ModNation Racers: Road Trip PS Vita
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Released on 22-Feb-2012
Rev up your imagination and create the craziest kart racing championships ever with the unique features of PlayStation®Vita. Use cutting edge touchscreen technology to build racetracks, create Mods and design karts however you want in fast and fun ways. By downloading even more designs generated by rival racers via the in-game Share Station, you’ll never drive the same track twice.
The show-stopper in portable racing, featuring loads of high-tech PS Vita functions. Pose for your victory shot with the front or rear camera. Use ‘near’ to send and receive new in-game items. Draw tracks and alter the terrain with the touchscreen and rear touch pad.
- Drag and drop items to easily create Mods and karts.
- Fun-filled racing at your fingertips.
- Download tracks, karts and racers created by the community on PlayStation®3.
- Go wheel-to-wheel in multiplayer racing.
Chomping at the bit to get your paws on a PlayStation Vita but haven't been able to make it to one of the Vita Rooms preview events? Don't worry, just head to your nearest Gamestation. Sony is sending a Vita to every store before the launch so that customers (and staff, if they're lucky) can have a go.
"PlayStation Vita is an amazing piece of technology - but the very best way to make people realise this, is by putting it in their hands. The beauty and clarity of the 5 inch OLED screen, the ergonomic design with the dual analogue joysticks, the interaction of the rear touch panel, all come emphatically to life." said Fergal Gara, Vice President and Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK.
"With our own Vita Rooms and now, with this opportunity for consumers to sample PS Vita in any of GAME or Gamestation's 600 specialist retail stores, the excitement can only continue to build."
A PS Vita unit has been sent out to each of the chain's 600 dedicated shops in the UK, while 150 leading outlets will also be setting up a special interactive display unit showing off the high-tech handheld's capabilities.
It means fans can get hands-on time with the sleek device, as well as ensuring that GAME's in-store staff will be familiar enough with the machine to answer any questions.
Fergal Gara, vice president and managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, said: "PlayStation Vita is an amazing piece of technology - but the very best way to make people realise this is by putting it in their hands."
The successor to the popular PSP, PS Vita features a stunning five-inch OLED screen, front and rear touch panels and dual analogue controls, as well as graphics to rival PlayStation 3 games.
Well, last Friday SONY rocked up to GAME HQ with cases more of them for us to play with, so that we're ready to help you when the PS Vita goes on sale on 22nd February. While we were having fun, we thought we'd share with you some of our first-hand experiences of this nifty new handheld.
Double the touchscreens, double the possibilities
At the front, a five inch OLED touchscreen. Bright, clear, crisp (the graphics were described as 'lush' by one staff member) and very responsive. Then there's the unique rear touch pad, and that's the real game-changer. You interact with games in ways you've never done so before, and the multi-touch feature means you can use multiple fingers on both pads at the same time.
In Little Deviants we poked the back of the PS Vita, to physically lift the world that we saw in the game and have our Deviant roll around in response. It felt like we were literally poking into the game itself and it's a refreshingly, immersive experience.
It's also put to good use in Escape Plan. As well as moving characters and obstacles with the front screen, you can use the rear pad to push objects towards (or away from) you and complete paths. Plus there are some moves that can only be done by 'pinching' both screens at once. Again, it's an incredible experience that needs to be enjoyed first hand!
Motion - captured!
The PS Vita comes armed with inbuilt motion sensors and gyroscopic controls, so the game will move in reaction to the way the PS Vita is being moved. We saw this highlighted in a few different games.
WipEout 2048 gives you the choice to play it safe and use the buttons and control sticks, or use the motion controls. Choose the latter - you'll tilt the PS Vita in your hands to steer your ship, slingshot around bends and overtake your rivals! Once you get used to it, you won't want to go back to using the control stick!
In Gravity Rush, after you stumble across a strange cat who (for some reason) grants you the ability to manipulate gravity, a whole realm of possibilities for a whole new type of platforming game are opened up. Specifically, moving your console around in 3D space to aim where your character will shift gravity to.
