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Author Topic: Mod Nation Racers  (Read 4124 times)
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msduncan
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« on: May 06, 2010, 04:23:45 AM »

As seen on game rankings.com, this thing is getting veery mixed reviews so far.        I was/am hoping it would be another LittleBigPlanet sytle system seller
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 05:21:19 AM »

I loved the beta. I'll definitely be picking it up.
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 05:41:46 AM »

I wouldn't call the reviews mixed.  All the scores are between 8/10 and 9/10 except one 7/10.  I don't think this will sell Mario Kart-like numbers, but I think it will do well.
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 12:31:26 PM »

And just to be clear, LBP was hyped as a system-seller.  It was not a system-seller.
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 08:15:23 PM »

Pre-ordered this officially yesterday. It seems to be getting really good reviews; the 7 / 10 from Eurogamer was written by a writer who admitted he isn't a kart-racing genre fan. And a 7 / 10 from Eurogamer is actually a very good score.

Really, the only negatives I've heard about the game is loading times (which are supposed to be improved from the beta) and how there's a little bit of blue-shell syndrome. Which hey, it's an arcade-racer billed to be LIKE Mario Kart; I think people who have played and know about blue shells are expecting something like that. And at least ModNation has a mechanic where you can use a shield.

In any case, I'm very excited. This is going to be awesome!! I just wish reviews didn't come out THREE WEEKS before the game... that just sucks.
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 09:22:07 PM »

Haven't played the beta, didnt even know there was one but really interested in this.

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 06, 2010, 12:31:26 PM

And just to be clear, LBP was hyped as a system-seller.  It was not a system-seller.

It sold pretty damm well for a new IP, I'm still sure with some sequels LBP will be very valuable to Sony and will sell more consoles.
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2010, 09:30:54 PM »

Loads of customization options, unlimited tracks, 4 player split screen?

Yeah, it's mine.

Also, any good kart racer will have a rubber banding system in it, otherwise, it gets too technical and you miss out on the party fun. Keep the pack close so players can constantly see each other around the next turn and interact.

If I recall, Racers has a shield system that uses your boost meter to shield you from attacks, I wonder if this can protect from some of the blue shell syndrome?
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 11:24:14 PM »

Quote from: Maggot on May 06, 2010, 09:22:07 PM

Haven't played the beta, didnt even know there was one but really interested in this.

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 06, 2010, 12:31:26 PM

And just to be clear, LBP was hyped as a system-seller.  It was not a system-seller.

It sold pretty damm well for a new IP, I'm still sure with some sequels LBP will be very valuable to Sony and will sell more consoles.

It was being beat by Wii Music for most of its run.  By Oct '09, it had sold 2.5 million.  In November of 2008, it sold only 141,000 and had already dropped out of the top 20.  Heavy Rain has already topped 1 million, for a similar new IP.

I believe it's probably finally surpassed Wii Music, at least.  And as Sony's PS3 sales have gone up, LBP continues to sell, but it certainly wasn't the Hail Mary Sony was setting it up to be.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 07:44:54 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 06, 2010, 11:24:14 PM

Quote from: Maggot on May 06, 2010, 09:22:07 PM

Haven't played the beta, didnt even know there was one but really interested in this.

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 06, 2010, 12:31:26 PM

And just to be clear, LBP was hyped as a system-seller.  It was not a system-seller.

It sold pretty damm well for a new IP, I'm still sure with some sequels LBP will be very valuable to Sony and will sell more consoles.

And that is damned unfortunate.    It deserved much higher sales.    It's one of the greatest sandbox games ever made.

It was being beat by Wii Music for most of its run.  By Oct '09, it had sold 2.5 million.  In November of 2008, it sold only 141,000 and had already dropped out of the top 20.  Heavy Rain has already topped 1 million, for a similar new IP.

I believe it's probably finally surpassed Wii Music, at least.  And as Sony's PS3 sales have gone up, LBP continues to sell, but it certainly wasn't the Hail Mary Sony was setting it up to be.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2010, 10:27:45 PM »

I dunno, I think if you are even mildly a fan of kart racers, this is worth at least a look. Fleshed out story mode and lots, lots, lots of customization is just icing on the cake  icon_smile And of course, online racing with exp and such.
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 11:06:41 PM »

YIKES at the load times video ars posted:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/05/video-of-modnation-racers-loading-times-warning-long.ars

So, the beta's load times were quite long and I was hoping they might improve them... but this doesn't seem too promising!
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2010, 12:07:25 AM »

Quote from: depward on May 07, 2010, 11:06:41 PM

YIKES at the load times video ars posted:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/05/video-of-modnation-racers-loading-times-warning-long.ars

So, the beta's load times were quite long and I was hoping they might improve them... but this doesn't seem too promising!

