Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely adore the Trials franchise. I am somewhat of a masochist when it comes to this game. I will play Extreme levels for hours on end just to say that I finished them, collecting gold medals as much as I can and even perfecting runs. This is the game I obsess over too much. When Red Lynx announced a DLC package was coming to Evolution, I realized it was time to fire it back up. Origin of Pain delivers on its namesake in several fashions, but what you really need to know is that this is one packed DLC package for five bucks.
Origin of Pain includes 36 new tracks created by Red Lynx, and using a lot of their new creation tools and music. The focus is more on the new designs as opposed to the overall challenge. Sure, the medium and hard tracks are great, but only having three extreme tracks really is telling. That doesn’t mean the challenge is gone, though. There are some truly standout tracks here, including the Toy Box and, of course, the punishing Magic Marker tracks.
In addition to the new levels and tools you also get a new bike, a BMX bike to be exact. If you can imagine how insane that is, you get the idea. Watching the rider pedal like mad further enforces the sympathy you have when he slams his head onto the track. The new weight and physics of the bike offer up the real challenge here. Handling some of the more intense tracks on the BMX bike is truly a challenge. There is even an Achievement for completing one of the extreme tracks with the bike; and believe me it is a challenge.
With this update, Red Lynx has also drawn more attention to its community by showcasing a small “Featured” box on the main menu. Here, you can immediately play one of the handpicked tracks from the community. This is a nice inclusion, and gives players another chance to check out some of the amazing user-created tracks. There are also two new skill games, one of which is a throwaway, but the other brings back the vertical challenge from the first game, only this time with crates. It is addictively challenging.
With all these enhancements, the pack more than warrants its $5 price tag, but it seems to have caused some technical issues with the presentation. Once you get into the game things are fine, which is the important thing, but during the menus and loading screens, things seem much laggier and slower. The initial loading screen now takes more than twice as long to get booted up, while navigating certain areas seems to have a small hint of delay between choices. These are things that don’t matter in the grand scheme because the gameplay is still super smooth, but they are worth mentioning.
Trials Evolution: Origin of Pain continues the trend of Red Lynx offering up massive packs of DLC for little cost. The new creation tools will likely spawn a whole slew of user-created tracks, and the new BMX bike adds more challenge to an already masochistic game. Fans of Trials need to get this pack, especially if, like me you haven’t touched the game in a while due to the massive onslaught of quality software this year. Trials Evolution remains one of the best downloadable packages on XBLA, and one of the feature titles for the service. I cannot recommend the value you get from Red Lynx enough.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.