Both Little Deviants and Reality Fighters use the motion controls together with the rear camera, superimposing the action onto whatever you're pointing at and following the action around. It's real 360-degree gameplay that became less self-conscious the more we got into the games!
Two analogue sticks are better than one!
Successfully bridging the gap between the PS3 and PSP are the dual analogue sticks, giving a greater freedom - and variety - of control in all manner of games.
The forthcoming Super Stardust evolves the controls of the PSP version to something more akin to Smash TV (for you old school gamers!). The left stick moves your ship around, and the right stick is used to aim and fire your guns. This may sound simple, but the screen soon fills with tons of enemies and coordination between movement and aiming becomes crucial. On the PSP this was a tricky task; the Vita pulls it off beautifully.
Then there's the remote control carnage of Motorstorm RC. The steering, using the left stick, is responsive and quiet nippy, as you'd expect from a remote control car, with the cars being able to turn at extreme angles. Using the right analogue stick for acceleration and braking works like a dream as you can determine how much you brake or accelerate by how far you push the stick forward or pull it back.
ModNation Racers uses the second analogue in two very different ways - if you're lucky enough to be leading the pack you can see who's chasing after you, and by flicking the stick left or right you can bump into other players to knock them away.
Possibly the most visually appealing title so far shown off is Uncharted: Golden Abyss. PSP players have for a long time wanted to hold drake in their hands whilst on the move. As the Vita packs that second analogue that dream is now a reality as now you can aim and look around like you would on the PS3 versions. It handles like the PS3 version, too!
All together now...
Of all the games we played, there was one that proved to be surprisingly fun, and enjoyably addictive - Frobisher Says. Much like Wario Ware, Frobisher Says is a collection of mini games that use every feature of the PS Vita, whether it's to fan a lady using the motion controls, split clouds using the touch screen or even have your picture taken by the Vita's camera. It may not be at the top of everyone's list, but if you want a party piece to show the Vita's extra features off, look no further than Frobisher.
One thing that really stood out was how well-designed the PS Vita is for connecting with others, from online chat and 'Parties', to social networking through Facebook and Twitter, and, of course, PlayStation Network.
Thanks to the Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity of the PS Vita, mobile PSN Messaging from wherever you are is now possible. You also have access to over 300 PS1, PS Minis and PSP Essential games available to download at launch - and if you've already bought it, you can download it again no extra cost. You can even play music and rent movies.
For more social gaming, there's NEAR. If you're sat in, say, a coffee shop or restaurant that has Wi-Fi then you can turn on to NEAR that will show you all Vita players that are 'NEAR' to you. You'll be able to see what they are playing, and join them for a game. And with Crossplay, you can even play against PS3 players on certain games, with full compatibility.
There's also the trophies. For some, collecting trophies is an obsession and to know you can collect them on the go is brilliant. Much like the PS3 system, whenever you do something that is deemed worthy, like complete a level, come first in a race, set the fastest lap etc, you'll be awarded a trophy that your friends can see and become jealous of. And by connecting your PS Vita to Facebook, you'll be able to post a status showing off the trophies you have just collected. Your friends now have no escape from your trophy collecting skills!
With all these social and mobile features, plus the selection of mini-games, movies and music, the PS Vita appears to be the missing link between the PlayStation and modern smartphones.
Anything else we need to know?
The PS Vita is easy to use and to set-up. It comes with all the leads you need to power and charge it, and to connect to a PC to help manage your content. There's even a 'Welcome Park' to guide you through how to use it. It also comes with an Augmented Reality card to get you going with the AR features.
But the real treat is how you can personalise it. You can have up to 100 applications, and even have different applications running at once. You can move and customise your icons, menus and backgrounds, including taking your own screenshots from within the games you play. It really is your PS Vita, your way.
We had a great day enjoying everything the Vita had to offer. There really seems to be something for everyone, from the most casual of gamers to the most devoted PlayStation player, and SONY really seem to understand what modern, mobile gamers want.
