TrackMania Original – A piece of crap?

While surfing the net (for TM related stuff, of course) I came across this article from 2004. It’s a rather short review of TrackMania Original, written by Ryan Scott. It was first released at Computer Gaming World (which today seems to be called – I’m not sure if it’s a name change or something), but I found it at

Now, in this review, Ryan Scott says some rather bad things about TM Original. Being someone who did not discover TM until Nations, I’m not sure if Mr. Scott is exaggerating, or if the game was really that bad, but here are some quotes from his review:

“What’s worse than a mediocre piece of shareware? Answer: a $30 retail game that looks and plays like a mediocre piece of shareware. And that, unfortunately, is what TrackMania, Enlight Software’s new arcade racing/track design game, amounts to.”

“At best, TrackMania is a rough skeleton of what you might expect a racing game to be.”

“As far as raceways go, there are three varieties of tracks (snow, desert, and grass), all equally devoid of animation or other signs of life.”

“TrackMania’s other alternate modes, including its multiplayer mode, add little substance to the experience.”

“Even the music is offensive, consisting of little more than a collection of grating guitar riffs.”

“Just go buy some Matchbox cars instead.”

Now I’ve almost quoted the entire review already 😛 But if you want to check out the whole thing, it’s located here!

So now I’d like some comments from those of you who have played TM Original – was the first game of the TM series really as horrible as Ryan Scott makes it sound?


19 Responses to TrackMania Original – A piece of crap?

  1. Buchi says:

    Hmm, as you Jozii, i wasnt an owner of TMO. But after i started playing TMN, i heard from a Friend that he owns TMO. So I borrowed the Game from him and played it. He got it back the following day, i hated it.
    I also hated it when I got TMU… but after some time, i like racing Desert very much. Rally also becomes better and better. I dont like Alpine at all, but 2 out of 3 which are cool isnt a bad ratio.
    In fact, I guess that Game becomes better the longer you play. When you start playing it, you may dont like or even hate it. And that guy also seems like he hasnt played that game longer than a few hours. I think thats why he wrote that 😉

  2. insane says:

    yeah, i bought it right after it was released, but never really got into playing it…
    you needed to get used to it at first, to fully enjoy it
    i didnt get used to it until i played TMU for some time and imo TMO is the best TM 😉
    Mr. Scott is kinda right, but jsut as long as you dont get into the TM community 😛

  3. JumperJack says:

    lol – i started to play nations around january 2006, and quitted playing it the same month – i didn’t liked it to play the same tracks over and over, and just drive for the best time. i went for battlefield2 then…

    however, after two months, my computer couldn’t handle battlefield2 anymore, for some weird reasons, so i went for nations again… around these days, i also discovered that my classmate played sunrise…

    after another month, i bought me a new computer, and battlefield2 worked again, i played it for about 5 days, and then… nations… 😀

    i started to get used to the car, to the tracks, the editor, found TMX and everything, it was just awesome. i also came in the top50 online these days, became a member of the Fok! community and had much fun driving records on the tracks on the server… old skool… 😉

    after some months, i liked nations so much, that i bought sunrise too, but that lasted for only a couple of hours for me. it was way too inactive for me, and i couldn’t drive the envrionments at all… i did liked the puzzle mode, by the way.

    in october 2007, i bought myself original too, apart from the fact that i would get these environments in united, the game that i would buy as one of the first around here… and for original, i had as much pleasure driving it as i had at sunrise… also way too inactive for me…

    but when playing united, i started to like the environments much more, also because i downloaded some excellent tracks from TMX, and i started to get used to the physics. since a couple of weeks, i also have got a joystick, and i can drive every environment quite properly now… lets say that i really like every environment around!! 🙂

    so, concluding, i spend 16 MONTHS to like every of the seven environments, and honestly, i don’t beleive this reviewer played it as long as me, i don’t even think he managed it to play the game for more than a day… trackmania is basically an innovative arcade racing game with a giant editor, and it’s just a game where you have to get used to. i don’t beleive there are many people around who liked the game from the very first moments, i think you should always have the ‘omg, wtf is this?!’-feeling… 😀

    it’s sad that such a review is written while playing it not for a long time, you just can’t like the game in about one day… however, trackmania united has got some excellent commentary and critisism, not one single grade under the 7.0 so far i beleive, and an average of about an 8.5… not bad, uh?! 😛

    i should just read the reviews of people who took an objective look at the game, and who played it for a bit longer time… and trackmania stays a game for a selective group of people… 😉

