Is there a problem, officer?
Straight from the arcades to the Playstation comes Ridge Racer by Namco.
Like the arcade version, Ridge Racer uses the super smooth texture-mapped polygons making the race cars look impressive. The graphics for the tracks are highly detailed. If you take a look at the mountainside, you can see every little crevice, but of course, if you have time to look at the mountainside you wouldn’t really be racing. When driving through the tunnels you get realistic view of how it is when you drive through a long tunnel. What I mean is that right when you enter the tunnel, the lights from the tunnel overcome the light from the sun. It is pretty cool seeing the lighting turn from the bright light to the dim lights then back to sunlight. The graphics of the cars are good too. The details are impressive because you can actually read the decals on the other cars, and if you turn just at that right angle you can even see what’s on your car.
The selections for the cars
is O.K., but one thing that baffles me is that on the case for the game, it
states that you can choose from 13 cars. I didn’t see 13 cars, in fact I only
got to choose from 4 cars. But those four were impressive and perhaps I’m just
mising somthing obvious. The four types of cars are as follows: Beginner, which
is an average car with an o.k. handling and acceleration. Mid-level is a step
up, which has a little less acceleration, but better traction. High-level has
a fast acceleration, high top speed but less traction. Time Trial is a little
low on acceleration, high top speed and low traction. Each car is fairly good,
it just depends on how you like to drive and your style of driving.
Along with choosing which kind
of car you like to race, you can also choose the type of transmission you prefer.
You can either choose a Manual or an Automatic. I prefer the Manual because
you can control what gear the car should be in. The Automatic is alright, I
sometimes use it. It’s simpler using the Automatic, but you just don’t get that
same power as you do in the Manual. I do suggest that beginners use the Automatic
at first, because then all you have to worry about is braking.
The music is a 6 track original soundtrack. Although it is original, entertaining
is not an adjective I would use to describe the music. After awhile of hearing
these songs, you’ll probably just go crazy. It’s all techno music and I have
nothing against techno, but these songs were just pathetic. I ended up just
putting the t.v. on mute and playing my radio. Top to off this music, the sports
caster makes boring statements, well.. actually annoying statements. Right when
you start the game the sports caster says “What a great start, I’ve never seen
anything like this.” Oh yeah some great start, every time you start the race
you begin in dead last. I think the guy is there to distract you from concentrating
on racing. The only thing I found useful about him is that he tells you how
many laps are left in the race. Even then he still adds the irritating remark,
“Hold on there, you can make it!” Like I need to hear that while I race.
The race tracks are fairly challenging
and definately fun. When you first start off, you get to choose between 4 tracks.
Beginner, Mid-Level, High-Level, and Time Trial. The Beginner track is a simple
short track with the top speed down and is only two laps. The Mid-Level track
is just like the Beginner track but with an extension to the track. You are
given three laps this time with higher speeds. The High-Level track is well
the Mid-level track the only difference between the two is that the timer is
faster. Last of all there’s the Time trial which is just like the Mid and High
Level tracks only you get to time yourself. This really gets on my nerves because
there is no variety to choose from.
All the tracks are pretty much
the same and there are no other places to go race at. Oh, they do change it
a little, after you get first place at each of those tracks, you get the “Extra
Tracks” which I think is “Extra Crap”. All the “Extra” courses are really just
the same tracks as before only backwards with the clock ticking even faster.
Yeah that’s something to look forward to. I’ll admit these “Extra Tracks” are
a bit harder than the first four, but you are still on that same track. No matter
which direction you drive, its still boring to race the same track.
Although it seemed as if I hacked away at this game, I actually still love
it. One feature I liked was at the end of each race, there is an instant replay
to show you how you were racing. It shows you everything, I mean everything
that you did while racing. This game is entertaining and worth getting. Sure
it’s not as good as WipeOut, but hey, since when
did actual race cars carry guns and rockets. I think that this game is worth
purchasing, it’s fun, has good graphics and the “Extra Tracks” will keep you
occupied for awhile.