ModNation Racers

This thread will probably sink like a stone considering ModNation turns up exactly zero results in search, but what the hell.

ModNation Racers is a fun little kart game that was released yesterday for the PS3, the best way I can describe it is Mario Kart meets Little Big Planet. The big draw is the customizable content such as characters, karts (both are aesthetic only) and a built in level designer. Right now I’m working my way through career mode.

So far the game is very fun, I’m not too into the customize your character stuff, and it’s too early for any really good player levels to have come out, but the gameplay is solid. I’ve played two ranked matches (placing 1st and 2nd), and it holds up pretty well. The biggest flaw right now comes in career mode, where the named “unlockable” racers have some pretty ridiculous Rubber Band AI, though due to the lack of things like blue shells it’s pretty tolerable. The second biggest flaw is that the load times are like 30 seconds per track which gets old pretty fast since the loading screen seems to always use the same music.

As far as kart racing goes, I find it a big step up from Mario Kart, partially because it’s not based on a ridiculous amount of luck (luck is involved, of course, but only at a minimum level). The basics are that you have a boost meter, the boost meter is expended for your basic attack (a sideswipe), shield, and boost. You fill the boost meter by either attacking, or doing certain maneuvers like jumps and spins or drifting. For attacks you have a basic sideswipe, and like any good kart racer, items.

Unlike Mario Kart, the items are incredibly well balanced, and all of them are avoidable. Whenever you hit an item pod you get a random weapon but if you continue hitting item pods the item will level up, up to level 3. The items are varied, there’s a boost that levels up into a teleport/boost combo, a lightning strike that turns into a giant cascading strike for everyone in front of you, a single untargeted missile that turns into a giant homing macross missile massacre, and a small sonic aoe that turns into a massice cascading sonic boom. The items can definitely be match flippers. Though, like I said, there’s no blue shell syndrome because you can shield all of them with good timing (well, except the boost, but you can follow a teleporter through their portal if you’re fast), so the strategy comes into play to use it when you’re so close they can’t predict it and shield, or when they’ve exhausted their boost. I’ve seen matches flip around because everybody used their level 3 items at once and everybody ran out of boost gauge leaving only one or two people left running after the cascading items.

Overall, the game is incredibly fun, has anyone gotten it or planning on getting it? Any good tracks you know of. Racing strategy discussion?

It’s on PS3, that’s why it will sink like a rock here.
Anyway I just picked it up. Going to go try it out as it looks fun. Sure the kids will like it alot too. I’ll post back once I play it some today.

I think it has the potential to be one of the best kart racing games out there, in terms of being the LittleBIGPlanet of racing. I’ve just played the demo, but it handles extremely well. I’m not sure if I’ll get it, as I have Mario Kart, and have enough games I need to play before I pick up something so similar.

Ok. Been playing for a few hours. Game is alot of fun and the Mods people have already created are really impressive. I downloaded a Jason Vorhees that looks like one you would have to pay $$ for. Really good Iron Man and Stitch on there too.

The load times are TERRIBLE though. I mean TERRIBLE. Worst of this generation. I don’t understand why either because the game is installed to the HDD.

Its definitely not an easy game. Drifting is a little tough to get down and the fact that you have to drift to build boost to use shields sucks.

Lots of good shortcuts through the courses too.

All in all shaping up to be a really fun game. Daughter is making a character now.

It sounds awesome but I have no intentions of ever getting a PS3. Is there any indication it will ever be on another platform?

It’s an exclusive with no indication of it being released for a non-Sony system.

Cubsfan - I found the actual drifting easy, the hard thing about it is that it turns out drifting isn’t always best. Apparently, for some god forsaken reason I haven’t figured out, that it’s a tossup on any given curve whether you should do a full drift, a drift to align yourself with the road, or a simple turn. It turns out that occasionally even, for some reason, BREAKING on corners works better. Apparently the top time trail times are filled with breaking on random corners. I don’t quite get it, but it seems rather complicated.

Ok. I’ve played it for quite a while now and have a few complaints about this game. I’ve never played a game that did so many things right as well as s many things wrong at the same time.

The load times are ridiculous. Why did i have to sit thru a twenty minute black screen while the game loaded on the hard drive just to have 2 minute start up times and 45 seconds between every menu screen and race start? It’s one of the few games I’ve played where load times actively detracted from my enjoyment of the game.

Requiring a person to have boost to use shields is fucking stupid. I cant count the number of times Ive been way out in the lead on the final lap, out of boost, and a rocket is incoming. Boom! 7th place. I don’t think we should have unlimited shields, but requiring boost is not the answer because of my next complaint…

This game is HARD. Too hard. It took me 30+ tries to beat the 4th race of the 2nd world. The courses are crowded as hell. The AI has insane recovery and item usage. Coming in 1st is super hard. You can either use your boost for winning or shields. If you aren’t boosting throughout the race you will NOT come in 1st. Period. Problem is that when you are in 1st all of the weapons head straight for you so you have to use the shield which consumes boost so you can’t actually keep 1st place. There’s nothing more infuriating that burning through all your boost to keep ahead of the pack just to get missiles and finish in 7th. All of this causes problems when all you want to do is unlock the pieces needed to create cool characters, since it’s all buried inn race winnings.

The countdown at the start of each race is maddening as well. They go 3 2 1 in a set rythmn but then don’t say GO until some random time later. I think there is a way to get a jump off the line by timing your gas pedal just rit but since GO happens at some random time after 1 it’s impossible to time it with any consistency. I always see half of the AI guys with red boost coming out of their carts right off the line but not me and the game hasn’t explained how to time it right.

The steering is too sensitive. It makes it hard to drift safely at will because i always slam into walls on the left and the right.

Did i mention the load times are atrocious?

I know it sounds like i don’t Ike the game but i do. It’s a shame that there are so many issues with the game that hamper it for non-hardcore kart racers. I went online to play and every match i ended up in was a bunch of people using cheater courses to unlock trophies…

I hope the load times can be fixed somehow.

Not feeling up to discussing the other stuff, but here’s the startup boost rundown -

Rev up your car at ANY point in the start up, then as soon as you see a green light press L1 and you get the startup boost. I don’t think it’s even in the manual, I found out from a loading screen. There’s a pretty fair window to do so, it doesn’t have to be damn perfect like Mario Kart.

Wow. I can’t find that mentioned anywhere. Thanks. I’ll try it out.

My kids love the game though. They like to race each other with the crazy characters they’ve made.

Look for my truck, hornee hulk, and download it!