is pretty great, and I don't think the demo or the reviews are giving it justice. It's a great multiplayer game - PS3 has become so internet focused, it's actually refreshing to have an action game where two people can play in the same room via split screen - and the single player career is deep and challenging. The gameplay itself is really easy to pick up but has some complex advanced features for those who get in to it.
The demos screws up with the level they chose. It's one of the first levels. As you go thru the career, you unlock more courses, with look great and drive crazy. Or maybe the other way around. The Rings of Fire level would've sold more copies than the one they picked, because all the spins and jumps and weapons and shortcuts all come together nicely in one track.
I haven't played Mario Kart on a console in a long time (only on a DS), but I've got to believe this is as fun as those.
The three things ModNation doesn't do well
the load times. It's just bizarre to wait a minute to wait to load a track in 2010. It's a little bit better than the demo. Not much.
If I want to race a friend, or race by myself offline, there doesn't appear to be the way to pick some tracks and race a circuit. Online, you can pick a bunch of tracks, race them once after each other, and the standings, but it's only singles races off line. That seems like an easy, obvious thing to have in the game, especially since jumping back to the menu screen to choose another track is doubling your load time.
It doesn't have the "eat it, Yoshi!" element. If you're racing offline, you're racing 1 track-specific character and 10 generic ones. It's never going to be people as identifiable as the Mario characters*, but if you could race against recognizable characters - or even the custom characters you create - it'd be a bit more fun.
* - which is what people want. They have a section for the top 3 user created drivers they've always been Mario, Spider-Man, and Iron Man, and the cars are the same. Joystiq happens to write about this phenomenon today. It's a self perpetuating problem. Being in the top 3 helps keep them top 3, because those designs are giant statues in the menu screen, and everyone else is a few button presses away.