Ridge Racer, a game which is known worldwide for arcade style racing is back for the next-gen and is now a 360 exclusive. Titled Ridge Racer 6, it has very stiff competition in the form of Project Gotham Racing and Need for Speed, but what sets Ridge Racer apart from all other racing games, is gameplay. Unlike Project Gotham in which your brake is your most prized possession, in Ridge Racer 6 you’ll completely forget that cars have brakes. You’ll find yourself going into corners at 200mph and not even going near your brakes, instead all you will be pressing is the throttle. Taking corners in this game doesn’t require pin point accuracy, all you have to do is release your throttle for a second, jerk your car in one direction then slam the power back on. You will then find yourself speeding towards the next turn without so much as touching the barriers. It’s the beauty of drifting that the Ridge Racer series has been famous for.
Also while you are catapulting yourself harmlessly around a death defying bend, you will notice your nitrous (NOS) tank’s start to fill up. NOS has that great gift in being the decider in a lot of races. A well placed boost can win a race in a blink of an eye, but if you miss-time it and run into a bend, it could spell disaster. You can also use your boost in three different stages, you can bypass a single tank with a double and a double with a triple and as you will soon realise - three tanks of NOS are a lot better than one. Sadly that’s where the good things end, the first bad thing you’ll notice is the effect you have on other cars when you crash into them, you don’t stay bumper to bumper but instead you bounce off them and your precious speed is immediately depleted. Now this is frustrating offline but online it just gets ridiculous, what’s the use of coming out of a corner faster than your opponent then giving them a huge speed boost by tapping their rear end?
Ridge Racer 6 does look very nice in parts. The cars look beautiful, very smooth and very realistic. Perhaps not quite the visual treat that Project Gotham Racing is, especially as far as background scenery goes – but then again the sense of speed is heightened in Ridge Racer. One big letdown is the fact that there is no car damage and your car can hit a stone wall at 200 MPH and there won’t be a single scratch to show for it – unlike Project Gotham. The best way to distinguish Ridge Racer is to simply state that it has a much more arcade feel and because of this, it’s very easy to pick up and play.