Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

LFL11- From The Land Of Notcrazyton

Lust is a classy lady. You can't expect to impress her with petty walks along the beach or hiking. Take that woman to a gorilla knife fight or at least a man vs octopus arena cage match. No wonder this guy is single and hitting on women in bars. He's a doctor, he should have experience treating gladiators with knife and/or tentacle wounds.

Check back on the weekend, there should be a new DDG page posted some time then. Assuming I'm not hit by a truck or receive a lethal tentacle suckering on Friday.

Long, Don't waste your Munny Review: Modnation Racers- I resolved to not write exceedingly negative reviews from now on but it's just so damned hard with some games... My first impressions for MNR: It took me an hour and a half to just install the game. This is then followed by several splash screens, an intro, and then a loading screen over a minute long. The loading! It's everywhere, it's frequent, and the progress meter is full of lies. It may take a few seconds for the meter to jump to 90% but then it will take another minute to get from 90 to 100. Or it draaags up to 30% and then zaps up to 100. I could understand and would be accepting of long loading times on online customized tracks, but for the relatively straight forward single player career mode and on every single track? I wound up disabling the PS3's Internet connection just to see if that would help. Seems like it shaved a few seconds off of initial loading, while at the same time completely destroying the purpose of having a community driven game...
The story mode jumps around all over the place. One minute it's semi-serious about trying to save your garage from going out of business and next minute it's commercial parodies and juvenile jokes like Suxxor instead of Exxon, borderline racist characters, a ROFLcopter reference, and cars with names like Boobs and Sucks Good in rudimentary l33t. A lot of the attempted humor comes from the announcers. One of the announcers is annoying, dry, and occasionally pops in and out of a stereotypical cartoony lisping voice but without any consistency. The other announcer is more likable because he's a brash idiot. Think Will Ferrell from Anchorman but without likability or earnestness.
Racing has far more in common with Mario Kart Wii where it's all about luck over skill than the good Kart games. Expect to drop from first place to almost last quite frequently as you get hammered with weapon spam constantly. When you get hit, you lose the power you're holding, so even if you're in first place, your best bet is to immediately use items instead of saving them to use strategically. And instead of doing the traditional "hold down+attack" to fire behind you, you have to hold the button down for a few seconds to shoot backwards so you can't really make quick shots to deflect an enemy attack. The control scheme is a mess with every single button on the controller being used for something and pretty much required at some point in the race. This is a kart racer, not some high-tech sim. Sonic All Stars had what, three buttons? Gas, attack, and power brake; that's all you need. Modnation's controls weren't even customizable. For a game all about customizing your racer, car, and tracks, apparently simple button remapping is out of the question.
Nothing about the game screams “well made”. If you turn on the subtitles, the game puts a black bar many times bigger than was actually needed at the bottom of the screen but doesn't move the menu prompts that appear behind it. So the "Press X to continue" prompt is hidden behind the barely transparent black bar. The subtitles don't even display at the proper times, frequently falling behind or jumping ahead of what the characters are actually saying. The game is just begging you to not pay attention to it.

Despite being the main hook, the customization isn't even done well. Menus are disorganized, you have to unlock even basic props for your character, most of the items are just variations on things you already have, and the game doesn't handle the changes well in cutscenes. In the story segments, your character has two mouths. It has the mouth that does the animation for the scene but then it also has the customized mouth slightly opaque behind it. It looks terrible and it's really obvious, so somebody had to have seen that in testing. To unlock new items, you have to complete objectives in races but it's handled horribly. It's not enough to complete an objective, you have to do it AND come in first. So even if you complete the stupid requirement they give you but you came in second place and advanced to the next race, it doesn't count. I could possibly understand this if the collectibles changed the game or gave you an advantage but it's just a doodad to make your kart look different. A chunk of the blame is deserved by the game community. With all the character creation tools the game makes available, most of the mods are just versions of characters from other games. So congratulations, Modnation players! You took all the power available to you and recreated Spongebob Squarepants, a character readily seen and available in 6000 places, and then enough people voted for this mod for it to rank among the top 3. It wasn't even a good Spongebob! I don't really have a problem with players making already existing characters (I like fan art as much as the next person) but you know there are going to already be a bajillion Mario mods so make something interesting.
I couldn't be bothered to beat it, it's just a very bad game. I finished a few of the cups but returned it the next day. I was amazed/intrigued at just how bad of a job the team did on this game that I looked them up and there's seemingly nothing else that the studio has produced. Sony put a lot of marketing capital and promoted the heck out of a bad game that was poorly made from a studio whose sole other project was canceled. …How do I get in on that? A kart racing game where you can customize everything is an amazing concept and would be a lot of fun in the hands of a company like Sumo (makers of the rather good Sonic All Stars Racing). All the customization in the world doesn't help if your game isn't fun and is bogged down by design and production flaws.
Sins Committed: You name it and it's broken in some way
Virtues Acted: … Must be... positive... The colors are pretty!