Tagged "Ridge Racer"

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Nov 29
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

Back in the early ‘90s CVG magazine ran a short article taking a look at the copious amount of then upcoming consoles. Whoever wrote it claimed that the “Play Station” (as it was then known) was likely to be pushed to the wayside by the consoles Atari, Nintendo and Sega were working on. In hindsight, it’s a claim that’s somewhat comical.

ps1

At the time though it was a justifiable thing to have said. The only experience Sony had with videogames was via their publishing label Sony Imagesoft, whose arguably biggest hit was Mickey Mania for Mega Drive and SNES.

The fact that the PlayStation only came about due to an aborted partnership with Nintendo to create a CD add-on for the SNES also hinted at some sour grapes on Sony’s behalf. It was almost as if Sony were planning to go at it alone simply as payback for Nintendo cutting their potential fortunes short.

Cheap and easy to develop for, the PlayStation did of course eventually go on to outsell both the Saturn and N64 while becoming a household name in the process.

Sony’s marketing campaigns played a large part in the system’s immense popularity – putting demo pods running WipEout in UK nightclubs was a genius move, not to mention one that helped videogames as a whole appeal to a far larger audience.

Those who shelled out £299 on launch day were treated to a stellar line-up that knocked the Saturn’s launch games for six. Ridge Racer may have only featured one track, but it looked far greater than Sega’s rushed out conversion of Daytona USA. It was, in short, a system seller.

wipeout

WipEout was an altogether different kind of racer – far edgier, without a single pair of wheels in sight. It may have been soon bettered by WipEout 2097, which featured vastly improved handling, but the original was still a very important game for Sony that showed off what the system could do.

The soundtrack too turned heads, featuring licensed tracks from Chemical Brothers, Leftfield and Orbital. The now sadly defunct Psygnosis provided quite a few of the PlayStation’s line-up in fact, with two more titles – Destruction Derby and 3D Lemmings – arriving just a couple of weeks after the console itself.

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Aug 15
By Matt Gander In Our Pixilated Past No Comments

Released: 1994
Formats: PSone, Arcade

If a developer released a racing game in this day and age with only one track, we’d either expect the rest to be available as free DLC or consider them to have a screw loose. Back in 1995 though this happened.

After wowing gamers in the arcade, Namco’s Ridge Racer was to become the PSone’s poster boy – a system seller that was able to show what the console could handle. Compared to Sega’s rushed out Saturn conversion of Daytona USA it was enough to establish the PSone as the superior system right off the starting grid.

It may have only had one track, but it was an incredible piece of design work. “A great start, now go for the lead!” the narrator would yell as you pulled away and headed down the straight. Progressing from 12th to 1st place wasn’t easy – the AI would quickly pull away from the starting line, leaving you for dust. You had to get to grips with the slightly erratic drifting too, which entailed learning how to regain control of your vehicle if it started to skid.

After the opening straight – which featured a huge TV screen displaying Galaxian – came a tunnel with a bend, which then lead out to a narrow bridge and the first of a few hairpin bends. Approach the beach straight with enough speed and you could ‘catch some air’ before hitting the ground with a satisfying thud. The next bend had raised corners – it was possible to swing your vehicle along these while drifting in order to get round around it with ease. Next came another straight, complete with a low-flying helicopter and billboards for two other Namco games – CyberSled and Starblade Alpha.

The gentle twists and turns of the track’s final part – set in a more industrial-style distinct – weren’t quite as exciting as the first part of the track but gave plenty of chances to overtake, as did the final home stretch.

When Sega fans would claim that Daytona USA offered three tracks compared to Ridge Racer’s one, PlayStation owners would argue that Ridge Racer does actually have two tracks – you can race the original track backwards. Again, it’s testament to Namco’s design that when playing the track backwards it did feel rather different – downhill sections became uphill slogs, and vice versa. You could also extend the original course with an extra piece of track.

Speaking of tracks of another sort, a lot of gamers hold the ‘90s rave music in high regard. Am I about to admit that I would put the disk into my CD player and listen to it on my stereo? Yes. Yes I am. You could also use your own music CDs – once the game had loaded, the disk was no longer required to be inside the console.

Namco included a few challenges to stop gamers getting bored too quickly – finishing in front of the black car was the final challenge and known for being notoriously tough. There were a couple of hidden things to discover too, like the ability to twist the flag around on the title screen. When loading up the game arcade classic Galaxian would also appear – if you managed to shoot all the invaders within in the tight time-limit then an extra car would become available.

