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     " In essence itís a perfect mix of Super Off-Road and Spy Hunter. "

      Title: Micro Machines V3 by THQ

      Format: Racing game for Game Boy Color

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Race around with 15 different cars on 40 tracks (how they plan on fitting 40 tracks onto that little screen at the same time, though, I can never guess. Oh, wait...).

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: This game is one and a half steps up from the Nintendo version. This particular installation is based on the versions that were released for the Playstation and the N64. The artists did a hell of a job of porting over the same look and much of this game seems too good to be on a GBC. The cars are simple enough, but there are some very cool environments like swaying cereal boxes and glasses of orange juice. The only real problem is that there is one kind of track in particular where I, for one, find it extremely hard to see the borders, leading to lost races and a whole bunch of verbal abuse. 4.5 out of 5

      Sound: On par with too few other game boy games, the music in this game is good enough to not be annoying. Some of it is even a little bit catchy (based entirely on its simplicity). It actually sounds quite a bit better on headphones or hooked up to your stereo. The sound effects are all unrealistic, but fun. From the high-end "rumble" of the engines to the squealing tires everything is appropriately comical. 4.5 out of 5

      Game Play: When I first played the Playstation version of this game, I instantly fell in love. There is nothing really mystical about it, but the game is simple and easy to pick up, while at the same time being fast paced and challenging. In essence itís a perfect mix of Super Off-Road and Spy Hunter. The biggest challenge in the game, other that your opponents, is being able to react quickly enough when you first see a turn. Itís the kind of game that you can sit down and play on practice mode for an hour just because itís fun to drive around. You donít really need a reason to play, but the programmers went ahead and gave you a couple anyway, winning cup races, head-to-head races etc. 5 out of 5

      Level and Environment Designs: Each track gets better than the last. There are more turns to deal with, more troublesome, objects, jumps, and ever so frustrating bridges. From racing along a breakfast table, to a careening through miscellaneous puddles of goo in a laboratory, to spinning out on the sandy beach, this game puts you in a whole mess of interesting environments each with its own built in hazards. The only problem is with the one environment where the track is extremely difficult to see. 4.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer: Up until this point the programmers were doing pretty well. But now they just went and tossed it all down the John Crapper. If there has ever been a game that needed to have link-mode support, this is the one. I was able to forgive them for not supporting link mode on the Playstation because there really isnít that many people who are willing to get all the necessary equipment together. But to leave it out of the version for the Game Boy Color (which is easily linkable) is unforgivable. Because of this crap the only way to race a friend is to share the one Game Boy. I personally donít see how two people could watch a screen that size without melding their heads together; I certainly couldnít do it with any of my friends. 2 out of 5

      Replayability: This game is very short. You can beat the Challenge mode (read as Cup racing) in under an hour, and you could more than likely beat everything in two to three hours. This all helps the gameís replayability; ie, it wonít take you forever to beat the game again. But the biggest factor is the simplistic fun that this game has. I have, on multiple occasions, disregarded my PSX, PS2, and PC in favor of a few races on my GBC. But the replayability would have been much greater if they had added support for link mode. 3.5 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: As you approach the fourth turn on the "Calculator Risk" track you suddenly realized that in order for you to win the race you must choose whether your friend will liveÖor die! Or, maybe itís just a racing game! You are supposed to win. The game provides you with a vehicle, plenty of tracks, and opponentsÖAnd really, what more did you expect?

      Instructions and Learning Curve: This is the simplest racing game I have ever played. You are forced to learn all of three controls, two directional buttons (namely left and right) and the B button (for gas). The instructions tell you exactly how everything else works, and the manual will take about two minutes to read. Not exactly brain surgery. 5 out of 5

      Installation and Real System Requirements: This game doesnít let you save your progress. If you want to get back to where you left off, you can use a password, but all of your records will be erased (kinda stupid donít ya think?). This game also doesnít support link mode. If you want to play with your friends, you will have to share one GBC (which by my calculations would require you and your friend to either have your heads surgically grafted into one another, or have them shrunk (ala Beetlejuice) to about three inches wide). But the load times for the game are reasonable and this way all you have to worry about is if your batteries are fully charged. 2 out of 5

      The Verdict:


       This game will hook you right away. Youíll be racing for hours on your game boy while your other systems collect dust. But donít plan on playing with any of your friends because in this game itís just not feasible.

      The Good: Simple controls, fun tracks, diverse environments, and plenty of powerups.

      The Bad: No way to save your game, no link-mode making the present multiplayer capabilities less than worthwhile.

      The Overall Ugly: This is one of the all around most fun racing games ever made, from its simple controls to its awesome tracks, and comical presentation, this game has it all (or at least most of it).

      What it's Worth: This game is worth market, but if they had link mode, would be worth five bucks more.

Buy it direct from Amazon.com

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