For reasons I am not sure of, the Ridge Racer franchise has become synonymous with launch consoles; you really expect them for any Sony console launch. Well as most if not all of you already know, Sony released their latest console the Playstation 3, and wouldn’t you know it, Ridge Racer 7 raced right next to the PS3 launch. The big question is can Ridge Racer 7 give the PS3 a quick start out of the gate? Read our full review of Ridge Racer 7 for the Sony PS3 to find out!
Can you believe this is the seventh game in the Ridge Racer series? The original Ridge Racer was released way back in 1995 here in the States for the Playstation, and since then we have just seen a constant slew of Ridge Racer games for handheld and consoles. This is one of those franchises that really hasn’t changed all that much, since the beginning it has been a simplistic fast running arcade racer and that is the same concept that still drives the series today. The big question is what will Ridge Racer 7 be like on the brand new Playstation 3?
Well let me just say what Ridge Racer 7 is not. Ridge Racer 7 is not a departure from anything we have come to know and love about the franchise. In fact, this is still the same sort of arcade racer that we have seen over the years that places an extreme emphasis on speed and drifting. For those who haven’t picked up a Ridge Racer title before, you should be aware that this is by every sense of the word an “arcade” racing game in that drifting and cornering is not something that you will necessarily have to stress about but rather you will get the hang of pretty quickly.
To get you revved up to the game, I found it best to go to the arcade mode first, before I went into the game’s Grand Prix mode. The arcade mode has both single and split screen action and allows you to take your car and race on any of the available tracks. This is really a good way to get used to the drifting in the game, as well as to the amount of speed that you will need to go through. The arcade mode is also pretty fun for just riding around and trying to master certain courses.
The grand prix mode is where you will find much of the depth in the game and this is where most players will spend the majority of their time. Ridge Racer 7 is one of those titles that doesn’t do a whole lot of twists and turns but instead gives you a pretty straightforward grand prix mode that allows you to race races and then go and customize your ride. This is actually a bigger part of Ridge Racer 7 and is just jam packed with content, whether it is just for the look of your car or to go through some major upgrades under the hood. The customization options are actually really quite good. For anyone who does enjoy the occasional getting their hands dirty will really enjoy the sheer amount of options you have with customization in Ridge Racer 7.
There is also the online component to Ridge Racer 7; in fact Ridge Racer 7 is always online, which is nice to see in a next generation game. Ridge Racer 7 has a ton of modes and options to make your online experience a true custom experience. In fact the online play is probably the deepest online experience outside of Resistance currently on the Playstation 3. Ridge Racer 7 is just good all the way around whether it be the arcade gameplay, the online multiplayer or the great customization this is just a good solid racing title from start to finish.
Visually you can see that Namco Bandai truly wanted to use the new PS3 hardware to its advantage. The amount of detail that is placed throughout this game is actually pretty remarkable, in fact there is just a shear sense of style with Ridge Racer 7 that is something to sit back and take in. There are some hiccups now and again, especially when you go into split screen gameplay. The game for the most part gets the job done with a very smooth Ridge Racer style look that remains true to the franchise and does a great job of showing off the PS3’s capabilities.
It wasn’t that long ago when arcade racers were much less common, however in days like today we are just seeing a plethora of racing games coming out on the consoles. Ridge Racer 7 doesn’t do a whole lot different from what previous games in the series have done besides deepening the experience with some great customization options and a truly stellar online game. Also Ridge Racer 7 is still a fun game to play, whether just for a few races or whether it’s a night with the guys. This is one of those racing games that is easy to pick up and enjoy.
I cannot say enough about how solid Ridge Racer 7 is in every category, however there is still some room for improvement, especially in the Grand Prix mode which does feel a little lacking. Other than that, Ridge Racer 7 looks good and plays even better. For fans of the series who were lucky enough to pick up a PS3 then I would highly recommend checking out this game. It is easily one of the top launch titles for the console.
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.