For a game like this where you really want to just jump in and play quickly, waiting over 3 minutes for a level to load is just unacceptable to me.
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2010, 01:46:50 AM »

Question is, how early is this code?  It may be review code, but they often send out early builds to review.

I suspect the load times will be made slightly better, but not by much though. But, much of a game's optimization takes place at the end of development.
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 02:01:46 AM »

Holy cow, terrible load times.

At least it looks like they fixed framerate issues from the beta. And the camera has been pulled back a little.
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2010, 04:59:12 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 08, 2010, 01:46:50 AM

Question is, how early is this code?  It may be review code, but they often send out early builds to review.

I suspect the load times will be made slightly better, but not by much though. But, much of a game's optimization takes place at the end of development.

From the article:
Quote
The review code given to us wasn't from a retail copy of the game, but after looking through the notes there is no mention of loading times being improved for launch; odds are this is how the game will act for everyone else.
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2010, 05:57:57 PM »

If the load time are really long, is it an issue of poor coding or too many features?  Maybe both? 
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2010, 08:58:55 PM »

Loading is mainly for assets, the code mainly determines how and what things are loaded. There are tricks at the end of development to speed things up. But, for a game like Modnation Racers where you have a lot of different customized content to load for a game, the usual loading methodology doesn't work quite as well.

A lot of Racers is in procedural generation of stuff, it's probably how they keep custom track data small. Of course, this means it might have to rebuild levels every time you load it too.

Did anyone mention if this game installs to the hard drive? A lot of the ones that do install to the HD read from both the disc and HD at the same time to speed up loads. Depending on how the reviewers got their review copies, this can be another issue.
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2010, 09:41:40 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 08, 2010, 08:58:55 PM

Did anyone mention if this game installs to the hard drive? A lot of the ones that do install to the HD read from both the disc and HD at the same time to speed up loads. Depending on how the reviewers got their review copies, this can be another issue.

In the article with the video linked above, the writer states that the game was installed to the hard drive.
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2010, 01:04:23 AM »

Well, that settles it then, unless there's no disc in the drive as well for the review, looks like ModNation Racers is going to have some frustratingly long load times.

Looks like the long initial load times are caused by the game actually starting up with you actually driving your kart around as a menu system. This sounds neat in theory, but adds a lot of time to startup.

This is similar to LBP's long startup loading times, with the way it loads the pod in place of a static main menu.

I suspect this wouldn't be as much an issue to people if the developers had skipped that big initial load, went with more static 2D menus. This way, time to first interaction with the game would be much shorter.  The actual load times on the race itself is about 1 minute according to that video. Although, that might depending on how much that starting load handles.
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2010, 04:47:58 AM »

Nice little VIDEO of kart customization.
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2010, 06:17:43 AM »

any plans for a PS3 demo?
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2010, 10:29:04 AM »

Quote from: depward on May 07, 2010, 11:06:41 PM

YIKES at the load times video ars posted:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/05/video-of-modnation-racers-loading-times-warning-long.ars

So, the beta's load times were quite long and I was hoping they might improve them... but this doesn't seem too promising!

Ok wow if that isn't fixed I am not buying it.
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2010, 11:37:51 PM »

"Now Sony is stepping into the battle with ModNation Racers, and the good news is the company brought its A-game: this is a new standard for what can be done in kart racing."

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2010/05/modnation-racers-review-kart-racing-expanded-improved.ars
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2010, 12:06:46 AM »

Quote from: depward on May 10, 2010, 11:37:51 PM

"Now Sony is stepping into the battle with ModNation Racers, and the good news is the company brought its A-game: this is a new standard for what can be done in kart racing."

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2010/05/modnation-racers-review-kart-racing-expanded-improved.ars

I read the Arstechnica review and my thought was that a hardcore kart game may be a hard sell to gamers expecting more of a casual difficulty level.
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2010, 02:11:40 AM »

Quote from: KC on May 11, 2010, 12:06:46 AM

Quote from: depward on May 10, 2010, 11:37:51 PM

"Now Sony is stepping into the battle with ModNation Racers, and the good news is the company brought its A-game: this is a new standard for what can be done in kart racing."

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2010/05/modnation-racers-review-kart-racing-expanded-improved.ars

I read the Arstechnica review and my thought was that a hardcore kart game may be a hard sell to gamers expecting more of a casual difficulty level.


Same issue with LBP, IMO.  They have the potential there for a massive hit, but it's just a little too far from the casual that the graphics promise.  There's something loveable and great about it, sure, but it won't reach the masses it wants to.
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2010, 03:14:31 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 11, 2010, 02:11:40 AM

Quote from: KC on May 11, 2010, 12:06:46 AM

Quote from: depward on May 10, 2010, 11:37:51 PM

"Now Sony is stepping into the battle with ModNation Racers, and the good news is the company brought its A-game: this is a new standard for what can be done in kart racing."

