GAME REVIEW: Micro Machines V4 [PS2/PSP]*
*PS2 version reviewed. Apparently there is very little difference between the two, so feel free to take the following as applying to both. Also, if you own both versions you can interlink to open up some bonus materials.
The Micro-Machines franchise is one of the few game series to have successfully combated gaming's move into analmost exclusively 3-d realm, both critically and commercially. So it was with some excitement that SASIC played Micro Machines V4, the latest entry in the series which comes from developer Supersonic Software, who have more than theirfair share of racing-game experience. Surely the combination of miniature cars and developing experience will make for the best entry in the series yet?
What is immediately obvious is that this game, unlike many racers nowadays, is dedicated to making things as simple aspossible for the player, which might make the more cynical suggest this is a game aimed squarely at the younger market.To an extent of course this is true, not many 25 year olds get there Micro Machines out in public, but it instead givesthose who aren't 100% in tune with sorting their carburetor and coping with having to press 100 different buttons at onceto take a hairpin turn a game that they can get full enjoyment out of. The game is literally racing for 99% of the experience, unlike say Grann Turismo which is 40% racing, 60% fine-tuning your car.
The 40+ tracks and 750 (yes, SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY!) cars featured here are as imaginative as any other entry in the series and when coupled with the dazzling array of fun weaponry to unload on your unsuspecting foes (from Machine Guns to Giant Mallets) lead to some frantic and fun races, even if the tracks are disappointingly short for the most part.Although the majority of the cars are pretty much identical (split as they all are between 25 different classes) it does give at least something to encourage replay until the collection is finished.
So, bad points? Well, graphically the game leaves a lot to be desired, and any negativity that some may pour uppn the gamessimplicity could have been allayed by giving us some eye candy. On top of this, the game is just ridiculously easy - if you zip through it, not much caring for the art of collection and perfection, there's little here to rouble the hardened gamer formore than a couple of hours in all honesty. Still, the mulitplayer mode more than makes up for this aspect of it all, being as gripping and entertaining as it always has in the Micro Machines franchise.
So, overall, a colourful entertaining and enjoyable experience, that brings simplicity back to the racing genre. Although graphically dissapointing and far too easy, there are enough positives here to give plenty of fun for all but the most grumpy and cynical gamer.
7/10 - Good