I have played the Ridge Racer series on the PS1 and PS2. Ridge Racer Type 4 continues to juice me up, even in this day and age, although the arcade-only Rave Racer is my personal favorite. Ridge Racer on Nintendo DS was extremely disappointing. It lost all the ingredients that made the series so charming and exciting and instead became reviled by fans and critics.
Until I got me a PSP.
My jaw dropped to the floor and stayed there for awhile. I have never seen a racing on a hand-held system with beautiful visuals than this!! The graphics are simply AMAZING!!!. Even the cars sport amazing detail and has really great lighting effects; especially for the way the sunlight glints off the body of the car and when you race under a tunnel. You can even see the decals on them too. The animation is top-notch. For instance, you'll even spot airplanes and helicopters flying in the sky as you race against your opponents. Because the game is filled with little details, the game is not only fun, but visually flamboyant as well.
It has to be said that Ridge Racer's soundtrack is one of its finest assets. With a unique blend of musical genres, the audio is a feast for the ears. Many of the tracks are great, but my personal favorite is Night Stream: a nice, smooth blend of jazz and techno.
Ridge Racer PSP plays great. Although the controls may take some getting used to, but if you practice, you'll be power sliding like a pro. New to the series is the nitrous meter that lets you burn off some real speed. But it's not there for show. Using nitrous strategically in a race is crucial because the game gets more challenging as you progress.
My only gripes with Ridge Racer PSP is that there's no new courses; most of them are from past Ridge Racers. Hopefully the next game will have new courses and more exotic looking cars and new music.
Bottom line: If you're a fan of the series or a casual gamer, Ridge Racer is for you. However if you played previous games in the series, you may feel a little deja vu. Overall Ridge Racer is the best racing game on the PSP...until Gran Tourismo Mobile comes out (which will be the DEFINITIVE racing game on the PSP) Also try: Wipeout Pure. Burnout: Revenge and Midnight Club: DUB Edition, all for PSP.
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