We've got a PS Vita in every GAME store - with a lucky 150 stores having a nifty pod - so why not pop in and try one out yourself!
The PlayStation Vita has been with us for six weeks now. Those of us here at GAME HQ who picked one up at launch having been playing them non-stop, but we've been convinced to put our PS Vitas down for just long enough to give you our thoughts on the console that has taken over our lives.
You'd be forgiven if you thought the PS Vita was bulky and heavy based on some of the pictures, but it's actually one of the most comfortable handhelds that we have ever used. The curved sides make the PS Vita comfortable to hold, and the rounded edges on the base ensure no discomfort after an hour's gaming with the PS Vita.
If you've used a PSP then you'll already have a feel for the button layout, although the buttons have been moved up a little to allow for the dual analogue sticks. These sticks are surprisingly comfortable to use, and although were a bit more sensitive than expected at first, after a couple of games they became second nature.
Overall, we've been very pleased with the look and feel of the PS Vita, but for us, the most important factor is the games, to the point that we've not even checked out all the Applications that came pre-installed! We've already shared our reviews of Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Unit 13, but here are some of the other games that we've enjoyed so far.
Football on handhelds has always been a mixed bag; we've always wanted the full FIFA experience on the go, but enjoyed the 'arcade' feel of previous handheld outings. Well, FIFA Football on the PS Vita delivers the experience that we've craved, and with the new analogue sticks instead of the PSP nub, FIFA plays superbly.
The controls are standard for PS3 FIFA, but EA has added Touchscreen and Rear Touch Pad controls too. Using the Touchscreen you'll be able to pass by tapping where you want the ball to go which allows you to set up perfect through balls. The Rear touch pad is used for scoring - tap or hold on the touch pad for where you want to shoot. Both of these methods are surprisingly accurate and fun to use, but if you are more old skool, then you can turn this method off.
FIFA Football for PS Vita gives you the FIFA experience and looks great on the OLED screen. If you're a football aficionado and want to score on the go, FIFA Football is a must have!
This cute and cuddly looking racer hides the heart of a lion as you create, customise and share your creations with the ModNation Community. Using the Touchscreen allows you to move character parts into the exact position that you want, plus you can doodle the track on the screen and let the auto populate run. You'll even be able to download community created content from PS3 users!
Driving in ModNation is fun and chaotic as you'd expect from a karting game with crazy characters and weapons littering the track, using the left stick to steer and the right stick to swipe at other racers if they're too close for comfort!
The only thing missing from ModNation Racers: RT is online racing, but with the possibility for infinite number of karts, tracks and racers, ModNation Racers has the possibility for infinite fun.
Ridge Racer drifts beautifully onto the PS Vita with gorgeous graphics and the standard tight controls that are needed when drifting a car round a corner at 140 mph! If you've ever played Ridge Racer then you'll know what to expect - fast cars, fast corners and great music that gets you in the driving mood.
The big difference between this and previous Ridge Racer titles is that this version only comes with 5 cars and 3 tracks on the cartridge. Fortunately the Gold Pass that comes packaged with a new copy of the game will grant you access to most of the downloadable content, including cars and tracks, when they become available.
Existing Ridge Racers might feel a little let down by having to wait for the new tracks and cars, but if you've never played Ridge Racer, then this is a great way to start.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 brings big name beat 'em ups to the PS Vita (we're yet to try Reality Fighters), pitting some of Capcom and Marvel's biggest characters against each other in three-a-side tag-team battles. There's an impressive selection of characters which allows for some cool combinations (our pick - Dante, Ghost Rider and Deadpool), and when your special bar has enough juice you can unleash team attacks.
The controls for UMVC3 are easy to pick up so novices will be able to jump straight into the fun, while anyone whose played previous Marvel vs. Capcom titles won't be disappointed either. It looks great, the range of characters is great, and with some great modes to play through this one's a keeper.
