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Ars: ModNation Racers: taking down Mario Kart, feature by feature

Ars writes: "Mario Kart is a broken game. There, I said it. The person in last place gets all the good loot, the AI rubber-bands, and there isn't much you can do defensively. Sometimes, playing it turns into little more than an exercise in frustration. ModNation Racers, Sony's upcoming racing game, may not make a big deal about going after Nintendo's best-selling franchise, but there is some competition going on. We've had a preview build of the PSP game for a while now, and yes... this is a big leap forward for the kart-racing genre."

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arstechnica.com
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Dawn_Of_Ashes3105d ago

Being the first is alway more honorable than to be the 2nd who copy your game with more feature.

Xi3105d ago (Edited 3105d ago )

modnation racers = $60 track mania with sackboys.

Which just shows how underrated PC gaming is now and days. The same thing happened with lbp, people called it revolutionary, but people who've been using the PC looked at it and said "So it's a 2d version of gmod?".

Sevir043105d ago

there have been many kart racing games that were good but Mario Kart with its minor inclusions of on the fly racer swapping and bikes did little to push the genre forward, for one, Mario kart never had drifting or physics and there was no reward system. MNRs only suffers from what i've played long load times, MNR brings me back to the very fist days of Playing Mario Kart on SNES that was an awesome feeling. all the other mario Karts after it's release have more or less been prettier versions of the its predessors, in this day and age. past success simply cant cut it for game that refuse to change. which is why MNR is bringing the heat. and it's working. the game is simply fun and it's level of creativity is matched only by mediamolecule's LBP, but where it trumps LBP is it's simplicity.

it has soo much but it's not out to make you mad in trying to figure out what to do. it's just easy. and i like that.

Cajun Chicken3105d ago

Ahh, man, I can't wait for Trackmania Wii. Makes you wonder why they haven't brought the franchise out on home consoles earlier, gotta love Trackmania.

2Spock3105d ago

I was in the ModNation Racers beta. And IMO it is no where close to being on the same level of MarioKart. Unless they drastically change thing's before release, this is not even a rent for me.

SaiyanFury3105d ago

I played the original Super Mario Kart more than anyone I know on the SNES. It's a classic game that will go down in history as one of the most beloved games of all time. I cannot count how many hours me and my best friend spent into the long hours of the night playing Battle Mode. Since the original, I've not truly enjoyed a single game nearly as much. That's not to say the games are bad, just my personal enjoyment factor went down. I like the DS game and happily paid for it, it's good and good. Double Dash on the GameCube was more than frustrating as I played coop with my wife. Too often we'd get smoked by whatever opponent, never affording us a win. I've never played the Wii game, neither has my wife. The original game is, and will always be, my favourite in the series. That said, I'll give ModNationRacers a look at some point. I'll reserve judgement until I try it.

Wh15ky3105d ago (Edited 3105d ago )

I agree with you 2spock. I played in the beta and there is no way this game is as good as Mario Kart. Mario Kart Wii is still the most fun game I've played this gen.

Completely disagree with the article:
'Mario Kart is a broken game'- no it isn't.
'the AI rubberbands'- All Mario Kart games have been guilty of this and it's only annoying until you get good, then you realise it's a necessity.
'there isn't much you can do defensively'- There's plenty you can do defensively, the only thing hard to defend against is the blue shell because you will very rarely have a mushroom when in first place and as far as I'm aware a mushroom is the best chance you have against a blue shell.

Edit: @ Below
It is possible to defend against a blue shell by using a mushroom to boost out of the way as it's about to hit you, it's just rare to have a mushroom when in first place.

Redempteur3105d ago (Edited 3105d ago )

mario kart believe it or not had a good reason for these choices .. believe it or not the only attack you can not defend are the blue shell and the lighting ... other that most are avoidable . and even then if you have some item you can defend ...

MOd nations is good , graphics are good , the gameplay should be a litte less heavy than it should be but that's something that can be tweaked ..

but for god sake , please fix the loading times !!!

IMO so far there is nothing that make in on the top , just a very good challenger mod nations , feels unpolished ...

thor3105d ago

For me, Crash Team Racing is waaaaay better than Mario Kart and I've no idea why Mario Kart is used as the "gold standard" of kart racing games. Now I haven't played all the Mario Kart games, just a couple, but from what I've played, the early games don't hold a candle to CTR and Mario Kart Wii sucks donkey balls.

Modnation Racers looks like it will beat Mario Kart because of its track editing features. I'm not sold on the mechanics just yet but we will wait and see.

And for the guy comparing LBP to Garry's Mod - there are similarities. BUT there is one big difference - Garry's Mod was unstable. If you wanted to build a big object in Garry's Mod and bolt it together, it would jiggle about and fall apart. It was just too difficult for the average person to make a decent machine that didn't easily break. LBP on the other hand is very stable - it's easy to build large, complex contraptions that behave in a predictable way. It's much, much easier to design an actual level rather than just a sandbox environment. It's much easier to theme your level and make it look pretty. It's much easier to publish your level and share it with everyone (LBP's main selling point, I may add.)

Now Modnation Racers is similar to TrackMania, I agree - but you still have those benefits of easier theming and easier publishing. Also, you've overlooked the key difference - it's a kart racing game! Trackmania is NOT. It's in a different subgenre! So someone who owns Trackmania might well want to get Modnation as well. It costs what it does, because it's a PS3/PSP game. Trackmania has a premium version. PC games are generally cheaper. So get off your high horse.

nycredude3105d ago

I have no clue why everyone goes crazy over Mario Kart. The games aren't even good. Call it anything else and it's just an average kart game. If it was called "go kart racing" it would fail and be forgotten by everyone!

KeiZka3105d ago

What the hell have people been smoking on these comment boards as of late if they haven't ever drifted or powerslided in Mario Kart games...

Meh. Ignorant youth.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3105d ago
eggbert3105d ago

The title says its going to take down mario kart, and then he says in the article it won't take down mario kart, but it is still competing with it.

Studio-YaMi3105d ago

It's not just about the "game" more than it's about..you know..Mario ?
Mario is well known and loved by most gamers,as a character and as a game that is becoming great with each passing year.

Yes,ModNation is going to be GREAT,but will it be as memorable as Mario kart or any Mario game for that matter ? I really don't think so.

Still,this is going to be an amazing game,and I'll sure get it first day :D !

claterz3105d ago

Mario Kart is an awesome game, especially for the DS. Personally I think they should have only had it on the portable consoles, playing it with that wheel on the Wii is a terrible experience lol.
ModNation looks awesome though, the customization is what sets this game apart imo.

-Couldn't post this in the gamer zone because stupid mods banned me from it for swearing lol. Even though they post articles with swear words in the title :)

RosoTron363105d ago

You're comment is spot on. They may not bring down Mario Kart, but at least they're keeping the kart racing alive by bring new/more to the table other than; nothing new, just graphics...
I guess they used the "DO as I say, not as I do." Tactic on you eh? :D

claterz3105d ago

Lol yeh I guess they did, I only have a few hours left untill I can post in the gamer zone.
Commenting in the Open Zone just isn't the same =(

Wh15ky3105d ago

I love playing Mario Kart Wii with the wheel, it's the only way I have ever played it. I hope MNR has the option to steer with the sixaxis, I don't think I'll enjoy it as much as the Wii Wheel but I'd like to give it a shot.

xg-ei8ht3105d ago

Trackmania is free on pc, well some of the tracks.

I tell you what, the graphics are excellent as well.

I had the beta of MNR and it was alot of fun.

Track creation is easy, or you can use do auto build etc.

Graphics were nice and powerups were very good.

I think it'll do well.

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