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Canyon: An Acquired Taste?
Canyon: An Acquired Taste? 06 Apr, 2012
  eyebo.wp (8 comments, 3066 views)  
I originally wrote this on the ManiaPlanet forums, but I think it turned out pretty well, so I decided to put it over here as a blog entry as well. Please leave a comment below if you agree or disagree with it. I'm interested to know what you all think.

I think it's true of many things in life that they are an acquired taste.

In other words, you may not like it at first, but with increased exposure to it, you may begin to appreciate and enjoy it. For myself, this has been true of horseradish, mustard, lemons, coffee, electronic music, and even reading.

But those are all things I love now.

The same was actually true when I first got TrackMania (it was TM Nations ESWC). It wasn't that I disliked it, but for me the fun was derived from playing it with friends at a LAN. I was pretty bad at the game itself, and I didn't think I'd ever get good enough, nor did I have the desire, to really enjoy it for the game itself. I dare say I enjoy the game itself a lot more going back to it now than I actually did when I first played it.

I quit TM for 8 months or so after originally playing it. I only picked it up again when I saw a different version of it, United, which I thought I'd try out. I was really bad at driving nearly everything and even disliked most of the environments. Island was the environment that really held my interest at first. I played a lot of it, because it was comfortable. But over time I ended up playing tracks in the other environments as well... sometimes to beat medals in the solo campaign... sometimes because a non-Island environment came up on a server I was playing on. Gradually I improved my skill and appreciation for these other environments and now I'm really happy that I love driving all of them. I would have missed out on so much if I had simply given up on them at first and completely avoided them.

The same is true for Canyon. I was pretty bad at it at first. Thankfully when I got it the game was new and most tracks being built were fairly easy, so that helped me ease into playing it. But had I given up at the start due to bad skill and being unable to control the car... I would have missed out on so much fun.

I'm not saying you have to always do things you dislike. But sometimes having a little patience with something you may be unskilled at can yield great rewards later on; learning a musical instrument, trying a new food, listening to a new type of music.

Don't give up on Canyon just because you don't at first understand it.
8 comment(s).
 MeFFF writes ... 31, May, 2012  
For me that is true with 1 enviroment: COAST (l)
 bcs'VividReamer writes ... 10, Apr, 2012  
Yep, nice discussion..
and i can count myself as one of the doubters.. because Canyon to me was the reason why
many of my friends and buddies were drifting away from tm1, and so directly affecting my
own personal enjoyment of Trackmania United.
So i was very reluctant to even try the new game and resisted for many months, even
though i knew some players who were really having fun with it! Eventually of course i was
tempted away from Dirt maps (and the stadium car) and downloaded Canyon...
because the physics of the game are so different it took a few days to get used to the handling
of the car, but once learned it became very enjoyable and highly addictive!
Although i was slow to get off the line with Canyon, i now wouldn't hesitate to recommend it,
and my own preconceived ideas were way off the mark.
 Januy writes ... 09, Apr, 2012  
Jesus the comments are almost bigger than the blog haha.

Nice one Eyebo, this is great! It reminds me that I should give TM2 another spin! :)
 pafromain writes ... 08, Apr, 2012  
Hello eyebo!

First time i answer to a blog there, but i just discovered this feature and it seems it has a great potential for interesting discussions...

Your text is interesting and i rather agree with most of it. I would even say, in a certain manner, hates are also acquired: we often hate things because we don't know them. Lots of tastes can be acquired, even very weird ones like eating froggs and snails... ;) Also, it examplifies very well how one's culture, education and life experiences may influence his/hers opinions, tastes and preferences. But i want to moderate this thinking because i believe tastes are not only but partly acquired, and there are probably things you'll never like, even trying hard. I believe all of us have personal trends to prefer some things rather than others.

In my own experience Canyon is an acquired taste too, although it's still not my favourite environment compared to TMU ones, and despite its graphical superiority. I really disliked it a lot at the beginning, partly because it was slide-based as stadium, which wasn't the cup of tea of an old TMS noslider like me. But despite i never managed to like stadium (even insisting and having some TMN pros teaching me the technics), i successed to kinda like canyon in few months. It shows it is not the same for both environments: i needed efforts to like canyon, i couldn't like stadium even with efforts. Also, some "a priori" judgements might influence us. For instance, it is possible that i had a bad prejudice about stadium, because i didn't like the idea to play one single environment and i feared it as a threat for the gameplay/environments diversity. Or maybe, i was just frustrated by the self-pride of stadium players claiming the environment they played was that superior to others... It is also possible that some TMNF drivers can't like other environments because having several environments might threat things they want to conserve.

Sometimes, the trend we have to like something is even that strong, that we don't need any effort at all to like it. It might happen with drugs: one doesn't want to fall dependant to them, but the trend is stronger. For me, it happened with the "tech" mapping style, that i liked very quickly when i tried the first tech maps, after having played a lot of fullspeed maps that got boring. So, a taste can also be more spontaneous than acquired.

