In a brief pitch, the equation tends to be Mario Kart + LittleBigPlanet, a Mascot Racer game that takes the realistic yet fun driving system and doubling it up with the ability to create tracks, Mods (The Drivers) and Karts, each and every one of those goes more in depth than TrackMania even, and adds so much to the driving aspect to hold up on its own.
This game was announced at E3 2009 and released on May 21st, 2010 in Europe and May 25th in the United States. As with many classic Playstation 3 titles, the servers were eventually shut down, and as of October 10th, 2018, the games much vaunted online features have come to an end.
The game features examples of these tropes:
- Alpha Bitch: Jez's entire shtick. White and pastel color scheme, snooty or Valley Girl like affectations and says she became a racer because "daddy hates it."
- Aww Look, They Really Do Like Each Other: This Playstation Blog post reveals that Biff and Gary carpool to and from work.
- Brick Joke: At the end of Chief's big wreck, we see him getting hosed down with fire suppression foam by an emergency team. After Chief decks Espresso so hard he goes rolling off that same corner of the track 25 years later, that same team shows up and sprays Espresso with the same foam. Despite not being in a kart.
- Butt-Monkey: Gary
- Car Fu: In addition to the powerups, you can sideswipe other cars, provided your boost bar isn't empty.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Most Mods out there, including the commentators, watch the MRC to marvel at just how violent the races can get. Best emphasized when Biff completely abandons his commentator duties to giddily watch Chiefs big crash over and over.
- Cool Car: Quite a few kart body types, from various "normal" cars to cardboard boxes, trains, and even an airplane, colored and decorated however you want.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Uncle Richard.
- Cynical Mentor: The Crew Chief.
- Defeat Means Playable: Several of the elite racers in career mode.
- Difficulty Spike: Flaming Jumps. Not only is the track itself much less forgiving than previous ones, with fewer drifting opportunities and plenty of ways to fall off the track completely, it's also the first track in career mode where you must finish in first place to advance instead of just the top three. The elite driver, Hale, only makes matters worse. If he ever gets any kind of lead over you, expect it to grow exponentially if you can't keep up or use shortcuts.
- Disappeared Dad: Tags father gets mentioned during a Darkest Hour scene when Tag's feeling depressed from being forced to sell out to CM, but the reason for his absence never does. Evidently, he could tell early on that Tag was destined to be a racer.
- Drives Like Crazy: Pretty much everyone.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": No one ever refers to our three heroes as anything but Tag, Chief and Mother.
- Exploding Barrels
- Fantastic Racism Towards the final boss in one cutscene, who is Italian:Tag: (Offers to hug cheif after he starts to cry about bad memories)Chief: This is a RACETRACK! What are you doing?! Never hug me. Hugging's for Girl scouts, Hippies, and ITALIANS!
- Funny Background Event: Before the race starts, racers can be seen doing all manner of gags at their wheel. In addition to that, there are many, many gags in the form of the news that moves across the top of the screen. There is a large pool from which they are picked, many of which are unique to career races alone.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Espresso shills for a car he designed called the "SUX-600D". note
- Later, Gary mentions that Tag has been signed to the racing team of Conservative Motors, who manufacture the "ever-stimulating B008-S". note
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: The tokens, used to buy accessories for the various editor modes.
- Heroic Mime: Tag.
- Within reason, it is to work around the fact that Tag could just as well be anything, with any voice, including no voice at all.
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Chief's confession to Tag that it was Espresso who cause his trauma inducing crash 25 years ago.
- Jerkass: Biff Tradwell, especially to Gary, who appears to have gotten used to it.Biff: Hey Gary, if two's company and three's a crowd, what's one?
Gary: The number of people at my birthday party?
- Kill It with Fire: The Vita version adds fire to the power ups you can aquire, and what happens when you reach Level 3? You fire a gigantic Phoenix of course.
- Level Editor: It takes the LittleBigPlanet approach by making it the big selling point of the game, but there is also a very, very indepth Mod and Kart Studio in comparison to similar features in other games.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: A fairly common gripe. 45 second loads, anyone?
- Macross Missile Massacre: The level 3 missile powerup does this.
- Made of Iron: Chief, who survived his rather catastrophic wreck 25 years ago with little more than a bit of emotional trauma. Comes in handy when a bomb goes off in his face, a massive tool bin, several wheels and an industrial car lift fall on him. Despite being rendered catatonic, he's physically no worse for wear.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Hydra, the level three variant of the rocket power-up, a Macross Missile Massacre that will relentlessly lock on to every driver in front of its user, and it will have enough missiles for each and every single one of them.
- Nitro Boost
- Nintendo Hard: While the CPU isn't terribly fiendish, although it does get quite challenging at times, some of the bonus missions fall under this.
- Pre-Order Bonus: In addition to the first shipment including a code for a Sackboy Mod and Kart, depending on where the preorder was made. There were codes for Kratos, Nathan Drake or Ratchet and Clank. Some recieved a code for "Air Raid" DLC.
- Red Herring: Look at the picture at the top of the screen. See that guy in white standing in the foreground by the company logo? You think he's the final boss? Nope. He's not even an elite character. Who's the final boss? You see that guy in the background, flying in the air behind Tag? That's him.
- Rubber Band A.I.: While not as blatant as some racing games (at least to start with), it's definitely present.
- Rule of Fun: Comes up time and time again. For example, the power-ups are indeed implemented for this rule. In particular, thankfully, to avoid the blue shell effect, you are able to use boost gained from certain activities to generate a temporary shield. A welcome addition.
- Though it doesn't completely remove Fake Difficulty generated by the power-ups, mostly the level 3 ones, where the Sonic Rift tends to be ambiguous about when it hits a racer, the Bolt Storm randomly delays without any warning, and an entire Hydra barrage might prove too much for a shield to block entirely. When these come rapidly one after another, particularly in online races, there will be times where you simply can't avoid taking a hit.
- Shout-Out: In one of the final cutscenes from the career mode, the Big Bad gets arrested. A cop then explains that his fingerprints were found on a bomb. The cop is a redhead who wears black sunglasses, wears a tuxedo and ends his bit with an Incredibly Lame Pun. Does this remind you of someone else?
- Skidplate's introduction claims he is "Possibly a a robot in disguise." Appropriate, considering he bears a remarkable resemblance to Bumblebee.
- The news ticker for the Craggy Hills track mentions that "Locals say a hunchbacked creature lives in nearby caves protecting a 'ring'."
- Stuff Blowing Up: In addition to the rocket powerups, there's also the elite racers Nato and Drillbit. While Nato seems to just really like explosives, Drillbit appears to have the ability to blow things up with his mind, as shown by his pre-race intro.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Determining the gender of a mod is solely up to the clothes and accessories applied to it.
- Well, that, and the voice.
- That Is Wrong On So Many Levels: Biff Tradwell's response to Tag picking his nose waiting at the starting line in Rumble Jungle. Jez looks on in a similar disgust.
- Unlockable Content: Most of the parts for the create modes.
- Virtual Paper Doll: Color and add accessories to your Mod to make them look like they're wearing almost anything, though you can't change the basic body shape. It helps that a blank Mod looks like a vinyl figurine.
- You can also make your mod look more like a Virtual Metal, Cloth, or Rubber Doll.