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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Namco Bandai Group
Developed by: Namco Bandai Group
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-14
Rated: E (Everyone
Release Date: November 17, 2006
Written By: Graham H.
Screenshots: Link

Following the less-than spectacular debut of RR7 at E3, Sony left smiles on gamer’s faces as they imitated the veteran franchise’s introduction on message boards everywhere. “Riiiiiiiiiiidge raaaaaaaaaaceeeer” will probably go down in history books as one of the most entertaining E3 moments of it’s pre-2006 era.

RR7 has something to live up to, given the recent release of RR6 on the Xbox 360 just last year. And by all means, it wasn’t a bad game. Considering the now infamous RR7 introduction at E3, followed by a less-than-impressive and way-too-brief demo trailer during the press conference. So in summary, RR7 had a bit of catching up to do.

As per usual in Ridge Racer title, the game’s primary focus is on fast paced, arcade style racing. To add a little extra to the sense of speed, the game boasts a new drifting mechanic, which is a bit unrealistic, but only adds to the arcade nature of Ridge Racer. Needless to say you’ll need to perfect your drifting skills if you plan on tearing up the track and breaking time trial records.

When you drift, you start charging your boost meter. This becomes more of a strategy aspect of the game once you start playing at higher levels, if you can manage to co-ordinate drifting and boosting at the same time.

With all that power behind the PS3, what does Ridge Racer 7 look like? Visuals look crisp, and the game chugs along at a hefty 1080p. Reflections and lighting effects off of the vehicles look great, and that’s really the first thing your eyes are drawn to. Like a lot of games however, it’s very difficult to tell if the PS3 version of Ridge Racer really out-performs it’s recent predecessor on the 360 by any significant margin.

There’s a lot of customization options available. You can swap parts like engines and nitrous kits, to upgrade your car, or make it more aesthetically pleasing with new rims, paint jobs or spoilers.

The game carries a pretty sweet online setup, allowing up to 14 players to race against each other. If you do well, or another player does well, say in a series of races, your stats will be broadcast on a sort of news ticker at the bottom of the screen for all to see, which does well for a change of pace from the standard leader board approach.

Ridge Racer 7 came a long way from it’s first showing. If you’re looking for a more realistic style racing game, RR7 doesn’t fit the bill. If you’re looking for fun, fast paced, arcade style racing with lots of fun to be had online, Ridge Racer 7 will be, as usual, a strong launch title with more than lots to offer for the Playstation 3 on November 17th.

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