Digital Life: The flag's up for the great race!
Published 01/06/2010 | 05:00
ModNation Racers, PS3/PSP, RATING: 8.5/10 - Musicians hate it when you try to pigeonhole their work by comparing them to another artist. Coldplay? Early Radiohead rewritten by bedwetters. Lady Gaga? Madonna without the tunes. See? Too easy.
Inevitably, games suffer the same fate and the flippant six-word summary for MNR is simply "Mario Kart meets Little Big Planet".
On the face of it, this can't be a bad thing, bringing together the awesome fun of knockabout karting with the creative flair of user-designed tracks, cars and characters.
Even though MNR is slightly less than the sum of these brilliant originals, the result packs a heap of entertainment.
The racing feels the weakest of the two elements, successfully aping Mario Kart's hilarious high-speed high-jinks but missing a gear due to awkward cornering and long loading times.
Cars and characters have little to distinguish them performance-wise but don't underestimate the simple pleasure of creating your own figures with the intuitive model-maker. The track designer is even more compelling, enabling you to create manic masterpieces with everything shareable online.
Even if you never build a single thing yourself, the MNR community's output is the clincher, a vast and imaginative pool of rib-tickling delights.
Prince Of Persia: Forgotten Sands
Is this a reboot of the classic platform adventure? No, we've had that already last year.
Forgotten Sands is a rewind and reboot, going back to the series' heyday in 2003. That means a heavy focus on precise athletic leaps, removing the near-insulting handholding that dogged the last outing.
But what felt fresh in 2003 now feels deadeningly familiar and the game only really hits its stride after several pedestrian opening hours.
Iron Man 2
If you played the first Iron Man, you have my commiserations. Perhaps you're still recovering two years later. Save yourself renewed heartache and steer well clear of this lousy movie tie-in, which conveys neither the power nor the glory of being a superhero while contenting itself with drab visuals and anaemic combat.