Bang Bang Racing takes the purity of Micro Machines and adds nitro
Going back to classic games decades later is usually not a good idea. Past beautiful memories can be completely dashed within minutes, as you realize that one of your favourite ever games really hasn't aged well. When a game does manage to hold its own years later, however, it can be bliss - Micro Machines, for example, is still fantastic fun and holds up against top-down racing games on this generation.
It was when the developer started to add weapons and such to Micro Machines that things started to go a little pear-shaped - at least, for those players who were keen to keep the racing pure and skill-based. Bang Bang Racing harks back to before the weapons-switch, focusing purely on racing with no silly gimmicks... well, not too many at least.
You'll no doubt know exactly what to expect gameplay-wise from Bang Bang Racing. You bomb around a variety of tracks, fending off competition and recording fast lap times. Your only weapons are your driving skills, and the ruddy big nitro boosters on the back of your car.
While Bang Bang Racing starts off a little slowly, it soon picks up pace, and eventually becomes very hectic indeed. Starting a race with yourself and all the AI cars boosting away and colliding in a heap on the first few corners is exhilarating, after which you'll pull ahead and take first place.
Bang Bang Racing is very much a Mario Kart style of racing, such that you'll move into first place quite easily, but you won't hold it for very long, with the AI nipping at your toes every step of the way. This makes the game a real challenge, rather that you simply doing laps in a dull fashion.
While there are no items to slow down other racers with, there are little bits and pieces here and there that give the game a deeper feel. Barrels on the track with release oil or water if hit, making certain corners very tricky to get around. The use of boost is also a huge talking point, as it means the difference between second and first place - especially when throwing the use of the F-Zero style pit lane into the equation.
Overall, the game plays, feels and looks brilliant, with some great track design and plenty of tracks and championships to play through. You've also got online leaderboards to top, and achievements to bag. Many reasons to keep going back, then!
The multiplayer is a little hit and miss, in comparison. It is local multiplayer only, meaning that you're going to need a couple of Xbox 360 controllers and friends who are willing to sit around your PC (there is a version for Xbox 360 too, which you're probably better grabbing if you're here for multiplayer). The lack of online multiplayer is more than a bit of a downer, though.
If you're in it for a single-player experience, Bang Bang Racing is well worth pole position in your "to-play" list. Multiplayer racers will also find plenty of fun times here, but only if you can get some friends around.
- Nice track design. Great tactical use of boost. Challenging AI opponents.
- No online multiplayer. Music is rather dull.