Review – Modnation Racers

Move over Mario and Sonic, Tag and his kart are taking over. ModNation Racers for the PS3 and PSP joins LittleBigPlanet in the “Play, Create, Share” family, and fits right in.

When you first start up the game you are introduced to the Mod racing Championship (MRC) and your first kart race. You get to jump right in and are introduced the basic control scheme and weapons available to you. Drifting builds boost, which in turn can power your shields, give you side-swipe power, or boost you along your path. Weapon pods are scattered about the tracks and in the PS3 version can be “stacked” to give you more powerful weapons.

The career mode is very well developed and consists of 5 different racing series with up to eight individual races per series. Each individual race has three main challenges that, when completed, unlock either the next stage or mods, carts, stickers, and Elite racers for you to use. The story itself can be humorous at times and the banter between Biff and Gary, the announcers, can be downright hilarious. If you’re looking for a challenging racing game, the career mode is for you.

MNR is more than just a simple kart racing game. It brings a set of creation tools that allow you to not only create and customize your own kart and mod (the little guy or gal that drives the kart), but it also brings a track creator that is easy to use and packed with features galore. New tracks can be created in as little as two minutes.

The options for each track seem endless and you could easily spend hours creating a masterpiece of a track. You could also spend a couple of minutes throwing together a simple track. The end result is really determined by how much time you want to put into it. The kart and mod studios are just as easy to use and the customizations seem endless as well.

Once you are introduced to the creation tools, you are also introduced to the ModSpot. This is where you find all of the creation studios and can go online to race and share content. All of your creations can be uploaded using the Share Station and you can browse and download creations from others there as well. The number of tracks, karts, and mods available will continue to grow indefinitely.

The ModSpot is also where you can meet other online racers to compete in s0me online fun. Whether you are looking for some casual time with friends, or some serious racing for XP, you’ll find it here. If you have more than one controller (up to four on each console) you can have some split screen fun online too.

There are several types of races you can try out. There’s your standard pure race, where it’s kart versus kart. Action Race where you pick up weapons and try to take out your opponents. Time trial where you try to match the fastest times recorded by other players online. There’s also a daily Hot Lap challenge to see who can get the fastest time on a chosen track.

Exclusively for the PSP is a race mode called Last kart Standing. After the first lap is completed, the person in last place is eliminated at a preset interval (25,30, or 45 seconds) until there is only one kart left, and that’s your winner.

The graphics for the game are top notch and look great. The environments are well detailed, as are the pre-made karts, mods, and tracks. The destruction animations of the karts also look great.

The music included with the game fits the style of play and has some cool tracks, but there’s no reason for you to listen to it if you don’t want to. Just press the PS button on your controller and play the music stored on your hard drive instead. Keep in mind that when using this feature, online in game voice chat is disabled.

ModNation Racers takes the old kart racing game and refreshes it for the next generation. Own a PS3? Get this game!