I’m going to get this out of the way. I am not a racing fan. I was always bad and never had much fun with racing games. However, Ridge Racer got so much praise as an early racing game and since I’m always downloading old PlayStation games for my emulator I had to give it a try.
I was very surprised. The game was fun and simple, which is a key point of games in any age. If it’s simple and fun enough, it’s good. I tried each track twice and won most of them on my second try. However, that’s not saying much because there is only one track. Let me explain. Each track is in the same place but as you go down the list they increase the top speed and unlock a certain part of the track. The last race is different because it has the fastest speed and you are going one on one with another car. That got boring pretty quickly but I could see how it could be appealing like Stranglehold where if don’t play it in small doses, you won’t enjoy it very much.
Another thing is the cars. There is a lack of them but to me kind of act as level of difficulties. There is one well balanced car, it slowly moves to one car that’s all about handling and control with low acceleration which is my favorite, and finally a car that has shit for handling but will blow other cars out of the water. I had a few issues and tried out other cars but I always stuck to the car with the best handling because you need it in this game as a newcomer. I tried to use the break button bur I recommend that you don’t if you are new. Just slightly pressing the break button and spin the car out of control and make you lose a race. It takes skill to master the break but in all reality, it’s not needed. The only time it could be needed is if you drift. Games like Ridge Racer 6 and beyond have a very heavy emphasis on drifting so I do not know if you’re supposed to drift and if you are it takes a lot of practice.
I would like to go onto other things in the game. At this point I’m nip picking but hey, it’s a review’s jobs to nip pick. The announcer is pretty annoying. His voice annoys me a shit ton and I call him Pork-fry because it’s the first name to come to mind. Another annoying part is the Game Over screen. If you win or lose a race you still get the Game Over screen. I would hope when I’m relieved of control over my car and Pork-fry announces the winner, I know the race is over, so it gets to me after a little bit. Is there anything else to really pick at besides what I’ve already said? No, there is not anything.
The game is very well rounded with a good selection of controls to appease anybody. Since I don’t own an actual PlayStation I couldn’t do this but in Ridge Racer, you could go to a screen where you pop in your favorite music disc and record so that you could listen to your favorite music while you play. Not that impressive now and there are ways to do it back that but it’s still a very nice feature that I don’t remember many if not any other PlayStation game doing that. The game does have some replay ability because the pre-set records aren’t super easy to beat (perhaps that’s just me) so it gives you something to work at. This is by far my favorite racing game despite a few flaws and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the racing games in the arcades.