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2010/05/modnation-racers-review-kart-racing-expanded-improved.ars

I read the Arstechnica review and my thought was that a hardcore kart game may be a hard sell to gamers expecting more of a casual difficulty level.


Same issue with LBP, IMO.  They have the potential there for a massive hit, but it's just a little too far from the casual that the graphics promise.  There's something loveable and great about it, sure, but it won't reach the masses it wants to.

I think it's flip-flopped for ModNation, actually. For LBP, playing was easy and creating was hard; it appears for ModNation that creating is easy and playing is hard.

In any case, I'm actually ok with this change! Make the gameplay a little more complicated but make the create aspect a little easier.
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2010, 01:33:36 AM »

According to this interview, the developers are working to improve the load times.

Quote
The way that our technology was built we were able to keep file sizes really, really small for transfer times of less than a second or a second and a half. We didn't want it to be so that you and I go online and you want to try a track I've built that's 50MB and then have you have wait five minutes to download it. That immediately became an obstacle in sharing so we created a file system where everything is built dynamically and on the fly. Everything is essentially a series of coordinates to things that are saved. The challenge with that is we're building an entire world, an entire character, an entire kart, and 12 characters online, all on the fly. There's a lot of compositing that happens with the stickers and all the different parts. Because of that, there are longer load times, but that's something we're working on for one of our first patches, to improve that and get that down significantly.
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2010, 01:42:19 AM »

Another positive review - http://sarcasticgamer.com/wp/index.php/2010/05/sg-review-modnation-racers-ps3.html
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2010, 02:41:18 AM »

I'd love to give this a try, but I think I'll be waiting to see how things stand when that patch comes out.
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2010, 04:04:36 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 13, 2010, 02:41:18 AM

I'd love to give this a try, but I think I'll be waiting to see how things stand when that patch comes out.

I believe there's going to be a demo next week (Tuesday), so that should at least give you some feelings on how the load times are, how gameplay is, etc.
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« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2010, 02:02:26 AM »

Just picked this up tonight.

I just booted up my laptop, got in here and typed this while waiting for the first race to load.
 crybaby


Then another nice long wait AFTER the race!!!

WTF!!!
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2010, 03:27:47 AM »

Quote from: Devil on May 22, 2010, 02:02:26 AM

Just picked this up tonight.

I just booted up my laptop, got in here and typed this while waiting for the first race to load.
 crybaby


Then another nice long wait AFTER the race!!!

WTF!!!

How the F did you get it today?!??!!
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2010, 03:52:23 AM »

I didn't find the wait in the demo as bad as I thought I would.
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2010, 05:07:00 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 22, 2010, 03:52:23 AM

I didn't find the wait in the demo as bad as I thought I would.

So... perhaps that's because the demo runs off the hard drive while the game streams from the disk? Is there an install, mandatory or otherwise?  icon_confused
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« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2010, 01:14:03 PM »

There is a mandatory install, though, I'm not sure how big it is...
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« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2010, 01:34:33 PM »

From what I've read, the problem isn't quite loading data from the disc. After all, that's the same thing LBP does and it only has moderate load times (a bit long, but not ridiculous).

Instead, it looks like they procedurally generate a lot of the content as you load a level, so even though they're loading small assets, they have to process and expand those into a full level. So, there may be room for more optimization according to the devs. No idea how to do that, maybe they'll put some more common assets on the HD already processed.
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2010, 02:26:20 AM »

Quote from: depward on May 22, 2010, 03:27:47 AM

Quote from: Devil on May 22, 2010, 02:02:26 AM

Just picked this up tonight.

I just booted up my laptop, got in here and typed this while waiting for the first race to load.
 crybaby


Then another nice long wait AFTER the race!!!

WTF!!!


How the F did you get it today?!??!!

This
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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2010, 05:20:19 AM »

Don't you worry.

All you need to know is that it throws something on your HD for about 20 minutes when you fire it up the first time, but if that helped any subsequent load times, I'd be shocked.

Painful.
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2010, 05:22:55 AM »

Quote from: msduncan on May 23, 2010, 02:26:20 AM

Quote from: depward on May 22, 2010, 03:27:47 AM

Quote from: Devil on May 22, 2010, 02:02:26 AM

Just picked this up tonight.

I just booted up my laptop, got in here and typed this while waiting for the first race to load.
 crybaby


Then another nice long wait AFTER the race!!!

WTF!!!


How the F did you get it today?!??!!

This

How the f... did you get this already? Do tell.
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2010, 06:12:22 AM »

coz he's the Devil, duh.
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