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ModNation Racers Review

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The best cartoon racer this side of Mario Kart

★★★★

In a nutshell, ModNation Racers is the best cartoon racer this side of Mario Kart. In fact, it has everything you’d hope for: wild, wide tracks; wicked weapons; crazy characters; intuitive controls; manic multiplayer; physics-defying speed boosts – the lot. Hell, it even has cheating-bastard computer-controlled characters that are guaranteed to send you into paroxysms of rage if you play the game alone. But delirious driving and retina-sizzling graphics aside, ModNation Racers has more to offer players weaned on a diet of Nintendo kart mash-ups.

The real meat of ModNation Racers is its robust building tools, where you can create tracks and characters that meet your exacting standards, then share your creations with the world. The tools used to build your avatar and the courses they burn around are remarkably intuitive – and don’t require the same level of dedication as those used in LittleBigPlanet – and allow you to create intricately detailed racing worlds where you control every twist and turn, or clumsily hack together simple tracks and have the computer auto-populate them for you.

But while there’s no doubting the considerable charms of Modnation Racers’ creation tools – and the slick multiplayer modes that will keep you burning rubber for months in both split-screen and online modes – the game’s unfeasibly long loading times are frustrating as they bring the lighting-paced action grinding to a halt. And while the game is undoubtedly the PS3’s best kart racer, once you’ve tired of tinkering with the tracks you’ll realise it lacks the charm and delicate of balance of weapons found in Mario Kart, and doesn’t quite have what it takes to beat its Nintendo rival.

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