Review: Trackmania: Build and Race

Review: Trackmania: Build and Race

SHHHHHHHH! PC gamers don’t want you to see this review! You’ve been warned!

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Year: 2011

Played on: Wii

Developer: Firebrand/ Nadeo

Publisher: Dreamcatcher/City Interactive

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Trackmania is running wild, [AMOUNT OF HULKAMANIA JOKES HAS DEPLETED]

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Date posted: November 13, 2017

Trackmania Titlesheet

PREMISE

Trackmania is a great series of racing games that, I feel, are underrated. Yes, the games seem to have a huge fanbase, but if you ask anyone in America, they would respond with “Who the hell are you? I’m calling the cops!” before trying to shoot you. Such is the American way!

No, it seems like Trackmania is a series more popular overseas, especially in Europe, for what ever reason. Most likely because the series developer, Nadeo, is based in France.

For those who don’t know the series, first off, WHY? Secondly, it is a racing game, but not like your thinking, probably- it’s mostly time trials against ghosts. However, the tracks are usually small, and full of obstacles and traps and such. Its actually pretty demanding- in most of the games, the later tracks are incredibly difficult, and you may actually need to know them inside and out in order to get that gold, or if your ungodly good, platinum trophy.

For the most part, Trackmania has mainly been PC only thought out the years. However, there have been attempts to port this game to various consoles, for example, the recent Trackmania: Turbo for the PS4 and Xbox One. However, I wanted to focus on one of the most obscure Trackmania ports- Trackmania- Build and Race, for the Nintendo Wii. You can hear the angry PC gamers coming this way, torches in hand. I think I have picture of them…

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The alt-right march wasn’t a bunch of nazi’s protesting- it was a bunch of angry PC gamers coming to my door when they found out I like the N64 port of Hexen! 

PROS

Sorry PC gamers, but Trackmania: Build and Race is actually a solid port of Trackmania: United Forever, with some features removed, here and there.

The content, once again, is staggering- you have six different themes- Stadium, Island, Desert, Snow, Rally, and Coast- all with a different type of vehicle. Stadium has the classic F-1 car it usually has- Desert has the classic sedan, and my personal favorite, Island, has a cool exotic sports car. Each theme has a myriad of different tracks, that start off easy, but can get pretty crazy near the end of the game.

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The game has a lot of variety over it’s six different themes

On top of the time-attack style game play the series is known for, there is also puzzle and obstacle tracks- Puzzle is cool because you have to build a track with a set amount of pieces to make the fastest route. Obstacle, or Platform tracks are long tracks that need to be ran in one go, or you have to start over. These are usually filled with obstacles and pits leading off the track. Quite a bit of content here!

The game also has local multiplayer. Up to four people can play in splitscreen, which makes this an ideal game for you and your friends. I haven’t played splitscreen because I have no friends- their all in my head! All in my head…

trackmania_wii_image11
Play with up to four of your imaginary friends!

You, of course, also have a robust track editor, which, if I’m not mistaken, was used to build every track in the game. If you like building tracks, then the Trackmania series is for you- every game in the series I have played has had a expansive track editor- in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent more time in the track editor then actually playing the damn game!

trackmania06
The editor is so well done, you could probably make in the tracks you see in the game with it!

Those who are worried about the controls, don’t fret- motion controls are completely optional! You can actually use a classic controller if you have one, or the nun-chuck. I remember using a game cube controller, but they might of been a fever dream. Along with this, the game controls great- no keyboard or mouse required!

The soundtrack is also great. Dancing in the halls of love is the best track in any time-attack based driving games on the wii! (Yes, its a cover of that one song from Alessi. Remember those guys?)

CONS

The game actually had online functionality, but I think the game did so poorly, sadly, so it was pretty much dead on arrival. I think that Trackmania fans will find this feature most infuriating, as TM has always been about its online, pretty much- even the older games are still being played (at least I think they are!). This really sucks, as there is no way to download and upload different track you or someone else has made.

The Bay theme from TM: United Forever is missing, because apparently, the Wii could not handle it. There are plenty other themes to choose from, but it would have been a cool addition.

I also encountered a pretty big bug in the editor. In the Rally theme, sometimes if you built a wall, the game would randomly freeze up, meaning you could not make tracks with said feature if you did not want the game to freeze up. Speaking about the editor, sometimes the controls for making tracks can be a bit wonky, seeing as you have to use the wii-mote to place down the track.

Finally, the game is actually getting harder and harder to find- it goes for about $15-$30 used on Amazon, with only 15 copies available at the time of this review. Ironically, the DS Trackmania game goes for, at the lowest, $30! (The Build-to-race version anyway. The original is pretty common) Its cheaper on Ebay, but for how long? I never see this game at any of the used games shops I regularly visit, so this game may well become a collector’s item!

FINAL VERDICT

All in all, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, generic opening to final verdict- Trackmania Build and Race for the Nintendo Wii is actually a good representation of this underrated series of racing game. If you want a challenging time-attack style racing game, and don’t have a PC, then this is a good option, along with Trackmania: Turbo, which I will review one-day (If I ever finish it. It’s even more brutal this game!) Be sure to pick it up if you can find it at a decent price. Just be careful not to tell any PC gamers you have it. Now if you excuse me I hear people chanting “Command and Conquer has no place on a console!” outside my window…..

6score

Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!

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