Ridge Racer (series)
Bandai Namco Games
|Platforms||Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mobile phones, Microsoft Windows|
|Platform of origin||Arcade|
|Year of inception||1993|
|First release||Ridge Racer
October 7, 1993
|Latest release||Ridge Racer Slipstream
December 19, 2013
Ridge Racer (Japanese: リッジレーサー Hepburn: Rijji Rēsā?) is a series of arcade racing games developed and published by Namco for both the arcade and various gaming systems. In each of the games, players take part in street races set in and around the fictional Ridge City while utilizing the concepts of drift racing to quickly traverse corners. Its virtual mascot is Reiko Nagase.
While there are differences among the various games, the basic gameplay in the Ridge Racer series has remained relatively consistent. Races take place on tracks laid out on city streets and other public roads. Starting in last place, players have a limited number of laps in which they can overtake opponents and ultimately win the race. As many of the turns on the course were not intended to be taken at race speeds, players drift through the corners, attempting to maintain as much speed as possible.
In the arcade games (and the home versions based on those games), the players also race against a timer, with time extended for each successfully-completed lap of the course. The race will end if the timer expires or the player completes the final lap of the race, whichever occurs first. In the console-exclusive versions, players must finish the race in a minimum assigned place in order to advance through the game.
Later games in the series expanded these basics by introducing cars with different drifting characteristics; some cars could be made to drift quite easily, but were more challenging to control, while other cars were harder to initiate drift yet easier to control. Another recent addition was "nitrous", which would give the player's car a short burst of additional speed and could be replenished by drifting through corners at high speeds.
The tracks in the Ridge Racer series are located in and around Ridge City, a fictional coastal metropolis. Ridge City's environs are geographically diverse, including beaches, forests, grasslands and mountains. The actual scope of Ridge City has changed over the series, with new regions and new tracks added continually. Most versions of the game incorporate the original courses from the Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2 arcade games. Many of the tracks in a given game share components, with sections added or removed to alter the course layout, and some games allow the courses to be run in the opposite direction.
The Ridge Racer games generally use fictional cars with styling inspired by real-life cars of the day. Later games introduced fictional auto companies that offer multiple vehicles; for example, "Kamata" is a Japanese manufacturer specializing in sport compacts, while the Italian "Assoluto" and "Soldat" produces high-performance supercars like Ferrari , the German "Himmel" Produces supercars similar to Porsche Boxster and American "Danver" marque makes muscle cars, trucks and SUVs. Cars in the series have taken their names and sponsors from various Namco-produced video games.
- Ridge Racer (7 October 1993), for Namco System 22. Other versions were released such as Ridge Racer Full Scale, which is controlled by a real automobile and Pocket Racer for Namco System 11.
- Ridge Racer 2 (8 June 1994), for Namco System 22, an update to the original arcade game with multiplayer support, remixed soundtrack, and a rear view mirror.
- Rave Racer (16 July 1995), for Namco System 22.
- Ridge Racer V: Arcade Battle (2001), for Namco System 246.
- Pachi-slot Ridge Racer (2008), pachislot parody of Ridge Racer series. (only released in Japan)
- Pachi-slot Ridge Racer 2 (2009), pachislot parody of Ridge Racer series. (only released in Japan)
- Ridge Racer (3 December 1994), for PlayStation, similar to the arcade with an optional 3rd person view (Launch Game). Début of 13th Racing ("Devil" car). A new version of the original game called Ridge Racer Turbo (known in Europe as Ridge Racer Hi-Spec Demo) featured a reduced number of game modes but run at 60fps and featured gouraud shading which had been absent from the original. This version was given away as a bonus with R4: Ridge Racer Type 4.
- Ridge Racer Revolution (3 December 1995), for PlayStation. 13th Racing Kid and White Angel made their grand début in this game, challenging you in the game's Time Trial mode. Soundtrack was taken from the Ridge Racer 2 arcade game.
- Rage Racer (3 December 1996), for PlayStation. This game marked the début of the retries rule and customization aspects.
- R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (3 December 1998), for PlayStation, following the Rage Racer formula, but instead of customization, there are four racing teams to choose from.
- Ridge Racer 64 (14 February 2000), for Nintendo 64, features tracks from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2 and its very own set of desert tracks ("Renegade") exclusive to the N64. (not released in Japan)
- Ridge Racer V (4 March 2000), for PlayStation 2 (Launch Game) - Allows slight customisation, R4-style Grand Prix races are present rather than the original's free-form structure.
- R: Racing Evolution (27 November 2003), for GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox - the spin-off title in the series to feature licensed cars from vehicle manufacturers.
- Critical Velocity (13 October 2005), for PlayStation 2 - formerly known as Rune Chaser. Plot-based spin-off game featuring Ridge Racer cars. (only released in Japan)
- Ridge Racer 6 (22 November 2005), for Xbox 360 (Launch Game).
- Ridge Racer 7 (11 November 2006), for PlayStation 3 (Launch Game) - Allowed complete customization of vehicles from body kits to engine parts and paint jobs.
- Pachi-slot Ridge Racer (5 June 2008), for PlayStation 2. (only released in Japan)
- Ridge Racer Unbounded (27 March 2012), for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. (not released in Japan)
Handheld and mobile games
- Ridge Racer DS (7 December 2004), for Nintendo DS, a port of Ridge Racer 64 with the additional feature of being able to steer by using the touch screen. (not released in Japan)
- Ridge Racer (12 December 2004), for PlayStation Portable (Launch Game), mixed new vehicles with tracks from the previous games.
- Ridge Racer (1 December 2005), for J2ME.
- Ridge Racer 2 (14 September 2006), for PlayStation Portable followed the same formula as its predecessor with tracks featured in previous games of the series.
- Ridge Racer Accelerated (15 December 2009), for iOS.
- Ridge Racer Drift (30 November 2010), for Windows Mobile.
- Ridge Racer 3D (26 February 2011), for Nintendo 3DS (Launch Game).
- Ridge Racer (17 December 2011), for PlayStation Vita (Launch Game).
- Ridge Racer Slipstream (19 December 2013), for Android and iOS.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2008)|