TrackMania 2: Stadium Drifts In

By Craig Pearson on June 21st, 2013 at 11:00 am.


New TrackMania! Hooray! Nadeo’s skid-heavy racing series is the only car game that I’m actively interested in. It leaves the rest revving up on the starting grid in the race to my heart, crashes headfirst into an cruelly-placed gap, then instantly restarts. I still love it. It’s the simplicity of the driving and the complexity of the tracks that grabs me. Something easy to pick up, with plenty of options. I’d be so bold to call it the Street Fighter of racing games, complete with the silly names. This update, which they’ve called TrackMania 2: Stadium (though should be TrackMania 2: Skiddy Hyper Max 12 Torque Shiny Shiny Shiny), has just gone live. Video is below.

I do have a bone to pick with you, Nadeo. This ManiaPlanet thing doesn’t work for me. I know what it does and how it works, but only after doing some actual research. Mixing game-modes and full games in the front-end of the launcher is baffling, and after spending some time with ShootMania, I can only conclude that it only works in a dimension adjacent to our own. You know the one where the Windows 8 developers took over the world and applied confusing, tile-based UI design to everything. ShootMania’s add-ons all require the base game, but Stadium is a separate game that exists apart from Trackmania 2: Canyon, though they both take space in the launcher with another game and its smaller addons.

It’s so confusing when it doesn’t need to be. Anyway, Stadium actually brings back the classic, gleaming TM environment, with more new tracks and building blocks. It’s everything you’d expect it to be, but behind a tiled nightmare of a front-end.

It’s out now, though it’s quietly been live for while now.

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17 Comments »

  1. Text_Fish says:

    This looks … almost identical to the version I already play. For free.

    So what’s new? Other than the deproved front-end, I mean.

    • MegaAndy says:

      When in beta, I ran both tm1 and tm2 stadium side by side on max detail and found the original looked blatantly better (other than a better looking OSD).

  2. MeestaNob says:

    The whole Trackmania thing is confusing.

    Surely simplifying this and forcing the proper implementation of it is what publishers are for. Tell me again why Ubisoft exist in this scenario?

    • Text_Fish says:

      Hundred dollar bills y’all.

      Edit: Sorry, I turned in to Jay Zed for a moment there. I suspect the real reason is that the front end is designed in such a way as to lead players back to social media or more buying options as frequently but underhandedly as possible.

    • Howard says:

      Yeah, I am lost with this now, too. I bought and adored the first Trackmania and its follow-up, sunshine, but the constant barrage of “Trackmania: Unhelpful Subtitle” has driven me away from them as I simply have no idea what I am buying. Can they not just bring out one bloody game that encompasses all these little bits like, you know, they used to?

      • bstard says:

        I prefer this over endless DLC or the F2P devil.

      • Hylis says:

        Let me explain the unhelpful subtitles ^_^

        Trackmania 1

        Trackmania Nations Forever : free with with limitations
        Trackmania United Forever : the complete Trackmania 1 combined

        For the little story, we made Nations & United as a reference to United Nations, in the spirit of having people from all around the world, and then for them to unite, also because United was the uniting version of all Trackmania 1. If you look at “United Nations Forever” on google, you may find Trackmania around.

        Trackmania 2

        Trackmania² Canyon
        Trackmania² Stadium
        Trackmania² Valley

        Each one are standalone that we can update along our development process. Trackmania 1 was designed to be like this at the beginning, but it was not compatible with efficient physical distribution. You know, it’s like any ‘collection’: you can acquire them in a separate way, and one does not replace the other, but add to the collection. It enables people to buy what they want and prevent us for having to release everything altogether at the ‘end’ of the development, which is counter logic with online, community wishes based updates. Like the ones we are doing on the front end of Maniaplanet and that will arrive soon and reveal additionnal useful feature of it.

        And since players can make Titles by themselves, you can also find free titles to install on your Maniaplanet, like Classic: a collection of Trackmania 1 tracks brought into Trackmania 2. Once it is done, you have to click on this station if you want to play this title. But I am not going to try to explain Maniaplanet, I prefer to admit it’s legendary confusing reputation ^_^

  3. Rayiner says:

    Well, I played open beta and I was really surprised that it looks like much better than the free. Also it’s so sad that they decided to relase it for money, not for free as Nations.

    • Phinor says:

      This is a comment I’ve read in just about every Trackmania 2 Stadium topic. It makes me wonder if Nadeo would have been better off if they had never released any Trackmania for free because now it’s expected of them and not giving away games for free makes them look greedy (unlike other developers who never release games for free in the first place).

  4. Tom Walker says:

    Huzzah!

    Possibly Craig is playing the Steam one. Apparently Maniaplanet doesn’t play nicely with Steam.

    This has probably been my most played game since the open beta came out. I’d say it’s more like the the Counter Strike of racing games than the Street Fighter. Which is odd, because I’m rubbish at Counter Strike.

  5. Beernut says:

    After discovering the sudden release of the game I spent the whole evening (and parts of the night) with the game and loved it. I already knew the white-tracks from the beta, but the other courses were just as fun an quite challenging for the most part (i’ve yet to drive the last three of the black tracks). The old formula of short courses on which you have to tweak and practice every turn in order to get the gold- and author-medals is still captivating to me.

    I’ve probably played the game wrong since the first stadium, because I practically never touched the multiplayer and focussed solely on acquiring medals in singleplayer, but it’s fun and I don’t care about all the other Maniaplanet-nonsense (Manialinks, planets, social stuff). I’ll probably spend another couple of evenings trying to get author-medals on most of the tracks and will get the same enjoyment out of it that I got in previous installations of the franchise. Nothing more, nothing less, which – to me – makes it well worth the 9€.

  6. GallonOfAlan says:

    Do they still use that poxy DRM install that they used to?

  7. ZIGS says:

    Now that the beta is over, did the community dwindle to a handful of people? I ask because that’s the size of Canyon’s

  8. The Random One says:

    Cars Wot Go Faste Through The Air

    My cell phone wanted to write “Cars Wot Go Gay” which would also be acceptable, if unrelated.

    The worst part is that even after Craig’s explanation I still don’t get how the myriad Racemania titles work. Are they all standalone, but giving each other track pieces like expansion packs?

  9. Laketown says:

    are you british Jeff Gerstmann?

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