It’s very odd to think that for many early adopters of the PlayStation the first thing they would have played was Galaxian, isn’t it?

Apr 02
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Ridge Racer reboot Ridge Racer: Unbounded hasn’t got off to the best of starts in this week’s UK top 40 – it makes its chart appearance at #21.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 performed the best out of last week’s other new releases, swinging in at #3.

The top three titles are now all EA titles – FIFA Street remains at the top spot, followed by Mass Effect 3 which has just had a significant price drop online.

Naruto Shippuden Ninja Storm Generations made #6, proving that there are still a lot of Naruto fans about. Kid Icarus: Uprising has left the top ten already dropping from #7 to #14.

Both Silent Hill HD Collection and Silent Hill Downpour have done quite well – they’re in at #12 and #15 respectively.

Pokepark 2: Wonders Beyond has managed to make it into the top 40 in its second week of release too in at a lowly #38.

Curiously, it appears that Okamiden on DS has received a rather late re-print. It has shot back into the DS chart at a rather impressive #6.

Mar 29
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 2 Comments

There’s a slight retro theme running through this week’s new releases – a new Silent Hill along with the anticipated HD collection, a Ridge Racer revamp, this year’s Tiger Woods and a load of Capcom classics on one handy disk. The emphasis is obviously on the word ‘slight’ there.

Silent Hill HD Collection angered fans the moment it was announced due to the original Silent Hill (which is on PSN) and Silent Hill 4 not being included. Reviews have also revealed that the developers have removed the fog which was not only used to mask graphical glitches but to help create an atmosphere too. Destructoid’s 3/10 review is worth a read if you’re considering it.

Silent Hill Downpour doesn’t quite restore the series to a former glory either. gamesTM sums it up quite nicely in their 6/10 review: “Silent Hill: Downpour frustrates and irritates, it confuses and confounds. It doesn’t scare as much as it should and it doesn’t impress as much as we wanted. But there’s no denying its ability to keep you playing; to push through to the end.”

Faring better with review scores is Ridge Racer Unbounded. EDGE seemingly fell in love with it, awarding it a 9. “One of the most subversive, sublime street-racing games ever made,” they said. Other reviews have been less positive such as CVG’s 6.4 and gamesTM’s 6. It certainly looks the part, you can’t argue that.

We swear the Tiger Woods games arrive earlier every year. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 still sounds like a decent package though with Kinect controls on offer for the first time. GamesRadar gave it a 7. It’s a good review – very well thought out. And remember, if you buy it from Blockbuster you can play as Wayne Rooney.

If none of these take your fancy then Capcom Digital Collection might do. It contains eight of Capcom’s Xbox Live Arcade games including Final Fight, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 and Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix. £17.99 on Play doesn’t sound a bad deal to us.

Or if tending to crops is more of your thing then there’s always Farming Simulator 3D. I think the blurb pretty much says it all: “The “Farming Simulator” and the Nintendo 3DS console are a great match: experience a high quality 3D-graphic which supports the 3D-effect of the console perfectly. You will be able to explore an open world, play with a day-night-cycle and chose a free-to-play mode on your way to become a successful farmer. The game addresses both kids and male adults and hence makes it a great expansion of the Nintendo 3DS family.”

So female adults won’t be able to play it then? Righty ho.

Next week: Devil May Cry HD Collection (PS3, 360), Kinect Star Wars (360), Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure (3DS), Top Gun: Hard Lock (PS3, 360, PC), Warriors Orochi 3 (PS3, 360), Alvin & the Chipmunks (360, Wii, DS) and Jewel Quest V: The Sleepless Star (DS).

Feb 27
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Uncharted: Golden Abyss has proven to be the most popular PS Vita launch title. No surprise there, but what is surprising is that together with FIFA Football – the second most popular title – the two took 50 percent of software sales.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss took the top spot of the chart, while FIFA Football took #2. A few others out of the 23-strong line-up made the top 40 – WipEout 2048 at #11, Ridge Racer at #28, Virtua Tennis 4 at #30 and Everybody’s Golf at #32.

Rayman Origins has also shot back up the chart from #36 to #5, while F1 2011 and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 have re-entered the chart (at #22 and #33 respectively) presumably due to the Vita versions.