  4. T_Z_ says:

    How did you buy TMO in October 2007 :O :O

  5. Alcator says:

    I believe this is all due to misunderstanding. Someone who expects gameplay like Need for Speed is of course disapointed by TrackMania. TM is something like Stunts, and it’s very good in it.

  6. Alcator says:

    I got TMO in 2005 and since I’m a big fan of custom content (especially “maps made by me” – for Starcraft, Warcraft, Half-life, Doom…), I was immediately possessed by the TM daemon. That’s what the game is about – the fact that every day , several hundreds or thousands of new maps are released. No other game has such an added value.

  7. Alcator says:

    Buchi said: “In fact, I guess that Game becomes better the longer you play.”

    VERY TRUE! When I first tried TMU and came across Coast, I said “What the f*** is this?? This car drives like s***! Man, this will surely be the most hated environment of all times!”

    However, later someone told me: Don’t slide. Slow down before turns. Let all four wheels grip the road. Then turn. And never ever think about the brake pedal while turning!

    Voila – I’m the coast man!

  8. T_Z_ says:

    You’re right Alcator but coast is still the most hated environment 😉

  9. LordMzn says:

    I got TMO the day after the release in Italy (the name wasn’t original, it was Trackmania). I had never played it online, but finished all campaigns and puzzles (survival too much difficult XD), playing at it 2 o 3 month…
    I think the reviewer played the game a couple of minute, then he noticed that it isn’t Need4Speed and wrote the review… an italian magazine rated TM with an 8/10, and the tester was very surprised of the originality, even if noone knew the game or the developer’s team.

  10. JumperJack says:

    yes, trackmania is the racing game that’s all about originality and innovativity!! 😉

    @T_Z_: woops, october 2006 i mean… 😀

  11. RaVaGER says:

    Trackmania has had some hard start, there’s only been a tininess of what the game does offer now, just mentioning Media Tracker, red boosters and stuff…
    I started playing Trackmania with TM the first one part … It did not last long but with my mates I started exploring the track editor and that’s what still most important for me.
    This editor isn’t mentioned 1x in Scotts article and he might have driven only some boring Nadeo maps. It is right first TM’s been minmalistic with sounds graphics and style but if he had taken a closer look he would have found whats been under the ugly design: some awesome fun game most fun provided by Track editor.

  12. Alcator says:

    One of the problems in TM:original was that the copper-cost of the map you could design in the editor was limited by the number of coppers you WON in the solo mode campaigns; this of course meant that unless you were really good in driving, you were limited to say 1000 – 1500 coppers (that’s what I got during the first 6 campaigns which were quite easy). If the reviewer only tried the first campaign and then launch the editor (if he actually did launch it), he must have been very limited by the limit and the map couldn’t be very good. Also, the editor is not “Word” where you could start typing right ahead – it takes some time to familiarize yourself with the principles.

  13. Jozii says:

    The editor IS mentioned in the review, I justs didn’t quote that part. SO I’ll do that now instead 😛

    “The built-in course editor helps a bit, but it too is fairly basic.”

    Any comments on that?

    And I have another question: Has coppers been used as it is in United in any of the previous games, or have they just been used to limit the editor?

