It is only fitting that the launch title for the second coming of the PS be the exact same title that launched with the first incarnation. Namco’s popular Ridge Racer series returns in all it’s 128 bit glory. Is this the second coming of racing games? Is it the end for Sega? Is it what I saw in those screenshots? Well let me say something first, as good as it is it doesn’t warrant a system purchase let me tell you why.
Graphically I am impressed, not as impressed as I was the first time I saw Sonic Adventure or Mario 64, but nonetheless impressed. The car models are very good, showing off the PS2’s beautiful lighting power the cars do like quite nice. My problem is that the game is so grainy that it makes it look ugly, especially on a VGA monitor. Jagged edges and rough textures are apparent at every turn in this game. This takes away from the otherwise perfect appearance.
I can’t knock the sound at all, I am one of the biggest fans of the Ridge Racer music. It makes me wanna drive and drive fast! The gorgeous blend of techno and jazz is still apparent and better than ever. The sound effects are pretty standard RR stuff, but who needs more in an arcade game?
Controlling RR5 is why this game is so popular. The slide technique is still something that must be mastered. If you still have the glory that is the NeGcon I recommend digging it out ASAP. This game plays even better than it looks, and it looks damn good!
Overall RR5 is a great addition to the PS2’s lousy lineup. Namco also seems to please with it’s A titles and RR5 is no exception. I am not gonna tell you to go out and import a PS2 just to get this game, but I will say this. If you are gonna buy a PS2 this is the game to get, trust me Driving Emotion Type S sucks major ass. This game will be an excellent launch title when the PS2 hits US shelves, get it then and no sooner unless you are a rich bastard and have money to throw away.