Game Reviews
The Customization of Modnation Racers
Modnation Racers Review

Modnation Racers Review

Early 2010 has become known as the Kart Racer quarter. With titles like Blur, Split/Second, Sonic & Sega All Star Racing, and others available to us simple folk, can any new comer take the championship trophy away from Mario Kart? Sony’s Modnation Racers gives the Kart Racing genre a well deserved bitch slap. Sony knows that gamers are a creative bunch; they showed the world with LittleBigPlanet. With [blippr]Modnation Racers[/blippr] our inner artist can come out and play yet again, but I’ll get more into that later.

Gameplay wise Modnation Racers is….well a Kart Racer, and a good one to boot. It gives us everything we expect from a Kart Racer and more. It’s all about timing with Modnation, when to use your boost, shield, items, is all determined with a meter that you must fill up during the race by; doing stunts, drifting, and drafting. Just like other Kart Racers, there are power ups scattered around the track. This is where timing is at its finest, you can either launch your power up right away to only effect the car in front of you, or you can collect 3 of the same type and destroy every car other car on the track. Career mode is brutal. Of course your first 4 races are as easy as an Atlantic city street walker, after that the AI will give you a run for your money. The other racers will waste no time when it comes to making your life hell. The actual career however isn’t the longest out there, nor is it the shortest. It’ll take you roughly 10-15 hours to finish.

Modnation Racers' Track Editing Tools

Modnation Racers boasts an amazing online feature that’s built right into the single player experience. What I mean by that is, everything you do in the game is updated in real time. The game even alerts other players in the hub area when a track record has been broken. (I had a track record for an entire 15 minutes before it got shattered) In the online HUB players can communicate with each other, check out the hottest lap times, check out each other’s creations, and of course challenge each other to races. So far I have experienced no lag when racing online. It’s very impressive how quickly it is to download, Cars, events, tracks, and drivers while in game. The longest amount of time I had to wait for an item to get from the market place to my console was about 10 seconds. Modnation Racers online feature has raised the bar for its genre.

Now for the real reason you’ll be playing this game. The user created content. Modnation Racers brings along one of the most robust creation systems this side of Little Big Planet. Anything you could possibly think of can be created here. Do you want Mr. T driving the A-Team van? You got it foo! From day 1 there were already hundreds if not thousands of custom racers, cars, and tracks available. The best thing about everything is, IT’S ALL FREE!! The game gives you the opportunity to create what has been haunting your fragile psyche since childhood. I myself decided to create 2-D from the Gorillaz and have him roll in the Stylo car.

The Graphics are pretty to look at. It has high resolution visuals that are complimented by vibrant colors and spectacular lighting. Each track feels alive personality and atmosphere. That being said, I wish the studio would have added a crowd, sure the tracks feel alive, but it seems like the only people in the world are the racers.

The Customization of Modnation Racers

Sound wise Modnation Racers doesn’t give us memorable music to race along with. The Trumpet harmonies sound like they were pulled from famous movies, but at the last minute they altered the pitch so as to not get sued. That’s not to say the voice acting is bad, far from it. The characters actually make laugh. Some of the stuff they say is tongue in cheek but it’s delivered with believability and personality. Not once did it feel like the actors were phoning it in. Although the vocal tracks tend to get repetitive after a while but they are still a joy to hear.

Controls are tight, every button is used on the PS3 controller. Modnation uses the R2 L2 acceleration and breaking system standard to most racing games. It really feels natural when you’re driving around. There is a small learning curve but once you get passed it there is fun to be had here.

Unfortunately the game isn’t perfect. A big annoyance are the load times, (not downloads) it takes a good 30-45 seconds to get from the hub to a race via load screen. With the addition of unforgiving AI later in the game holds this title back from being a perfect 10.

Kart Racing in Modnation Racers

A couple of negatives will never prevent this game from being a must play though. The plethora of customizable vehicles, tracks, and characters gives this game longevity. A Lag free online feature complimented with an expanding community shows developers that user created is a good thing. Modnation Racers comes highly recommended in the sense that you’re not put off by cartoony racers.

4 comments
VeHeMeNcE
VeHeMeNcE

Just to let you know, the title picture is a picture of Joyride, not Modnation Racers. Just sayin....

Phaethon
Phaethon

I dare say Axel has convinced me to get this game. Allbeit once I finish Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, Split/Second, Splinter Cell Conviction, Final Fantasy XIII- yeah, my backlog is huge.