Micro Machines 2 - Turbo Tournament
There's been quite a lot talk recently about how having a top-end pc has become the latest crass "lads" status symbol. Yes, it seems that aside from bragging about how fast their car is how loud their stereo can go. and how many low-flying aircraft they can knock out of the sky with their nobs, "lads" up and down the nation have taken to boasting about the size of their hard drives or the speed of their processors. Owning a Pentium 90 with 16Mb of ram a I Gig hard drive and a quad-speed CD (not forgetting a foundation-quaking pair of speakers either side of the 95 inch monitor) is the equivalent of being a 7-foot tall. Porsche-driving, ltick-boxing. model-shagging. brewery-quaffing, kong-cocked stallion. Which is a bit sad really.
It's a bit sad because we've recently been seeing more and more games designed with this kind of audience in mind. I'm not talking about tragic "shag-simulators" like Blind Date. No. no. no. no. no. I'm talking about all these pretty-in-appearance, wafer-thin-incontent interactive movies, and drawn-out FMV-a-thons. The sort of thing which requires a pc as powerful as money will allow, which impresses your mates, and makes the more imbecile owners drool all over their keyboards. And quite frankly. I'm just sick to the pit of my stomach with ii all. Whatever happened to the old-school video games? The ones that were more fun to play than to look at? Where the hell have they been hiding that priceless drug called gameplay?
Well. I've found it. It's alive and kicking, and it tastes better than ever. It's nestling away inside Micro Machines 2 - a game that proves once and for all that you don't need Gouraud shading and 15 million polygons to make a brilliant game.
Why Miss Jones... you're beautiful
Look at the screenshots. Doesn't look too special, really, does it? Not too far removed from a 16-bit console game. Bloody primitive. The video game equivalent of cave painting.
Not quite. I like 'em. They're neat, bright, functional and... well, they're dinky, aren't they? Cute without being sickening. More importantly, they zip about the screen at a fair old rate of knots - 60 frames a second if you want specifics. The poor old pc has always been a bit of a duffer when it comes to handling slick, console-style scrolling, but Codemasters has pulled it off perfectly here. The sounds are just as dinky too - tons of neat little skidding and screeching sounds, clangs, crashes and taunting asides from the commentator. Smashing.
But the real masterstroke is the gamcplay. It's immaculate. We're talking all-time classic stuff here. In the gameplay stakes. Micro Machines 2 ranks alongside other hallowed names such as (take a deep breath...) Tetris, Street Fighter 2. Doom, and Super Bomberman. And what do all these games have in common? Simplicity of design seamlessly interwoven with depth of gameplay. And a multi-player mode.
Yes. I'm afraid that's right. You're going to need at least one friend if you're going to get the most out of this. Try taking a bath or calling one of those 0898 partyline things if you don't already have any.
Head to Head to Head to Head
Micro Machines 2 will allow up to four players to compete, simultaneously, on a single pc (if you don't have a joypad. the maximum is three). Playing the game couldn't be simpler; you race like billy-o against each other, using just a couple of buttons to control your movement (left, right, accelerate, brake). Once you've played it for five minutes you'll be hooked. I guarantee it. Hear that? I said I GUARANTEE IT. The winner is the one who either a) finishes all allotted laps before anyone else, or b) fills up his or her "bonus gauge" by overtaking the others several times in a row.
There's a huge variety of courses and vehicles on offer (far more than the original version), including buggies for the beach. Monster Trucks racing along xylophones, and even dragsters circling a toilet seat (top marks to Codemasters for making the commentator bellow "Hey! Someone forgot to flush the toilet!" whenever one of you drops down the pan - it's really totally unnecessary and is therefore amusing). The courses fall into several different difficulty ratings and the "pro" routes will see you spending approximately 95% of your time spinning off the track and into oblivion while spitting out more f-words than Joe Pesci uses in Goodfdlas and Raging Bull put together.
And er... that's it really. It's as simple as that. Not much more to add. It's a piece of bulletproof video game design. Pure, mindless fun - and there's not much of that to be had anywhere these days. So you can take your poncey intro sequences, and your multi-directional light sourcing, glue it to your svga mode (which in turn is stapled to that 17-button joystick you're so proud of), and shove the lot of it right up your virtual bottom. Take a break from all that hi-tech, hi-falutin', vacuous hoo-hah. If you want a short, sharp shot of effortless, immediate gameplay then this is it. Get your wallet out of mothballs now for Micro Machines 2 and lap it up. Essex boy. Lap it right up.