  14. Dutchman says:

    I bought TM in September 2005 mainly BECAUSE it had a track editor 😉 Best 10 € i ever spend! Since then I’m totally trackmaniac.
    – I updated to TMO when it was released
    – published 60 tracks on TMX
    – got over 300 awards for them
    – was one of the top ten mappers at TMX in jan & feb 2006
    – made about 10 videos
    – worked over a year on a campaign for TMO (including making some mods and editing some mods)
    – I even became a moderator at the official german TM-forum 🙂
    – TMO was the first and only game i played online

    (How mad can you get? 🙂
    I completely missed TMS and TMSX and did not get really into TMN cause my hardware could not match it, so i sticked to the small, starving TMO-community until i got TMU in feb 2007. I disliked TMN cause it was overcrowded and you cannot respawn (which made most of the custom tracks undriveable for me).

    So i am pretty familiar with the TMO environments (which seem to have a renaissance with TMU) doing my best at the other envis. I liked coast immediately, cause it is so slow 🙂 and i am struggling with Island – most tracks are way to fast for me and almost all are the same style.

    It is true, trackbuilding in TMO was limited by the coppers you gain from driving the official campaign. But most of the tracks do not need more than 1500 coppers, which were easy to earn. Some of the best tracks had less than 600 coppers 🙂

  15. TimeBreaker says:

    well i started trackmania with the sunrise demo, and i really loved it (only the island car and the so-called old school blocks)
    but it was awesome, thats why i bought sunrise, i was a bit disappointed after playing the demo for free and now the real game for 60 €, wasnt fair, i thought, but the multiplayer mode justified it then, played it for a year and never wanted to quit 😛 but then i switched to nations, which i actually didnt like in the start, but then i started plying more, and i started loving it, and till today i played it always wth fun, even more than tmunited

    then, while taking a little break, i downloaded tmo demo, and i thought it will be wonderful to see hwere it all started….but it was horrible
    i only played desert but that justified not to buy tmo, becaue i wouldnt play it even for free, because i dont feel anything next to the word fun while driving with keyboard 😦

    that was horrible, as i heard from united then, and heard that theres almost nothing new, i didnt want to buy it, but for some reason i ve bought it
    i almost start liking it now after 4 months 😛

    still i will never see a justification that i had to pay 40 €
    think about people who maybe bout tmo and tms and of couse played tmn, ..i wouldve felt punk’d

    well i changed the subject 😛
    ok tmo, i still think its not fun driving, but it invented the best game editor ever seen
    so lets stop talking about the past 😛

  16. djoszee says:

    I bought trackmania when it first came out. I really liked the fact that there was a 3d racing game like stunts with an editor to create tracks. I never bothered to learn the editor, and got bored very soon. I was very pissed off, as I spent about 30 euros that time. The graphics were silly, the cars were undrivable and most players were french.

    About 8 months after I bought it, I reinstalled it. This time it updated to TMO, which brought the rally environment. I played it for some weeks and got bored again.

    I never bought sunrise, because I was still unsatisfied on TMO.

    I’ve been playing worms online for over 4 years. Someone in the worms community told me about this cool racing game that I should try, that was TMN. I went to the fok! forum and joined the TMN racing community over there. I never stopped racing eversince. I even quit playing worms. 😀

    TMO is a good game, once you start to respect it’s simplicity and innovativity 🙂 Just like the other games in this series of course

    (whoa, long post 😀 )

  17. firefountain says:

    Well, that review was just a pos.. He clearly did even have a good look at it…. Trackmania brings the spirit of an old old game that lots of us used to play in our old old old pcs.. Stunts! aka 4d Sports Stunts!

    it has the same mode of driving, same editor, everything looks the same! but the fun and speed on this one.. is well alot better 😛

  18. Zxc says:

    Well i have TMO/TMN/TMS and TMU i found TMU the best…i hate coast!!and i like rally:) but TMO suck because it has bad graphics and shit…
    (Almost 5 years old)

  19. RooBah says:

    I dunno if coast is the most hated since at most of the large servers I go … few racers are ranked below 700 at Stadium. We race and sit there looking at each others times.. like ‘boy we all hate stadium, eh”.
    They changed the physics from tmn to tmu to really irritate alot of racers.

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