Originally a launch title for the Sega Dreamcast, Trickstyle has
made the proverbial leap onto the PC platform. So buckle yourself
for the high flying hijinks of the wonderful world of hoverboard
racing, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Trickstyle ends up being
more of a half baked practice session than a full serving of the
type of futuristic flying skate board racing game that Acclaim and
Velocity were apparently shooting for. Bland graphics, poor
control and poor racer AI make short work of an otherwise
passable effort. Having played the Dreamcast version briefly at a
friends, I was optimistic about the chances of this port doing as
well or, and I know it may see like a stretch, better than its
Sega-based counterpart. But lo and behold, friends, no multiplayer
whatsoever and graphics that look like they were optimized
for the Nintendo 64.
Apparently a two month delay could not afford developers any
time to include any features that actually utilized some of the
incredibly expensive graphics cards all the kids are buying these
days. I’m sure those two months were spent fixing obscure bugs,
removing a botched attempt at multiplay and appling those choice
voice-overs that the hip boarders recite right after you plow head
on into a futuristic looking parked car. It’s a good thing the racer
models are so blurry and indistinct, because if I could have made
out any of their facial features I would have liked to challenge
them to a post race fight for the rude things they hollered at me.
Perhaps that is why the character models were are all so poorly
rendered, to protect them from the harassment after their careers
as urban hipster hover racers. Or perhaps, and I may be fishing
here, the developers got them to a ‘good enough’ level and went
on to more important matters, like hitting the paint bags and
As I mentioned before, that is unless you skipped right to this juicy
paragraph, the word of the day here is mediocrity. Tacky racially
stereotyped voice overs, poorly sampled effects and a generic
techno soundtrack make the audio in Trickstyle perfunctory at best.
In the words of one of the overly arrogant superstars of this game:
“Man, too good!” Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.
After a short training session Trickstyle tosses you into the
Velodrome, an arena with three tunnels which transport you to the
various races of the game. Five or Six courses in each of the UK,
Japan and USA stages make up the bulk of Trickstyles gameplay.
Except for the final stage ‘Boss Challenges,’ all courses are
checkpoint style races that take you over a variety of urban
terrains. I was mostly pleased with the layout of the tracks, though
again, the blurry graphics take away from the scenery and
surroundings that go flying by during the game. Hoverboard racing
is made up of a combination of constantly steering over boost
arrows and knocking over other racers with a drill attack move.
Close races against the computer will almost always end in them
doing a perfectly aimed drill attack and you smacking head first
into a parked car or building. Having fun yet? Well then theres the
boss challenges. A variety of mini-games, from simple races to
collect-the-glowing-fire-balls, pit you against a blocky boss-type
character. The winner gets more tracks to race and a better board,
the loser gets a kick in the pants and the option to try again.
Since there is no multiplay features in Trickstyle, I would like to
take this opportunity to thank Velocity and Acclaim for making my
job a little easier. After trying to run the ‘2 Player’ mode the game
crashed and locked my display at 256 color in 640x480. What a
great feature! You guys are the best!
Ok, seriously amigos, if you have the opportunity take a look at
Trickstyle on Dreamcast, do so. The difference is like night and
day. Maybe Sega paid off someone at Velocity to “slip” and hurt
his “ACL” and not complete his “work” on the graphics, but
convince his “supervisor” to release the game anyway, since they
can just “patch” the game “later.” Sega conspiracies not
withstanding, PC certainly gamers got the short end of the shaft on
this one. Perhaps the money you were saving for your PC version
of Trickstyle could be put into a better investment, like shares of
Martha Stewart Enterprises™, or a nice down payment on your
very own Dreamcast. But I’m sure that’s just what Sega
wants you to think.