Let’s talk about Micro Machines 2

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Oh, so now you’re going back in time to an era that time forgot? That must mean you’re out of fresher games to talk about and you’re having to dig deeper into your reservoir of old tat games that no one cares about, is that what you’re thinking? First of all, Micro Machines 2 is the best 2D racing game to ever come out on any console ever and you should feel bad for thinking otherwise and second of all MICRO MACHINES OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS GAME IS, WAS, AND FOREVER WILL BE AMAZING.

Except for the Ferry Fiasco track which my brother and I are never allowed to play again because I’m fairly sure one of us smacked the other one in the face for playing on that level. You might think I’m kidding. I’m probably not.

Micro Machines 2 is quite simply one of the most insanely brilliant games that ever existed on any console. The saddest thought is knowing that basically the franchise has now died a death due to 3D… basically. Look, V3 was GOOD but it wasn’t classic. This game is CLASSIC. And it’s been relegated to… what? Nothing. It’s just gone. This is the kind of game that should it ever make a return, it could be AMAZING again. I know that Codemasters created Toybox Turbos recently and that is a genuinely brilliant game… but Micro Machines… is Micro Machines.

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Toybox Turbos has made me very nostalgic of late. It made me want Micro Machines again. It made me want to play as those cartoon characters bouncing up and down on the ‘ready’ screen. It made me want to race little cars around the breakfast table. I wanted to be one of those little characters again… and realistically… we lost that when the games went into 3D.

Which is Micro Machines 2 is fucking incredible.

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TO THE STORY! Way down deep in the middle of the Congo, the hippo took an apricot, a guava and a mango. He stuck it with the others and he danced the dainty tango, the rhino said I KNOW, LET’S PLAY MICRO MACHINES RATHER THAN MAKING AN OTHERWISE DELICIOUS DRINK CONTAINING MORE TROPICAL FRUITS THAN IS SURELY GOOD FOR US. Wait, what? What do you mean that’s not the real story? Go back to school and learn your Game B Cs.

Yeah, OK, so Micro Machines hasn’t got a story but to be honest, if you really have to create a story behind a racing game then what you’re essentially doing is Fast and Furious only with better acting.

There’s a plethora of game modes to play through in this sequel. Micro Machines one really only gave you a championship mode and a head to head mode. The Turbo Tournament shenanigans gives you more than you could possibly bargain for, particularly in terms of multiplayer mayhem. If anything, the multiplayer modes MAKE this game the genuine pleasure it is and if you find me a better game on the Mega Drive to play with your friends (and a lot of them) then you’re basically lying. There is nothing finer.

Liar.

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If you’ve never played or seen a Micro Machines game then you’re either under the age of 8 or you’ve really got no interest in gaming and the fact that you’re reading his is probably because I made you. So here’s a quick recap on what it is: tiny cars racing on proper sized things. There you go. Think of dragsters racing on a toilet seat, ATVs in the garden, racing around flower pots and weird truck-like things falling off the table after slipping on spilt wine and getting knocked into the corner of a waffle. That pretty much sums up the on-screen experience. The off-screen experience is usually one of spoilt friendships, lost forever, split lips, bruised egos and faces, and a fair few screams of ‘stop pushing me off the sponge, you dick, I’m gonna kill you and stab you in the pancreas, you giant dickweed, sleep with one eye open GRAAAAGGGGHHHHH’ etc, etc.

The usual gaming fare then, save for homophobic insult-hurling usually reserved for Fifa and Call of Duty OH NO I DIDN’T GO THERE but I did and fuck you if you’re one of them. FOR SHAME. Micro Machines 2 promoted a ‘healthy’ rivalry and even though my brother and I HATED each other when we played Ferry Fiasco… we did it in jest and we did like playing it. Really. Really we did.

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The major bonuses that this game had to offer included the original Championship mode (a 25-track grand prix where you race against three other racers in a bid to qualify in first or second, as per the original game), and head-to-head mode where you battle it out to get as far ahead of your opponent so as to be the first to reach eight points. Joining this pair of modes is my personal favourite: Super League mode. Essentially, the sixteen characters are split into four leagues. Each league features four races, each worth 1 to 4 points depending on your final position. At the end of the four races, the top scorer is promoted and the lowest scorer is relegated.

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Only quibble with it? Probably could have mixed up the races a bit more but the fact that they managed to choose an entirely new selection of tracks rather than use ones in other game modes is pretty good really. Plus there are more to spare.

