Review by gloBal enemy
"Namco's Racing Beauty fails to impress.."
Ridge Racer is one of Namco's strong points. All of the Namco games seem to have a certain feel to it which no other game company can achieve.
Ridge Racer V is the company's newest racing title availiable on the new SONY Playstation 2.
Before you continue reading this, do you want an arcade game where there are no u-turns, cars which don't exist, turning which is not possible in reality and overall, an easy to play game? If so, this is your game. If however, you are more of a Gran Turismo simulation fan, where everything is based on reality, don't waste your time reading this.
Back to the review, Ridge Racer V is a stunningly fun to play game.
This is the part where games rely on most for their survival to the store shelves, and whilst many other companies think they can rely on graphics to sell their game, they are utterly wrong.
The gameplay in Ridge Racer V is quite good due to its zero-slowdown. There are upto 12 cars at a time and the computer AI is rather smart.
Even on easy, if you are not in 7th or better by the second lap, you might as well give up because you will never catch up to first. Unlike other racers, all cars have a rather equal balance, there is no car which can go alot faster and if there is, the CPU organises it to make sure it comes out as a fair game.
The gameplay is boosted by its excellent controls and usage of analogue buttons. The analogue X and O improve the accelleration control by a heap, and if your a D-PAD fan, you can use that too. Thanks to the PS2's Dual Shock 2's analogue sticks, which have being stiffened over the original PSone's Dual Shock, the steering is much more precise.
As a note to people who plan on purchasing a steering wheel, DON'T! This game works best with a controller, Gran Turismo however should be good with a wheel. But unless you must, do not buy a steering wheel just for this. It will lead you nowhere. You cannot get lap records and currently, not many of the steering wheels support analogue buttons all over (except for pedals).
The main problem is however, not much lasting appeal. The whole game may take a while to finish (as some cheats require you to drive 3000km +) but there aren't many cars and there aren't many tracks and nor is there much variety in those tracks. Most of them are extensions to the original tracks.
To become the No.1 racer. Wow. Great story. I'm not impressed but this is a racer so...
This game has an excellent framerate and when in out of car view, you can see everything with near-clear graphics. The graphics are PC quality but not much better.
The graphics could have had a bit more of effort put in but at least there is no slowdown and I guess that is what really matters.
Also, each car has a different HUD. Not a complete HUD. Just a different Spedometer in the bottom right with a different font/colour..
The revving of the engines is different for each car but really, there isn't many cars to start with!
The music is way good and I quite like some of the music choices but overall, the sound department is quite poor.
The intro movie is good and the menus are nice.
But still, the lasting appeal kicks in. It gets awfully boring after you've completed the 5 tournaments.
A save function inside the tournaments would be nice and the 99lap thing really needs a pause and save option.
You'll love the LOADING screen though. It shows all these cool lines and stuff. You'll see it sometime. The pause screen rocks.
The intro movie could however used some anti-aliasing from the US version..
The records are fun to beat as they require a hard push to win but still... Its lacking lengthy appeal.
Lack of cars, tracks and overall variety makes this game a failure.
RENT. You'll probably finish it in two nights or less. Only Buy it if you are a hardcore fan and need a racer desperately.
Story : 3
Creative eh. But this is a racer so it doesn't count.
Gameplay : 7
Great gameplay supports this title with excellent controls thanks to analogue support but this title needs more backing with different cars, different tracks and overall variety. if a track editor was included, it might be a bit more interesting but all the tracks are just different parts of the city.
Graphics : 7
Not very creative. But smooth framerate is good. No slowdown but slightly more variety in the HUD and an incar view would've helped back this title up.
Sounds : 9
Engine sounds are not the most varied thing in the game but this game has an impressive music score. I love the songs except for a few but not everything is perfect.
Other/Overall Presentation : 10
Great. Menus rock. Love the interface.. Love the LOADING screen and pause menu. The circular thing just rocks. The introduction video could've used some anti-aliasing but that doesn't deter me.
Overall (not an average) : 7
This game does have its flaws in its lack of cars and tracks. Besides that, this is a great racer and will do until a decent racer (besides Driving Emotion Type-S) comes out.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/11/01, Updated 06/14/01
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