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
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...