Nostalgia in gaming seems to be a trend lately with remakes of old classics or sequels to old favourites are being released lately. This time an old classic title returns with the top down video game Micro Machines World series, which boasts beautiful graphics and chaotic modes filled with other tiny Micro Machines. Prepare to be challenged.
Repetition is most certainly key here, as when you start out you will find yourself running into a lot of objects on the race track, as you try to navigate yourself around each of Micro Machines 10 tracks. Eventually you remember the flow of each map and so each turn, jump and obstacle becomes less and less of a hassle. Even though the top down racer can be a little frustrating at times as the cars feel like they’re racing on an oil covered tarp, practise overcomes these little annoyances. As I said before there are also 10 various kinds of tracks. Not a large amount but possibly we might see some down the track in the form of good old DLC.
The standard racing itself is fun and can be chaotic when you get stuck into it. You can also find vehicle power up pickups around the map to deal with other players but most of the time you will find that your worst enemy is more so the race itself. You will be bumped off the map or see yourself take a turn too wide and be sent dropping down only to explode. It can get frustrating but after time you will get better at it.
Standard racing isn’t exactly the main show of the game here as Codemasters has put a lot of work into Micro Machines battle modes. These feature favourites like deathmatch, and bomb delivery game styles as well as capture the flag. I once started the game and unbeknownst to me I had forgotten to turn my modem on, so of course I wasn’t online. I then saw that multiple modes were unavailable to me in offline mode and that I could only play the offline single player mode with the A.I, which does not unlock skins or cars for me to use. So sadly, to get the full use of this game you need to be online and participate against other racers to gather coins and unlocks to progress and get more content out of the game.
The main issue here is content with the main features. Yes, there are skins and other vehicles to unlock via Overwatch style loot crates, but there are only 10 maps and so few modes. Single player for example is lacking any kind of championship mode at all. This is a racing game and there is no championship mode with trophies? I find that quite odd.
Graphics & Sound
Now this is where I’m happy to give Codemasters a pat on the back. This is what I remember most about Micro Machines games. The level designs. It was so cool racing around on a picnic table or around some kid’s room driving past his toys while taking out other vehicles. Micro Machines is so colourful and vibrant. There is so much going on in the background that at times I want to just drive slowly and take in the world itself as there is so much content off the track as well as on it. This of course doesn’t hinder the game at all. If anything, it enhances it. The Machines may be Micro but the love that has gone into the games design is quite impressive.
Micro Machines World Series isn’t exactly the return to form that I was looking forward to. Unfortunately, a lot of the games design has been put into its online component and if we’ve learnt anything from the Need for Speed reboot it is that people want that single player experience. We’re not asking for a story here but as I said some sort of single player championship mode would have been a welcomed mode. But everything has been put into the online portion of the game so players will have to remain online to get everything out of this game. Don’t go buying this unless you have access to an internet connection, as there isn’t even a split screen mode for you to play locally with a friend. A beautiful game bogged down by mediocracy.