Zoom Zoom Trackmania Nations Forever!!

User Rating: 9.5 | TrackMania Nations Forever PC
Well, first of all, to start off with, Trackmania Nations Forever(TMNF) is free. While most of us may think free is good, not always are free games well polished as ones you would buy. In TMNF, after downloading it, you'd think you paid for it since, just the menu alone has a pretty nice feeling/cool factor to it. But obviously, no one plays a game to go "oh pretty menu, I love it!!". So with that said, I'll talk about the actual gameplay and other important features.
This game has Single and Online modes, single player mode is called Solo, and there, you have 65 tracks to go through. Although, in order to play all 65 tracks, you have to unlock them by either getting Gold medals, or other requirements such as Ladder points which can be obtained while playing Online. There is a possibility of getting 4 medals each track, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and the more harder one, the Author medal. So this means a total of 260 medals can be officially obtained in Solo mode. The tracks do start out nice and easy, but as you keep going they become more challenging and some may even become frustrating. However, this is what can make the game addicting, as your always finding ways to improve your times, thus, allowing you to get more medals.
Now also, I should mention that TMNF isn't just your average arcade racer. There is jumps, loops, and all sorts of crazy stuff to pull of while racing. Also, this game was made with the Keyboard in mind, as everything is nicely setup for the keyboard, even the gas/brake is digital, meaning On/OFF. However, with that said, I do use the 360 gamepad, and the game works good with that also. Although, I recommend having the gas as the A button, and brake as the X or B button since the triggers don't seem to work well in TM.
Now for online, if you decide to skip Solo mode, and go straight to online, be prepared to find many incredibly talented racers as the times they get can seem impossible, and No, they aren't cheating. Furthermore, there is thousands, if not millions(exaggeration alert!) of customs maps online. So for the most part, you don't encounter the same maps over and over while playing online. As you play, you get LP or Ladder Points, this gives you a rank in the game. The higher place you finish according to how many others are a better rank than you are, the more LP you will get. This also means, the better rank you get, the harder it is to receive LPs.
Additionally, there is different kinds of tracks. Ranging from:
- Short(generally, simple, easy, and well short)
- Full Speed(you never need to let go of gas, but most tracks don't make it easy for you, unless you take the right lines),
- Dirt(self explanatory, but they can get pretty challenging),
- Tech( these tracks generally aren't for beginners and involve a lot of tight turns/corners, more complicated jumps, etc. It also requires a technique called sliding which is hard to explain, but its basically like drifting, but gives you the ability to zip around corners at much higher rate of speeds.),
- Trick( has complicated loops, jumps, and well, this type is also probably not good for beginners either.)
Think that's it? Nope, this free game still has more to offer. It comes with a Track Creator/editor. Allowing you to create tracks sorta like how we used to(still do) with hotwheel tracks. But, in a video game, and your not as limited considering you can place track pieces in the air without worrying about putting stuff underneath. Amyways. the track editor has 2 modes, Simple and Advanced. Simple mode is recommended for beginners or even for just putting a quick track together, but you will be limited with options. The advanced editor is where you can spend hours, upon hours creating the track of your dreams. It does take some time getting used to, but once you do, you'll be zipping through the menu picking out the pieces you want in no time.
In conclusion, Trackmania Nations Forever is a really fun game that can get you addicted for hours, upon hours of gameplay. It is free, however, if you like this game, there is even more TM to go around in Trackmania United Forever. Where instead of only having one environment like Stadium thats in Nations, you get 6 others to enjoy. However, this review isnt about that game, but it is something to look out for. In the end though, I'm giving this game a 9.5 because even if paid for, this games is completely worth the time and effort, the sweat and tears that will be put into it. Something that can't be said for many games that do take money out of our wallets. So yeah, give it a try, what does it hurt!?!