Jay Tee Games Alliance. Only For Everyone.

Est. April 2016. III Version 2.0. III

ARCHIVE


ABOUT US

CONTACT US


PODCASTS AND SHOWS


TRAILBLAZERS
Paint the town with a crimson shade of arcade fun.  

PREVIEW
By JAY TEE
25/04/18

It’s always a treat to find a genuinely exciting local multiplayer title, and all indications point to Trailblazers fitting the bill. Here is another example of how the indie development scene remains the best place for old school arcade thrills. Part F-Zero, part Splatoon, with a dash of Cel Damage, Supergonk’s first effort is an unlikely visual cocktail grounded by a satisfying track painting mechanic.

The hook couldn’t be simpler: cover the course with your team’s colour, and provide ever increasing speed to you and your teammates. Racing lines can be chained to level up your boost, and you can deliberately erase sections owned by competing players.

This rock solid elevator pitch makes you wonder how this hasn’t been a thing for years. Trailblazers has oodles of potential to offer something genuinely new, and we can’t help but be excited. Read on for more detailed info.


THE BASICS - High octane arcade racer, with a unique track painting mechanic that allows friendly players to boost their top speed.  

PLATFORMS - PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

PLAYERS - Offline - 4, Online - 6

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - Split screen and online. A.I. racers can be added to either mode.
 
DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - None currently announced.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our previews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

PREVIEWS KEY:

Back of the Box - A broad overview of key features and gameplay mechanics.

Get Schooled - Background info on the developer, fun facts, and viewing the game in a broader context.

Inside Scoop - Random thoughts and musings, along with hopes and concerns.

Trailblazers is a visual treat, and the support for split screen AND online is
massively appreciated.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

The BEST WITH FRIENDS badge is earned if a game is significantly more fun playing with people you know, either in campaign or online.

The PICK UP AND PLAY badge is for when a game is better suited to brief, impromptu sessions that give a quick blast of escapism.

The LONE WOLF badge tells you that a particular game can only be played, or is more enjoyable, when
you’re flying solo.

The DEEP DIVE badge is a heads up that what you’re about to play is a huge undertaking, and best enjoyed in extended periods.

The KITCHEN SINK badge is an indication of a game that is
bursting at the seams with content (either on disc or DLC).

The BAM! DONE! badge lets you know that within minutes of picking up the controller, you can play this like a pro.

The HOT POTATO badge makes a really clear statement: this
game is making waves, and it’s
definitely worth a  look.

The LEARNING CURVE badge is awarded if you’ll need to allow a fair bit of time in
order to fully
grasp the controls.

TARP BADGES:

The SCEPTICAL FACE badge is for when a game doesn’t leave a strong first impression. Perhaps more
time is needed to decide?

The LEFT FIELD badge is awarded when a game surprises us by being really good and it hadn’t previously been on our radar.

The HMM… FIREWORKS badge is earned when a game features excellent particle, lighting, or atmospheric effects.

The BARREL OF LAUGHS badge is for when a game boasts a keen, sharp wit and several laugh out loud moments.

The BIG STINKER badge is awarded when a huge AAA budget title turns out to be a letdown that leaves us feeling cold.  

The BOOTS ON THE GROUND badge is for a game you need to play as soon as possible. Don’t leave this one for your backlog!

The SMALL FRY badge is for a title from a smaller development team that is absolutely worth your time and should not be ignored.

The LOBBY LAG badge is for when the multiplayer side of things is lacking features, and/or runs very poorly.

The SLICK RICK badge is earned when the soundtrack, effects, and / or overall audio design is fantastic across the board.

The COUCH MADNESS badge is awarded when a game nails split/same screen gameplay.

The CAPTAIN KEYES badge is for a game that has memorable, well written characters that leave a lasting impression.

The LAME WAD badge is used in the event a game has particularly bad dialogue or cheesy voice acting that distracts from the story.    

