Clarification On The Online Capabilities Of The Vita Version Of ModNation Racers

There’s been lots of discussion recently about the lack of direct online multiplayer in the Vita version of ModNation Racers. Erich Waas, Director, Product Development over at San Diego Studios, has clarified the deal over on the PlayStation Blog.

Road Trip will feature:

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  • Competitive Localised Leaderboards
  • Continual Match-Making, Ghosts and Time Trials
  • Travel Points: Time For A Road Trip… No Really…Seriously, get in your car, train or bus now.
  • Destination Check-ins: Better Than A Passport Stamp
  • Ad-Hoc Play: It’s ModNation Party Time!
  • Race, Create, Publish and Download!

Road Trip won’t feature:

  • Head to head online

“I know there are some of you that are disappointed that ModNation Racers: Road Trip doesn’t let you play head-to-head online other than ad-hoc,” said Waas.  “But we really wanted to evolve online functionality and take advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s unique feature set in new ways.”

“If all we ever did as developers is rehash features that have been done in previous games, we’d still be entering passwords instead of using save files and you’d have to start the entire game over after you lost your three lives.”

“While online head-to-head has been a mode used in many games in recent years, we focused on making a game that is crafted for how portable games are most often played—in quicker “pick up and play” sessions multiple times in a day.”

What do you think?  Some of the features sound pretty cool (especially the GPS-powered ‘check in’ stuff) but we can’t help feel that the game would have been better with online play, whatever the reasons for focusing elsewhere.

Via PlayStation.

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40 Comments

  1. You know guys, there is a reason online head to head has been done in so many games before…

    People want and like it.

    • well said sir. Has this game been rushed ?

      • Exactly. I dunno, I think there’s something else behind this, maybe I’m looking too hard into it.

        I mean, sure, it’s been done loads, but it’s pretty much a standard thing to have nowadays and is pretty much expected. Was it too much to ask to ‘rehash’ us some classic head to head fun as well as some totally innovative new features?

    • I think they were worried about the backlashed caused when they received complaints from the PS3 version. The online section of that game was problematic. I’d say that there’s some issues that they couldn’t iron out and decided to leave it.

      • Definitely possible, but if that was the case, why not just tell us?

  2. All I can think of is that they can’t sort the loading times still, therefore people moan and wont play online?

    To get rid of it is a silly mistake I think.

  3. What a garbage excuse. We want to evolve the game by taking bits out?! Huh?

    • Along the lines of Halo removing infinite weapon carrying, Halo 2 removing health packs from the series… that kind of thing, where the minimalism helped to actually add to the games, and somewhat redefined the genre.

      Here, though, it’s not a good enough reason.

    • My thoughts exactly. What a ridiculous argument against head to head racing online. That’s the whole point of racing! The nerve to claim that it’s omission is innovative is unreal.

  4. Load times aren’t bad in the final code, btw.

    • Huzzah!

    • Good to hear. love the PS3 version but the load times were just too much.

  5. Imagine if Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit had not had online head-to-head? I mean, they added in the auto-log, which aside from the location aware features, stands up pretty closely to what they’ve done with MNR, and certainly seemed to refresh the online features somewhat. BUT, they still gave you head-to-head.

    Similarly, Burnout: Paradise had those kinds of things, with friends times to beat for every road on the map, but also a much more co-operative oriented online party system… Except that they still included all of the head-to-head modes too.

    It feels foolish for them to have omitted a feature which is a staple of the genre. It doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things. Rage ditching on-foot deathmatch for vehicle combat kind of makes sense, but a kart racer not having head-to-head when the console is more than capable of doing so? That doesn’t.

    • If I’d known you’d made my point, I wouldn’t of wasted space in rehashing it up above. Oops, sorry.

      • Great minds think alike… Idiots never differ… ;-)

      • :)

        I think that there’s gonna be quite a few lost sales because of this, which I guess is a little sad, but I’m one of them. Saying that, it wasn’t at the top of my Vita list anyway. Would it be possible for them to patch it in? They could recover from this marketing mistake…

        Wait, did ModNation PSP not have online play over infrastructure?

      • It did – up to 6 players. -_-

      • Yup, I feel that this is going to lose out in quite a crowded launch window. Would have been better to hold back 2-3 months on it and release with Head-to-Head online infrastructure.

        Hope it gets a patch to add HtH down the line.

      • Here’s hoping.
        If Golden Abyss is getting a multiplayer patch, then why not Modnation?

      • colmshan1990# Where have you heard that uncharted:GA is getting a multiplayer patch O_o?

      • Yeah, where did you get this Uncharted: GA multiplayer stuff from?

  6. Erich Waas must think we’re all idiots.

  7. as the comic book guy would say, “worst excuse ever”

    yeah, online play has been done before, but so have kart racers, you gonna scrap the whole game next?

    just leave in the track creator and that’s it.

    because adding a racing mode is just rehashing old features.

    • Haha, yeah, that example just shows how bad that excuse really is

  8. Wonder if the adhoc Party will coming to the Vita, could save the day?

    • Why would it not be compatible with Vita in it’s current state already?

    • I don’t think they’ll bother with it outside of Japan, its dreadful but I’ll be shocked if they’re like updated to take advantage of the Launch of Vita if its successful.

  9. Sorry San Diego studios you’ve just lost a sale.

    Actually no I’m not sorry what a STUPID decision not to include head to head in a racing game! And what an utterly moronic excuse!

  10. If it’s adhoc then it will work via PS3 adhoc party so you could still play online at home

    • kinda defeats the whole portable aspect though.

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