Micro Machines Turbo 64


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


Barely advancing since the NES version, this long running series (and under most gaming radars) has barely gained anything in each upgrade. The same style and feel permeates the game wherever it ends up. This N64 version of Micro Machines adds some unnecessary polygonal graphics, tough camera views, and new modes. It's a small step down because of the transition, but still a blast to play.

micromachines641.jpg (29912 bytes)Even with the genuinely inviting exterior, this is not a game for kids. It's fast, and probably out of many children's hand-eye coordination range. The characters are there simply to look at, as they have no distinct advantages over each other on the courses.

These tracks make the series what it is, set on various tables, bathtubs, and kitchens around the house. Staying on course means following the cereal lining them (watch out for the milk), or whatever else the barrier may be. You can make minor shortcuts almost anywhere, but veer too far and you'll self-destruct.

There's not much room for error either. These tracks are tightly wound, and pushing opposing vehicles off ledges or into hazards is part of the fun. The variety of vehicles is fantastic, adding in some necessary play variety to keep this title away from its otherwise simple roots.

Control is important with the tracks as they are. Anyone who attempts to take these on at full speed, regardless of how well their car controls, will smash into something or miss a crucial jump. The problem with the N64 version is how the developers have tried to make the camera active.

It's a random viewpoint for the most part, wildly swinging around or zooming. It maintains the trademark overhead view (which is where the reaction times come in) only part of the time. There are points where it wraps around to actually be in front of the players car, making it impossible to see incoming hazards in time. It's a nasty surprise.

micromachinesn642.jpg (33893 bytes)Still, a great game will always be a great game, and Micro Machines 64 is because the original was so strong. The play variety is superb, with specific types for both single and multi-players. There's nothing like four-player racing in Micro Machines, especially since all the action occurs on a single screen. There's no need for split-screen action here.

While it's hardly a common occurrence on the N64, this racing title is a complete success. Unlike many others, it's perfect for anyone if they've had a little experience playing video games. If you're familiar with the franchise, the camera change will be aggravating, but not enough to keep you away from a superb little game.


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Last updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 12:10 AM