you want to do a "little" racing, you would
be hard pressed to find a more literal manifestation
than Micro Machines V4.
by Cole Smith
6, 2006 -
This is the fourth in the series of miniature racing,
where you drive tiny vehicles through ordinary household
areas which take on new and wondrous characteristics
from the shift in perspective. V4 is primarily aimed
at kids and casual gamers that are looking for more
adventure and less of a challenge.
Machines V4 is essentially a novelty game. It has
an arcade quality to it with short races, imaginative
tracks, power-ups and a simplistic gameplay style
that makes you feel as though you've already used
some mighty powerful cheat codes on it. The appeal
of this game is huge, but lasting appeal is another
thing. The easy gameplay will bore hardcores within
half-an-hour, and the weekend warrior will be hard
pressed to get an hour out of it before swapping it
for...anything. Those that just enjoy the mindlessness
of the racing, which can be hypnotic, may also fall
for the "collect-em-all" unlockable
vehicles which number in the hundreds. Almost 800
in total. That's a lot of vehicles. There are 25 different
vehicle classes. After you've collected about 50 of
them, you'll begin to notice glaring similarities.
The majority of these vehicles are just variations
of only a handful of unique ones. They vary in shape,
style and colors but show no differences in performance.
controls couldn't be more basic, yet they are very
effective and must be used in varying combinations.
The controls include steering, acceleration and braking.
By combining braking and accelerating you can powerslide
around curves and dangerous objects. You will have
to experiment with your timing and get the perfect
braking-to-acceleration ratio to speed your way along
the tracks. Hard steering can also result in sliding.
The commands are responsive and despite the diminutive
size of the cars, there is a decent sense of weight
to them. After a short learning curve you'll hardly
ever spin out of control by accident.
through environments that include a living room, kitchen,
pool table, games room, beach and other outdoor locations
such as the backyard, you will encounter various obstacles
and dangerous pitfalls. There are some 40 different
tracks in total and while they are fun, they are also
very short and repetitive as many of these tracks
are just variations of a handful of original ones.
make things more interesting, weapons are available
in the form of machine guns, plasma guns, a huge hammer,
rocket launcher and electro-shocker, to name a few.
There are 20 different weapons in all. They don't
play a huge role in the gameplay but they add some
diversion and let you blow things up. That's always
welcome in a videogame. Keep in mind that racing is
the main objective of the game and that using these
weapons will severely slow your vehicle down, especially
when using a weapon such as the plasma gun that requires
charging. And speaking of slowing the pace down, the
load times can be really annoying. It's not uncommon
to wait up to half-a-minute between loads. When you
see how average the graphics are and how short the
tracks are, you'll wonder what the hell is up with
of the fun is in exploring new tracks. Even the cloned
tracks can be fun as you might be able to find a new
shortcut or locate new power-ups. The game uses these
elements sparingly so that when you do find one it
feels a lot more exciting than it really is.
checked out both versions, the PS2 and the PSP, the
game is virtually identical on both systems with the
exception of a few different features. Graphically
it's more impressive on the PSP simply because I wasn't
expecting it to look this good. The same cannot be
said for the PS2 since I expect things to look at
least this good - and a whole lot better to boot.
It's bright and colorful and has a generic cartoon
look that makes it look a little empty and a bit on
the plastic side. The tracks are filled with objects
and there is a good sense of spatial 3D depth but
the environments just don't look natural. Each object
looks as though it was rendered independently and
slapped onto the screen. Which they were, but it just
doesn't have to look that way. The sounds are low
key, almost to the point of disappearing at times.
The music is just basic arcade fare and does little
to get your adrenaline pumping.
PSP version features a four-player ad-hoc wireless
mode while the PS2 version has a track editor, so
that you can place those disparate items anywhere
that you see fit. There are some extra features that
you can access through connectivity of the two systems,
but use a friend's version of the game and don't go
out and rent another one, or worse yet, buy one if
you already have a copy for your other system. These
extra features are not worth it.
quick and quirky racing fun it's hard to beat Micro
Machines V4. It comes across like fireworks, in that
it's a lot of intense fun for a short period of time
but when it's over, it's over. Don't expect much replay
value unless you're one of those compulsive types
that has to "collect-em-all.
in madcap competition racing with your micro motors
on the wildest tracks around your house, yard and
bonus tracks with PSP to PS2 connectivity
out round the breakfast table, turbo boost around
the pool table or hit the gas as you race round
the rim of the bath.
multiplayer and singleplayer content.
credits to unlock tracks and cars then trade with
of tiny turbo cars to collect or trade. Or, up the
stakes when you play for keeps with pink slip
your arsenal of power ups to blast your opponents
with the flamethrower or
heat-seeking homing missiles to throw them off course.
editor choose your own route through the yard or
then challenge your friends to