Friday June 10, 2005 5:50 pm
Ridger Racers PSP Review
Right now we are in a bit of a quiet time in Playstation Portable land where we are waiting for the next batch of games to come out after the initial release of at launch game or near at launch games. There are a handful of really good games out for the PSP, and the one racing game that really stands out is Ridge Racer by Namco. Check out our full review after the jump.
This is a true sequel to the three Ridge Racer games on PSOne and Ridge Racer 5 on the PS2. There is that one simulation game called R: Racing Evolution for Xbox, Gamecube and PS2 but that does not really have the same arcade flavor and polish of the other Ridge Racer games. Ridge Racer is an arcade style racing game where it is not a pure simulation that places realism over fun and adrenaline but it delivers pure racing fun over accurate simulation. The races of Ridge Racers is full of fictional cars that are made by fictional car companies with names that are straight out of old Namco games like Gallaga from the 8-bit era.
The graphics are a true work of art. The races are fast and furious (no reference to the crappy Vin Diesel movie) and the cars look great. There is some real cool looking eye candy for the race tracks. The blurs and shaders really make this game look good. I love the tracks that take place with a setting sun and the lighting interacts with the cars high lights.
The game play is just awesome with lots of power drifting and split second reaction times. If you have played other Ridge Racer games then you know the joy of power drifting around a corner to take the first place and win the race with a half a second lead. There is a nitro tank added to the cars in this one and it helps out in some places and it works well with passing other cars but it does make it feel like F-Zero or Wipeout power up. The music is pretty decent and the intro movie sports that computer animation Ridge Racer flag girl Reiko Nagase that I fell in love with in other games.
The level designers really take advantage of driving uphill and downhill. The tracks not only look good but are fun to play.
Namco made some good network game play via the PSP wireless networking so you can race against other ridge Racer PSP gamers but they only included Ad Hoc mode and did not include internet based Infrastructure mode. It would be slick to play this over the Internet but hopefully we could see that in a sequel.
This game not only looks great it makes the PSP looks great and it sets a high bar for other racing games to stand up to. I love this game and every PSP owner should own it - this game is perfect.
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