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Smooth Like Butter

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  • 08/07/2016 05:06 PM

A Game Made By: Kazesui
Created Using: RPG Tsukuru 2003
It's A: RACING Game
That Roughly Takes Around: 1 – 2 Minutes To Complete
And It's A... DEMO VERSION!!!
(As Of December 1st, 2011)

RPG Maker has been known to do some pretty incredible things over its lifespan; from overhead shooter games, to crudely done platformers, to a couple of board games – and, hell, even a couple of shumps have been made out of it – but never in all my years have I seen something quite like this…

“Macro Machines” is a top down racing game created in RPG Tsukuru 2003 by the ever-so talented Kazesui that plays and acts very similarly to the Micro Machines games released of old… You know, those games based off those little toy cars that you used to play in the sandbox all the time in the backyard when you were little and you kept on eating the rubber tires off them? Yeah, those things! Well, Kazesui has seemingly done the impossible and have managed to replicate all of those old games by creating one himself in RPG Maker, out of all things – but, frankly, I’m not quite surprised. This man has been able to make countless other impressive feats over the years by pushing the engine to its very limits with other gems like Zero Base and The Curse Of Cpt. Lovless. In some weird, twisted way - he’s considered one of my idols.

This game was shown off first during the Release Something Event that occurred way back in 2011.

Ah, 2011…the memories…

Ah…good times, indeed.

Anyways, despite the game being shown off to the public way back in 2011, it’s been nearly five whole years since then and not a peep from Kazesui about a possible full version release sometime in the near future. It appears that what we got is pretty much what we ultimately got: a sweet tech demo full of broken dreams and salty tears. And in some ways, I can’t blame the dude when it comes to making and finishing something like this. For a lot of people just trying to create and do the impossible, sometimes it is just that, impossible. But in some cases, working on something like this can just simply drag and beat you down after a while just trying to get past all the limitations that are already set forth in place. Either way – who knows – maybe Kazesui is still working on this and a full version release might come around someday. But for now, this is all we gots. So, might as well go see what we gots.

The Story

2 Tracks!? What a jip!

Well, upon booting the game up first and getting immediately taken to a somewhat crudely done title page with a neat wavy background effect going on behind the scenes, you’ll then soon find out that, like a lot of racing games of its genre, that there really is no real story here at all… (I’m gasping in awe as speak.)

But, if I had to guess on any possible plotline going on here at all, I’d say that you’re the test driver for a formula one racing company and your job today is to test out the new car on the tracks and report everything that you just witnessed behind the wheel to the pit crew so that they can get ready for the real deal on Sunday – Sunday!

But, hey, at least it beats sweeping around the track collecting all of those displaced beer cans from last week’s race for seven bucks an hour! At least you get a little bit of the action around here.

The Gameplay

F*cking rocks.

Macro Machines is pretty much what you would expect from a top-down racing game of its kind: race around the entire track five whole times while trying to go as fast possible without hitting into anything (…unlike some doofus did in the screenshot above). Using the confirm key, you can accelerate the car and make it go faster while leaning up on the key makes it descend slower, which is pretty ideal for some of the game’s more rougher turns. And speaking of turns – holy hell – this thing has more drift in it than a mountain goat has trying to go down an icy hill! The turns in this game definitely are quite sharp and hard to handle at first and it will definitely be the main challenge factor that you’ll have going for you in this game besides avoiding all of the obstacles here. I wish that the turning mechanism here was a little bit less sharp to allow for greater control over your vehicle. But after some practice you’ll eventually start to get the handle of it a little after a couple of playthroughs, and considering the situation given with the engine and all it’s hard to complain that much about it. Still, it’s one hell of a ride!

