Sunday, April 10, 2011

Games I Like - Micro Machines

Was there any child born from the mid 80s to early 90s that didn't play with micro machines? Probably mormons...Anyway micro machines were fucking rad as all hell. It's a fact of the universe. Nothing could compare to making your own tracks and jumps out of household objects and racing tiny cars around while talking really fast.

Nothing except a little game by Codemasters called, you guessed it, Micro Machines. If you ask people which game they remember most fondly on the NES you'll probably hear a lot of Zelda, or Metroid or Mario. Nope, not me. This game was the crown jewel of my NES library. My first love. The one who broke my heart. It was you, Micro was always you.

What was so great about it? Well for starters it was a gold cartridge. Right off the bat you know you're in for something extremely awesome or extremely shitty (Thankfully it was the former). Once you actually start up the game you have the option to choose from a single player tournament or head to head with a friend. From there you proceed to pick a character from a broad selection of hilarious stereotypes. Whoever was the quickest got to be Spider (The only cool character), while the second player had to pick one of the other retards.

Then we get to the true awesomeness. There are so many vehicles in this game to pick from. Boats, jeeps, tanks, helicopters. Even little drill cars that you can ram your friend with to blow them up. Each type of vehicle had it's own track based on a different area of your house. You could be racing across your kitchen table, dodging syrup on a track made of cheerios. Or maybe across a pool table, falling in the pockets. The tracks were all awesome, and part of what made the game so fun.

It had a different kind of scoring system which kept things interesting, if sort of annoying. There was no split screen, but there was a meter on the side of the screen. When one player got too far ahead of the other they'd fill up one circle, and you'd both get transported back to the middle of the track. First person to fill up the meter wins. It was strange, but fun in a way and it always kept you on your toes.

Single player was also great. Every time you won a race, you'd see that car appear in your little micro machines collector case. Then every few races you'd get a chance to drive the monster truck. There were no other racers, but you had a limited amount of time and it was fucking hard. I don't think I ever managed to finish the monster truck level.

Overall this game was fantastic and while there have been numerous sequels, none have really managed to outdo the original. I'd kill for a sequel on today's consoles that could accurately capture the fun of racing tiny boats around your bath tub. The void this game's absence has left in my heart is a pain worse than stepping on a thousand micro machines. Yowch!

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