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Aug
06
2011

Ridge Racer 3D Review

– Ed Acosta

Our Score: 4 / 5 – Awesome

Ridge Racer 3D has raced its way onto the Nintendo 3DS with it’s slick arcade action and 3d depth.  The game is ridge racer to the core with it’s insane drifts, windy tracks, and races of up to seven competitors.  As is standard in Ridge Racer, you’re driving around in fictional cars trying to win each race.  The vehicles are classics from ridge racer past and to win here requires some much needed finesse of the drift.  Sure you can get totally sideways but that won’t necessarily get you to first.

There are the expected single and multi-player modes and 3DS functionality like street pass.  With StreetPass you take your fastest times and pit them against others in ghost duels. You acquire ghost data from StreetPassing with other 3DS systems and you have to try and beat those times.  Grand Prix is the single player aspect of the game and includes three different modes from basic to expert with four different classes and up to 40 different cars.  You earn points as you race which unlock newer models of cars and faster models of existing cars.  Then you have Time Attack which is your run of the mill fastest lap races.

The very first car to choose from was the very first car I remember in Ridge Racer on the PS1, the Toyota Supra looking car in white, red, and green decals.  The first track I selected was the original track from the PS1 title as well and man did it bring a sense of nostalgia back.  The only thing missing was Galaga playing on the video screen before the tunnel.  I take that back, the other thing missing for me was the classic announcer.  No, no, there is an announcer in this version and he is just as excited about the race as the original, but man I expected to here that same overly excited voice from ‘95 come back and say, “It’s the final lap, HANG IN THERE!”

Ridge Racer looks gorgeous and runs solid on the Nintendo 3DS, in both 3d and standard 2d. The game does experience some slow down if there’s a lot of cars on screen and everyone is using nitro, but the frame rate still holds quite well.  The 3d works very well, you can get a better sense of the curves with the added depth that makes throwing your car around at high speeds a little easier.  Its not the best 3d I’ve experienced so far but the added depth is much appreciated.  Things do fly at you in typical 3d trickery like confetti and sparks that seem to want to smack you in the face; although the depth worked far better than the things jumping out.

If you wanted to go through and unlock all the races and all the cars there is a ton of repeatability in here, although I found myself caving in after playing through a good portion of the Grand Prix.  I had fun but there just wasn’t a hook there to keep me going.  From what I saw there was local multi-player but no online and being the only one around with a 3DS, doesn’t make the local multi-player a selling point. It’s too bad too, this game would have benefited from online multiplayer.

In the end, this is a really polished game, and one that works well on a handheld.  The 3d isn’t headache inducing and the fast pace and crazy drifts keep this game fun.  Although for me, there just wasn’t that hook to keep me wanting to play and the addition of online multi-player really would have made this a must own 3DS game for you and your friends.

Retails for: $39.99, recommended purchase price: $24.99

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