Ridge Racer Unbounded
|Ridge Racer Unbounded|
Official North American box art
Ridge Racer Unbounded (リッジレーサー アンバウンデッド Rijji Rẽsā Anbaundeddo?) is a racing video game for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Part of the long-running Ridge Racer franchise, the game is published by Namco Bandai Games and developed by Bugbear Entertainment. Unbounded is the first game in the series (not including R: Racing Evolution) to receive a "Teen" rating by the ESRB. It is also the first game in the series (not including Rave Racer, whose Windows version was cancelled) to feature a Microsoft Windows version. A free-to-play version called Ridge Racer Driftopia was announced on April 12, 2013. A beta version was released for Windows and PlayStation 3 in August 2013. On June 19, 2014, Bandai Namco announced that Driftopia has been cancelled, and the beta servers were shut down on August 15, 2014. The online servers and the multiplayer modes of Ridge Racer Unbounded was shut down and discontinued on February 27, 2015 in Europe.
Ridge Racer Unbounded will offer a number of changes that depart from traditional Ridge Racer gameplay. Announced additions to the game include the ability to design and share tracks and a new emphasis on crashing into opponents or through the environment to find shortcuts.
While Ridge Racer Unbounded was originally scheduled for release in North America and Europe in early March 2012, Namco announced a delay just before the planned release, stating that they wanted to allow more time "to pack the disc with features that will truly make the game sing." The game was released on March 27, 2012 in North America and March 30, 2012 in Europe on all platforms. However, the Japanese release is so far unconfirmed. Despite not being released in Japan, the game borrows inspiration from Critical Velocity (クリティカルベロシティ Kuritikaruberoshiti?), a Japan-exclusive game released in 2005 and has not released overseas.
Set in a fictional city called Shatter Bay, racers gather to compete in no-rules, all-out street races. Competing for money and superiority in fast paced blasts through the streets dodging traffic and tearing through any obstacles that get in their way. A mysterious team led by a Japanese Hashiriya master, called "The Unbounded," appears playing a major role in the racing activity throughout Shatter Bay.
Ridge Racer Unbounded received mixed to positive reviews, where Edge Magazine gave it a 9/10, calling it "one of the most subversive, sublime street-racing games ever made," while others criticized the car physics, track design and gameplay balancing. The included track editor was generally well-received, with the Official Xbox Magazine UK saying "The problem is that such a brilliant editor just makes you wish it resided in a better racing game." The PC version currently has a Metacritic rating of 72/100 while the PS3 version has 75/100 and the Xbox 360 version 70/100.
- "Ridge Racer Unbounded delayed to 'later in 2012'". GameSpot.com. CNet. March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Makuch, Eddie (April 12, 2013). "Free-to-play Ridge Racer revealed". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Valjalo, David (August 5, 2013). "Ridge Racer: Unbounded collides with free-to-play in Driftopia – what’s the damage?". Edge. Future plc. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Williams, Katie (August 7, 2013). "Get in on Ridge Racer Driftopia’s PC beta". PC Gamer UK. Future plc. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Scammell, David (August 27, 2013). "Ridge Racer Driftopia beta starts today on PS3". VideoGamer.com. Pro-G Media Ltd. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (19 June 2014). "Bandai Namco to shut down F2P Ridge Racer Driftopia servers". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- Tom Phillips (February 27, 2015). "Ridge Racer Unbounded servers shut down in Europe". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- Brendan Sinclair (November 3, 2011). "Ridge Racer Unbounded on March 6". GameSpot.com. CNet. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Ridge Racer Unbounded PS3 Metacritic". Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Ridge Racer Unbounded Xbox 360 on Metacritic". Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Edge Magazine's Ridge Racer Unbounded Review". Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Official Xbox Magazine UK Review". Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Play magazine review, issue 217, Imagine Publishing