Gameplay, Story and Value:
Micro Machines on the Genesis is a top-down racing game that takes place on courses such as sandboxes, office desks and workbenches. Handling is response and controls work fine, with one button to accelerate and another to brake. It’s all well and good, but ultimately I’m feeling feeling a bit disappointed.
Why? Simple, I’ve already reviewed this game. Micro Machines for the Genesis, released two years after it’s NES counterpart, manages to be identical to the first iteration in nearly every way. Same cars, characters and courses, in the same order. Every vehicle type handles slightly differently, and is tied to a specific kind of course. Boats always race in the bath tub, trucks at a breakfast table, sports cars on a desk, etc. As you progress through the single player mode you’ll start revisiting old tracks, but with revised layouts.
Placing first or second in a race allows you to qualify for the next, while third or fourth will cost you a life. Lose all your lives and you’re simply booted back to the title screen. The game features no save or password system..
The tight handling of the vehicles still allows for some addictive and satisfying racing, and winning still hinges on strategy and memorization which only adds to that sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately, the shallow experience you’re left with is made all the apparent by the fact that this game is such a blatant port from an older console generation.
Presentation, Music and Sound:
Sadly, Micro Machines on the Genesis looks identical to the NES title save for some possibly improved colors, though I lack the eyes to be positive of that. To its credit, Micro Machines on the NES looked really good, and that quality does carry over, it’s just disappointing when you remember you’re now playing on a 16-bit Sega Genesis.
Somehow, the audio quality was lost entirely as everything in the game sounds like it’s being played through a Walkman. The actual tunes are actually pretty good, so it’s unfortunate that a constant sheen of light static can be heard throughout.
After how much I enjoyed playing this game on the NES, I was really excited to see what kind of improvement the Genesis had made to it. Imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be a 1:1 port, not even that if you consider the lost audio quality. As it is I think I definitely prefer the NES original if only for the fact that I prefer to play my NES games on an actual NES…