Ridge Racer 3D 3DS Review

January 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, 3DS, Nintendo

Publisher – Namco Bandai – Developer – Namco Bandai – Genre – Racing – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

What is a launch of a new system without a Ridge Racer game? Ever since the launch of the PlayStation back in 1995, Ridge Racer has been a permanent fixture of the launch line-up of Sony’s systems. Ridge Racer 3D marks the first time that a Ridge Racer game has launched with non-Sony hardware here in the UK.

Ridge Racer 3D is exactly what fans have come to expect from the arcade racer. Handling is exaggerated, and you can stylishly power around corners sideways, barely losing any speed whatsoever as the vehicle slides. It’s fast and is a real joy, just like every other Ridge Racer game that has appeared over the years.

Slipstreaming opponents and making use of nitrous allows you to further speed your car up, the latter of which is earned from drifting. There’s three short nitrous meters to fill, and these can be used individually or you can fire them all off at once for longer bursts of speed. Yes, just like every Ridge Racer game since the Xbox 360’s Ridge Racer 6.

In terms of tracks, you should really move along if you’re looking for some new ones – Ridge Racer 3D is a gathering of tracks from previous games in the series, although typically you’ll have lovely sights such as gushing waterfalls, fireworks lighting up the night skies of a metropolis, craggy cliffs and more. Those looking for some new tracks to race on, though, will definitely be disappointed, while others will just be glad to be getting the opportunity to play yet another Ridge Racer game, while perhaps dreading the future of the series with the destruction focused Ridge Racer: Unbounded.

As you may have guessed, then, Ridge Racer 3D plays a lot like other Ridge Racer games, and the only new thing here really is the 3D, which isn’t actualy new as a patch was released for Ridge Racer 7 on PS3 that allowed you to play the game in 3D. The visuals are decent enough, although do pale in comparison to the PSP launch game, which is a shame. The 3D on the other hand is rather unassuming, although it’s still very noticeable – objects, areas and the sky stretch off into the distance, and leaves, confetti and debris from your motor come flying towards the screen. The 3D here, then, is a nice effect which isn’t overdone, but it’s noticeable enough to appreciate.

The Grand Prix mode is typically massive and will take you a fair number of hours to work your way through. New vehicle classes become unlocked, and cars get faster as you climb from class 4 right up to class 1. You’ll also unlock new cars (or machines as Namco Bandai likes to call them) and it’s possible to purchase others with points you earn from your success out on the track. The points can also be exchanged for support items at the beginning of races, and with perks such as starting a race with the throttle fully open or with full nitrous; they’re certainly helpful if you are struggling at a particular point.

There’s support for local multiplayer, although beyond that there are no other options to speak of. Online multiplayer would have definitely been welcome, but it just wasn’t to be and perhaps is something we”ll see in the sequel. The game does have StreetPass features, in which you can race against the ghosts of others, but it’s still hardly up there with a field full of player controlled machines.

Ridge Racer 3D plays a lot like other Ridge Racer games, but this is hardly something to complain about for any length of time, as Ridge Racer is up there with the most enjoyable of arcade-style racers, with plenty of speed and moments of satisfaction. The 3D is a nice, subtle effect, but if you’re looking for something entirely different, like some new tracks or major additions, then Ridge Racer 3D is not going to satisfy your appetite for new content or innovation.