Review by n fan
Reviewed: 11/30/02 | Updated: 12/03/02
An entertaining little racer.
Micro Machines 64 is a racing game based on the toy car brand of the same name. The series had been seen on PC and the Playstation before it hit the Nintendo 64. Developed by the highly respected Codemasters (a company famous for their great driving games) and essentially a port from the already existing versions on aforementioned consoles, it was the company’s first N64 game. Low sales also made sure it was their only game on the 64. But was it a speed demon, or did it crash and burn quality-wise? There is only one way to find out.
Graphics: The game has a bit of a kiddy look that works well (the cars you drive are toys after all), but is not overly colorful. Your view is not the normal 3D style, but rather a top view that is often used in gbc racers. You don’t get the feeling it could be done on that machine, though, as Codemasters have used the N64’s power to give it a 3D depth. But otherwise the graphics is pretty primitive, and it is clear that it isn’t exactly pushing the hardware to its limits. Cute and presentable, nothing more.
Sound/Music: It is a fact that sound is mostly unimportant in racers (except for the engine noise). Codemasters seem to think that at least, as this is the weak spot of MM64. What little music there is here is forgettable, and though they are actually pretty good (by N64 standards) the sound-effects are sparsely placed through the game. There is a little bit of talking in here, but that part sounds muffled and becomes eventually annoying. Oh well, the engine noise is good at least.
Gameplay: There is a great number of different challenges in here. First you chose between several different characters (the only difference they make is in what color your car get). Then you decide which kind of race you want. In the race you can choose between normal race against other cars, duel races against one main opponent, or a time trail. You can also choose how fast you want it to be and the difficulty level. In a race you can win other cars, and then race with them on your own private tracks (and let me tell you that some of these cars are pretty mighty cool). They can also be upgraded by gaining even more victories. The races themselves are great, with some nice pick-up weapons and lot of different vehicles to drive (cars are not the only ones, mind). Good and inventive control to. As a multiplayer game it has one innovative feature, namely the ability of eight players racing simultaneously by sharing four controllers. But as a racer it lacks the depth of the best in the genre, which keeps it back from being truly great. Still very good gameplay, though.
Lastability/Replayability: MM64 tends to be a game you play occasionally, rather than staying glued to the cartridge spot. The time trail will keep you coming back for more, so will the urge to win upgrades for your cars, but after a few weeks the attraction begins to wear thin. The multiplayer is the saving grace then, as it will add several hours of top notch fun to the game and the more friends you have, the longer it will last. This also makes sure that the game gets a good grade in this category.
To Rent or to Buy?
It depends. If you only buy one game a month and is friendless, this is a rental with a big R. But if you got money to burn, lots of friends and still like to play the N64, this is an excellent choice. As a crazy racer it is surpassed by Mario Kart and Diddy Kong. As a driving game there are several better games available for the 64, like Top Gear Overdrive and Rige Racer 64. And it’s primitive technically as well. But in the end, this got a nice feel to it, and is actually an entertaining little racer and a good first/only N64 game for Codemasters.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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