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ModNation Racers: Road Trip

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ModNation Racers: Road Trip
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Oh it's a Road Trip all right. A slow and poorly coded Road Trip. And you're going alone.
Genre(s): Racing
Platform(s): PlayStation Vita
Release: February 22, 2012
Developer(s): SCE San Diego Studio
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Country: United States
Series: ModNation Racers
Predecessor: ModNation Racers

ModNation Racers: Road Trip is a kart racing game developed by SCE San Diego Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation Vita console on February 22, 2012. The game is a modified port of the PlayStation 3 game ModNation Racers. In this game, like the PS3 version of the game, you can create your own characters, karts, and race tracks and publish them for other players to download and use.

Why It Sucks

As the PlayStation 3 version of the game was good the following are reasons ModNation Racers: Road Trip is a bad port of the PS3 game.

  1. The online multiplayer race mode from the PS3 version of the game is removed, when most other racing games at the time of this game's release and some before already had such modes. Even the PSP version of the game had online multiplayer. This game does have local wireless multiplayer with only 4 players even though the PSVita can support more than 4 players and that the PS3 version supports up to 12 players in online multiplayer. Even the PSP version supports up to 6 players local and online!
  2. No plot for the championship mode, when the original game on both PS3 and PSP had a plot.
  3. Poor optimization causes frame rate to reduce below the target of 30 FPS, and as the game speed is linked to the frame rate it causes the game to slow down to a crawl, in a racing game. When the frame rate drops it forces you to react quickly to the game changing speed or you will suddenly steer off course. In more complicated tracks such as the later tracks in the career mode the slowdown affects most of the race and causes the races to feel very sluggish.
  4. Longer load times than the PS3 version. While some say the up to thirty second loading time in the PS3 version of the game is too long, in this version it can take up to fifty seconds to load a track for you to race. (This can be excused slightly because the game supports user generated tracks, characters, and karts, and these require significant CPU time to generate.)
  5. The later tracks in the career mode are poorly designed as the AI racers can fail to make certain jumps or can get knocked off the course due to obstacles that suddenly activate and a blocker pops up or shifts to the side.
  6. Playing custom tracks with other players requires the track to be published on to the servers. However the servers are down as of July 1, 2017, so you can no longer play new custom tracks with other people.
  7. This game does have a time trial mode, but in order to publish the ghost of the best line you made you need to be connected to the internet. If you are not connected you lose your best line after ending the session and can't upload it. However the servers are down as of July 1, 2017 so you cannot do this anymore.
  8. There is a ModExplorer feature which requires you to go to certain landmarks in the entire world to unlock certain parts for your custom creations. However the servers are down as of July 1, 2017 so you cannot do this anymore. You can't get these parts in normal gameplay, though these parts were originally released as DLC content in the PlayStation 3 game.
  9. New game bugs which didn't exist in the original PS3 game which include shadow bands (rows of black shadow lines) appearing on the track after loading, entrances to tunnels being covered up by the terrain yet not actually blocking the tunnel collision detection wise, and certain props in tracks from the PlayStation 3 game being rotated 90 degrees from its original position potentially creating roadblocks and blocked paths in places not intended by the track creator.
  10. The menu interface is annoyingly unresponsive at times. The Arc menu is placed too far to the bottom left corner of the screen, which is where the touch screen has the most trouble registering the touches.
  11. Placing props on tracks is messed up. You must use touch controls in order to place props on your track. However it can place props far from where you are tapping. You also cannot freely rotate the camera and do all possible modification at the same time. There are three camera modes, regular view where you can change the vertical tilt of the camera, sideways view, and top down view. You must use sideways view to change the height of the prop, and using top down view is likely to move the prop less than the distance you drag your finger around.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The base gameplay is almost the same as the original game, so when the problems represented above aren't affecting the gameplay, the gameplay can be as good as the original PlayStation 3 version.
  2. It is possible to create custom characters (called Mods in this game), custom karts, and even custom tracks, like the original PlayStation 3 game. It is also possible to publish these creations and download other people's creations while online. However the servers are down as of July 1, 2017 so you cannot do this anymore.
  3. The creations from the PlayStation 3 game are available for download on the servers, so you can play using the creations you already made on the PlayStation 3 game anywhere you want. However the servers are down as of July 1, 2017 so you cannot do this anymore.
  4. Still has the awesome soundtrack from the PS3 version of ModNation Racers and adds some additional songs along with it.


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