At 1.30am last night, I couldn't tell you whether I loved or hated TrackMania. What I can tell you is that I was playing it. Or more specifically, playing one track. Again and again. Determined to beat it. Increasingly tired, and as such increasingly unable to make the perfectly timed turns to get that Gold medal that sat between me and sleep.
Right, so there's some confusion to deal with. What exactly is going on with Nations Forever? It's free. Utterly and entirely free. As was the previous TrackMania Nations - a stripped down version of the series created for use in the Electronic Sports World Cup. However, Forever is also a free add-on for the most recent retail release, TrackMania United. The result is, United is now called TrackMania United Forever, and when purchased new will come with 3D glasses to take advantage of the new 3D mode. Muddled yet? Well, wait.
United's big hook was the online play. You could play the game in the offline mode, and then at any time attempt an "official" run, which would upload the results to the international database, and rank you alongside anyone else who'd attempted that track. Well, now the same appears in Nations Forever, along with 65 completely new stadium tracks, for both solo and multiplayer racing. Previously Nations was completely separate from the rest of the TrackMania series, but now Nations Forever and United Forever are fully integrated. People with Nations can race on the Nations-specific tracks against people playing United.