So I have been playing and enjoying Trials HD over the past few weeks. After replaying the tremendously enjoyable Beginner, Easy, and Medium Tracks a fair amount and getting almost all gold medals, the pace of the game began to slow down when I made it to the Hard tracks. The tasks I was being asked to perform were no longer a question of how long it took me to complete, but rather, could I complete them at all? After a bit of practice, and with some patience, I completed all the Hard tacks, albeit with few gold medals. Finally, I had made it to the Extreme tracks. Then, I actually tried them, and nearly passed out from exhaustion before hitting power button on the 360.
While the Extreme tracks are cool in theory, and serve a purpose in practice, I feel like they are a development boondoggle. The developers simply spent too much time on them, and too little time making more "normal" tracks which are actually fun to play and to replay. Trust me, if you do manage to finish an Extreme track, the last thought on your mind will be replaying it.
90%+ of the people who buy the game will never finish all of the Extreme tracks, so why spend 25% of the development time making and testing them?
The developers should have devoted those resources to building and testing more fun tracks and skill games that more people will actually play, and then want to replay. The Beginner through Medium tracks are faster and easier to develop and test, and they are by far the most fun to play and replay.
So what is the actual purpose of the Extreme tracks? Simply put, to satisfy the developers own tastes, and the tastes of a few sick Moto-Trials-fanboys. They have absolutely nothing to do with the majority of gamers, 90%+ who will get turned off by the endless restarts and quit in frustration long before finishing.
N+ had the same problem - too many restarts breaking the flow of the fluid gameplay - but Trials HD actually has it worse with these Extreme tracks. At least with N+, the level was over in a matter of seconds, maybe a minute at most. It was torture, but it was brief. The Extreme Tracks in Trials HD will take most gamers 10-20 minutes to beat, with hundreds of restarts, unless they practice them for days on end, like the guy in the video above, who actually just happens to be a developer. What a co-inki-dink.
Personally, rather than practice on a single track with endless restarts for days on end, I would much rather be playing simpler, easier tracks, and trying to best my own time and my friends top times on the leaderboards. Or just trying to do as many crazy flips as possible. Or, just trying to break as many bones as possible. On all but the Extreme tracks, its easy to have fun with this game no matter how you play it.
One day, I would like to finish the Trials HD Extreme tracks, but Im not sure if that day will ever come. The game is undeniably great and manages to be incredibly challenging while being still a lot of fun - for the entire experience up to the last 4 levels. Thats where the development team went off the rails into Sisyphean territory, and somebody at RedLynx or Microsoft should have had the wisdom and foresight to reign them back in.
One Extreme track, or a pack of Extreme Tracks as DLC? Sure. But FOUR?!? If building these epic torture machines took 25% of the total development time and money for the game, and will only be finished by a handful of players, how can anybody invloved with the project justify that as a responsible allocation of resources?
Id love to see the real numbers on how many players worldwide have actually finished the Extreme tracks. The game has been downloaded over 300,000 times; Id be very surprised if 30,000 of those people actually finished the game. Sure, its possible. But it just isnt fun, which is a true shame, as you only wonder how much bigger and better the game could have been if they hadnt wasted a quarter of their development budget on impenetrable nonsense, and instead spent it on "fun" levels.