Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Video game number one hundred and forty six: Modnation Racers PSP

Video game review number one hundred and forty six in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Mod Nation Racers" for the PSP.

I was looking very forward to playing the PS3 version of this game, and ordered that one along with this one from Gamefly at the same time. Unfortunately, that one is still on "very low availability", and this one simply isn't a good substitute.

This game is a scaled down version of the awesomeness I imagine the PS3 version is going to contain. You can race through a handful of pre-generated course, with a handful of pre-generated racers, but the meat is in the creation. The first thing I did here was create my own "Mod" (racer) and made a special kart for him with the limited options you start out with. It's pretty fun to customize your dude...but ultimately, he drives the same as all the rest of the Mods. It's sort of like your "Mii" racer on Mario Kart Wii.

I started a race and instantly hated this game. The driving controls are awkward and clumsy on the PSP. Drifting doesn't work like you expect it to, and you'll often drift yourself right into the side of the track. The tracks themselves are cool (and the promise of being able to download tracks other PSP users have created is awesome)...but who wants to race on a track with these shitty controls? Not me.

In the portable world...Mario Kart DS is obviously the king of racers for me. On my PSP, I like Burnout more than any other racing game I've played so far. This one isn't as good as any of the aforementioned games, so it's not something I'd ever buy. I suppose there's one exception...and that's if I really fall in love with the PS3 version (I'm still waiting for it to show up in my mailbox). If that happens...maybe I'd want a version to take on the road with me, but right now, I'm happy to return this one.

Overall score? 5/10. The customization is cool and all, but at it's core, this is just not a very fun racing game. It's average at best, and I think I'm being generous with my five. Drifting sucks, there's no real sense of "racing" while you're playing it. I know this is supposed to be a flagship kart racer for Sony, but I think they've failed at their attempt. Sonic and Sega All Stars racing is a MUCH better Mario Kart clone...and definitely the best kart racer I've played this year. Hopefully the PS3 version will be much better.

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