GAME NAME: Ridge Racer 3DS
DEVELOPER(S): Namco Bandai
PUBLISHER(S): Namco Bandai
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
GENRE(S): Sports, Racing
RELEASE DATE(S): March 27, 2011
While the Ridge Racer franchise isn’t something groundbreaking and new, I have to give credit where credit is due. Ridge Racer 3DS has to be by far one of the slickest looking titles for the 3DS so far. Races are pretty fast, the circuit designs are very well done and the visuals let players experience the game with a great sense of speed. The little touches of 3D confetti and puddle splashes are icing on the cake when it comes to that 3D experience as well.
For those who’ve never played any Ridge Racer games players might fumble through the plethora of menus at first glance, but after selecting what type of race and car you want you’ll eventually find your way to gameplay. There are a few single player modes to pick from, Grand Prix, which is the main mode and popular choice to play in. Quick Tour, Standard Race, One-Make Race, Time Attack and StreetPass Duel.
The controls definitely don’t disappoint and give players a real sense of the classic arcade style action at your fingertips. Once you figure out the drifting mechanics, which doesn’t take too long, it feels very satisfying pulling it off during that key moment in a take over lap. To start a drift its pretty easy, players should ease off the accelerator, turn into a corner, and then accelerate some more. Your car will be guided into some controllable skids but you can spin out if you don’t maintain control or aren’t paying attention. Also, to the less experienced racer, users can assign a button to drift in the setup menu to add a different dimension to drifting, which in turn makes it a little easier to do if you get frustrated doing it manually.
The nitrous boosts add a different dimension to the game especially in that last lap when players need to get ahead; you have a boost meter that fills up about 3 stages and each stage you get more acceleration added in succession. The slipstream mechanic from Ridge Racer 7 was placed in this game and adds yet another awesome level of gameplay. Even if you are pretty far off from your opponent at the right angle you can catch that slipstream and gain the upper hand, making matches far less predictable than before. Players definitely have to be careful how on their racing is played because just as easy it is for you to catch someone’s slip stream your opponent can ride the tails of your own and over throw you, but that’s when the nitrous can come in handy.
The car customization factor was pretty in depth, which was impressive so if you are a racing fan like myself, you’ll have plenty of options to go through to get that perfect car ready for racing. If you aren’t a huge racing fan, players may find the customization menus daunting because there are quite a few of them. Users will definitely catch themselves hitting the “a” button a lot to skip past the menus to start the race. One of the most disappointing things that was noticed is that there is no online, or download multiplayer play. Users have to play locally and have copies of the game in order to do any multiplayer. The sound is pretty good, music is catchy and the fidelity is nice although after a while of racing it gets to be a little repetitive and annoying so you might be muting it after a while but the sound effects in the game are great.
Ridge Racer 3DS is visually a beautiful 3D game that’s an easy pick up and play title with high replay value. It’s pretty addicting if you appreciate drift racing and won’t leave gamers disappointed. If you are looking for a game to add to the collection and don’t mind the lack of online multiplayer play and a little repetitive techno music then you should definitely pick it up.