Overall, the motosport platformer Trials Rising is a pretty fun game, even on Switch where it’s been badly visually downgraded. One thing that’s not fun is having your nose rubbed in it every time you fail to beat a rival’s time.
In Trials Rising you’re not just trying to complete a course, something that can be challenging by itself at times. You’re also trying get the best time while doing so. To help ignite the player’s sense of competition, the game matches you against other players’ ghosts. Rather than just challenging you to overcome the record time set by a friend, Trials Rising has a knack for putting you up against the superior skill of internet randos who will then taunt you when you fail.
On the race completion screen, the avatar for the player whose time was ahead of yours slaps their arse while a kazoo plays some version of “nahnah, nahnah, nah nah.” The first time it’s just kind of silly, of a piece with the rest of Trials humour which revolves around seeing the crash-test dummy body of your driver brutalised every time you screw up a jump or a landing. By the tenth I was looking for some way to shut it off, though unfortunately as far as I can tell there’s no place in the options menu to do so.
The game’s subreddit and forum include numerous complaints about the taunt mechanic, many of them from people tired of being mocked by ghost avatars wearing the game’s monkey costume.
“I want to play this game more but every time I open it I’m annoyed by something,” wrote one Reddit user. “Whether it’s the slow UI, grinding the same map over and over, having a monkey blow a kazoo and shake his arse at me, the stupid loot boxes, or the bad sticker system.”
The game’s fun and the gameplay itself if not a concern here,” wrote another. “But what has got to be the worst thing for me is trying to enjoy myself but at the end of every race I have to listen to some stupid horn and watch someone (most likely a monkey) shake his arse at me.”
Someone on the game’s forum simply wrote, “The kazoo music win animation needs to be killed with fire.”
The taunts might be slightly less aggravating if they were coming from people players actually knew, but Trials Rising doesn’t allow you to limit your ghost opponents to people on your friends list.