Reader Submission #59 – Ridge Racer

No racing game is off limits here at PRC.net, and today’s Reader Submission comes from longtime reader FMecha, who has given us a pretty detailed overview of the woes Ridge Racer has faced over the past few years as a franchise.


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Hey James,

After several attempts at writing this, I’m back for yet another Reader Submission. And it’s featuring a game nobody ever talks about on your blog: Ridge Racer.Since the release of Ridge Racer 7 in 2006 for the PS3 (which is still praised for it’s technical abilities and the fact that the servers are still online today), newer Ridge Racer games have been seen by the community as hit & miss.  Hardcore Ridge Racer fans are still demanding a new, proper Ridge Racer game for the current generation of consoles – as everybody’s starting to notice the lack of a Ridge Racer game on PS4 and/or Xbox One.

Regarding the newer games that the fans see as misguided efforts, let’s take a look at them, from an observer’s point of view:

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Beginning with Ridge Racer 3D, I can’t really say anything about it. However, from what I saw, it seems that they are cramming Ridge Racer 7’s contents into a portable console, adding some new features here and there. From what I’ve heard, it’s between average and acceptable. There are complaints about the 30 FPS framerate cap, but this is understandable for a handheld game.

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Ridge Racer Accelerated was basically a rehash of the PSP Ridge Racer games, the developers opting to jump on the iPhone bandwagon by simply porting over a title they’ve already released. And that’s it.

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Every Ridge Racer fan HATES Ridge Racer Unbounded for one main reason: it strays from the Ridge Racer formula. It just plays too much like Split/Second and Burnout with the emphasis on destructive racing on open roads, as opposed to “drifting on closed highways/mountains” formula. And it was not even released in Japan – the series’ home market! This game was also part of a Humble Bundle (IIRC) after the game’s server was shut down. There’s also the free-to-play Driftopia based on this one, but it disappeared quickly.

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Ridge Racer Vita was a return to roots of sorts… but the game was ridden with DLC. Apart from the basic five cars and three tracks, everything was locked behind the DLC paywall (comparable with R3E’s structure, except we’re talking about an arcade racer for an portable console and the structure is even worse). And worse yet, the DLC packs in question were mostly REHASHED STUFF from Ridge Racer 7 – except for one-off cars like the Hornet car from Daytona USA (which some people actually liked). No wonder the critics panned it and nobody except the Japanese time-attack players care. It’s a grind fest and it runs at 30 fps too.

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Lastly we have Ridge Racer Slipstream… and it’s a mobile game. So the usual mobile game cliches/shenanigans apply – except you have to pay for the entire app first (there was a code giveaway, however). To upgrade a car you must wait several minutes before it takes effect – and I even heard the same also applies for buying cars!

It’s no wonder one can say that Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune – a coin-op arcade racer widely played in Asia, based on the manga Wangan Midnight, has replaced Ridge Racer as Namco’s flagship racing game. Also, the 20th Ridge Racer anniversary was celebrated with yet another game music collection release.

To be honest, stories of developers and publishers screwing up classic franchises (see Capcom’s treatment to Mega Man nowadays) is nothing new. But why this must happen to Ridge Racer? I shall wear my tinfoil hat now and offer my hypothesis:

First, in regards to Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune. Did Namco decide to send some (if not most) of the programmers of Ridge Racer games to Maximum Tune development team instead – and make them forget about Ridge Racer, thus making Maximum Tune as the future? And this is coming from a Maximum Tune scrub player.

Second, in April, you covered an article about the FIA WEC getting rid of grid girls. The game’s poster girl, Reiko Nagase, is an example of that (or as the Japanese call them, “race queen”). In my tinfoil mind, what if Namco held back the franchise from big consoles because they think the social justice warriors would come after them? Incidentally, there was a spin-off game called R: Racing Revolution – you control a female driver (who was formerly an ambulance driver of some sort) and the available cars are real cars. And it was slightly lewd, from what I’ve seen.

