Ridge Racer (2004 video game)
Ridge Racer, released in Japan as Ridge Racers (リッジレーサーズ Rijji Rēsāzu), is an arcade racing video game developed by Namco for the PlayStation Portable. It is named after the eponymous Ridge Racer video game series to which it belongs. The game was released in Japan on 12 December 2004, in North America on 22 March 2005, and in Europe on 1 September 2005 as a launch title. Available in the game is a fully playable version of the Namco arcade game New Rally-X.
Ridge Racer has been described as a 'compilation' of the series, featuring tracks, cars and remixed soundtrack from previous titles in the 1990s. Ridge Racer was very well received by critics and was praised for its visuals, gameplay and soundtrack. It was re-released in 2005/2006 as a platinum title. A sequel titled Ridge Racer 2 has also been released for the PSP.
The core aspect of the entire Ridge Racer series is drift racing, that is traditional lap racing against opponents with the added twist of intentionally oversteering and sliding the car through sharp corners and turns, known as "drifting", which earns the player several bonuses during a race.
Game modes are World Tour, Single race, Time Trial, and Wireless Battle, which supports up to 8 player multiplayer over the PSP's ad hoc, Wi-Fi network capability (see PSP Wireless Networking for further information).
Notable in the game is the "nitrous boost" system. The player has a Nitrous Gauge made up of three nitrous tanks, which at the start of a race are either completely depleted or only partially full. As the player drifts through the corners (especially at very high Slip angles) during the race, their nitrous gauge fills up. When the player fills up one of the three nitrous tanks, it can be activated to achieve a temporary speed boost. The nitrous tanks cannot be recharged while any tank is in use though, but the residual speed increase when the nitrous boost expires can be used just before entering corners to recharge the player's nitrous tanks at a faster rate than normal. (Ultimate Charge)
The game features a total of 24 courses (12 unique courses and the same 12 courses reversed) most taken from previous PlayStation games or the arcade-only title Rave Racer.
The first two courses in the game are taken from the original Ridge Racer, although they also appeared in Ridge Racer V. They are both variants on the same course, each featuring different diversions part-way through.
- Seaside Route 765
- Ridge City Highway
Ridge Racer Revolution
The next two courses are taken from Ridge Racer Revolution and again are both variants on the same course.
- Sunset Drive
- Crystal Coast Highway
Courses #5 and #6 are taken from Rage Racer.
- Union Hill District
- Lakeside Parkway
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4
Courses #7 and #8 are taken from R4: Ridge Racer Type 4.
- Crimsonrock Pass
- Diablo Canyon Road
- Midtown Expressway (based on Rave Racer's 'City' course)
- Greenpeak Highlands (based on Rave Racer's 'Mountain' course)
The final two courses are also based loosely on Rave Racer:
- Silvercreek Dam
- Downtown Rave City
However the exact course layouts of Silvercreek Dam and Downtown Rave City have not been in any of the previous arcade or PlayStation Ridge Racer titles. Although, in typical Ridge Racer fashion, they share (very small) sections of track from previous courses. Silvercreek Dam shares a section of track from Greenpeak Highlands (Rave Racer’s Mountain course), whereas Downtown Rave City shares a section with Midtown Expressway (Rave Racer’s City course).
The music in the game is a collection of new songs and songs taken from previous Ridge Racer games, arranged across several "discs". The "Red" and "Blue" discs contain all-new songs put together specifically for the game while the two "Classic" discs contains a collection of remastered songs from Ridge Racer titles. Lastly, the "Remix" disc contains songs from past titles remixed by the original composer.
- Warp Trooper
- Pulse Phaze
- Chrome Drive
- Synthetic Life
- Disco Ball
- Night Stream
- Light Groove
- Vanishing Horizon
- Tunnel Visionary
- Tek Trek
- Rotterdam Nation Remix - from the PlayStation titles, Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer Revolution.
- Speedster Remix - from the PlayStation titles, Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer Revolution.
- Drive U 2 Dancing Remix - from the Arcade title Ridge Racer 2 and the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Revolution.
- Rareheroes - featured in many past Ridge Racer titles.
- Blue Topaz Remix - from the arcade title, Rave Racer.
- Motor Species Remix - from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Type 4.
Classic Disc 1
- Ridge Racer - A remastered version of the title tune from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer.
- Grip - from the arcade title, Ridge Racer 2, and the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Revolution.
- Euphoria - from the arcade title, Rave Racer.
- Silver Stream - from the PlayStation title, Rage Racer.
- Naked Glow - from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Type 4
- Your Vibe - from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Type 4.
Classic Disc 2
- Move Me - from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Type 4.
- Movin' in Circles - from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Type 4.
- Eat 'Em Up! - from the PlayStation title, Ridge Racer Type 4. (This was a secret track acquired along with the Pac-Man car after unlocking all 320 of the cars featured in the game.)
- TsuiTsui - from the PlayStation 2 title, Ridge Racer V.
- Samurai Rocket - from the PlayStation 2 title, Ridge Racer V.
- Daredevil - from the PlayStation 2 title, Ridge Racer V.
Ridge Racer received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. Its graphical ability and visuals were incredible on a portable device in 2004, and it was further praised for its gameplay, soundtrack (which also consisted of remixed tracks from older Ridge Racer titles) and multiplayer option. PALGN said the game "shows the system off beautifully, the graphics and the gameplay combining to make this the greatest Ridge Racer title yet." GameBiz said, "Anyone doubting the power of the handheld will be left eating their words after sampling just one lap of this unbelievably accomplished first effort from Namco." In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of two eights and two nines for a total of 34 out of 40.
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