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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ridge Racer (Classic)

John B. Marine | 6:51 PM | | |
NAMCO is no stranger to racing games, and Ridge Racer would only continue their brand of awesomeness on the racing front. Textured polygons- just like Daytona USA- would set the graphical power of Ridge Racer. Drift-happy physics and a quirky soundtrack would set the tone for not only this game, but this franchise. Ridge Racer's fame all began with the very first title back in 1993, to be showcased in this "John's Race Space" blog post.

NOTE: This blog post pertains to the classic Ridge Racer, not the Playstation Portable game of the same name.

Ridge Racer

This post mostly focuses on the PlayStation 1 version of Ridge Racer. Having said that, here is Ridge Racer for you:

Ridge Racer classic
^ from: (mouse over for picture credits) - The classic Ridge Racer offered incredible racing with textured polygons.

NAMCO had something special going when they took on SEGA's Daytona USA with Ridge Racer. While the comparison between Daytona USA and Ridge Racer is the proverbial "apples and oranges" comparison, both had one thing in common- textured polygons. Being able to drift wildly into corners would be a trademark to be established in the Ridge Racer series. Another trademark is the featuring of many past NAMCO games and characters. It was a great way to show off NAMCO's gaming past, even if it seems cheap to some people. The game's soundtrack is offered on the CD. So if you have a CD player, you can listen to the tunes in the game on your CD player. Some graphical tricks that Ridge Racer has over Daytona USA was that of time cycles. Afternoon becomes sunset followed by a starry night. That starry night also leads back to daytime racing. In addition, buildings light up when it's dark. Ridge Racer surely was its own sort of innovator and set itself apart in a number of respects. There is even a special edition of Ridge Racer called Ridge Racer Full Scale that is an arcade theater version of Ridge Racer with a true-to-like Mazda Miata/MX-5 used as the car you sit down in to play the game.

Ridge Racer takes you around two courses and features (initially) four cars in the PS1 version. In the Arcade version of Ridge Racer, however, you are only given one car to race around two different courses. You compete in races lasting either two or three laps depending on the difficulty of the race. Most are three laps. All races give you only a certain amount of time to clear. Keep passing checkpoints to have your time extended. Every race consists of you against 11 other cars. Pass them all to win. When taking on Time Attack, it is your car vs. another. Infamously in Time Attack, you may spot a certain black car parked on the side of the track. If that black car passes you, it is nearly impossible to try to catch that car.

As for the individual cars you can choose from, each of the cars have differing levels of performance based on Acceleration, Traction, Handling, and Max Speed. The F/A Racing car is the most well-balanced of all the categories. The RT Ryukyu car has great traction and handling. The RT Yellow Solvalou offers impressive acceleration. The RT Blue Solvalou has amazing top speed. There are really seven cars in the game, six of them each with two variations in graphics and the infamous 13th Racing car. There is a way to acquire some of the other rival cars, but I am not going to spoil how to actually do that. You're on your own! You're especially on your own trying to defeat the black 13th Racing car!

A Little Tactic...

There is a way to play Ridge Racer kind of like a grip car. While the driving dynamics are strange, I found it was best to get the best possible grip racing without having to slide in the corners. What I do is hold down the accelerator and keep it down. When I have to brake, I depress the brake button while still keeping down the accelerator. This will allow you to handle the corner without needing to slide. Drifts are cool in Ridge Racer, but they can be very tough to control.

Let me offer you some final thoughts now on the classic Ridge Racer.

Ridge Racer: Final Thoughts

Ridge Racer isn't going to make too many people this day and age impressed. However, when you consider that this game was as revolutionary for its time as Daytona USA was, you begin to appreciate just how incredible Ridge Racer is. You may not enjoy having to hear the announcer or some of the music, but at least this is better than most music and sounds today. This is a must-play game even if to simply see how far the Ridge Racer franchise has come ever since the first title.

Video Preview.

Here is a look at the very first Ridge Racer:

^ "Ridge Racer (PS1)"

Again- the series has come a long way since this title. If you care to support me and my work, feel free to find some items here below. I would appreciate your business and your support:

That concludes this blog post for the most part.

I hope you enjoyed this look at Ridge Racer. For more racing game material and commentary, make sure you're followed in some capacity to this blog. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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