I played the original TrackMania not so much to death, but to the point where it was six feet under and the flowers had gone mouldy. In a way I'm not surprised by how little I've played its latest incarnation, TrackMania 2: Canyon. It's the same jolly good physics-defying racing as the first, complete with the absurd track designs. But, for me at least, it just feels a bit too similar to the original.
This new video has piqued my interest, though. It reminds me of the thing that makes TrackMania great, other than the fact that you can drive upside-down: the community. I spent many a night up until 2am in that “just one more race” mentality, racing a hotchpotch of strangers on un-completable tracks. Once, I was racing three Swedish people on a track that simply consisted of a three-foot diameter tube and nothing else. We were all so determined to finish that we failed to see the futility of attempting to keep a racing car on a surface that it didn't fit on in the first place.
Anyway, it's a lovely, cheery video, complete with a kid playing the game (They seem to have negated the magenta cockskins for that particular bit), someone swearing at the game, some re-skinned rocks, some toilets racing through the game and, as testament to just how rock-solid TrackMania's physics engine is, a shot of 1,000 cars attempting the same track. It ends with quite possibly the best home-made racing car rig on the planet.
So, this weekend, I might boot up TrackMania: Canyons and see what's going on. While sitting in a pram.