The RE-TARP badge is earned when a game offers more of the same. It’s up to you to decide whether that’s good or bad.

The HOMEBOY badge is for the kind of game that is perfect for playing at home, AND when you’re on the go.  

The MILO & KATE badge is for a game that we don’t think will look the same from reveal to release, or perhaps even see the light of day…  

The MIS-TARPED badge is for a game that’s supposed to represent one genre, but turns into something else.

The SHOVELWARE badge is for something that feels rushed, or launches without key features that would have made a big difference.

The IT’S A TARP! badge is awarded when a game offers a real challenge, in single player and/or multiplayer.

The ON ME! JONESY! badge is earned when getting into a multiplayer game is quick and easy, with a robust matchmaking / party system.

The BREACH ON ZULU badge is awarded for a game that consistently demands intelligent strategy / tactics.

The TRANSPORTER BUFFER badge is for a game that requires you to carefully manage your inventory and supplies.

The JUST ONE MINUTE MAN badge is for a game that keeps making you come back for just one more go.

The TOO MANY TARPS badge is awarded when a game has a lot of content, but no real substance or depth.

The JUMPED THE TARP badge is for a game that has had one too many sequels, and should be radically rebooted or retired completely.

The PICK N’ MIX badge is awarded for a game that has a wide variety of things to do, or continually presents new mechanics / ideas.  

The SCRATCH THAT RASH badge is for a game you should take a risk on. You might love it!  

The HYPE-O-SPRAY badge is for a game that has, or may yet become, a victim of its own hype.

The 1, 2, DITCH badge is for a game that has been poorly explained and/or received a lot of bad press.

The BOOGEYMAN TWO badge is for a game with a collection of strong, varied enemies to face.

The SEA OF THIEVES badge is for a co-op game that is truly memorable.

The WEAPON DROP badge is for a game that features superb weapon / item design.

The YOSHI’S EYELIDS badge is for a game where the facial animation leaves much to be desired…

The BREAK THE TARGETS badge is for a game that has excellent side quests and/or optional missions and activities.

The YAR! BEARS! badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by Adam Burleigh.

The SHODDY CODDY badge is for a game includes mechanics or controls that just don’t feel right.

The TROLLOLOL badge is for a game with sudden spikes in difficulty.

The WAGGLE YOUR LIPS badge is for a game with terrible pacing and/or too often takes control away from the player.

The KABOOM! badge is for a game that has excellent explosions (with Halo 1 frag grenades being the gold standard).

The PUMPKIN LOOK badge is for a game where the art style, graphics, and/or presentation are on top form.

The FALCO FEEL badge is earned when the gameplay mechanics, controls, and/or learning curve feel just right.

The POPPY SOUND badge is for a game where the music, sound effects, and/or dialogue are superb.

The POM POM EXPERIENCE badge is earned when a game produces numerous great anecdotes or stories.

The QUANTUM OF SOLACE badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by Mike Hazleton.

The DEALBREAKER badge is for a game where one or two crucial mis-steps is enough to put you off.

The SARU’S GANGLIA badge is for a game that does a great job of immersing you in its world.

The FADING CIRCLE badge is for a game with extremely poor environmental interactivity and/or object physics.

The SCRIPT SUPERVISOR badge is for a game with incredibly quotable dialogue.

The BEVERLY badge is for a game so good that it would make even Jean-Luc Picard want to spend time with Wesley.

The WII SPORTS badge is for a game that even non-gamers would recognise as being something truly special.

The BUFF TING badge is for a game that has an excessive number of patches, or requires a huge day 1 update.

The LEAVES ON THE LINE badge is for a game where awkwardly placed geometry and/or bad level design causes you to get unintentionally stuck.

The DISCO TECH badge is for a mini game compilation or party game that’s (perhaps surprisingly) really good!

The OOKLA badge is for a game with inconsistent server performance and/or frequent lag.

The LOOT ON THE ROOT badge is for a game with lots of different collectibles, items, and other bits and pieces.

