(DSiWare)

Game Review

Jump Trials Extreme Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Morgan Sleeper

Aiming higher

It's only been a little over a month since G-STYLE's Jump Trials hopped onto the DSiWare service, but its sequel Jump Trials Extreme has already made the long leap over from Japan. Like 10 Second Run, the Jump Trials games are all about performing daring feats of platforming in under 10 seconds. We thought the original was an enjoyable but flawed game, and thankfully this sequel is a definite improvement in almost every way. It's a one trick pony through and through, but there's still lots of frantic fun here for players who like their platforming plotless, quick, and simple.

Jump Trials Extreme's main gameplay mode, Trials, has the simple goal of making it to the end buzzer before the 10-second timer runs out, and features 100 levels split into 10 stages. Many of the levels are contained on a single screen, though there are quite a few that scroll both horizontally and vertically. Overall, the level design is better than in the first game; multiple endpoints and routes spice things up, and the environmental obstacles (generally introduced one at a time, one per stage) are nicely done.

Completing a 10-level stage in Trials unlocks those individual levels for play in Challenge and Time Attack modes. Returning from the first game, Challenge mode is a hyper-quick collect-athon, as players try to pick up three medals positioned in each level before reaching the goal. It's a good bit more difficult than Trials mode by nature, so Challenge mode will go over well with perfectionist platforming fans.

Finally, a Time Attack mode new to the sequel tasks players with running through the levels as quickly as possible, awarding bronze, silver, and gold medals for particular par times. While time attacking levels that already have a 10 second time-limit admittedly seems a bit ridiculous, it's actually a great addition. The multiple paths and goals in the levels really come into their own here - it's easy enough to pick one route over another in Trials mode without thinking anything of it, but trying to shave milliseconds off your time encourages experimentation to see which way works out faster.

The controls - still using only the D-pad and the A button - are noticeably tighter in Jump Trials Extreme than in the first game, and that lets players focus on the levels instead of dealing with floaty jumps. A few objects are still a bit wonky - trampolines can be unpredictable, for instance - but in general the game gives you the precision needed to tackle its bite-sized runs.

One of the best additions to this sequel is the ability to quickly restart a level by pressing the Select button. It seems like a silly request when everything's over in 10 seconds anyway, but after failing a level a few times, you'll know the exact point when you won't be able to make it anymore, and it's great to be able to start over without having to wait out the remaining time on the clock. It's especially helpful in the Challenge and Time Attack modes, where a missed medal or failed jump even in the first second can ruin your run.

The original Jump Trials sported a graphical style that was too rough to be called minimalistic and too bland to be called much of anything else, but Jump Trials Extreme thankfully makes improvements here too. It's a substantially better looking game, and the change comes from subtle tweaks: everything is cleaner and crisper, the backgrounds are more interesting, level tiles no longer look like they were designed entirely in MS Paint, spikes now resemble spikes instead of inexplicably deadly triangles, and even the fonts used are much more pleasant - it all comes together to make a huge difference. It's perhaps still a bit lacking in personality, and the protagonist feels like a poor man's Mr. Game & Watch, but it's definitely more polished this time around.

The audio presentation is a similar step up: there are now distinct backing tracks for each of the game's three modes, and the "hurry up!" variations that start after five seconds feel like a natural continuation of these, rather than a jarringly separate jingle as in the first game. The music consists of funky uptempo melodies, and while its extremely repetitive nature is almost assured to annoy the life out of anyone nearby and not playing, it works well within the context of the game

Conclusion

Jump Trials Extreme represents a marked improvement over its predecessor in nearly every way. It controls better, looks and sounds better, and introduces a welcome Time Attack mode and much-needed quick restart option. It's not an innovative game, and it lacks the charm or personality of the best DSiWare titles, but it's definitely fun and a good deal at 200 points. Fans of the first game will be very happy with this sequel, and players looking for quick bursts of simple precision platforming can feel free to skip over the original and check out Jump Trials Extreme.

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User Comments (13)

LEGEND_MARIOID

#1

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

A lot of these side-scrolling jump and run obstacle avoiderrs on the download circuit (iOS and Nintendo ware). Generally they're at least half decent. Thanks for the review.

SirQuincealot

#2

SirQuincealot said:

its alays nice to see deveolopers put a real effort in maing the sequel, definitly getting this game... eventually

DerpSandwich

#5

DerpSandwich said:

It's great that you guys review so much of this obscure stuff. Every time I look at a title like this I generally think it's cash-in crap without a second thought, but it seems that a lot of them deserve a second look.

PixelRobin

#6

PixelRobin said:

Of course its better. G style already had the original engine all they had to do was reskin it, tweak the jump function, add some more obstacles and make new levels. I am a hobbyist game creator so I know this kind of stuff. The original was sort of a "marketing test" so G style can see the overall reaction and improvments they can make. definitely getting this one. Looks like we will see good stuff from this series. :)

KnightRider666

#7

KnightRider666 said:

This game looks decent. Here's my only problem with Dsiware. You are only given so much room on the system itself to store it. The rest has to go to your SD card. Did they ever make it so you can load Dsiware games up right from your SD card, or do you still have to copy and paste Dsiware games from your SD card to your system's memory and vice versa just to play them? I'd appreciate some feedback from anybody on this topic. Thanks in advance to anybody who responds:)

mushroomer

#8

mushroomer said:

include a level editor where we can share levels with the world like N+ and im in. ill even fork over 500

zipmonStaff

#9

zipmon said:

@KnightRider666 Unfortunately that's still the case, even on the 3DS - it's one of the platform's odder limitations for sure! But I find you can store enough on the system for day to day play, at least in my experience! :)

KnightRider666

#10

KnightRider666 said:

@zipmon: I figured as much. This is so stupid on Nintendo's part. I would have bought so many other DSiware games if they would only fix this... Thanks again for your response!

Klimbatize

#12

Klimbatize said:

@KnightRider666 I'm in the same boat. A few times I've decided against getting a game simply because of the size and I would then have to move stuff off my 3DS menu onto a SD card. I know it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I generally only get 10-15 minutes of time to play in one sitting so the notion of copy/deleting games from my SD card to system memory turns me off. I would have purchased several more DSiWare games if I simply had the room.

That said, Jump Trials Extreme is only 20-25 blocks (can't remember exactly) so I went ahead and got it. I'm a fan of platforming in general, and I enjoyed 10 Second Run. This review plus the trailer on the eShop convinced me to give it a shot. I'm glad I got this as it's better than I expected. It's better than 10 Second Run, in my opinion, and has a ton more replay value. 100 levels, and then Time Attack and then the "medal" modes...lots of playing to max those out and I'm enjoying trying. Perfect game to play when you don't have a lot of time.

KnightRider666

#13

KnightRider666 said:

@Krimbatize: It IS a big deal to me. I hope Nintendo figures out how to load DSiware up directly from an SD card just like you do directly from the system's memory. Until then, I won't be buying anymore DSiware.

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