Chart-Track also tells us that 79% of all PS Vitas sold were the WiFi version.

Syndicate settles for #7 while The Last Story enters at a not too shabby #15 even though GAME and Gamestation were reportedly not stocking it.

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate falls into #17 while The Jak & Daxter Trilogy makes #27.

Sega’s Binary Domain hasn’t got off to a very good start at all entering at #35. It has already been reduced to £25 on the likes of Zavvi despite being pretty good.

Apr 04
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

The eye-ball pleasing Crysis 2 has managed to stay at the top of the chart for another week. The game at #2 may surprise you – it isn’t MotorStorm Apocalyspe (which makes its appearance at a lowly #17) or Shift 2: Unleashed (in at #4) but rather Zumba Fitness. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I did have a feeling it would be quite popular.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters and WWE All Stars go in at #6 and #7 respectively.

MotorStorm Apocalypse’s slightly rubbish placing is likely to be because it was delayed and Sony didn’t do a very good job at telling people the new release date (last Thursday).

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the highest placed 3DS game at #16, followed by Pilotwings Resort at #21, Rayman 3D at #23, Super Monkey Ball 3D at #29, Ridge Racer 3D at #30 and Nintendogs + Cats at #32.

Mar 28
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 2 Comments

With so many releases out last week it would have been a miracle if Homefront managed to hold onto the top spot. It’s now at #3, making way for Crysis 2 at #1 and the apparently better than expected LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars at #2.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the best selling 3DS title entering the chart at #4. That’s followed by Pilotwings Resort at #6, the review-shy Rayman 3D at #9, Super Monkey Ball 3D at #14, Ridge Racer 3D at #15 and Nintendogs + Cats at #20.

Ghost Reckon: Shadow Wars goes in at #34 selling better than Splinter Cell 3D did which is in at #39. I am surprised that Ridge Racer 3D didn’t chart higher – reviews have been good and it’s a very well established brand. At least it sold better than Asphalt 3D did, which didn’t make the top 40.

The Sims 3 – which previewed badly – did make it into the 3DS single format chart though.

Mar 24
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 5 Comments

I’ve already given my two cents on the 3DS launch line-up, but if you missed it and can’t be bothered to click here, then here’s a quick run down. Super Street Fighter IV, Nintendogs + Cats, Ridge Racer 3D and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars should be on the top of your list. PES 2011 3D: Pro Evolution Soccer scored 78% in the Official Nintendo magazine, but the roosters are out of date and there’s no online play so it might be an idea to wait for the next one. If it wasn’t for the fact that Pilotwings Resort and Super Monkey Ball 3D only take 3 hours each to finish, they would be on the list too.

The embargo for Ubisoft’s titles doesn’t lift until tomorrow (Friday) so we won’t know until then if Rayman 3D and Splinter Cell 3D are up to scratch. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars might be worth considering, while The Sims 3, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs, Asphalt 3D and Rabbids 3D didn’t get much love when being previewed. This leaves us with Samurai Warriors: Chronicle – which scored 5/10 on Eurogamer – and Madden NFL Football which isn’t of great interest to 97% of us Brits. It’s probably OK though.

There are a few other big name titles out this week too. Crysis 2 is apparently gorgeous but the main character is a bore and the plot is dull. Do people really play FPS games for the plot though? There was mild concern that the PlayStation 3 version was lacking behind the Xbox 360 version (EA pulled the demo after people started complaining about screen-tearing and other faults) but word has it that the final version is fine and dandy. Scores so far include an 8 from Eurogamer and a 7 from 360 Gamer Magazine. One of 360 Gamer’s writer also said on Twitter that LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is surprisingly brilliant. That’s out on every format, including PSP and PC.

Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy and Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive also arrive on PSP this week. There’s a special “Legacy Edition” of the former which Amazon is selling for no extra cost to the standard.

There hasn’t been much hype behind PlayStation Move Heroes, which stars Ratchet, Clank, Jak, Daxter and Sly Racoon. Metacritic’s average is currently 57% which perhaps tells us why. Tomb Raider Trilogy – which is another PlayStation 3-exclusive – looks like being a better purchase.

Next week: WWE All Stars, Shift 2 Unleashed, Ar Tonelico Qoga, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, The 3rd Birthday, Dynasty Warriors 7 and movie tie-in Rio.

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