Take Micro Machines V3, take out the cars and put in weird-looking little people and hey, presto! Micro Maniacs. This is obviously an attempt to add some character to the franchise, but unfortunately the character design isn't striking enough to make you really care who it is you're playing as. When it comes to gameplay mechanics though, this is classic MM fare. The structure adheres to the tried and tested formula, but unfortunately, the additional demands of having animated characters running about instead of simple car shapes take their toll on the PlayStation. This is a much slower-paced game, but in some ways this helps. How? Well, there's now a much more structured weapons system for combat that involves collecting power-ups much like you would in Mario Kart. All the characters have two different types of ability which can be "charged" by collecting power-ups. You can save them up for a big whack in the final lap...or shoot your load early and chase after more of them. It makes for a more tactical game, especially in multiplayer mode. Speaking of which, anything up to four players is great fun. If you're lucky enough to own two multi-taps and have seven friends though, you'll find that the eight-player game isn't as groovy as you'd think. Things get very confusing and people get bored.
If you were never a fan of Codemasters' previous Micro Machines racing games, you're not gonna like this thing. But even if you did dig those addictive racers, you can live without Micro Maniacs anyway. Aside from new characters and levels, there's not much new here. It's still same top-down, chaotic gameplay. It's also just as fun. With four players it's a blast. With eight it's a party. Trouble is, you get the same thrills from Micro Machines V3.
The lovable parly game just got a little less lovable. The Micro Machines games have always been great fun, but now, the series has pretty much run its course. Maniacs doesn't bring much new to the table (same gameplay, perspective and styles of tracks). The few new enhancements it does have are either no big whoop (jumping...big deal) or unwelcome (the new weapons are terribly unbalanced). It's still a fun disc. It's just a little disappointing.
Having never been a huge Micro Machines fan, I had serious doubts about Maniacs. And indeed, I found Micro Maniacs a bore in one-player. The real fun picks up when you get a couple of your friends playing via the multi-tap (beer optional). However, I found the character/weapon balance to be slightly off. There are some power-ups that really pissed me off. And of course, with more than six players, it's nigh impossible to see where you're going.
Download Micro Maniacs
A retro top-down racer. Micro Machines won't be heading to the starting line to take on the latest and greatest racing sims or kart games. Just as the title suggests, you race miniature vehicles ranging from sports cars to boats in a variety ot obstacle-laden settings. This upgraded version of MM. which was originally released for the SNES. offers smoother graphics, explosive weapons, and a plethora of multiplayer options. In this early version, the handling was a bit tough, with too much sliding, while the course layouts weren't well defined. If these minor flaws are driven away by the time it's released. Micro Machines could lure race fans with its multiplayer action.