A kart game is a must for portable consoles, DS has Mario Kart, we have this. These type of racing games are meant to be played occasionally (mixed with other games), if this is the only game you can play however, it gets boring fast.
The first thing to mention here is the load times because it is the first thing any gamer can notice. Load times are abysmal, it takes forever to start a race, customize a kart and, well… anything in general – it is the worst I’ve seen out of all the PS Vita games so far.
Once you finally do get into a game the race itself is fun, its a shame you cannot use weapons against players behind you (except a certain few) but this isn’t a big problem. Another thing that stands out in Modnation Racers is the special meter that increases from doing things such as grinding or landing a hit on other players (with weapons or your own kart).
Once you have enough points in your special meter you can either use a shield to protect yourself from incoming obstacles or you can choose to boost your speed -this adds a good layer of control to your races
Graphics aren’t anything special, they are good enough to pass (except with the occasional frame rate hiccups) and some tracks have interesting features. You can also build your own tracks which looks nice – managing to avoid that lego-type feel, you can even use other people’s tracks.
No online racing – kart games need competitiveness to keep it alive – this game lacks that. Only being able to share customized tracks and characters takes it down several notches and makes repetitiveness follow suit. Even the ability to use another racer’s track gets dull when all you can race against are CPUs. (Unless you have nearby friends with the same game)
As a Modnation game – it is okay. The races are fun for awhile although loading times test your patience. Rather then putting effort into gaining new, cosmetic goods through a feature that uses the player’s location to reward them (whenever one is near a landmark or a city in the world) – the creators should have put effort into making online matches which many players would have preferred.
They wasted too much time on cosmetic, meaningless things instead of adding an element of online competition or at least more tournaments.
Score: 5 / 10
Developer: San Diego Studio
Publisher: Sony Entertainment
Release Date: 22/02/12