All in all, it seems pretty complex to assess how tastes build up, maybe it explains why there are so much various tastes in the nature... Maybe also some people prefer to follow their most spontaneous tastes, while others rather try to build up them. We could then wonder about what driving force leads us to try things we don't like at first... Friends? Work? Don't they come from an influence of other humans? ...
 SPIDER writes ... 08, Apr, 2012  
I found tmn sometimes around 2006 i think, in a "pc hemma" (swedish computer magazine with a demo disc)
and played true the campaign in it and i had so much fun but then 2008 i get internet and found tmx and i register there instant and start playing and i played every day online/tmx but then i lost intrest in it again, and i reducing my gaming and then i start again to be more active at 2009, and its still the best game ever, its the best game i ever played even before i got internet and now, I Loved canyon at first but then i found a few bad bugs like the dirt chop thingie and the crazy loops/wall rides and i dont know how to make the perfect wallride but i have my ideas to find it, its easyer to say than to actually do it :s but some times you get a lucky run and you cant beat it ever But remember if you done it one time you can do it again, for sure ;) ..the thing is when you go online, you always got stuck for 1 - 4 hours becouse its so addicted and fun, and the time flies away in some mysterious way, no matter wheter the track is good or bad, i want to make a good time mostly" with a few exception" on any track and sometimes the time is to short and sometimes you just flow through the track and make a good time, instant, and I am a competitor person even do i am not that good i want to do my best, that like the challenge to finish first and some just play for fun like this video on youtube where the dad and his son playes for fun thats an awesome video (Eyebo know what video i am talking about) to show that not every one play to make a crazy time and win they just play for fun as i sad, hehe.. I both hate and love canyon in some mysterious way, and the better you are the minimal mistakes makes you mad and you finish nr 2. :d after me ;)
The better you are the harder it become becouse its harder to cutting edge than drive in the center of the track but keep practice. btw, play against the best opponent, guess who that is,,,, noo,,, thats wrong,,, its you :p practice practice practice.

btw. most of us were stuck in tmnf stadium and we like it so much so we complain about canyon becouse we love the old trackmania handling, but tm canyon is alot more beginner friendly, its easy to drift i know i sometimes got irritated about bugs in tmnf and the no drift at to low speed that was enoying so canyon is the best driving experience and its cheap to. ^^ we just need to find new tricks to shave of a few hundreds in a track. and know the car, there are a few tricks to find in canyon, so keep looking, those tricks is making the best player better when they know them like the start bug at beta and they destroy the start block to fix it, that was bad but thats just how it is we have accept that and move on...
Edit: Hate is a strong word i mean "don´t like" :$
 Tuta writes ... 06, Apr, 2012  
Topics: Lets do them all the same?

hehehe eye <3

Nice post :) It is probably true for a lot of things and you explained it very well :d I was really obcessed with canyon at first though and my interest sunk quite rapidly... it took several months for it to come back to a sort of normal level. I now enjoy it but don't really play much and mostly stay cause of the great people! If canyon is an acquired taste it sadly isn't one that I have :(
 ohei2 writes ... 06, Apr, 2012  
I think being bad on Canyon is by far more annoying than being bad on Island, Bay or Snow since you can't go anywhere else. In United, if you are uncomfortable with one environment, you can always drive another. In TM², if you are uncomfortable on Canyon, you..., well. 8-|
 XT kruemelyeti writes ... 06, Apr, 2012  
Your blog post makes me really thoughtful. I know this feeling pretty well, I think you can also transmit it on humans. People I didn't liked first became best friends for example. You shouldn't judge by first impression. This is what also belongs to Trackmania, even if I didn't feel like you in this case.

I also began Trackmania with Nations ESWC, although I just had half the fun, because I didn't play online in these days, I just liked to play around in the editor, building some crazy tracks and share them with friends.
Then I discovered TMU (I think it already was TMUF when I began playing it) and that was the point of time since I got really excited about Trackmania, I played it more than any other game this time (I guess it has been abot much more than 800 hours till now, maybe 1000, who knows...). Then I made a pause for maybe a year or even more (I really liked to play League of Legends with some friends these days), so my enthusiasm for TM passed by, but I got really excited again when I heard about Trackmania 2.
And now I am still as excited as when the game was announced, I am still as excited as when I played TMUF like a freak. Also from the first moment I liked Canyon more then any other envi before, that's why I loved the game from the first moment and I still love playing it.

I guess that's all I can tell so far about my personal TM history (I bet noone is even interested in reading it :d , I'm just in a writing mood at the moment).
I think everyone knows the feeling you describe in this blog, I personally don't have it at all, related to TM, but I hope your post gives some people hope who already gave up the game and maybe it awakes some new enthusiasm for those players. :)
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