Ridge Racer V


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Since day one, PlayStation fans have been grace with Ridge Racer. It's humble arcade beginnings made it a huge hit with fans at the infant consoles launch. Now the series has made it's jump to the latest edition of Sony's console library dragging some of the flaws the series has always suffered from right along with it.

Right from the start, Namco's trademark CG showcases the best the powerful tool can do. Once into the menus and races, one realizes the lack of modes and usual lack of tracks to be a downer. The career mode allows players to purchase and upgrade cars, even form a collection of the metal machines. It's a great mode, but when there is such a limited selection of tracks, things get repetitive quickly. Admittedly, tracks that are flipped do pose a new challenge, but the sameness of the scenery will wear on even the most patient gamer.

Control here is arcade style, plain and simple. Taking a corner at full speed is hardly a challenge, especially when you get the best cars. The analog stick is used here superbly and if you can afford a nice steering wheel, it would be an even deeper experience. Die-hard racing fanatics will most likely be disappointed by the extreme lack of realism and pinball-like effect of cars colliding.

Much like the original, this is a graphical showcase for the new console. The roads are simply perfect, draped with gorgeous sunsets and filled with rendered cars that are better than anything else on the market at the time. Sadly, the PS2 "jaggy" curse rears it's head here more than ever. The entire experience looks like it's running in a lower resolution than other software for the system. Still, there's more than enough eye candy to please graphical buffs. The music and sound effects are on par, but not being a big fan of techno ruins some of the presentation.

Fans of the series will certainly find little to disappoint them. The gameplay has been refined just a tad, nowhere near enough to loose the classic feel Namco has instilled into the series. The newest sequel (R: Racing Revolution) completely destroyed this aspect of the game and went for realism. Simply put, that's not Ridge Racer.


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Last updated: Sunday, April 22, 2007 08:59 PM