…and now I’m running out of words. And this was huge. On behalf of the Ridge Racer fans, I hope there’s a proper Ridge Racer game for the current generation of consoles.


 

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Probably the first submission I have nothing else to say about. I’ve never played a single Ridge Racer title. Any others care to help out?

 

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23 thoughts on “Reader Submission #59 – Ridge Racer

  1. >Thinking Namco aren’t releasing another Ridge Racer because they’re worried about SJWs
    Oh man this is a whole new level of completely fucking paranoid retarded

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    1. Considering how the world is now that wouldn’t surprise me at all.
      But all this PC bullshit does not seem to affect Japanese game/anime companies yet, yet…

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      1. Japanese developers don’t give a shit about being politically correct or any of that social justice bullshit.

        Bandai Namco are just in the process of destroying their franchises. Ace Combat is fucked and Infinity is probably going to be the last Ace Combat ever made.

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      2. >Japanese developers don’t give a shit about being politically correct or any of that social justice bullshit.

        Unless you develop really lewd shit. Market and (small, contrary to what erogefags actually believe) niche for it exist. And one of them did make the headlines…

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      1. Why bother posting that twice?

        Also, they said they wanted to avoid backlash… and the reverse backlash happened. Talk about infinite loop of backlashes, since I try to IDGAF about SJWs and GG.

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  2. I remember back in PS1 days RR was kind of “popular”, but It never had apeal to me.While being fun in small doses, guess I always liked more “serious” racing games than pedal to the metal and infinite drift. RR might look good and played well, when there was not many similar games, but later in mid and late 00s it just fall flat behind some other arcade franchises of that time.
    Nowdays?I don’t think it can bring much to the table which is already filled with casual/arcade racers like > NFS,CREW,FH…

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  3. I just want to say, I enjoy the coverage of arcade games once in a while and thought it was interesting to get some info on some of the RR titles I’ve missed.

    Reading the comments I can’t help but think that hardcore sim racers are a bit uptight, which is sad because there’s certainly fun to be found in arcade games.

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    1. >Reading the comments I can’t help but think that hardcore sim racers are a bit uptight, which is sad because there’s certainly fun to be found in arcade games.

      Because most hardcore sim-racers believe in “PRETEND RAEC KARS R SRSBSNS, NO FUN ALLOWED REEEEEE”.

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  4. The only thing I remember from me playing RR games is the minigame that comes up before you even get to the main menu. If you’d get a perfect score, you would unlock an extra car.

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  5. Salt, fishing gear, tinfoil hat ready.

    >Probably the first submission I have nothing else to say about. I’ve never played a single Ridge Racer title. Any others care to help out?

    During the milestone “ask us anything” session you said you don’t even play any coin-op racers or even Tokyo Xtreme Racer. Given your “everything is shit (except DiRT Rally)” attitude that you holds, I hereby declared that James has SHIT TASTE in racing games.

    Extra things:

    1. I forget to mention this. Everyone for some reason praises Ridge Racer Type 4 as the best RR game. Yet, I noticed it was a grind fest and probably the only video game that encouraged you to sandbag (lose races in purpose) to unlock more cars to be used in Time Attack/Extra Trial/2P Race. And most of them are livery texture swaps with some max speed changes. (Full disclosure, this and RRS2 [PSP] are the only Ridge Racer games I actually played – I tried playing RRV, but PCSX2 is struggling with the framerate. I think I’ve played Arcade RR2/Rave Racer when I was younger, and definitely played Pocket Racer – basically RR Revolution with Choro Q sized cars and no brakes. Too bad the arcade that had Pocket Racer was destroyed in a fire few years ago.)

    2. (Intentionally left from the email to avoid distraction like the “getting GT3 game from Polyphony Digital) Maximum Tune 5 is coming to the U.S. – it’s being location tested in 2-3 arcades in U.S. I think WMExpressway (I am a member there) are talking about it.

    Like

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