LEGO games have always been a favourite for us, so LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 was a must-have. The last four films (or last three books, for non-muggles out there) are brought to life, with each film broken down into chapters, and sub chapters for you to play through. With LEGO putting its usual humorous spin on even the saddest moments, you'll want to go through all of these both in story mode, and then again in free mode!
Visually, LEGO HP 5-7 is almost on par with the PS3 version which is impressive. The controls are mirrored to the PS3 as well so they'll be no difficulty in getting your teeth into this. Anyone familiar with LEGO games will definitely enjoy visiting Hogwarts on your PS Vita; LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 is a great title for younger PS Vita players, or older gamers who are looking to satisfy their inner child.
So those are our thoughts on the PS Vita as we've played it so far - but how are you getting on with yours? We've not quite had the chance to do everything, so if there are any games you've tried and we haven't, or if you have any of the other features to rave about, why not leave a comment below?
With the release of Sony's PlayStation Vita less than a month away, we're taking a sneak peek at some of the biggest and best games that are lined up for launch. We've never seen a better choice of games for a handheld launch, so choose carefully - or just treat yourself to all of them - when you come in to collect your shiny new Vita!
You can't get a much bigger headline act for your new console than the next outing for everybody's favourite adventurer Nathan Drake. Golden Abyss is an epic journey for our wry hero and it even manages to give the PlayStation 3 a run for its money in the looks department. There's of course a lost city to be investigated and - with the long-overdue inclusion of two analog sticks on the Vita - gaming on the move has never felt so much like playing at home.
Frantic lap-time competition hits the Vita with ModNation Racers, a game that features some of the most fun and furious racing around. What really makes this game special though is the community's devilish creations, all of which are available to download and share with your friends. If you like to let your creativity shine, this is a game that offers much much more than just a quick race around the block.
As one of the most popular gaming series on the PSP, another outing for Everybody's Golf was a no-brainer on Sony's part. It's already leading the sales charts in Japan and is a must-buy for those who like their sports games to lean more on the side of good arcadey fun than serious simulation. Don't expect a walk in the park though - the game may not aim for realism, but it still offers up acres of challenging gameplay that will keep you competing for months.
The game that sold a million PlayStations and brought gaming into the mainstream is back and looking incredible on the Vita's gorgeous 5 inch screen. As a prequel to the original game, WipEout 2048 looks at the origins of the high-speed anti-gravity racing league and includes ten blisteringly fast original tracks. As well as a beefy game in its own right, the title will also support cross-platform play, allowing Vita and PS3 racers to compete for glory together. This is definitely one to use to show off the horse-power of the Vita to your envious friends.
It's impossible to even think about releasing a console these days without a hopeful shooter franchise leading the charge. Amazingly, we only got our first look at this beautiful third-person military game when it was announced in November last year. The good news is that it's shaping up very nicely indeed. As with Modern Warfare, the game offers a number of scenarios for players to take on, from dispatching terrorists, to intercepting drug traffickers and gunrunners. You'll be spoilt for choice in the role you take too, with options to be the sniper, technician or soldier on the battlefield, to name just a few.
Little Deviants is very much Sony's answer to the kind of bite-sized portable gaming that's become so popular in recent years. It's also a fantastic showcase for the Vita's extensive features. Plentiful use is made of both the front and rear touchscreens, the Vita's gyroscopic functionality and, yes, even the microphone when you're tasked to make a total fool of yourself in public and sing your way to victory! A real treat for mini-game fans, this will offer up no shortage of chuckles for you and your friends.
Now this is where things get really interesting for Sony's latest box of tricks. Using the Vita's fancy technical magic, Reality Fighters lets player really put themselves in the game while fighting opponents on the backdrop of whatever happens to be in front of the Vita's screen. Once you've captured an image of yourself, you can customise your fighter even further by choosing from 16 different fighting styles that range from break-dancing to ballet. Ridiculous, fun, and ever-so-charming, this is one game that never plays the same twice. The action can be scaled up or down too, so players can fight like ants on the pavement, or as 30-foot monsters on the horizon.
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