Like Ferry Fiasco.

Seriously, stop talking about it. Do you want my brother to smack me with the controller again or something? Rude.

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Once you’ve raced around a few tracks in the single player mode and fallen off tool benches and kitchen tables and pool tables and into a pond or two or a bathtub, you get to fall off tool benches and kitchen tables and pool tables and into a pond or two or a bathtub in multiplayer MAYHEM that can involve up to nine million people at once provided you all touch the joypad and take some of the credit. Apparently there’s a mode where eight people can play at once but to be honest, back in those days, you’d be lucky to fit eight people into a room around a TV the size of a hardback book. Technology meant TVs use the same volume of materials nowadays but they wanted to make them more like cubes because all the parts were about the size of your face so fitting fifty faces into a TV was pretty hard back then. Now we’re obviously more ruthless and we squash the faces down with the Corby trouser presses that no one uses and shove them in instead so we can have 50inch TVs that cover entire walls of your new premium flat that costs you more money than you can make.

But yeah. Eight players. If you know seven other people. Or at least six cos you could ask your brother to play. Just not on Ferry Fiasco. EVER. Mum would kill us if we ever did that again although it was 20 years ago and I’m fairly sure he and I have mellowed since then, whatevs, you ain’t my muvva.

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Character-wise, you can choose from a wide range of random characters – and Edina from Absolutely Fabulous because why not – and Violet Berlin, once known as that woman who reviewed games on TV with straight-up white hair who is probably still known as Violet Berlin, that woman who reviewed games on TV with straight-up white hair, only she’s 20 years older, as are we all, unless you’re under 20 in which case PLAY THIS FUCKING GAME YOU YOUNG BASTARDS.

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So apparently, Violet Berlin doesn’t have white hair anymore but she still occasionally does that reviewing games stuff that doesn’t really exist on TV anymore because apparently gaming TV doesn’t work, no one wants to watch other people gaming HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. How things have changed and all that, insert PewDiePie reference joke here.

So Micro Machines 2 was once given a 100% for its gameplay element in a gaming magazine back in the day when those kinds of things mattered which basically means that anyone and everyone who played it loved it. And they are clearly right because it is one of the most amazing games you ever did see, hear, smell, taste, touch, play, buy, verb, another verb, another another verb or final clearly better verb that is used to persuade you more than any others and if that doesn’t convince you then wow, I’m clearly failing on so many levels. I should have kept that joke for a platform game so I could make a LEVELS joke. Dammit.

Childhood games are made on this kind of simple, easy to follow formula. There are no rules, except don’t bash your brother’s car off the sponge on the Ferry Fiasco track, and you just have to love this game for being the most amazing experience to ever come out of the Mega Drive. Or SNES. If you had that version. I never like the character graphics on that version. Everyone looked all shaded and charmless. Instead, we had SPIDER looking like this:

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Whereas the SNES had him looking like this:

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I dunno, man, it just looks a bit BLEH to me but either way, let’s just sweep him under the rug and never speak on the dirty graphics on the SNES again. Or in Micro Machine 96 on the Mega Drive which stole these character sprites and then gave us four new characters in the old style who looked ridiculously out of place and made no sense but I’m not bitter about it, you are, stop making such a big deal out it. I mean this was 20 years ago, let it go.

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So either way, Micro Machines 2 is the best game in the series. One was fun, 96 was fun, Military was a shitstorm of crap that faded away with good reason. Seriously, that game made me wince in pain. I mean, few games give me the fearsome thought of turning one of the most beloved games in history into a mess of crap where everyone could shoot each other and you had to deal with that AWFUL jet fighter level that killed everyone because the other three racers knew how to brake properly and basically that game sucked and to be honest, the SNES did well not to get that game because it was awful. I can’t even believe I’m mentioning it in the same breath as this glorious beast of a game. Seriously, if I still had my Mega Drive, I’d be having parties on this fucking game right now because this game is the shit and right now, I want to buy some Micro Machine cars and just race them round my house on tracks made some spilt salt and dry spaghetti and I don’t even like spaghetti but I love Micro Machines so I would buy spaghetti just for that reason and if that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.

No, YOU want to have miniature racing car sex.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Ah the little tune that plays when you are setting up before a match is wonderful, it sounded so pleased to be here.

    Like

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