ModNation Racers review

Can the create-a-kart gem survive a shrink?

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Features many of the same tracks as PS3

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    Customize your own karts

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    PSP online community could make it shine


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    Watered-down version of track maker

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    Drift mechanic is rigid and lacks flow

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    Racing is dull compared to 'pure' racers

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ModNation Racers on PSP features many of the same tracks as the PS3 version, the chance to customize your own karts and drivers, and make your own circuits. It should, by all rights, be an impressive title. But playing ModNation Racers on PS3 has spoilt us. We were delighted by the endless possibilities of the big brother, so the poor old PSP version doesn’t quite cut it.

The creation tools – at least for the karts and drivers – feel more like dress-up options than artistic aids. The track-making is also an understandably watered-down version and, though still pleasantly user friendly, doesn’t quite encourage you to goof around with finer details. You’d need to be made of stern stuff to want to carefully place 100 match-head sized trees…

But our biggest problem is one that’s shared with the PS3 version – the driving itself. The drift mechanic is rigid and lacks flow, and you’ll get attacked by power-ups that you won’t even see. It just feels dull compared to the intensity of ‘pure’ arcade racers such as Wipeout Pulse or MotorStorm: Arctic Edge. To give ModNation Racers its due, even this smaller-scale alternative is stacked with more options than you’d get from any other handheld racer. And, if it gets support from the PSP online community, it could evolve into something special.

Jun 8, 2010

More info

DescriptionModNation Racers is far more than a kart game – it’s the new friendly face of DIY gaming. The creation tools are accessible and the editing mechanics comfortably familiar – more so than any other ‘make your own’ style game on PS3. It even caters to classic, often overlooked, split-screen racing alongside conventional 12-player online play. It’s the only kart racer you’ll ever need, and although not the best racing experience out there, it’s certainly the most fun. And if you don’t enjoy what’s on offer, you’ve only yourself to blame.
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"3+","3+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)