|Developer: San Diego Studio
Release Date: Out Now
Players: Single player, Adhoc 6 player, Online 6 player
Much like LittleBigPlanet PSP, ModNation Racers PSP is a scaled down version of its home console counterpart. It still contains many of the features of the PS3 version but some things have been changed in order to fit better with the PSP and allow for easier gaming on the move.
At its core most features are similar to the PS3 version; it has a single player career mode in which you play as Tag, a mod who dreams of winning the ModNation Racing championship title. The story is played out with cutscenes, the same as the ones on the PS3, between the races. The cutscenes help add the sense of a story to the game and are filled with humorous banter from the two commentators. The main aim of each race is to finish in the top three—initially this seems easy with the first few races helping teach you the controls with small tutorials. This difficulty increases as you progress, with later races being a lot harder as the tracks become more complex and the AI become less forgiving. At the beginning of each race, before you select it, the game shows you the number of things available for unlock in that race and also the secondary objectives which can be completed to unlock further items. The only problem with this is, unlike the PS3 version, the game doesn't tell you what you have unlocked when you finish the race and in the customisation area there is no indicator I could see that told you which items were new so I was left guessing as to what new stuff I had acquired.
In all the game modes but Pure Races the tracks are littered with pickups. These pickups contain a variety of weapons, from lightning bolts to mines, which can be used to help you win. The only downside is that these weapons can't be stacked up to become more powerful like the PS3 version and also only mines can be dropped behind you. Another downside is that more than once I've all but won a race only to be hit by multiple weapons one after the other, meaning I've had to retry the race, this can get frustrating but luckily it hasn't occurred very often.
The part of the game which you could spend hours in is the design studio, where you can customise and create your own mod, karts and tracks which can then be shared online for other users to download and play. The amount of customisation is huge, especially for a portable console game. You can customise nearly everything on your mod, including customising each ear or eye individually. The Kart Studio allows you to create your own kart for use in all the other modes. This has a wide range of options but felt a little limiting in some areas. When you first get the game you'll find that a lot of the parts are locked and only a couple are available for use in each category, but you soon unlock loads of new stuff as you play through the career mode.
The community section is where you will go to share your creations or view and download others creations. It also contains your stats and online leaderboards.
Overall ModNation Racers PSP is a good portable kart game, but with a few tweaks here and there could have been a lot better. It offers hours of gameplay, with hundreds of things to unlock and infinite customisation possibilities and it’s perfect for gaming on the go. Possibly one of the best PSP games of the year.
- Huge range of customisation options.
- Creation tools work perfectly,
- Easy to learn basic controls.
- Non-stacking weapons,
- Controls feel awkward for some things.