Speaking of obstacles, you’ll have your fair share here to dodge and maneuver around, like rocks, mountains and…um, even more rocks. There’s also supposedly sheets of ice on the second track that makes your car even more slipperier when you ride on it, but I never really noticed that much of a difference while riding on it, so I guess that wasn’t fully implemented in yet as an obstacle in this version - which is a real shame. Other than that, though, there aren’t really a lot of other obstacles here to avoid. And since this version doesn’t have a second car or a verses mode present at all you’re basically racing by yourself trying to get the best time possible, which can only be so much fun after a little while. Add in the fact that you only have two tracks here and you can definitely tell how much fun you’re going to have in the long run of things. There was also supposedly going to be a third track added in the game before it was pushed out, but it’s rather incomplete by looking inside the game’s files, so it was never fully completed on time, which rather sucks.

Overall, though, this is a pretty bare bones racer by just playing and looking at it after a little while. While the initial “wow” factor when you first get into it can be rather exhilarating at first, the fun factor starts to seriously dip downwards when you start to realize just how limited the experience can be. It’s a bit of shame, really, that there really isn’t a whole lot more to do here. Hell, you can’t even lose even after crashing into enough stuff!

The Soundtrack

Hey, I found a secret shortcut!

There’s really not that much going on here in the soundtrack department besides a couple of RTP Midi’s and some sound effects lifted straight from the package here including some custom ones. The songs here that are chosen are Strength, Town2 and Fanfare5 that plays just right after when you complete a race. It’s nothing unbelievably amazing if you’ve heard the RTP music countless times before in other RPG Maker games, but it’s kind of a bit of a disappointment here, as I was suspecting some kind of heavy metal or rock tracks to really get me in that hardcore kind of racing experience. This game does have one track that isn’t from the RTP that used for the title screen and it’s the first stage theme from a forgotten Super Nintendo game simply known as BlaZeon. Its fine, I guess, but still.

The Aesthetics

Thank god for the anti-grip tires.

I’m not sure exactly where the car sprite is from (maybe from one of the other Micro Machines games…?), but the actual look and presentation of the game and its overall track layouts aren’t too bad! The title page background has a nice wavy effect that looks quite nice and the rotating car sprite animation is pretty good too when turning around. It’s doesn’t look all that bad despite the RTP maps being a bit out of place in something that uses a more modern vehicle, as I would probably have preferred something more ethical while driving around in a place like this. Still, not too shabby.

A couple of things I would like to see in regards to the H.U.D. changes that display your current time and your last lap time would definitely be a lap counter, a possible mini-map in the lower left hand corner and a pedometer reading. This would have definitely helped jazzed up the game a bit, as there were a few time during the race that I forget what lap I was on, considering it doesn’t tell you anything when you first cross the finish line. A results screen at the end would have been great too, like what my overall time was for each lap that I crossed and also how many times I smacked into a wall or a rock. Hell, even having the option to change your car color to something else entirely would have been greatly appreciated too. Thinking about it, there’s so much more possible that you can work with here.

The End Result

F*cking mountains.

I think as a technical achievement, Macro Machines proves that racing games, even single player ones, are indeed possible by stretching the limitations of the engine given. I actually kind of found it more entertaining to go inside the editor myself and get a possible glimpse on how Kazesui was able to do some of this and see if I could possibly figure it out on my own. It’s an amazing accomplishment, that’s for sure, but as a possible game it seriously needs a bit more of fine-tuning to be a more qualified racer. Having something along the lines of a lot more tracks, having more obstacles to avoid, more additions to the H.U.D. and even some more customize options and such would make this a pretty decent game to play. Hell, I don’t even care if it has a two player mode in the long run of things as long as the main single player racing experience is pretty fun overall. Some improvements and some more additions would be definitely welcome here.

But from where it stands right now, it entirely depends on your overall demeanour. If you’re one of those awe-inspiring eventers that uses 2k or 2k3 as their primary engine of choice and you’re looking to see how something like this would even be possible and are wishing to learn from such vastness of knowledge, then this would be a pretty good experience to give it a try for a few minutes and see if you can then figure it out on your own about how to get it done and then use that new found knowledge to help you out with your next eventing endeavourer. But if you’re on the opposite side of that, then I really don’t see this as being a plausible experience for you, as there are definitely more finer choices out there to give it a try than this.

2 / 5 - D+ ~ Has Some Potential To Succeed, But Fails In A Lot Of Areas.


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