Welcome to the world of kart racing on the PSP. ModNation Racers (MNR) for the PSP is the newest member of the”Play, Create, Share” family and fits right in with LittleBigPlanet. With an unprecedented track creator, that gives you a full range of tools in an easy to use environment, SCEA San Diego and United Front Games has gone above and beyond any other kart game known to gamers. The kart studio and mod studios are just as easy to use and the creations are only limited by your imagination. Tracks can be created in as little as two minutes, or you could just as easily spend two days working on a massive track. The track tools are simple and easy to use.
While the creation studio shines, the actual racing isn’t quite as good. The drifting takes some getting used to and doesn’t feel as dynamic as it should. That doesn’t kill the gaming experience, but it does slightly detract from it. During action races, you can pick up weapons to use on your opponents, but the PSP version doesn’t allow multiple pick-ups to strengthen these weapons so there’s no need to hold onto them. Use them as you get them is your best bet.
The story mode finds you on the Mod Racing Championship (MRC) circuit. You’re a rookie with a veteran crew chief to help you on your journey. The commentary and story line is very humorous and makes the story mode fun. The banter between the two analysts makes watching the videos worth your time.
The MRC consists of five racing series with up to eight individual races per series. As you progress through each race, you unlock items by completing tasks in three categories. The “Advance” category is what you need to move on to the next race in the series, and usually just requires you to finish third or better unless it’s the final race in the series, and that one you have to win. The “Payoff” category unlocks items to be used in the Create Studios. The final category is “Bonus” and can require you take out an Elite driver which in turn unlocks that driver’s mod and kart which allows them to be used by you. The difficulty starts out fairly easy, but gets harder as you progress along.
If you are looking for a single player race there are three types of races available. The “Action” race is where you pick up weapons and take out your opponents on the way to the finish line. A “Pure” race, where it’s just karts versus karts with no weapons to be found. Unique to the PSP version of MNR is “Last Kart Standing”. In this mode a timer starts after the initial lap is completed and every time that counter reaches zero, the person in last place is eliminated. You can set the timer for 20 seconds, 30 seconds, or 45 seconds.
We were unable to connect online so no online features were tested. The ability to download mods, karts, and tracks that other users have created adds to the overall replayability of the game and should give countless hours of enjoyment.
ModNation Racers PSP isn’t an entirely new game, as other kart racers have been around for years. What MNR PSP brings to the kart racing genre is the unprecedented ability to create your own tracks, karts , and mods, share them with others, and even download new items online. If you’re looking for a fun little game to take on the go, pick this one up for sure.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Customizable tracks, karts, and mods make the game infinitely replayable
Incredibly easy to use track creator which can create tracks in minutes
Decent graphics complement suitable audio