Ridge Racer 7 Reader Review
Chilli Con Carne & Cauliflower Cheese�
I know, sounds about as appetising as quaffing a mouldy bab, doesn�t it? It�s actually bloody marvellous but whilst you�re still repulsed at the thought of it, go and look in the mirror. Right: that face you're looking at is the exact same face I get presented with every time I try and explain the appeal of Ridge Racer to the uninitiated. Oh, that and a: �It does WHAT round corners?�
Perhaps Ridge Racer does sound a bit unappetising and perhaps Chilli Con Carne does too but believe me: however unpleasant they may sound on paper they can be highly enjoyable and addictive in reality.
Now this wouldn�t have been a �proper� Sony launch unless it came with a Ridge Racer game and as if ashamed by their traitorous defection to the dark side with RR6 on the 360, Namco have duly produced RR7 in record time for the PS3 launch. That said, this ISN�T a �new� game is it Namco, you sly devil you: it�s RR6 with a bit of spit and polish, isn�t it? Go on, you can tell Uncle Overlush: I won�t blab�much.
Despite RR7 being possibly the weakest argument EVER for applying a new number to the end of a game (there is an awful lot in common between RR6 and 7 - no, really, an AWFUL lot) it CAN be enjoyed a great deal in it�s own right. There are a few new (and very good) tracks, the inclusion of slipstreaming can make races even closer than before and online play is as good and unique as ever. It�s also a little bit easier than it�s �predecessor� thanks to the various trinkets you can purchase for your cars, which to be honest, for me, is a BIT of a letdown as I now consider myself a battle-hardened Ridge Racer (/puffs out chest) and was looking forward to more of the titanic struggles that I emerged victorious from in RR6. Hey ho.
Flying round the super smooth, 60fps, 1080p tracks awash with trance music is still as hypnotic and addictive as ever and in the faster cars the experience will leave you feeling a bit spaced out and otherworldly, rather like magic mushrooms, only�not free� but legal, at least. Ahem.
As ever, it�s a slow burner that takes a bit too long to get going, but I could describe many of my closest friends in the same way so I�m certainly not going to hold it against a game.
On the subject of which: one good friend still has his copy unopened next to his PS3 (the shameful remains of a forced bundle it would seem) and despite my heartfelt recommendations it remains unloved and unwanted, soon to be peddled on eBay. Just like the colleagues who glance down the dining table in a mildly disgusted manner when I plomp myself down every Wednesday lunchtime with a brimming bowl of Chilli Con Carne & Cauliflower Cheese, he dismisses the mere thought of playing it simply because it�s not a �proper� racer.
�What is a proper racer?� I retort. �I mean, none if it�s REAL on a console! It�s ALL fake old bean! Why show no love for the game that takes this ideology to the extreme? OK, it�s an arcade game LOOSLY based around the driving experience, but it�s still a mighty fine one!�
That�s usually the part where I get presented with my coat and the door (if I�m lucky they�ll be in the right order, too).
/stands outside in the cold and orders a Taxi.
His loss I guess, but it has to be said that for the faithful and brave there�s plenty of reward to be had from Ridge Racer, even IF Namco continue to �upgrade� the franchise is such fashion.
/looks forward to getting home to RR7�and next Wednesday lunchtime�
8 / 10