The OOBLEH! badge is for a game that has a dodgy or inconsistent framerate.

The DIGITAL FOUNDRAJON badge is for a game that pushes technical boundaries with cutting edge presentation.

The ATOUBA badge is for a game that features a loveable character (or characters).

The IT WORKS SO WELL badge is for a game with characters you’re truly invested in.

The CLONE WARS badge is for a game with lots of repeated character models.

The JASON DUFNER badge is for a game with a limited choice of playable characters.

The CONGLOMERATE badge is for a game where characters frequently clip through surfaces.

The CLOONEY badge is for a game with outstanding character design.

The SKYPE RINGTONE badge is for a game with a catchy soundtrack that you can’t help but love.

The WAR-ROCK! badge is for a game that absolutely deserves ongoing player support.

The LAWBREAKERS badge is for a game that is unlikely to get long term player support.

The EPIC RESPAWN badge is for a game with superb post launch developer support.

The TEARS OF BORE badge is for a series that just needs a break. Please. Just stop.

The NOOB COMBO badge is for a game that lacks balance in multiplayer.

The SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES badge is for a game that unnecessarily restricts co-op and/or multiplayer.

The JACK CARVER badge is for a game with stereotypical or unimaginative characters.

The ROMULAJON badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by
Jay Tee.

The BLEEDING EYES badge is for a game where bump mapping doesn’t happen as often as you might think…

The BEN’S PISS CUP badge is for inexcusably lazy game design that both confuses and infuriates.

The MOLYNEUX’S LIES badge is for a game which fails to deliver on basic promised features.

The ROLL THE DICE badge is for a game surrounded by easily avoidable controversy.

The THEY’VE FU**ED IT badge is for a game that really should have been so much better…

The TEN DAY RETURNS badge is for a game so disappointing you wish you could get your money back.

… MORE TARPS WILL BE ADDED SOON!

BUDDY COP - Things get really interesting when coordinating with your allies, as you can each take on different roles. Perhaps you’ll dedicate your efforts to removing your competitors advantage? Or maybe you’ll forge on ahead, creating alternate boost lanes for your buddies who are a few seconds behind?

KITCHEN SINK POTENTIAL - There’s a lot on offer here for such a modestly priced title. A single player campaign, up to four players in split screen local multiplayer (which also supports A.I racers), online multiplayer for up to 6 players (with matchmaking and split screen guests), cross play support between PC, Xbox One, and Switch (silly Sony), and 10 tracks across 3 distinct worlds.

BANANA PEEL - Try boosting on the wrong colour strip and you’ll spin out. Watch out for that evil ink!

PUMPKIN’S PEDIGREE - Freshly minted developer Supergonk, based in Guilford UK, are a small team with some serious XP. Team members have previously worked for now sadly defunct developers Lionhead and Bizarre Creations. There are also several Codemasters alumni among their ranks, which is significant considering their background in the racing genre.

FUNKY FRESH - It has been announced that the game will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on 8th May, but the previously confirmed Switch version was nowhere to be seen. Turns out, the Nintendo hybird version needs a little more spit and polish, and is due to arrive a month later in June 2018.

ENSIGN MAYWEATHER - Fun fact: Skope, Derevolutions, and A.Skillz feature on the soundtrack. So… cool I guess?

GLORIOUS BREADBIN - This Unity powered title is certainly a looker, with a visual style that seems a little more distinct than a lot of other Unity made projects. I am concerned that with so much happening on the track and in the background that it might prove easy to get distracted, but we won’t know that until an extended playtest.

EXPAND YO PALETTE - It feels sort of mean to gripe when the game appears so feature rich, but I can’t help feeling that 10 tracks is a little under whelming. Of course, the potential for free and paid downloadable content is off the charts, but Supergonk would do well to outline their plans for the future.

TICKING BOXES - I have been hankering for a split screen and online arcade racer for what feels like an age. Go Trailblazers!