Trackmania Wii review
I've always loved trackmania. I have been playing Trackmania nations (free PC game) since I heard of it between other games, never really getting bored of it.
For those of you who don't know trackmania,
Trackmania is a racing game that is different from most racing games.
There aren't just "flat" tracks to race around, the tracks include loopings, wallrides, jumps and more!
So the first challenge isn't to be the fastest, but in the harder tracks the challenge is actually making it to the finish alive.
If you're wondering if this is your type of game, I suggest downloading trackmania nations from TrackMania - Home (full free game, only 1 area and game mode though but it gives a good impression on the type of game)
I got Trackmania for the Wii today (release day in europe), and already finished a big part of it :P
More videos and information here
Anyway, on to the review:
The controls are very nice, if you played Mario Kart Wii you will have no trouble at all playing this game.
There are a few differences though, Z is for braking (B still is also) and C and minus are used for respawning (C to the last checkpoint, minus is restart)
The directional pad is used to change camera view (far, close, in front of the car) and + is pause (like most games).
The game is also compatible with the Wii wheel (or just a wiimote without nunchuck) but I never liked playing like that for mariokart either.
The game responds very well to the joystick on the nunchuck (I was able to make very wide turns by barely moving it, but it never accidently steered)
The game got 3 different game types: race, puzzle and platform.
At race, you try to finish within a certain time for a medal (bronze, silver, gold). There are other cars but they are ghosts of the required time for the 3 medals, they aren't solid (intended) so it's not really a race as you would expect. It's more like a time trial, fastest time wins.
For Puzzle, you go into the track editor (more about this later) where you find a start, finish and some checkpoints. It's your job to connect those things with the given pieces of track and then race over it much like the race game mode. There are no ghosts here as some puzzles got multiple solutions to connecting the pieces.
And lastly, platform. For platform you get a race, but you aren't supposed to finish as quickly as you can, but you're supposed to finish with the least possible respawns (where 0 respawns results in a gold medal, silver and bronze vary per track).
Again, no ghost here.
There are also 6 different area's in which the above game modes take place, each with it's own unique type of car: Stadium (formula one like cars), Island (light sports cars), Desert (light, top heavy cars), Snow (small jeep-like cars), Rally (rally cars, of course!) and coast (heavy sports cars).
Each of the cars handles very differently, and while you may get first place on every race without trouble with one car, you might not even come close with another car.
So, what if you've done all races you wonder? That's what the track editor is for!
When you get bored of the original tracks, you can make your own tracks exactly as you like!
The track editor works very nicely, the nunchuck is used for camera movements while the wiimote is used for placing parts of the track. You get a nice little tutorial when you first open the track editor explaining the basics. If you like, you can skip or review the tutorial. So no need to watch it again when you play at a friend or you can if you forgot something.
You can also share your tracks over the internet or download new tracks from other people, all directly from the wii (no need to find files and save them in special ways on an SD card or something).
There's also a multiplayer. Including split screen or hotseat (take turns) for local playing (like, with friends) and there's a wi-fi mode.
I haven't been able to find anyone on wi-fi so far, but that might just be because this game is still new and not a lot of people got it.
I believe you can even play custom tracks over wi-fi so no worries about having to do the same tracks over and over again.
You also have a "shop" where you can buy new tracks, car skins and track editor parts. You pay with coppers earned by getting medals in the 3 game modes. (the better your medal, the more coppers. The harder the track, the more coppers also ;))
In comparison to the PC versions of trackmania:
It's definitely better then trackmania nations (free), 2 more game modes and 5 new areas. New tracks are a nice refreshment.
When comparing to trackmania united (paid), it's lacking in my opinion. Trackmania united has been around for quite a while now and I miss the trick game mode where you did stunts to get as much points as possible within a certain time.
There isn't much music in the game, and it's all very simple music. Although I'm not really bothered by it while racing.
The graphics are about the same as the graphics on the PC versions of the game, nothing too realistic but it doesn't look bad either.
Overall it's a nice game, a bit less then I expected but that's ok.
I haven't finished the game all the way yet but it's given me a good first impression.
- 3 game modes and 6 areas/cars make for a very varied gameplay
- make your own tracks in the easy to understand track editor
- online racing (even on custom tracks I believe)
- easy to understand controls
- you choose what you unlock using the shop, no specific task for that one track or track editor piece.
- music is very simple
- almost nobody on wi-fi yet
- longer loading times (even with USB loading), but not too bad.
- can take a while to get used to the very different cars (where one rolls over, another might just make a very sharp turn)
Please note that this guide was written from my personal experiences after playing the game for a few hours. It's the first review I ever wrote so it probably isn't too great :P
Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions or your own opinion.
Maybe you could add a Final Rating at the end of the post. This is just my opinion.
That was the overall rating ;)
i think was a very informative review and i think im gonna give it go now cheers mate
Very nice! Thanks ganoderma for taking the time to write this up. Looking forward to reading any more that you might have.
Oh sorry didn't noticed it.
Originally Posted by ganoderma
Thanks for taking the time to write up a game review of Trackmania for us, ganoderma. Fast work; it seems like we were just talking about you posting a review for the site and here it is already. Thanks very much. A thorough review that gives us an idea of what the game is like, links to see the game, good and poor points, and even a free tryout for the PC before paying for the Wii version. Very nice, indeed. Good job and thank you very much.
i got this game after reading this review and i must say it is really addictive, really impressed with the game and the review. cheers for the heads up mate
Yep just got this game too, it'll get here in 3 days ( a steal at 12.99$) thanks to your review