ModNation Racers: Road Trip Review
ModNation Racers: Road Trip Box Art
System: PS Vita
Dev: SCE San Diego
Pub: Sony
Release: February 15, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 544p Mild Cartoon Violence

Also, the developers didn't quite get the rubber banding or the difficulty right. I went rather abruptly from winning races on the first try to having trouble finishing better than seventh. And once you master the harder tracks, even your better-run races won't always lead to a good finish—the rubber banding keeps the other racers too close to you, even when you drive perfectly, and if you happen to fall victim to a projectile or trap on the last lap, forget about it. If you're the type who gets angry when games cheat or when you lose thanks to randomness rather than your own bad playing, work on your self control if you don't want to throw your spiffy new Vita against the wall.

ModNation Racers: Road Trip Screenshot

And perhaps most bizarrely, Road Trip doesn't work very well on a technical level. Of course, the problems here—long load times, textures that belong on a PSX and not a "mini PS3," 3D objects that go right through each other—can be found in plenty of games, even on current-generation full-size consoles. But if a launch title is supposed to show off the new hardware, Road Trip will leave people wondering what was so outdated about their PSP—that it didn't award them "Mod Miles," good for in-game bonuses when they happen to travel long distances with their Vitas? Heck, at least on the PSP they could race their friends online.

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If the decision was between releasing this version of Road Trip at the Vita's launch and releasing a fully realized Road Trip six months or so down the line—that is, between putting out a forgettable launch title that fails to promote the system and dropping a good game that could sell well over the holidays—I think they made the wrong choice. The single-player career mode and customization options make this a fun diversion, but it's not as addictive or polished as Mario Kart, it lacks key features, and it fails to take full advantage of the Vita's hardware. This is a bargain-bin purchase for people who love kart racing, not a must-own title for gamers of all stripes. I, for one, will not be disappointed if LittleBigPlanet's entry into kart racing means ModNation's demise.

By
Robert VerBruggen
Contributing Writer
@RAVerBruggen
Date: February 17, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.7
Graphics
Yikes. This game doesn't come close to fully utilizing the Vita's hardware.
4.0
Control
There's some lag during customization, but the driving controls are amazingly tight.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The cheery pop-rock music keeps your spirits up.
3.0
Play Value
This is a fun diversion, but key features are missing.
3.2
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Brand new Career mode – Get ready to take on the challenge of 20+ new tracks filled with 3 new weapon classes (Fire, Ice, Earth) for your Kart's offensive arsenal.
  • Never-ending tracks - Access and enjoy close to 500,000 user-generated tracks (and growing), from wherever you are.
  • Introducing ModTraveler & ModMiles – Keep connected on the road by photographing your Mod's in exotic locations or earning miles while racing MNR tracks away from home, both of which will unlock rare and unique items to add to your collection.
  • Racetrack design in under a minute – Access all the new touch-create tools and design, decorate, and customize your own tracks for everyone to play in record time.

  • Screenshots / Images
    ModNation Racers: Road Trip Screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers: Road Trip Screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers: Road Trip Screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers: Road Trip Screenshot - click to enlarge ModNation Racers: Road Trip Screenshot - click to enlarge

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