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by THQ

32042_s02.gif (6762 bytes)I have to admit that when I first turned on Micro Machines V3, I was underwhelmed. The graphics were so unremarkable that at first I didn't notice how solid the gameplay was. I didn’t notice how many tracks there were and how nicely they were laid out. I just focused on vehicle models and was unimpressed. It was like watching a really good movie with one really bad actor (Much Ado About Nothing anyone?) where, when the movie’s over, all you can talk about is that one bad performance. It takes time for you to see just what a really great piece of work it is. You may not be impressed your first time around the track, but make no mistake--Micro Machines V3 is one of the best racing games available for the Game Boy Color.

32042_s03.gif (5895 bytes)The box promises "Maximum Multi-Player Racing" but any mention of a link option is conspicuously absent. Micro Machines V3 gives you the option of going head to head on the same Game Boy where you and a friend get shoulder to shoulder and try to fit all four hands on this tiny console. Player one uses the D-pad and select button while player two uses the A and B buttons with the start button. If this seems a little cramped, it is. The box also promises that up to eight players can play. This is done through a simple turn based tournament. Again, it wasn't quite what I expected. Now, I’ve got to give them credit for trying something new, but as a parent I can’t help but see a lot of potential for sibling-on-sibling violence when trying to play this game "together."

32042_s04.gif (5287 bytes)There are a lot of vehicles and tracks, but after awhile the vehicles all start to look the same. However, I really liked how the handling varies from vehicle to vehicle. This is where the game really shines. From car to boat to tank they all have their own unique feel. You can choose from a wide variety of racers, but graphically I couldn’t really see the difference. All of the vehicles looked like little colored blocks. Ironically, the great thing about the whole Micro Machine franchise is the detail that they are able to work into such tiny toys. The detail is totally lost on the Game Boy Color. Some might say that I'm asking too much from my little GBC, but I've played enough games to know what it is capable of.

32042_s05.gif (5614 bytes)The tracks themselves are varied and fun. Some of the objects are rendered in a sort of poor man's 3D. It is both a pretty cool and fairly distracting feature. As you drive around the track your viewing perspective is changed and the taller objects appear to shimmer. It's a neat effect, but it can sometimes take your eyes off the race.

The power ups are a nice addition to any race game. What’s the point of just driving around the track if you can’t blow some things up or leave a little oil spill behind you? Fans of kart type racing won’t be disappointed.

With dozens of tracks and over a dozen vehicles, Micro Machines V3 serves up almost limitless replay value. A link function and a battery save could have made this a perfect game, but if you're looking for a race game for your GBC you'll be hard pressed to find another one that offers more play for your money.

Jason Frank


Ups: Great tracks; cool camera; excellent control; a must-play racer for GBC.

Downs: Lame vehicle models and "multiplayer."

System Reqs:
Game Boy Color


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