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Trackmania Wii GamesCom 2009 Preview

I will be open with you from the offset: I am a quite the Trackmania fan. This is why I spoke to Xavier Assémet, Project Manager of Focus Home Interactive, with a suppressed sense of delight as we played Trackmania together on the Wii. Originally devised and developed by French group Nadeo, Trackmania is a fun-filled arcade racer where the prime concept is to build and race a wide-ranging array of tracks in a quick and easy manner. If you are unfamiliar with the basics of the Trackmania, then I would recommend skimming over the GameOn review of the free PC version of the game, Trackmania Nations Forever, which can be found here.

Trackmania Wii

British developers Firebrand first brought the popular PC franchise onto the DS in November 2008 to mainly positive acclaim. Now it is the Wii's turn, which seems the ideal next step thanks to its unique control system. The menu layout looks clean and is well organised, with three different user profile slots available. The first of the options is single-player, which is split into the familiar game modes Race, Platform and Puzzle, with the additional of a "Quick Race" option. There are around 200 brand new tracks in the campaign to advance through, with the difficulty of the tracks - such as complexity and speed - steadily getting harder as you progress.

Trackmania Wii 

There are six of the seven environments from the PC version - Bay the only missing one due to the complexity of the scenery and the limitations of the Wii. The technical and challenging Coast environment has been made considerably quicker with increased grip, all in aid of making it easier and more suitable for the Wii. The car can be driven using the Nintendo controller on its own, using the sensor in the same way as Mario Kart Wii, or alternatively - and my favoured method - using the Nunchuck add-on for finer control over the direction of the car. Control of the car in the air has also been expanded to allow the player to change direction mid-flight.

Trackmania Wii

The graphics use the Octane Engine and are noticeably more simplistic than the PC version, but despite the lack of crisp real-time reflections and complex scenery, the graphics are still effective and non-intrusive to the crucial gameplay element. Rather oddly the menu music was the same from the older Trackmania United, though there are several new music tracks in each of the environments to enjoy. The in-game Trackmania currency, ‘Coppers', are to feature in the Wii version, however the spending of them is yet to be decided.

Trackmania Wii 

One of the biggest features of Trackmania is the track editor, which is where the Wii controller really shines. The block set is the same from Trackmania Forever, though there are new larger blocks in stock formed from the smaller ones for convenience. The size of your track is now limited by memory, with larger blocks taking up more space. I was not too worried by this though, as I imagine a suitably impressive track can still be efficiently created. It should also be noted that the Nunchuck is required to use the editor, whilst tracks can be exchanged using the Nintendo WiFi Connection service.

Trackmania Wii

Multiplayer is another important experience of Trackmania, and in this Wii version we have Time Attack, Rounds and Cooperative game modes to play on 4-player split-screen, with the developers hoping to have at least 8 players on the same server for online play. The friend structure is currently limited by the Wii's Friend tag system, however again the developers are aiming to have a server system similar to the PC version. By playing online you will also be able to benefit from gaining a world rank over the Nintendo WiFi connection.

Trackmania Wii 

Whilst Firebrand are developing the Wii version of Trackmania, Nadeo are said to be observing their sister title to ensure it stays close to the characteristic origins. If you own the PC version of Trackmania then it would currently appear that there isn't much new to experience, but this looks a great title for lucky Wii console owners. Trackmania Wii is still a work in progress and no release date other than Q2 2010 has been announced.

A teaser has since been released: http://www.trackmaniawii.com/teaser/

POBmaestro | 19th August, 2009
POBmaestro's picture
I've just updated this preview with new Trackmania Wii images and there is also now a teaser to watch: http://www.trackmaniawii.com/teaser/

Anyone planning to get this? Should make a good multiplayer game

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