Posts tagged ridge racer
Played quite a lot of this over the weekend and will probably play more, as Valkyria Chronicles 2 hasn’t arrived yet. Bah.
Not too much of a trial, though, as Ridge Racer 2 is pretty glorious. Slick, speedy and precise, it’s how a robot would dream of driving.
The fact that it’s basically the same game as the first PSP Ridge Racer doesn’t matter in the least so many years after release, so hooray.
Only trouble is that I can’t take screenshots of PSP games, so here is a picture of my wife hugging a metal octopus that is playing chess.
Hastings is a strange and wonderful place.
A new update appeared at the weekend. The biggest change is that it adds options for a virtual analogue stick or d-pad. I’ve tested out the analogue stick and it makes the game play more like a traditional Ridge Racer title. It’s certainly easier, but loses the seat-of-the-pants, pants-wetting, on-the-edge-of-control feel of the tilt controls. Nice to have, but, yes, hmm.
It also seems to have reintroduced some of the slowdown that was lost in the previous update, especially when boosting. Odd.
On the plus side, though, the track flybys at the beginning of races are now skippable, which is a huge improvement.
A mixed bag, then. Hopefully another performance improvement will be along before too long.
Good, clinical drifting fun. It doesn’t leave me feeling as drained as the iPhone version, so I can play it for longer periods without having to put it down. I don’t think this good or bad, just different.
I’m just working my way through world tours now. I’ve done half a dozen or so. It’s slow going.
For balls-out, dry-mouthed, seat-of-your-pants excitement I don’t think anything else on the iPhone comes close. The sheer sensation of speed using the Class 5 cars is unmatched and the twitchy, fluid, almost organic handling is like the nightmarish, drooling flipside of the clinical, digital precision of Ridge Racer on the PSP. Brilliant.
I’m glad I had the Japanese version of the first Ridge Racer PSP game, because if it wasn’t for the language difference it’d be hard to tell which UMD I had in the PSP. I knew Ridge Racer 2 was an upgraded version of the original game, rather than a real sequel, but it’s still shockingly similar.
But, on the up side, that means that it’s a great game. Hooray!
I’m often asked for iPhone game recommendations, so I’ve decided to post my list of the ten best games available for the platform. The plan is to post a list every few weeks, so please click the “top ten lists” label below to make sure you’re looking at the latest version if you’ve come to this post through a search engine. This list is in alphabetical order and consists of my own personal choice of games, based purely on how much I enjoy them.
A line-drawing game in the tradition of Flight Control and Harbor Master, but with a stealthy twist. Your job is direct soldiers to safe spots on the map, but without them being seen by the enemies. You can’t just draw a path, but must adjust it as the enemies patrol and lie down to stay out of sight. It’s tough, rewarding and incredibly exciting, distilling the essence of stealth into a fast-paced arcade rush.
An immediate classic, Angry Birds arrived on the iPhone with little fanfare, but captivated everyone who tried it. It wasn’t just that people were losing sleep trying to get through all the levels – it’s that they then lost more sleep trying to get the full three-star rating for each one. A simple game where you launch birds at fortifications, the consistent physics and excellent level design lifted this above similar games. The only real problem is that after many hours spent trying to fully complete the game, it still leaves you wanting more. Much, much more.
Superb conversion of the web-based Flash game, Canabalt is a pure rush, controlled simply by tapping the screen when you want to jump. It’s wonderfully presented, perfectly simple and hugely addictive, with the randomly-generated levels meaning you can never be sure quite what’s ahead.
Arguably the best game ever made, Doom has never really translated well to handheld consoles due to control difficulties. The iPhone version, however, controls beautifully and makes this the third-best version of this classic game (after the PC and Xbox 360 versions). The level design, weapons and enemies are still as wonderful as ever. If you’ve ever loved Doom, this is the version to carry around in your pocket. If you’ve never played, now’s the time to start.
iDrop Dead: Flower Edition
A physics-based puzzler where your job is to inflict as much damage as possible to cute cartoon characters. Tear their limbs off, expose their skulls and blow them up. This is a game, though, not an animated joke and the level goals are well-judged and careful consideration and well-timed flicking is needed to get them all. Forget Ragdoll Blaster and Max Injury, iDrop Dead is the pinnacle of the ragdoll genre and the Flower Edition contains the most content and is well worth paying for over the free versions.
There are a lot twin-stick shooters on the App Store, but Minigore is the best. It may not have the RPG-like aspects of Alive-4-ever or the maze-like levels of Against The Fire, but it surpasses all other examples of the genre in pure frantic shooting fun. It’s fast, furious, relentless and tuned to perfection.
