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REVIEW | “Urban Trial Freestyle” Easy On Tricks, Hard On Eyes

Posted on July 7, 2013 AT 09:07am

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t quite a fan of Urban Trial Freestyle when I played the PSN demo of it. Initially I had seen it as a knockoff of RedLynx’s Trials series, one without the bells and whistles of the popular series. Playing with the 3DS version, however, gave me a different approach of Tate Interactive’s motocross title, one that left a happy little smirk on my face soon after beating all the levels.

The 3DS version of Urban Trial Freestyle features five worlds, each with their own sort of personality: Outskirts, Industrial, Downtown, Underground, and Train Station. You have the choice to run through these levels in either the Time Trial or the Stunt Mode; the former having you race to the end of the level in the quickest time with the least amount of crashes, and the latter having you test your agility, speed, and landing precision. From these levels you can earn cash to upgrade your bike and rider’s attire.

These five worlds can go by quickly, but with the amount of flips and maneuvers you can try out in each level you’ll find many reasons to go back and play them again. As you can connect to the Nintendo Network online in the game you can catch up with up-to-date world scores, as well as race against Ghosts of some of these players. With the bikes you can unlock you can even test out the tracks again and see if you can go faster than before.

When earning a three-star average on the Outskirts level you then unlock a level simply known as Challenge Mode. Here you will need to angle your 3DS in whichever way the arrows point to in order to control the level’s gravity. During this you’ll find yourself avoiding walls, ceilings, impaling objects, and other hinderances that will make you go back to the previous checkpoint.

Urban Trial Freestyle‘s Challenge Mode is one of the most difficult gaming experiences I’ve ever had to go through. Having to angle the 3DS while accelerating or reversing is extremely tough, especially when looking out for upcoming hazards that may or may not appear in the next section. It took me over thirty minutes my first try getting through it! Seriously, if you can complete this level from start-to-finish without messing up once then you deserve some sort of medal for your skills.

While the 3DS version isn’t as big as its PSN/Vita counterpart it makes up for it with the exclusive Track Editor. Create your own jumps, lifts, and other obstacles and see how you fare with your own challenges. The only downside is that you can’t show off your levels to your friends or other players around the world, a shame considering it would’ve been cool to see how everyone else would fare with your creations.

Graphically Urban Trial Freestyle looks pretty good on the 3DS. While not as enhanced as the PSN version there is a lot of depth and detail to be found on the Nintendo handheld. As for the 3D aspect, I would advise playing the game with it off. Many times I found my eyes began hurting due to how I was twisting and turning the handheld while the 3D was on. I wound up setting it to 2D for the majority of my playtime, as it was starting to affect how I was playing.


  • Fun challenges and upgrades
  • Track Editor lets your imagination run wild
  • Challenge Mode really lives up to its name


  • Levels can run on the short side
  • 3D kind of hurts the eyes
  • Can’t share created levels online


Urban Trial Freestyle is a fun motocross game that’ll be great to play during those short bus trips and for those in need of filling some quiet time. It has a lot of good challenges to be found, and while it’s not as grand in scale as the Sony versions it still has enough going for it to merit the $6.99 price point. Just don’t do Challenge Mode in public, as the obscenities that’ll fly out of your mouth while playing will surely frighten everyone around you.


3DS review code provided by Tate Multimedia

An accomplished music, anime, and video game critic, Evan Bourgault has been a Contributing Editor and Podcast host with ElectricSistaHood since 2008. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck

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