|Developer(s)||Supersonic Software Ltd|
|Publisher(s)||Mega Drive, Game Gear: Codemasters
SNES: Ocean Software
|Platform(s)||Sega Mega Drive, Sega Game Gear,Super Nintendo Entertainment System,PC, Game Boy, Game Boy Color|
|Release date(s)||Mega Drive EU 1994
Game Gear EU 1995
SNES EU 22 February 1996
PC NA 31 May 1996
Liam: Yes I know, another bloody racing game. At least this one is quite good. For a start it is immensely simple with a fast paced arcade style which suits me down to the ground. Secondly the most fun (and generally the easiest way to win) can be had by bumping your opponent either off the edge of a platform or more satisfyingly ‘nubbed’ behind a piece of scenery as you drive off with a maniacal chuckle. Simple – check, violence – check.
I’m sure Joel will mention that this game has a J-Cart, a cartridge with a further two controller ports built into it. This meant you could play 4 player games happily – or if you were lucky enough to have that many friends – 8 players using 4 controllers (which in practice was as bad as it sounds). In the days where more than 2 players involved two consoles, two sets of the same games and two televisions this was revolutionary and made it the de-facto party game for the early nineties. It’s a formula repeated in 1997’s Goldeneye 007 which was a huge success for exactly the same reason.
This game gives me another chance to give a perfect shout out to one of my favourite video game devs: Codemasters. Mainly because of Dizzy (Dizzy rules) and the Brian Lara Cricket series which we visit in 1996.
It’s unlikely I am going to win this one – It was Joel’s go-to game for many years – but I am pretty sure that if any game will have him hurling a Mega Drive controller at my head, it will be this one. [/Maniacal Chuckle]
Joel: I’m a big fan of this franchise. I had a massive collection of Micro Machines as a kid (and the big truck-case-thing to lug them around in) I had some pretty rare ones too… I wonder what ever happened to them..?
Anyway, I digress. The premise here is pretty simple: race tiny, little cars around macro-scale race tracks (breakfast table, garage floor, pool table…) When the first MM game was announced I counted the days til it came out and began saving up my pocket money (at the expense of my no-longer-growing collection of Micro Machines) and picked it up on release day. Totally worth it. It was also, as an aside, the first game I played which had a character called Joel in it, which was a bonus. Anyhoo, I played the backside out of that and was hungry for more, so when I learned of the sequel, MM2: Turbo Tournament I was delighted! Again saving ensued and whatever rubbish I Was presently wasting all my money on fell by the wayside.
One thing I didn’t realise about this game at the time was that it used so-called “J-Cart” technology- Imagine my surprise on opening the box and seeing a cartridge with two extra controller ports on it! Then to subsequently discover that upto 8 people could play?!? Revolutionary! Until you tried it that is… sharing a controller is rubbish. I have to say though, in 4 player mode this was epic. It took up permanent residence in my Mega Drive carry-case and went everywhere my MD did. I was still playing this one right up til I sold the thing. I have played many of the future iterations of the game. In my opinion the next one, MM: Turbo Tournament ’96 was the best by a narrow margin. But, with that said, I’m still playing the franchise today. I have MM V4 on the PSP which goes everywhere with me.
It’s hard as nails but good fun. Liam probably thinks he’s in with a chance here… he’s wrong.