July 06, 2017

Micro Machines World Series - Review

When the chief overlord in charge at Maxi-Geek chose me to review Micro Machines World Series, my inner teenager fondly remembered the hours spent sitting around the TV with a SNES controller glued to my hands trying to shave seconds off my lap times and being hooked by the “just another go” factor the original Micro Machines on the SNES had, unfortunately after playing Micro Machines World Series all of those memories have been left broken and shattered.

While Codemasters should be applauded for not resting on their laurels and simply making a HD remake of the original 1991 SNES game, I can’t help but think to myself it might be better if they did. Codemasters didn’t need to reinvent the wheel but unfortunately World Series tries to be too many things at once, from the largely Overwatch influenced loot boxes through to each vehicle having it's own super move that only becomes available once it is powered up.

I must say that Codemasters has done a great job with the graphical style of this game, the visuals certainly won’t win any awards for the prettiest game of the year but they have managed to perfectly capture the style that made the original game so popular, the tracks range from racing around kitchen benches and pool tables through to zipping around a battlefield littered with plastic army men and helicopters that try to bomb you and impede your progress.

There are twelve different cars available ranging from a hovercraft through to a tank, which car you choose doesn’t really matter much as the controls in this game are bordering on terrible, a far cry from the precision moves you could make in the original incarnations back in the day, in World Series getting the perfect racing line seems more like luck than anything else as all the cars seems to slip and slide around the track regardless of the inputs you make on the control pad, not to mention while racing the slightest bump from a competitor will send you flying off the track and usually straight into last place, from this position it seems almost impossible to be able to catch back up to the main pack. There are various power-ups scattered across the tracks reminiscent of the Mario Kart series, these consist of officially licensed NERF toys (a nice touch) such as guns that can launch NERF bullets at your opponents however a lot of these power-ups seems severely lacking in actual power and hitting your opponents with them seems to have very little effect.

The meatiest part of this game is certainly the online component where you can either choose to race other people or take part in a battle arena and destroy your opponents. Sounds good right? In theory it does but every online game I took part in seemed to have only one other human player with the rest of the field being made up of A.I controlled opponents. I am not sure if this was because there weren't enough other people playing to make up a full field or if there is currently an issue with the net code of the game. For a game that is being promoted for its online competitive features this seems to be a huge problem. You gain experience for how well you race online and receive loot boxes for each level you achieve which contain such things as paint schemes for your cars. Micro Machines has always had so much potential for local co-op play but these modes seem to be an afterthought in this game as they are watered down to one battle mode and a race mode that takes place on a static screen with the aim being to get so far ahead that your opponent drops off the bottom of the screen, this game really could of shined if it had of included split screen local play.

This title had so much potential but the extreme lack of single player depth means there is really not much to sink your teeth into here other than the online modes but as mentioned previously modes miss the mark as well, there is definitely fun to be had here but I would only suggest buying this if you find it on sale for around $10.

Thanks to Codemasters for supplying the game for review

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