ModNation Racers: Part 2

Filed under: PSN Update — CJ @ 3:46 pm June 1, 2010

One week is enough time to become familiar with a game like ModNation Racers, but not hardly enough time to master it. I’ve really spent more time watching it be played than actually playing it due to my wife’s fascination with the game’s creation and customization process. There is literally no limit to the amount of personal flare you can add to your character or racer (called a Mod) and cars. There are thousands of variants to choose from or combine while making your Mod, you literally start with a blank canvas similar to a Munny doll and build from there. Similarly, when building your car you can start with the frame and start customizing from there: everything from body styles, lift/lowering kits, paint styles and colors, decals, steering wheel, etc. If you’d rather not spend your time creating your racer and car (you might consider playing a different game) you can choose from several dozen pre-made racers and cars or check out what the ModNation Racers community has come up with. You have the option of sharing your creations with the rest of the game’s community and can likewise use their cars and Mods in your game.

From a racing game’s perspective, ModNation isn’t really anything new. It feels a lot like the newer installments in the Mario Kart series with it’s item cubes, silly weapons, and speed-boosting sparks. Now imagine that there are two tracks worth of learning curve and then a spike in difficulty that jumps from 50cc to 150cc and all of the other racers seem to have unlimited blue shells. I’m not good at racing games, but some of these races are ridiculously frustrating.  In the game’s so-far predictable story mode, you play the role of an up-and-coming racer who catches the attention of a grizzled old timer who now spends his days in the garage instead of the race track. I think you can see where this is going. Every track in this story mode has three main objectives, each increasing in difficulty and each opening up a new set of customization options for making new cars and Mods. So the draw isn’t just to come in first, that would only net you the goodies from one objective – say one new hair style, sun glasses, and some outlandish new spoiler to put on your car. The goal becomes something like coming in first while making sure to blow up three competing racers (2nd objective) and get 300,000 points from drifting (3rd objective). If you can manage to do that, then you’re swimming in new stuff to use while making your Mods and cars. See the dangerous cycle this creates?

Neither my wife nor I have really done a whole lot with the tack creation mode, but it is equally as impressive. If you’ve got the time, I’d suggest taking a look at some of the work the ModNation community has done so far. Click here to see some of the most popular Mod creations and use the green buttons under “My Profile” to switch between Mods, cars, and tracks that some folks have made.

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