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TrackMania 2: Stadium Drifts In

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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