ModNation Racers Roadtrip - PSVITA
Ever since Mario Kart hit the SNES in 1992, kart racing has been an essential genre for those who like to go fast without taking it too seriously. With ModNation Racers on the PS3, Sony took that in a whole new direction with massive customisation options. Now handheld gamers can get in on the action too, as the game hits the Vita.
Power-ups and racing itself is as you would expect from any form of mascot kart racer – crazy jumps, drift boosts, rockets and environmental obstacles (sheep!) are just a taste of what you can expect mid-game. The controls are weighty, power-ups are balanced and can be stacked for some interesting results, and performing tricks off of ramps is rather cool.
The real meat, though, is in creating and publishing levels then, in turn, downloading other users' content. Through the Share Station menu, you can publish, download and rate content that you can create in other areas of the game - karts, characters and tracks. Downloading creations is relatively quick and easy, as is uploading your own content.
Much focus has been put on encouraging creation and the sharing of content between friends, and there’s an interesting feature within the Share Station called Mod Explorer. This uses location-based check-ins (from an internet connection) to unlock additional gear that can be used for fine-tuning your mods - sign into PlayStation Network near the London Eye to get a bunch of car parts and skins, for example.
Creating characters, karts and tracks is much easier than it was on console. And that’s saying a lot, because it was relatively simple on the PS3. You can drag and drop items onto your cars and characters now, and use pinch-zooming on the touch screen to make various decals larger and smaller. There is a bit of a performance hit when creating, though.
Tracks is the creation mode that benefits that most from Vita’s touch inputs, with the front screen used to literally ‘draw’ a basic track and then paint decorations on, while the rear touch pad can raise terrain as you please. It’s quite impressive.
The power to create is, literally, in the palm of your hands!
Released to Buy:
22 February 2012
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