The reason I bought this game is because this website, GaiKai, had a streaming service which would let you play demo's of the most popular releases in your browser. Kind of like NVidia streaming. I used to play this game every time our class went to the computer lab, like the naughty kid I am. Maybe this review will be kind of biased by my nostalgic feelings, or maybe it'll be biased the complete opposite direction, because I dispise the early years of my middle school. Enough about that, now about the game.
TrackMania is basically a take on Mario Kart's Time Trial system. No other racers on the road, just you, your ghosts and the ghosts of whoever you downloaded. Get to the end as fast as possible. Unlike Mario Kart, however, you can do barrel rolls, ride on walls, jump ridiculous heights and all kinds of stuff like that.
//NOTE: I know Mario Kart 8 fixed the whole wall-riding stuff. You get my point. MKWii didn't have this guff.
So, what about the game itself?Positive
- This game is absolutely gorgeous
This game is amazingly well-looking, even in resolutions as high as 2560*1440, this game really looks amazing. Maybe the quick racing-thing blurs my vision of the textures and shadows, but if it makes you feel like it looks okay, it's all right, isn't it?
- The game has an excellent difficulty ramp-up
Among other racing games that are either way too easy (Burnout paradise) or games that make me want to rip my hair out (F-Zero GX), I feel like TrackMania (not just Canyon, the entire series) have done an astounding job at making the buildup enjoyable for everyone. The higher flags being the easiest, and the black flag being the very hardest.
- The track unlocking system is not annoying
Any game that has a track unlocking system always gives me this sense of "Why the hell do you have this?". Even in, yes this game again, Mario Kart, I find it frustrating that I can only select the first two cups and have to beat the squishiest AI in existence to go on to the next four tracks. In TrackMania, Silver feels rewarding from time to time, and unlocking those tracks is a challenge. It's not a chore, but it's also certainly not something that takes hours of effort. It's not like you'll feel happy about unlocking those next tracks, but you will be curious as of what will be next in the line.
I really only have one bad thing to say about this game.
- The value of this game isn't as good as Nations Forever.
What do I mean with this? Basically, €20,- for this game is absolutely wonderful. I'd be glad to dish out €45,- for each of the Trackmania games (but seriously, Gabe, do not raise the prices). The issue is, there is not a massive amount of difference between this and Nations Forever, and that game is free. This game is marginally better, but I don't think it can outvalue its free counterpart. This is especially the case for players with a not as strong computer, as those will have a hard time running this game on decent settings, whereas Nations Forever has run on every computer I threw at it (with the exception of one with a soldered on graphics chip. It had 128 MB Vram, go figure).
Overall, this game is excellent. Don't let the negative factor stop you from buying it, at all. If I had to rate this game, I'd give it a 9.8 / 10.
With tax calculations it'd be a 10/10.