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Get the Drift- Ridge Racer 3D Review



While Ridge Racer has never received the annual makeovers bestowed to the Need for Speed franchise nor had the aspirations for photorealism exemplified by Gran Turismo, the high-spirited series hasn’t exactly suffered. Originally a coin-op title, iterations of Ridge Racer have consistently benefited from arriving alongside new hardware, complementing the launch window of the PlayStation, DS, PSP, and PlayStation 3 systems. Clearly, publisher Namco (now Namco-Bandai) understands that gaining a solid head start is a good way to make an appearance at the checked flag.

Predictably, recent release Ridge Racer 3D doesn’t deviate far from series norms, beyond giving players a new perspective on the competitions. The franchise’s core mechanic remains the drift- a cornering maneuver which allows players to sling their cars around curves without losing speed. Whereas the technique is customary in most driving games, Ridge Racer pares the strategic loss of traction to its bare essentials- barely penalizing players who twist their vehicle perpendicular to the roadway. For gamers weaned on the complexities of modern racers, Ridge Racer‘s blissfully simplistic driving physics might seem like a antiquated holdover from a distant era. Yet for the rest of us, Ridge Racer 3D transports players to a period when cockpit quarter-munchers delivered a euphoric rush of driving-induced adrenaline. 

Beyond a robust Gran Prix campaign, comprised of succession of four races competitions, there’s  an option for single races. Quick Tour seems idyllic for commuters- players designate a period of time, and the title fills in the duration with a suitably-timed number of challenges. Although gamers seeking to push past human opponents won’t be able to play Ridge Racer 3D online, the title can accommodate two to four local participants. Each racer is identified with a large icon which floats above their car- which can be set to display a Mii or even a snapshot, adding a bit of personality to the proceedings. Additionally, the game’s StreetPass functionality allows 3DS to swap ghost data with a passerby. 

After each race, players are rewarded with an amount of currency contingent upon their performance. Beyond purchasing new cars, players can purchase a number of simplified after-market upgrades which allow gamers to tailor their nitrous system or raise their top speeds. Struggling participants can even buy a single-race item, which can send your car rocketing off the line or equipped with a full tank of boost. Additionally, players are given a full range of no-cost options ranging from types of transmission (automatic or manual), to an optional control scheme which gives racers complete control of their drifts. 

Along with Super Street Fighter IV 3D edition, Ridge Racer is one of the showcase software titles which aptly demonstrates the hardware’s capabilities. With the 3D slider turned all the way up, the game’s cars and environments show an striking around of depth, and are punctuated by the sporadic low-flying plane or burst of confetti. Recalling previous iterations of the series, Ridge Racer‘s sound is woefully grating. Between the game’s repetitive announcer and the game’s droning blip-core soundtrack, a tweak of the game’s aural mix is nearly mandatory. Although the game’s framerate starts off strong, once players unlock the more exotic vehicles,  sporadic stutters are introduced.  

Players seeking a solid racing experience are advised to steer clear of lackluster effort Asphalt 3D, and hop right into Ridge Racer 3D‘s cockpit. Sure, the future will inevitably bring richer driving experiences onto 3DS screens. Yet, it’s unlikely that these titles will match the jubilant bliss generated by Ridge Racer. When a faultless drift produces just enough nitro to rocket players past opponents and into a first-place finish, it’s hard not to expel Kaz Harai-like enthusiasm for the game.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

32 comments

  1. First, suckers.

  2. ok, looks like I’ll be picking this one up on Sunday.

  3. cookiemonstahhh60

    I heard there’s too many menu.

    But, that’s not stopping me from getting the game.

  4. Video looks kind of grainy. meh.

  5. You this isn’t the first 3D RR?

    RR7 got a post release patch. Eat that trivia-fiends!

  6. RRRRIIDDGGGEEE RRRRAAACCCEEEERRRR!

    Remember that one?

  7. Your Drunk Ex-Boyfriend

    Those are 3DS shots? Man, the game looks good in 2D! I might have to get one.

  8. Powered by namco?

  9. orry, but IGN wins this round. They have a video of Ridge Racer on the TOILET.

  10. Thanks, Deagle. Nice review.

    RRRRIIIDDDGGGGEEEE….

  11. want to hear some shit? My amazon order arrived but I can’t play it until the hardware is out on Sunday.

    The TORTURE!

  12. B+ is a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be rubbish.

  13. Thanks for not comparing it to 360 graphics like some (ahem IGN) sites did.

  14. Where’s the portable ghetto comment? That was a winner as well.

  15. You should do a video review where you need the red and blue glasses to see it in 3D. Yep, you can thank me for my great ideas by sending a 3DS my way.

  16. Drunk Tiger Woods

    Are the cars still named after Namco characters? How many unlockables are there?

  17. I’m in the same shitty spot as you. Except I have four games that I bought at Wal-mart today.

  18. wow- petals on the windshield at 0:34. I bet that looks cool.

  19. By the time I get a 3DS this will probably have dropped in price. Woohoo.

  20. Whats up with the tribal Indian music in the video?

  21. Great writing, DEagle. Maybe I’ll pick it up.

  22. If I break down a get a 3DS, I’ll probably grab this one.

  23. I dunno looks crappy in the video.

  24. Are the dials and stuff in the front foreground?

  25. Nice title.

  26. Pretty good resolution for a handheld.

  27. nice looking game.

  28. Damn RR gets hard pretty quick.

  29. I noticed that too.

  30. I didn’t know what you were talking about. Then I hit the third group of races.

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