Micro Machines V4
Micro Machines V4 carries on the fine
tradition of hilarious multiplayer action, so get your mates lined up on
the sofa and huddle round the screen for a 4-player marathon. With that
official blurb from Codemasters, Micro Machines has been the ultimate
party game since the days of the NES and given that the last decent
version was released the best part of ten years ago (Micro Machines V3),
we were due a new edition to liven up the end of these winter months.
Developers Supersonic Software have really
created an outstanding sequel to the series in this latest incarnation
that once again has the player using a wide variety of branded toy cars that are absolutely
tiny to enable the gamer to race around some amazing real-world matchbox
car race courses, almost like you're a kid again.
Environments includes areas such as the
school, office, bathroom etc etc with up to four cars involved in any
one race and the idea is to get more than a screen’s length away from
the chasing pack. Successfully doing this gains you two points whilst
the closest chaser gets a point, with third and fourth losing points.
The first to obtain the required amount of points is the winner.
The control system is extremely easy to master with almost anybody being
able to pick up a controller and be racing
within seconds and the brevity of each of the points means that it’s
difficult for new players to become frustrated, given that they’ll never
be able to get so far behind as to want to give up and not play anymore.
If they make a mistake and drive their vehicle off a table edge, the
next point will begin in a few seconds for them to have another go. The
concept works as well as it did all those years ago.
Micro Machines V4 is somewhat deeper than the previous iterations of the
franchise. In both single and multi-player modes, you can unlock a
wealth of new vehicles, and when playing alone, completing challenges
successfully garners new "boxed sets" of cars which have different
decals and attributes.
It’s only after you’ve played for an hour or so
that you realise exactly how different these cars really are. Sure, you
can drive something that looks like a milk float but you won’t notice
how poorly it handles until you start ripping around the building site
with the Formula One-alike vehicles.
On the track, weapons make a welcome return to liven up the action.
Trying to outwit your opponent and push them off the edge of the tight
and twisty courses is enough to be going on with but when you pull
plasma guns, dice bombs, electric shock generators and missiles into the
equation, the roof will come down to screams of insults from your fellow
There are a couple of niggling issues which stop Micro Machines V4 from
being the perfect game such as strange camera angle. Also, a few of the
tracks have some little problems that threaten to spoil the party, such
as when you aim towards a ramp and suddenly find yourself stopped dead
as you hit it at the wrong angle thanks to a small bump in the track
beforehand. These things can be avoided with extended play, but some of
them are downright unfair.
With those points mentioned, there is very
little that could spoil what is a very accomplished game. Little bits of
polish, like not making you watch two CPU players battle it out when
both human players have flown off the track in a multiplayer game are
present throughout and they show exactly how much thought has gone into
making this game what it is.
In conclusion, Micro Machines V4 is an
addictive racer that I would recommend to anyone who loves a great
multiplayer title with awesome gameplay, great replay value that are
nicely matched with a sturdy graphic and sound system... gentlemen and
ladies... start your engines!