Game Review: Ridge Racer (PS Vita)

Back to the game and an issue that many gamers have with Ridge Racer on the Vita is that the game only comes with three tracks and this is quite understandable when compared with any other racer on the system. Compared with the open world environment of Need For Speed: Most Wanted, or the varied worlds of Sonic & All Stars Racing: Transformed, Ridge Racer does make gamers feel as if they are being somewhat short-changed especially with the game being sold at retail. While it isn’t a full price game, many do feel that it is vastly over-priced for what it offers, even though each of those tracks can also be played in reverse effectively doubling the number of tracks.

However, for those old enough to remember the original, this only shipped with a single track and cost double what this PS Vita game does. While it did offer a variant on the track unlocking an alternative extended route, and reverse versions of it, it was basically still just a single track but it still proved to be one of the biggest hits on the original Playstation. What has frustrated PS Vita owners when it comes to this latest incarnation of Ridge Racer is that more tracks are available, and were available from the day the game was released, but only as DLC from the PSN Store… and that’s what caused such outcry.

Six further courses have been made available to purchase – individually and as part of packs with additional music and cars – bringing the total up to 9 (18 if you count the reverse tracks). Now, if all of these had been included in the game from the start and the game’s price had been increased by £10 I don’t think that anyone would have complained a great deal, but to offer everything separately, it has lead to players venting anger over what they felt was an incomplete game at retail.

There is no denying that Ridge Racer has been well supported with DLC from the PSN store. Backed up with six new tracks, a large selection of additional cars (most of which are available individually or in two specially priced bundles), the special Hornet car seen in Daytona USA and 20 packs of free additional songs featuring music from past Ridge Raver titles, for around £10 you can expand the game to give you a selection of 9 tracks, over 90 pieces of background music, and 13 cars (not counting the ones available away from the collected bundles) making this an incredibly well-rounded package.

It has to be said that this is how you need to consider the game. The original retail release – while a genuinely good game – just doesn’t provide enough long-term appeal to justify the price tag. If paying the full retail price for this, it really isn’t worth buying without the Gold Pass and Silver Pass which gives you all the extra courses but that pushes the game into the same sort of price bracket that you can pick up superior racers like NFS and Sonic. As much as I prefer owning physical copies of games over their download counterparts where possible, this one is really only worth getting from the PSN store as the Ultimate Edition which contains the original game plus the Gold and Silver Passes as a single package which is much better value for money. You’ll still need to get the song packs separately but this does make the game worth considering.

It’s definitely a fun game, but racing games have moved on over the last 20 years since Ridge Racer first appeared and despite some changes to the gameplay, it’s still the same Ridge Racer underneath. Yes, it looks a lot better than it has ever done but unless you’re a fan of the series, you’ll soon find yourself frustrated with some of the quirks that Ridge Racer is known for. A good fun game, but best to stick to the download version only and really one for the long-standing fans only.

Simon Plumbe

At A Glance

  • Title: Ridge Racer
  • Publisher: Namco
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PS Vita Card / PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Online Multiplayer: Yes
  • Ad-Hoc Multiplayer: Yes
  • PlayStation TV Compatible: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 1,216Mb (PS Vita Card version with all add-ons, additional space required for PSN version)

Vita Player Rating - 07

 

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About Simon Plumbe 984 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe

1 Comment

  1. for me, ridge racer is a fun game!
    the best racing game for ps vita, and with a solid online multiplayer!
    far better than nfs most wanted, which is boring after 1 week of playing!
    in ridge racer you can upgrade your level (and car), in order to obtain 2 of the fastest car in the game, so it worth the money!

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