review
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POSTED 23/2/12


RIDGE RACER

Namco
Vita

Not to get nostalgic or anything, but damn we miss the days when we could play a game alone.

Ridge Racer was a perfect example. Hell, we dropped megabucks on a first gen PlayStation on release day, just to lose ourselves in Namco’s perfect arcade racer. We came out months later smelling like the worst kind of ick, but it didn’t matter; nobody else’s olfactory senses were assaulted. But nowadays it’s all fucking online this, multiplayer that. Ridge Racer too has skidded over to the dark side.

You see, the guts of this Vita iteration is essentially a social network – ‘Racebook’, if you will. The game is barebones – just three tracks, and about as many cars as an Amish village. Naturally, a veritable Leno’s garage of wheeled delights is due as DLC... That’s cool though, as long as the racing can be raced – and here’s the thing. If you want solo you can race a ghost, or do a couple of standalone blats, but there’s no campaign or particular point like, say, the game Ridge Racer.

Instead, it’s biased towards teaminess. Pick one of four – get stuck with it - and bolster their global statistics. Race against people worldwide, but pray they’ve not been playing long, as otherwise their cars will be hyper-levelled whilst comparatively yours is a base model Chery. This means no win for you until you slug away for ages accruing points for upgrades – and really fucking expensive tips that can’t be skipped - to become competitive. Of course, this assumes you have ’net access...

Ridge Racer was never an RPG, yet that’s the vibe Namco have slid towards here. Thankfully the racing basics, in particular RR’s super-slick drifting, are as splendid as ever, but the plethora of menu options and other wankery detract from the point – pure arcade racing. Talk about lost in translation...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.