Ridge Racers nitro meter and 'Sleep mode' details

Well, we made up the "Sleep mode" label, but that's what it's like. Read about tracks and cars too.

Drifting fills the nitro meter. Obviously. The more we hear about Ridge Racers (screenshots), the more it all makes sense. (Except the odd choice of name, which generally forces us to reiteratively point out that it's "Namco's forthcoming PSP update of the popular racing series" whenever we bring it up.)

The PSP is due out in Japan in just under three weeks, and Namco is busily talking more and more about its racer - one of the most appealing prospects among the initial roster of games (despite Namco's repeated attempts to sully the name in recent years) - revealing more details about the World Tours single-player mode, the cars and the courses in this week's update.

What of World Tours, eh? Well, apparently it'll have the videogame equivalent of a Sleep mode; you give it a time limit, and it deals you a collection of races to complete that should take around about the time you've specified. Whether it'll work as well as that remains to be seen; people do have to retry races every now and then after all.

Sadly though the stuff about the cars and courses isn't enormously exciting, so we won't pretend otherwise. Apparently there are "at least" four car classes, and some cars will have different models in each class. For example (sorry, yawn), the Fiera, Prophetie and Bayonet racers will all feature in Class One (top speed: 229kph) and Class Four (300kph). We probably wouldn't have noticed.

As for the courses... Downtown Race City is a nighttime city-based Rave Racer veteran, Crystal Coast Highway is based on an advanced seaside course from Ridge Racer Revolution, and Silvercreek Dam is derived from the Greenpeak Highland course. They join the three courses videoed just the other week. (Didn't see 'em? Click here. Much more exciting than names and numbers.) The full game will have something like 24.

And, tenuous link, we hope to be playing the full game in less than 24 days. So if you see us on the tube poking away at an expensive Sony console, please don't steal it, we'll probably have to give it back...

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