t think this one is going to be worth 10 of my gaming dollars :/

  14. Hypocee says:

    I grabbed the demo when Steam popped up a news item yesterday. I’m nonplussed. One tutorial level where you hold on the gas and rotate, and one where you let go of the gas momentarily at three or four points. I got gold on both levels with both trucks, looked for what I was sure I was missing, thought ‘this is RedLynx?’ and quit. I then got a chuckle when the buyme screen excitedly told me that the full version ‘includes all the tracks!’ Does it now! What will they think of next. This demo needs another pass, gents.

  15. bansama says:

    That was a demo? I sneezed and it was over. Just too short for my to determine if I’d like the game so I’ve decided not to bother. Demos need to be a little longer than that…

  16. j39hsieh says:

    well i am on the 6th and thet is definitely no cakewalk. yeah the first 3 or 4 were a doozy but thne then the next ones becme a lot harder. ugh its frustrating, tho not as funny as trials when ur rider groans and yells whenever u fail.

    still… its big trucks with big wheels trying to get big air ansd big pointas. :P

  17. Leelad says:

    The company that made Trials 2 still owe me 7 new keyboards.

    If they gift me this on steam I’ll call it quits.

  18. Qabal says:

    Sorry, just got back from work. I was hoping someone would have posted the news by now. Here’s the link:

    http://www.gamersdailynews.com/story-8154-Paradox-Interactive-New-Titles-Announcement.html

  19. majorbromly says:

    I felt like I was able to succeed by leaving my finger on the gas, it didn’t create the magic of Trials 2.

  20. Muzman says:

    The trailer reminds me of a lingering question.
    Where is Stunt Car Racer .. is it 2? 3? 4D : Time Stunts?
    Whatever. Anyway, where?

  21. crumbsucker says:

    Stunt Car Racer is one of the best racing games, ever.
    I wonder what’s Geoff Crammond doing these days.

  22. Po0py says:

    Monster Trucks Nitro: Unleash the redneck in you.

  23. pauleyc says:

    A horrible demo for a quite enjoyable game. Too short and not representative of the whole game which at the current price is a bit of a bargain on Steam.

    Only some of the levels approach the nail-biting difficulty of Trials 2 SE but overall it’s good, clean fun. Just leaving your finger on the gas might allow you to finish most of the levels with a bronze medal but scoring gold is not that easy.

    I suspect the game will soon get a Second Edition (preferrably free for Steam users who bought the v1). The lack of online leaderboards and recorded replays as seen in Trials 2 are a curious and unwelcome omission.

  24. Talorc says:

    Yeah – that was a terrible demo! I can see there *might* be a fun game in there, but there is just not enough to tell. It doesn’t look like you can even use the Nitro in the demo??

    Pressing the nitro button does nothing, and the little Nitro gauge in the top right corner seems stuck on empty.

  25. agentgray says:

    @Talroc That’s because there isn’t any nitro canisters to pick up in the demo.

    Also, this game does not have Steam leadeboards or achievements. It’s not worth the $20USD, but it’s worth the $10 introductory price from Steam.

  26. Ginger Yellow says:

    “A horrible demo for a quite enjoyable game. Too short and not representative of the whole game which at the current price is a bit of a bargain on Steam.

    Only some of the levels approach the nail-biting difficulty of Trials 2 SE but overall it’s good, clean fun. Just leaving your finger on the gas might allow you to finish most of the levels with a bronze medal but scoring gold is not that easy. ”

    What he said. An odd misstep from Red Lynx, in that it’s a decent game which could be so much better with a few tweaks. And the demo is truly shocking.

  27. mpk says:

    Not at all convinced by the demo, but I loved Trials, regardless of how amazingly fail I am at it, so I’ll gladly stump up £8.50 for this.

  28. Cunningbeef says:

    Bought it.

    The frustrating part is that often, to get to the next level, you need to finish with a certain time. Going to the last checkpoint keeps the timer running, meaning that you’ll have to play it over and over from the beginning if there’s a stunt you can’t consistently pull off.

    Counterpoint is that the game is a lot fucking easier than Trials 2. But it’s good that my “mash backspace to redo” reflex isn’t going to waste.

  29. Hypocee says:

    They have a Flash demo that’s meatier – but doesn’t play at all like the 3D thing. Hmm.
    http://www.monstertrucksnitro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=55

    I went back to the 3D demo today to play the demo track (the only one that counts). I’d gotten gold easily but been frustrated by my inability to clear that back slope on the final ramp, and after five or ten more minutes I figured out how to carry some speed into it. In combination with better plants on that first boulder, I shaved three seconds off my time. What this has (that Trials very carefully avoided) is fluidity; how you take one stunt can drastically affect how you do one or even two jumps down the road, and when you get it right they flow into each other instead of sitting there holding the go key. That fluidity would be a good USP, but unfortunately it interacts poorly with the checkpointing system. If you screw up the jump over the log bridge, for example, you’re reset not to the beginning where you need to build up the speed to clear it, but to the top of the hill with no velocity at all. There’s really no point to anything but a complete restart (which doesn’t have a shortcut key), and there are also obstacles like that log wall that are essentially stochastic in how they break the flow from one run to the next.

    I’m on board with a more braindead RedLynx springy wheels game, but this sits between two stools because it carries over systems that aren’t suited to it.

  30. pauleyc says:

    a complete restart (which doesn’t have a shortcut key)

    There is a dedicated key to restart the course, ‘R’. I’m not sure it’s mentioned in the configuration but thanks to the nature of the checkpoints I’m spamming it way more than backspace.

  31. Hypocee says:

    Ah, should have tried that I suppose. It is indeed unlisted in either the instructions screen or the control mapper, while they proudly list the nitro key you don’t get to use in the demo. Tut tut! But cheers.

  32. mpk says:

    I naturally hit the “R” key to restart without thinking – it’s a carry over from Trials that’s fairly instinctual.

  33. LilRobot says:

    This game is pretty nice from what I’ve played so far, but the levels get frustrating all the time. I’m on the final level, and I don’t even think you can get BRONZE on this mountainous level. 3 mountains you have to go through, then 2 jumps of buses, and then 1 last hill to top it off. Impossible. Red Lynx Truck: Didn’t make it half way up the first mountain. Miniclip Truck: Makes it through everything except the last bus jump. School Bus: Makes it through everything, but fails after driving off the 2nd line of buses.
    I hope I can find some other trucks to unlock soon, because I’m toast on this level..
    Anyway, good game in my opinon.

  34. mpk says:

    I completed it with the Piggy truck. The code for it is on a sign on one of the mountains.

  35. Lilo says:

    I like Trials 2 had, I might consider grabbing this one