Micro Machines Construction Set
Oh, alright then. It's all very well having a bit of faultless arcade hi-jinks from time to time, but you know what us PC users are like. Reared on a diet of endless option lists, whopping great 250-page manuals, and gut-busting longevity in our games, we tend to get a bit scared by something as audacious as a no-frills top-down arcade racing game. We want something extra - something you definitely couldn't get on a common-or-garden Mega Drive.
Fear not, oh speccy one. Tucked away inside every copy of Micro Machines 2 is this little wonder - the Construction Kit. This gem does just what you'd expect it to - it gives you the opportunity to create your own courses from scratch, or simply spruce up a few existing ones. And, just like the rest of the game, it's designed to be simple to pick up and use. Every little thing can be messed about with. You can alter the vehicle graphics, the obstacles, the flooring... the lot. You can even make like a God and change the weather conditions with a mere click of the mouse. Ahhh, it's just like being a kid again, building ramps for your Tonka toys on your bedroom floor, except this time round it's more fun because instead of having to tidy everything away before Dad shouts at you, you can save your little personal Brands Hatch to disk, and effortlessly summon it back again whenever you fancy a race. Bliss.
Ahem. I'd just like to point out that anyone who actually spends a lot of time in this section of the game really is a bit sad. I was just doing it for the sake of research. Here you witness my progress as I struggle to create my own special Micro Machines course, which takes place on Jeffrey Dahmer's breakfast table. I cheated a bit... the (extremely) basic paint program that lets you draw the objects themselves is a pig to use with the mouse, so instead of starting from scratch, I simply took a few existing graphics and modified them a little to give off that elusive "serial killer" vibe. A few minutes et voila! That dull looking paintpot is transformed into a bloodied, torn-out human eyeball. The "notepad" graphic was easily transformed with a few scrawled letters - note the bizarre mixture of upper and lower case - what a giveaway, it's a classic psychotic characteristic. Then, a few random daubs of blood later, my course is complete. Hooray. Perfect for racing those cute little dragsters around.
It's the voices, you know. They make me do these things. And they reward me with songs in the night. In my head. In the night. Can't you see? Why don't you understand? Must I kill again to make them see? Stop it! Get out!
Get out of my room and leave me alone to play!
Download Micro Machines 2 - Turbo Tournament
Micro Machines II: Turbo Tournament is a video game part of the Micro Machines series, featuring toy cars and developed by Codemasters. It was published on many platforms, such as Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Amiga, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Game Boy, PS2 and Sega Game Gear. The games were released between 1991 and 2006 and were fairly popular. The video game series is based on the Micro Machines toy line.
The game featured tracks based on household settings. Kitchen tables and desktops were some of them. The tracks contained different obstacles, and falling off the track was a possibility all the time.
Micro Machines II was the follow-up of the first game, and featured cars that required other handling techniques for each course. Hovercrafts and helicopters were not missing from this sequel. The game featured several playing modes, with the "head to head" mode being one of them. Each player can earn points by driving a full screen ahead of the opponent in this mode. The version for PC featured a track editor as well.
The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version featured the J-Cart, which was a cartridge with two control ports. This way the 4-player adaptor wasn't needed. The pad sharing feature was available as well, meaning two players can just share the same pad. This meant up to eight players were able to compete in the same time, which was quite unique at that time.
The game was followed by lots and lots of follow-ups, with Micro Machines Turbo Tournament '96, Micro Machines Military, Micro Machines V3, Micro Machines 64 Turbo, Micro Maniacs, Micro Machines (2002) and Micro Machines V4 coming on the market in the following years. Micro Machines II was an excellent single player game, but even better when played in multiplayer. Codemasters made the ultimate multiplayer experience out of this game.
In the Party Play mode, which can be played with up to eight players simultaneously, the cars automatically hit the wheel, the players only have to steer. But even if the game can be played with so many cars in the same time, the most fun of all is with four players. It is also the most recommended that each player has its own pad.
Thanks to how many players could have played it, but also to the graphics and gameplay, the game was very appreciated back in the 90s. The fact that it was developed until 2006 is also a proof of this. Critics rated the PC game with 7.0, while users on GameSpot offered an overall feedback of 7.7 out of 10. The game for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis was rated even better. Critics offered a 9.0 feedback, while users offered an overall of 8.7 out of 10.