Outside of a few evergreen titles like Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, F1 and Mario Kart, the racing game genre has been in a state of chaos and decline for a few years now, with great games like Blur and Split/Second pitching up to fanfare from genre fans and then disappearing into bargain bins a few days later. We love them, but the audience just doesn't seem to be out there.
So the odds were that Ridge Racer Unbounded was going to struggle whatever happened when you put the disc in the drive, and the Ridge Racer brand's own creative decline since Ridge Racer 6 half a decade ago probably wouldn't have helped. Not content with those obstacles to success, however, the developers then created another one of their own: they failed to explain how the game worked.
We've been over this enough on the site already, so we'll just say that if you would like to hear in detail the story of "the fun button" and the total lack of reference to it in Ridge Racer Unbounded, check out this week's podcast. We've spoken to developer Bugbear Entertainment since the game was reviewed, too, so we also have an update on a possible patch for the issue and their reaction to the news that people were struggling. Somewhat harrowingly, it turns out the game originally had a tutorial... which was removed right before release.
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That's not all we talk about this week either. In Tom Champion's continued absence (he's back next week, if he even wants a job any more), Tom Phillips, Martin Robinson and myself dig into the controversy around Mass Effect 3. No, not that one - the one about mad Christian fundamentalist homophobe nutjobs writing EA letters telling them to ditch the LGBT themes in BioWare titles. EA's response can be characterised as "F*** off", which is fair enough, so we talk a bit about the games' portrayal of same-sex relationships, and 'relations' in general. Sex sex sexy sex.
Finally, we're sorry to say that our regular producer James Hills wasn't available this week to video the podcast, so you'll have to do without staring at my De Blob 2 t-shirt and admiring Martin's beard. However, we're very happy with James's reason for not turning up - he's on paternity leave, having had a lovely little daughter last week. Hurrah for James! He'll be back soon too, sans sleep.
Join us again next week if you have nothing better to do! We always assume that's the case.
- Ridge Racer Unbounded Review
- EA hits back at anti-gay groups over same-sex relationships in Mass Effect, SWTOR
The Eurogamer.net Podcast enters the world every Tuesday at 5pm UK time.