Ridge Racer 6

Overview

It has been said many times that launch titles may seem important, but in the scheme of things, they are just kind of building blocks for the real games to come. I am sure the developers of launch titles wouldn’t agree, but to a certain extent we have found that launch titles aren’t always all that they are made up to be. Today we are going to check out a game that hopes to change all of that, with its high sense of speed in the long line of racing games. So does Namco manage to put a winning formula together in Ridge Racer 6 for the newly launched Xbox 360? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

For those who may not be all that familiar with the series, my first guess is that you’re not all that into racers, because this has been a very successful and very popular series. Ridge Racer has always been known for speed, and being a very fun and easy to play arcade style racing game. When I heard that the sixth edition of the game was going to be on the 360, I was actually a bit surprised, but yet still happy to hear the series was still moving strong. The big question is how did the transition for the series go to the next generation of gaming?

One thing people may not realize is that Ridge Racer 6 is one of the few games on the launch lineup that is not just a port from a previous game; Ridge Racer 6 is a totally new game made for the Xbox 360. With that being said, let’s just start with some of the modes that you can expect in Ridge Racer 6. The main mode of the game is actually the World Xplorer mode, which some may find to be a bit intimidating at first, but once you see how this mode works it actually is a pretty comprehensive mode. The game gives you a very nice looking menu system that may look complex, but it is still are pretty fun to play through. Basically the main goal of this mode is to complete this massive ladder system, which you constantly want to complete, but as you complete races more and more are unlocked.

There are some other modes outside of this main World Xplorer mode, like a time attack mode and some other nice little goodies, but for the most part the World Xplorer mode is where the game is at its highest point. I have to say once again though to drive the point home, that I was very intimidated by this mode. At first, it just seemed as though it was a jumbled mess, but as you progress through this mode you will find that it actually is a lot of fun, and can be very addictive.

The game also has Xbox Live support with up to fourteen racers, which to say the least is a huge number for a racing game. However from what I found online thus far is that the games never seem to get that big, and when they do, they seem to suffer from the dreaded lag. The Xbox Live support isn’t all that deep and doesn’t really bring anything we haven’t seen already from an online racer, but it still does bring a nice feel for good fast paced arcade style races online.

The big question is how the racing feels in Ridge Racer 6? And my answer to that is, exactly how you would expect it to. For those fans that have grown to love the series, don’t expect this game to play all that different from what you know. Drifting is a key attribute to the game, and this is something that must be perfected to be successful in this game. Drifting is not all that hard and just takes some time to get used to, but after a while is a lot of fun. The driving in the game doesn’t feel all that different from what we have become accustomed to in Ridge Racer, with just a great sensation of speed. You of course have your boosts, which becomes more and more important throughout the game.

Ridge Racer 6 is a good solid arcade racing game that gives arcade racing fans exactly what they would expect. I would have liked to see some mini-games, or some other ideas in the game that would have helped to bring this game more replay value. But in the end this is just one solid launch title that doesn’t disappoint, but also leaves plenty room for improvement for #7.

Graphics

When a new console comes out, you usually are very excited to see how the visual capabilities of the new console are going to be. Unfortunately Ridge Racer 6 is not a game that would really be a great showcase for the capabilities of the Xbox 360. Don’t get me wrong, Ridge Racer 6 is a good-looking game, but for people who are really wanting to see how far the 360 could go, it might not do the trick. The car models are the best part of the game, with quite a bit of detail and some really great looking models. On the other end the environments aren’t as spectacular, with pretty limited amounts of detail. To be honest, you will find the environments not to be a huge leap ahead what we have already seen. Ridge Racer 6 is a decent looking game, but not one that will really take full advantage of the 360.

Fun Factor

Ridge Racer 6 is a classic arcade style racing game that doesn’t change the typical Ridge Racer style. I have to say that if you have played a Ridge Racer game, you will not be surprised by anything in this game. The actual gameplay feels good, and the single player portion of the game is actually a lot of fun, but it would have been nice to have seen more to this mode. The online support is also very good, but doesn’t do as much as promised on the box, as playing with 14 players just never seemed to work. Ridge Racer 6 is really a fun game for anyone who likes these style racers, but don’t expect it to go above and beyond where the genre has already gone.

Overall

I have to say that I enjoyed Ridge Racer 6 and I found it to be fun, but in the long run it just never seemed to add up to a great racing game. It just seemed to miss a step with a lack of depth in the long run. For fans of the series, Ridge Racer 6 continues the great lineup of games, but unfortunately this is not a game that stands out on top in the launch lineup for the Xbox 360.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.