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Although TrickStyle is technically in the arcade racing category, there is a crucial difference here. You are not supposed to be able to win simply by racing the fastest and being the first to finish, but rather by accumulating points based on the stunts you perform. This makes scoring and winning appear to be a lot more complex and subjective. In reality, however, several of the races can be won just by moving forward as quickly as you can, even though it is clear that to do so is missing the point. In a way, it is too bad this is even a possibility.
TrickStyle almost skids into the combat racing category, but stops just short. One of the best ways to get ahead is to run right over opponents. Although there is no damage or any other kind of penalty caused by such collisions, you had better watch it because others may do it back to you at any time. One of the move options you have while racing is calling “drilling,” which is a lot like shooting a bolt at your opponents, but the range is so short that it is not usually the best means to gain the lead. In a way I wish there were more I could do to disable other racers, but then that would take the action even further from any sense of reality.
Unlike most racing games where a few tracks are available until you win some competitions and then others are unlocked, here you have access to precious little at the outset outside of the practice area called the Velodrome. Most of the three interconnected lobbies of the racing areas are inaccessible until the Guide, who is at the center of the lobbies, decides that you are ready for them based on your racing success. In addition, most of the more exciting stunts are not available until the Guide lets you at them. Finally, the Guide determines what special challenges you face, including collecting globes, changing colors of globes, engaging in races through hoops against him, and performing special timed stunts. This predicament of being largely at the Guide’s mercy in so many areas over which you have so little control is unnecessarily restrictive. I can easily imagine some ham-handed buyer who never makes it out of the training arena at all.
Let me give you one final admonition. If you are the kind of person who gets motion sickness from playing first-person shooters, beware of this title. The combination of speed and sharp turns and slopes with the rapid undulations of the bodies of the racers can leave you feeling downright green in the gills. While I am blessedly not susceptible to such reactions, I know several gamers who are, and even the box hints at this possibility when it rhetorically asks, “Got the skills to get ill?”
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