Micro Machines V4

11_1After over 9 years of waiting, Micro Machines V4 is the first true new game in the Micro Machines series and the direct successor to Micro Machines V3. There are three different modes of play in Micro Machines v4: battle, lap, and checkpoint. Battle is perhaps the most entertaining mode paying homage to games like Mario Kart with mounted assault weaponry and various road traps. Within battle, you can mount weapons such as machine guns, rocket launchers, and even a giant hammer to obliterate your opponent. Additionally, items such as health and speed bonuses are spread along the track.

The tracks are designed around various rooms one would find in a typical suburban house. Interestingly enough, the tracks actually provide more entertainment than some of the actual races. The scale of the micro machines versus the rest of the world seems spot on. Giant rolling pins in the kitchen, tools laid out on a workbench, or racing along rooftops seems accurately surreal. The tracks carefully capture the same imaginative thoughts that go through a child’s mind when racing micro machines.

Any of the available cars can be extremely difficult to control. While the control scheme is simplistic, the execution of racing becomes nothing but a chore when attempting to stay on the track. The floaty camera leads to continually falling off the track and losing the race. Basically, you have to keep the gas floored all the time and pray your power slide is just enough as you barrel around a curve. This frustrating control rips any entertainment value from the single player game, as the AI rarely falls off the track. On the multiplayer side, everyone seems to be falling off. In all, the 3D engine seems more of a curse than a blessing.

The game seems designed for kids but does a poor job in getting the job done, which is to provide entertainment. The boring nature of the singleplayer and generally tricky controls make it rather difficult for most casual players to enjoy.

System Requirements: Pentium IV 1,5 Ghz, 256 MB RAM, WinXP

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