ModNation Racers Road Trip
ModNation Racers was easily one of
the most entertaining "kart" racers on the PS3 and the PSP which not
only allowed you to race on some whacky gaming environments against
kooky characters but you also had a plethora of power-ups at your
You could even create your own games thanks to the powerful
creation tools and needless to say, there were some brilliant player
created tracks available. Although a tad fiddly on the PSP, ModNation
Racers on the PS Vita is the perfect platform for the creation tools
thanks to its large screen and innovative controls, especially when
modding or creating new racers, karts of tracks!
that in mind, the PS Vita has broken up the creation facets into three
sections that include Track Studio, Kart Studio and Mod Studio. However
the creation stations is definitely for the more seasoned gamer and
although it's relatively quite easy to use, it can also be quite complex
which allows you to create some amazing mods that can be shared with
Newcomers to the series should check out the career mode to learn the
ins and outs of the game as you join Tag in order to compete in 5 tours
from across the globe with 35 new tracks for the series. Apart from
career, you have quick race, time trail and an ad hoc race to challenge
other gamers... although not online. It's players in your "vicinity" and
disables the internet when you try to use this option.
Needless to say, this is definitely no port from the PS3 or PSP but a
brand new game which really adds something to the franchise. Apart from
driving against a variety of opponents, your character also needs to
engage in a variety of challenges and find tokens that are hidden
throughout the tracks. Token can then be used to purchase additional
goodies for your game from the Shop Station.
Controlling your racer is done through the main controls of the PS Vita
such as the right shoulder button for speed or one of the D-Pad buttons
for a power-up. Navigating left and right is done through the analog
stick which is flawless. As a single-player racer, the game is very
sturdy and quite slick on the PS Vita.
Although I'm a
little confused as to why the developers omitted online racing which
would have created a great experience with other owners of this game.
You can race against other people's ghost times but it's definitely not
the same as having them "physically" in your race via the net. You can
use the ad hoc option but this unfortunately is only local play.
Navigating all the different creation facets of the game is quite easy
as you create new mods (racers), karts or tracks thanks to the OLED
touchscreen. The touchscreen is especially useful for creating new
tracks as it gives you total control of the environment of the track and
is far superior than the PS3 control system. There is an option to use
your kart to create new tracks which is interesting. Although I'm a hack
in using these tools, I can't wait to see the PS Vita community create
their own tracks as there were some amazing mods with the PS3 from
Batman inspired tracks to even "Mario".
Graphically, the title looks like a mirror replica of the PS3 version
with its detailed yet cartoon inspired environments. Tracks are well
designed, especially when you visit real-world locations like the
Chinatown and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Lighting is used
well as is the diverse colour palette. The racers look great and are
well animated as are the karts with all their power-ups and speed
boosts. Sound effects and music go hand-in-hand with the gameplay which
creates a very sturdy game on the PS Vita.
Thankfully the developers of ModNation Racers: Road Trip have not dumbed
down the franchise for the PS Vita but rather taken it to a new level,
thanks to the touch screen control options. Gameplay is just as fun as
the other consoles,
although the absence of real online racing is a little confusing as the
PSP version had this. Hopefully an add-on will be available to give this
option to gamers at a later date. All in all, it's still a fun
experience and definitely the best racer on this console at moment!