Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a game of diligence to the core. Despite how much of a favorite it’s become of mine, there were barriers I couldn’t break through that had me thinking it would be better to just up and quit. Pushing through those barriers though is what’s made for such a rewarding title to me. So, here’s some personal tips for newcomers or anyone coming off a bumpy ride.
- Baby steps. It probably goes without saying, but getting acclimated to your bike is what comes first. Don’t worry about setting times or anything, just make it across those finish lines. Figuring out what your bike can handle is an important part of that too, such as how hard, fast, and steep it can land.
- Remember what you’re biking for! Say the challenge you’re working on is to finish under however many crashes. There’s no need to exert yourself and see how fast you can finish those. If you’re going for one to beat a certain time, I’d suggest finishing how you normally would at first, then seeing where you can shave off time if you do have to try again.
- Don’t forget to push the boundaries. This might sound contrary to my previous point, but it doesn’t hurt to experiment with your playstyle. What if I kept going past those trees? What if I used this bike instead, would it help me beat that challenge? Finding a shortcut this way is oh-so sweet and can be the key if you’ve hit a roadblock.
- Not sure what bikes you should unlock first? Here’s a reasonable order to do so in my opinion, based on the game’s progression and challenges.
1. The Trailblazer is probably most everyone’s first purchase anyway, but in my eyes, makes for an almost direct upgrade over the Grasshopper. This is where you get that first taste of going off the beaten path.
2. Truly ruling the road is where the Boar comes into play though. Taking rough terrain at speed is what it does best, although it does drain stamina rather quickly. A lot of paths still open up when picking this for your ride.
3. I won’t throw you off the deep end yet, but the Pacebreaker can be the start to some solid times. It’s a real on-off switch, constantly braking and sprinting in tandem. It has the force to push you through offroad segments, although landing will be tougher than what you remember with the Grasshopper.
4. Now that you’ve acquired the sense of speed, it’s time to slow things down with the Geronimo. I have dubbed this my Free Ride machine. It’s the cushiest bike available and will let you take huge drops with ease. Want to make a massive cut by riding off that cliff? Go ahead! It is the slowest out of all the bikes and surprisingly twitchy though, so there are situations that require some care.
5. Here is where everything you’ve learned while playing gets put to the test. The Javelin is the fastest bike in the game, period, but also the weakest in terms of durability. Simple drop-offs can be a challenge now unless you tackle them the way the bike wants. Its handling is very loose compared to the other bikes as well, requiring a sense of planning into entering and exiting each turn. A true glass cannon.
- Simply having patience is the most important thing of all. No matter what trail you’re on or what bike you’re using, building on what you know is the only thing you can do. Forcing the issue and expecting the game to work for you will rarely turn out in your favor. And if you catch a snag or are feeling a little tilted, you can always come back when you’re ready. I know I sure did!
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