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Ridge Racer Review - PSP

9.5
Gameplay: 10 stars 10
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 9 stars 9
Multiplayer: 9 stars 9
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Namco's Ridge Racer series holds the very unique honor of being the first ever game released for both PS one and PlayStation 2, so it's no surprise to find that it once again has the distinction of being the premiere title for a Sony system, in this case the mighty PSP.

Gameplay



Ridge Racer brings together 12 tracks from every installment of the series - including circuit's previously only playable in the arcades - plus 58 cars divided up into seven racing classes. Suffice to say, it's the ultimate Ridge Racer experience for fans and newcomers alike, offering the most comprehensive package you're ever likely to see - on any console.

Namco has fine-tuned the trademark exaggerated drifting experience to perfection, allowing you to glide around corners so effortlessly that you can take them on almost horizontally or even perform full 360-degree spins at insanely high speeds. This definitely isn't a game for realism fanatics.

When playing alone, you'll need to get your teeth stuck firmly into the vast World Tour mode. Starting with a paltry three Class 1 cars, each with different levels of drift (from standard to dynamic), you'll need to rocket - literally, thanks to the eye-watering new Nitro boosts - to victory in a variety of tours in order to accumulate a wide array of new vehicles, tracks, and tours.

As your car Class rises, so too does the difficulty of your rival racers and, owing to your motors' steadily increasing top speeds, the trickiness of the winding, almost rollercoaster-like circuit's. Basic tours make way for Pro tours, Pro tours are overtaken by EX tours, and if you make past all 39 of these punishing multi-race events, EX tours are cut-up by a series of ultra-tough tours that even the game's development team has problems completing.

In addition, you can create your own Custom Tours, tackle your favorite tracks individually in Single Race play, or strive to beat your personal circuit records in Time Attack mode. Get up to seven other RR-owning friends together, however, and you can also engage in thrilling Wireless multiplayer competition.

Multiplayer



The game supports the Ad Hoc mode, which allows you to play against other games wirelessly within a close proximity of each other. Wireless Battle mode may well be your first taste of Wireless gaming on PSP, and it couldn't be a better place to start. With your RR-owning friends in tow, one of you must opt to host a race, which essentially means that you set all the race parameters, including the Class of car you'll all race in, the track you'll tackle, and the handicap level.

The latter is particularly useful when competing against players of different abilities as it'll give lagging racers a healthy speed boost to ensure that the competition stays close together for a tighter, more exciting race. Once that's all done, the other players just have to search ... (continued next page)