Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Dana does, as she takes her mohawked avatar for a spin in ModNation.
Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.
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This review was submitted by Dana Koch. If you’ve played ModNation Racers, or just want to ask Dana more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
ModNation Racers (PS3)
Some have likened ModNation Racers (MNR) to the LittleBigPlanet of kart racers. I'm not sure it's an exact comparison, but MNR is a bunch of fun to play regardless. Caveat: I have not tested online racing features here, but I'm writing from a perspective of someone who generally hates online play but is up for offline multiplayer.
Experience And Gameplay: The amount of detail put into the races, tracks, mods (read: avatars) are extensive, and all the races are smooth and seamless, leading to a very enjoyable and immersive experience. There's an enormous amount of little touches that make a game really "pop", for example: burning tyres if you start a drift that goes for a long time, mod animations when you get stuck falling in water, and so on. This is even before looking at the detail in the creation tools. It's quite a good kart racer, and feels a bit more down-to-earth than, say, Mario Kart.
Creation Tools: Creating new mods and karts is a lot of fun as well. The tools allow for a great amount of creative freedom: while, for example, you don't have the ability to apply a "mohawk" hair style, you are able to build something close enough that still looks fantastic, even with the starting set of items available to you. The track editor is easy and intuitive as well; there's a great satisfaction to driving around on your own tracks and your own environments.
Unlockable limitations: The amount of bits and pieces you are able to use in your creations - somewhat like in LittleBigPlanet - has to be unlocked through meeting certain conditions in campaign play to use. That's fine, though you only see grey silhouettes from the creation tools, leading you to wonder what the unlockable items look like, or which race you need to play to even try to get it. A preview function would be nice, at least.
Online ModSpot: As mentioned above, I generally hate online play, and like to have as little interaction with other online players as possible. But the only way to actually get anywhere in the game is to use the ModSpot, where all online players move around a little track to areas where they can start different modes of play, ie. drive to the Creation Studio to start creating. While the concept is great, it did bug me a fair bit, and unless you disconnect from the Internet there's no way to turn this off; a simple option in the menu would work. Yes, I know I'm probably a special antisocial snowflake for wanting this and feeling this way, so take from that what you will.
ModNation Racers is a really fun game overall, and though there's a lot of small problems with certain parts I didn't cover (such as long loading times) that thankfully don't really harm gameplay, they do grate somewhat. I came away with a smile after this one, and that's what counts - but patience may be required in some places.
Reviewed by: Dana Koch
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.