Ridge Racer is a very well-known series and can be found on nearly every console and handheld system. With the release of the PlayStation Vita in North America, a new portable Ridge Racer is heading to the handheld offering a portable racing sim experience where players can race whenever they want. They’ll be able to do so while taking advantage of the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen that shows off the game’s beautiful visuals. With so many Ridge Racer titles getting released on launch day for consoles, is the Vita version worth checking out for long-time fans?
Let’s check out what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Ridge Racer for the PlayStation Vita.
Plays Wonderfully on the PlayStation Vita
Playing Ridge Racer on the PlayStation Vita feels about right. The controls in-game are easy to grasp and those who have played Ridge Racer on any PlayStation platform before will feel right at home with the Vita version. The touch screen controls in Ridge Racer are not overwhelming as they are only used for menu functionality. Those who are worried about using the touch screen while racing have no reason for concern as gimmicky in-game touch controls are nowhere to be found. The only time the touch screen is used is when navigating through the menus. Also, the gyro controls within the game are non-existent which is for the best as this could have ruined the solid control layout.
Lack of Modes
Ridge Racer on the Vita offers almost nothing innovative when it comes to the modes on offer. Honestly, the game feels empty since single player is completely absent and even the multiplayer portion is lacking modes. Instead of having a single player mode, the team behind the Vita version of Ridge Racer has included Spot Race. This mode acts like an arcade version where you simply race, aim for the number one spot and get credits. These credits can be used to further improve your machines and points that will be contributed to the overall tally of the team you choose at the beginning of the game. But then, none of the upgrades or customization are worth checking out in its current state. In addition, the Ghost Race, Time Trials and Ad-Hoc mode are also available within the game. However, those who think that the Ghost Mode of Ridge Racer will have the same features as the 3DS version (ex: download ghost data) will be disappointed upon finding out how hollow this mode feels.
As for the multiplayer portion, the game lacks the necessary content to provide an exceptional experience. Instead of offering a meaty online multiplayer where players are given a reason to play the game over time, there’s only one online mode and it’s not enough to hold anyone’s attention. The lobbies are pretty simple and those who actually play online will not have a hard time finding a match or getting lost in the customization options. The modes in the online multiplayer are minimal and as stated earlier, the entire multiplayer portion feels lackluster.
Few Tracks and Machines Right Out of the Box
At the $29.99 price tag, or $24.99 via PSN, you will be granted access to a racing game where the content is not worth the money. Right out of the box, you will have access to three tracks and a few cars. Those who buy the game new will have access to the Gold Pass, which will unlock two more tracks, a few more machines and new background music. The downside of the Gold Pass is that it’s for a limited time only and those who plan to purchase the game after the promotional period will end up with a game that includes only three tracks and about three cars. Personally, the Vita version feels like less of a retail game and more of a demo (a really expensive demo).
Visuals Looks Beautiful but Empty
Taking advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s OLED screen, the visuals of Ridge Racer look phenomenal. However, where the game falls short is the depth of the environments. Instead of seeing an interactive background that’s full of life, you’ll be faced with environments and textures that look bland and dull. The designs, however, look crisp. The scope and frame rates look solid locked in at thirty frames per second. Those who are visual freaks can expect no drop in frame rates even when a race has reached breakneck speeds.
Ridge Racer on the PlayStation Vita feels more like a demo due to the minimal amount of content it offers. The game overall has solid controls and feels about right on the PlayStation Vita. Despite the few modes that the game has to offer right out of the box, Ridge Racer is fun, but I can guarantee that it will only last for an hour or two. If/when more content hits Ridge Racer in the future to flesh out the experience, then it may become a racing title worth purchasing, but right now it is a sad excuse for a game with a full retail price tag.
[Editor’s Note: Ridge Racer was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Ridge Racer (PS Vita) Review,