Review by roadkill

"The best racer for the PS2, that is, until Gran Turismo 3"

Graphics – 8
First of all, you may have heard about this games most abundant feature. The jaggies (which result when two or more edge colors are not blended together). Well, here’s my response, Gran Turismo. That’s right, Gran Turismo. This game featured jaggies up the wazoo but it was and still is heralded as the best racing game ever. So, I ask you, are jaggies or the lack of that important to a die-hard racing fan?

Alright, jaggies aside, this game does have some sweet graphics. The cars look real, the replays are simply astounding, the environments are awe-inspiring, what more can you ask? Every aspect of this game is beautiful, from the opening intro, to the option screen, to the car select screen (and we must not leave out Ridge Racers main girl, Ai Fukami). My god, even the loading screen is well done. Let me give you a little step-by-step guide from the time you power on your PS2 till the time you race. Almost immediately your meet with the splendor of this games intro, you then proceed to the main screen were you could load your game. Loading done, you select to race, you choose the event and the track you want to participate in then you get confronted with a choice of five initial cars. Choose your car; get the option to choose your engine (1 engine to start with, might as well not give you the option to choose until you have some choices) then, its time to race. Hold on there, not done yet, as in all CD-ROM based games; you still have the loading screen to contend with. But this ain’t your ordinary loading screen, man; I just love this loading screen. All it is, is the word loading but it’s got an effect that I can’t really describe. Just check it out for yourself, words can’t describe the experience. After the ultra-cool loading screen, you get an overview of the track. The camera zooms onto the track and follows it as it curves, ascends and descends. Press start, time to race.

And there are aspects of the game that I have not yet addressed yet. You can change the colors on your car (not customize, just change), and after you race a total of 1500 miles in this game, you unlock a go-kart racing mode. You race in this miniature care as Pac-men, and you’re up against the four ghosts (don’t remember their names).

Sound – 7
It’s cool and all, but does that announcer ever shut up? This game has some great music, great sound effects. As previously stated, the announcer does get rather annoying with his little comments everywhere. Get to close to a car and “What is he doing”, “Ouch.”
The game is based in Ridge city and this guy is the host at a local radio station (if you ever watch the intro, you find this out). Which leads me to my next question; doesn’t a city this big have any other radio stations?

Control – 10
Perfect from the start, just like Gran Turismo. In fact, if you’re a pro at Gran Turismo, you’ll be a seasoned pro at this one. This game even makes use of the X analog button (bet you didn’t know that all buttons on the Dual Shock 2 except for select and start were analog did you). There is a little setting in the game were you can set the sensitivity of the X button. Set it to loose so that push a little bit down on it and give it a little gas, set it to digital so that if you press it, not matter what pressure you use it gives it the max amount of gas. I just find it hard to think that in the middle of a race, a person can control how much gas they give their car, I just set it to digital.

Replay – 8
Great replay, the only thing that might hold you back are those damned jaggies. Even considering the jaggies, the gameplay is pretty high. As you race, you unlock secrets. I think that in racing games, that is a great feature to have. If the people want something, they have to earn it. And its even loads of fun two player.

Overall – 8
Great game, but only worth buying if you’re a fan of racing or just the Ridge Racer series. Ridge Racer 5 looks this great; imagine Ridge Racer 6 (I’m almost confident this game is coming, Namco’s got and EIDOS thing going on when it comes to sequels).

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/03/00, Updated 12/03/00

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