Ridge Racer PSP
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Namco
Release Date: Out Now
Ridge Racer, an introduction.
Without a doubt one of the most famous and loved arcade racers of all time is the Ridge Racer series. The game has always been about pure speed and power-slides and this PSP version fully captures the spirit of the Ridge Racer series. The PSP has had a great collection of racing titles for its European launch but no other game can claim to offer such a high quality racing experience as Ridge Racer.
What's the game about?
Ridge Racer offers a World Tours mode, a Single Race mode, a Time Attack and a Wireless Battle mode. The heart of the game is the World Tours mode. Here you can select a tour to race in or create your own custom tour. The tours you'll race in become progressively more difficult although seasoned fans of the Ridge Racer series shouldn't have any problems in winning the tours on offer. To create a custom tour you simply choose your desired total play time (ranging from 5 to 60 minutes) and machine class and a tour is then generated for you. A 5 minute tour will simply be one round whilst a 60 minute tour will be made up of 12 rounds.
What's good about the game?
Ridge Racer looks fantastic on the PSP and many will see the game as the perfect title to show what the PSP can do. Looks aside though, the game handles superbly too and feels just like a Ridge Racer game should do. Once again power-slides are the order of the day (in fact it pays to power-slide as doing so fills your nitrous canisters) and thanks to a comfortable control system and responsive analogue stick, it will only take a few races before you're happy with how the game feels. With the PSP still in its infancy here in Europe it's great to have an arcade racing game that looks and plays so impressively.
What's not so good about the game?
If there's one flaw with the PSP Ridge Racer it's that the game doesn't offer a long term challenge. Fans of the series will have no problem in completing the World Tours mode and even those who haven't experienced the series before will soon find it easy going. As the multiplayer game relies on you having up to 3 friends owning a PSP and a copy of the game, it's a fair bet that most won't get to experience the mode and therefore be left with a single-player game that won't keep you busy for that long.
How does it look?
As we said earlier Ridge Racer looks superb on the PSP. The car models in particular look very impressive and are surely the best we are going to see on the PSP before a Gran Turismo game arrives on the console. The frame rate is exceptional too and never once slows down, which means the races give one heck of a sensation of speed. What I will say though is that the blurring on your opponent's cars does seem quite bad. Sure, there's probably a bit of motion blur at play here but the PSP screen seems to have a low response time and it's very evident in a game where the frame rate is so high.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
There are parts of Ridge Racer that are not subtitled. There's speech in the menus which isn't subtitled. During a race there's a small amount of commentary which isn't subtitled and there's speech to notify you when a nitro boost is available to use which again isn't subtitled. This isn't a big issue though as you can see when a nitro boost is ready to use as an outer glow appears around the nitro boost icon that appears on the top left of the screen. The other speech isn't essential and you'll have no problems at all as a result of being unaware of it.
Quite simply Ridge Racer for the PSP is a great arcade driving game that manages to capture the true spirit of the previous games in the series. The game suits the PSP perfectly and it looks and performs wonderfully. Over the long term the game won't keep you as interested as Wipeout Pure because, to be quite honest, it's not as challenging. Those of you looking for a great arcade racer for your PSP have no need to look at any other game as Ridge Racer is all you could want.
Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Ridge Racer is a great PSP arcade racing game. For the single-player game though, the longevity of the game is questionable as the AI doesn't provide a stiff enough challenge to keep you busy for too long.