Fantastic game that tests your aim and your brain. The mechanics are hard to explain, but obvious when you play. It’s a brutally hard game, but never unfair. Like many great games, you may develop a love-hate relationship with it – but you’ll keep going back.
Ridge Racer Accelerated
At launch this was a rough gem, plagued by slowdown and frame rate problems. A patch was issued quickly, though, and on the 3GS at least, performance is now nearly perfect. It doesn’t have the content of the PSP version of the game, nor the polish, but the glorious tilt-based steering makes it worth owning alongside other versions. No other racer on the iPhone comes close to the sheer terror the game can generate as you struggle to control your car round the twisting hills of the classic Ridge Racer courses. The price you see on iTunes doesn’t include the whole game – you need to set aside another three quid or so for the downloadable content – but it’s worth it.
The sound-bite description is Mario Galaxy in 2D, but with its cute visuals and small, but increasingly challenging, levels Soosiz soon leaves its inspiration behind and proves itself to be its own master. It controls perfectly, features a surprising amount of variety and has a enough levels to keep you going for a long, long time. It’s a joyous, bouncy experience, reminiscent of the best 16-bit platformers while being completely modern.
Sometimes you need to kick back and feed your brain, not your reactions, and there are a number of grid-based number puzzles for such occasions. There’s Sudoku, obviously, and KenKen, but the best of them is Str8ts. It’s impossible to say why, but Str8ts is simply the most satisfying puzzle game there is. It’s always logical and if you’re stuck, it’s only ever because you’ve missed something. The ratio between baffled staring and eureka moments is just right and when things flow, it’s glorious.
Oh dear. I decided to dig out my ancient Japanese copy of Ridge Racers for the PSP. Once I’d worked my way through baffling Japanese menus and started racing, I was presented with a glorious, smooth, silky rendition of the chugging, barren iPhone version.
It’s a completely different experience on the two platforms. Apart from the speed difference – which is absolutely huge, even though the speedometer says otherwise – the main difference is in the feeling of the handling. The PSP version is a heavenly glide with the car doing everything you say, whereas the iPhone version is a constant fight to stay on the road and pointing in the right direction.
Ultimately, that’s what saves the iPhone version, oddly enough. The barely contained danger, the triumph when everything goes right, the actual feeling of tipping your iPhone left and right to keep on course – it’s much more tense and exciting second-by-second than the more easily controlled PSP version.
If the PSP version is a new-fangled 3D-equipped digital cinema, then the iPhone version is a run-down flea pit with an ancient projector that speeds up, slows down and shows you the movie on a screen that’s torn in one corner and covered in dubious stains. You go to one, you sit down in padded stadium seats and eat your Ben & Jerry’s, in the other you avoid the grey, dusty popcorn, look for a seat that may have some remaining springs and are left with a feeling of intense relief if you make it out without being stabbed. They’re completely different representations of their source material, but one’s definitely more of an adventure than the other.
Despite the myriad problems I’m really enjoying this and have played it an awful lot since I got it. I’ve been enjoying it so much, in fact, that I bought the extra track pack and I might buy the extra cars at some point, though I’m having enough trouble keeping the existing cars on the road. This is going to be an absolutely amazing if they can get it running properly and the wonderful handling still shines through in this existing version.
I can’t, in good conscience, actually recommend it – but I love it.
This is so appallingly broken that I hate myself for liking it so much, but I do. It’s really hard, with a spin or a crash never more than a breath away, but that makes for an incredibly tense, exciting drive – and when you nail a series of drifts perfectly there’s no feeling like it.
This is either the best terrible game or the worst brilliant game I’ve ever played.
1 – It costs £1.79, but to get more than two tracks you need to pay extra. (Though more are coming free in 2010, so they say.)
2 – You can’t seem to turn the music off.
3 – There’s no game structure at all. You just pick a race type, track and car and go for a drive.
4 – The auto-accelerate option – a Ridge killer if ever there was one – is on my default.
5 – The killer. Even Namco say it doesn’t really work on anything older than a 3GS, but even on my 3GS it runs like an absolute dog, with shocking framerate issues and horrible slowdown.
So, yes, it’s rubbish. But… but… the actual driving model is brilliant. When I slide round a corner sideways before hitting the boost just as a straighten up and scream down a hill into the sunset it’s just about the greatest thing in the world.
You see, my head knows this is a shocking travesty of a game, a promising beta released too soon just to get it out for Christmas, but when I’m actually playing it my heart and my gut love it like nothing else.
It’s absolutely brilliant… but dear god, it’s awful.