Ridge Racers

1st July 2005
reviewer: Rich
rating: 5 out of 5
developed by: Namco In-house
published by: Namco
released: 1st September 2005
rrp: £29.99
formats: PSP

Namco’s ability to pwn Sony hardware could have been in doubt over the last couple of years; the same could not have been said during the early years of the PlayStation’s life. And one of the principle reasons for their enviable reputation has to be the Ridge Racer series: like the games or not, you cannot deny Namco’s skill in making arcade-perfect home versions. Ironic, then, that the best game in the series isn’t actually an arcade conversion – actually the ironing isn’t that delicious as Ridge Racers is more of a ‘best of’ than a brand new game.

That damn helicopter has been following us for ten years now
That damn helicopter has been following us for ten years now

Although undeniable, this ‘best of’ tag is a little misleading when you take a closer look at the game. Perhaps ‘everything from all the games on one little disc’ is a better way of putting it. It features every car, every track and every j-pop/rock-rific song – it also features the best handling model (perfectly suited to the PSP’s mini-analogue stick) and the slickest and fastest graphics engine of any Ridge game. All of this and you really have to pinch yourself to remember you\'re playing a handheld.

As a Ridge Racer game, it’s absolutely perfect. The graphics, sound, gameplay and longevity simply cannot be faulted – the only issue you might have with this game is that you don’t like Ridge Racer games… well my friend, your opinion is wrong. As long as you have thumbs you’ll enjoy this. There has never been a better time to get into the series, and with Racers you get into them all at once. The only thing it is really missing is a second screen with a picture of the wheel, and the ability to crash using a stylus. For those “pleasures” you’ll need the amazing Ridge Racer DS – “LOL”.