Micro Machines proved very popular with video gamers. The series, which started in 1991 on the NES, had players driving miniature racing cars through environments such as everyday household bathrooms, kitchens and gardens, using an assortment of weapons.
Micro Machines dominated the top-down racing/vehicular combat genre, with its main competition coming from the 2004 release, Mashed: Drive to Survive, developed by Supersonic Software Ltd, who have gone on to release a spiritual successor in the form of Wrecked: Revenge Revisited.
Wrecked: Revenge Revisited (previously known as Gas: Fuel For Fun) is an Xbox Live Arcade title. The game’s single player solely consists of players completing challenges in the four categories: Speed, Weapons, Skill and Elite. There is one challenge for each of the game’s six tracks (24 in total).
The downloadable game contains six tracks in total, each of which is based on a different environment: Jungle Temple, Brockridge Mine, Ice Bridge, Jungle Falls, Daredevil Peak and Arctic Outpost. Out of the six, Ice Bridge is the one that stands out the most, although this is mainly because it’s a remake of one of Mashed’s finest courses (Polar Wharf).
Unfortunately, the remaining tracks aren’t that great. There’s nothing particularly exciting about them and the tight cornering doesn’t work with the game’s camera, often obscuring the player’s view, which isn’t ideal in a racing title.
The rewards for the challenges are bronze, silver and gold medals, as well as XP. Gained XP is used to unlock new items in the “Garage,” where players can customise their car. There’s an impressive range of car models, paint colours, paint styles, liveries, wheel types and wheel colours, allowing for players to make their car individual to them. It’s certainly one of the most in-depth you’ll ever see for a downloadable title.
It’s in the multiplayer where the game truly comes alive. Wrecked: Revenge Revisited contains support for up to four players, both locally and over Xbox Live. The concept of multiplayer is identical to those of Micro Machines and Mashed as drivers attempt to knock each other off the track and out-pace opponents, while those who lag behind are eliminated through the line of death.
Players who are ‘wrecked’ then take on the ‘God-role’ where they can fire sonic booms and missiles at the remaining drivers, in order to heat up the competition. The race continues until only one player remains. Winning players are awarded one or two points (depending on how many players are in the game), while those that are eliminated first lose a point of two. The first to accumulate the goal (usually at around ten points) is the winner.
While the concept works in the game's favour, unfortunately, the game regularly suffers from some connection issues. When trying to enter a lobby via “Quick Match,” an error message saying that the “game has already started” and, even when players get in to a game, more problems occur when a player drops out as it often causes the whole game to crash. One way of overcoming this problem is to play locally with a number of friends. Wrecked: Revenage Revisited certainly works as a party title.
Graphically, the game is to a very good standard for a downloadable title. The detail in the cars is remarkable and the environments are full of colour. Regrettably, the audio fails to impress, mostly consisting of repetitive car sound effects, weak weapon sounds and some poor voiceovers, especially the occupier of a caravan in a couple of the challenges, who regularly yells lines such as “This isn’t the right way to the bingo.” It’s enough for players to keep their televisions on mute.
The game’s main downfall is its price. For 1,200 Microsoft Points you get about an hour’s worth of single player content, and the multiplayer will only keep players entertained for a couple of hours at most. To make matters worse, there’s a constant reminder that downloadable content is available for the title, which wouldn’t be so bad if it was free. Disappointingly, it’s an additional 400 Microsoft Points.
Wrecked: Revenge Revisited has the potential to be a fantastic spiritual successor to Mashed, but it fails to get off the starting line. While the game strives in multiplayer, it’s difficult to recommend a title that has poor single player content, a weak camera and unimpressive audio.
David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.