Post Classifieds

New 'Ridge Racer' offers surprisingly robust racing experience

By Jordan Wright
On April 11, 2012

For racing fans of the 1990s that grew up with a PlayStation, the name "Ridge Racer" is bound to bring back a lot of memories. If you were ever a fan of racing simulation that owned a PlayStation, "Ridge Racer" was your go-to series for almost five years until "Gran Turismo" came around and did it better. Ridge Racer eventually carved out its own niche but could never quite find a way to measure up to its competition.

So, like most icons of bygone decades determined not to lose relevance, "Ridge Racer" has decided to reinvent itself by taking it to the streets. Forgive me for not ending the previous sentence in the obligatory "yo," but I find myself pleasantly disappointed in my inability to make fun of this surprisingly fun racing game.

"Unbounded" puts the player amongst the ranks of the Unbounded, a gang of street racers in the city of Shatter Bay. The player is of course tasked with racing their way to the top of the gang and earning a reputation as the best racer in the city. After a laughably bad opening monologue about how the Unbounded are free from the constraints of the law and pseudo philosophically own "this city" I was almost ready to check out immediately. Fortunately, I hung around to see the goodies that awaited me under "Unbounded's" hood.

The Racing mechanics are pretty solid, if a bit simplistic. A boosting opportunity to speed arises whenever you perform some kind of trick, such as crashing an opponent or drifting, which allows you to plow through walls in order to find hidden pathways. The drifting tended to be a little bit sticky for my taste, but it's generally manageable once you adjust to it.

The AI is also superb, always giving you a challenge without running into the cheap rubber band effect that most racing games run into. I've lost a lot of races in this game, but I have never once felt cheated out of victory.

Although I personally felt that the city could have used a lot more non-competitive streetcars on the road to enhance the street racing atmosphere, the only major complaint I have toward offline play is the lack of fully customizable cars. A sense of personalization would have been greatly appreciated, but the single player is overall a solid package.

Like the best racers on the market, however, online multiplayer is wear the game absolutely shines. The ability go against your friends or in large groups is handled with as much care as the offline modes, and the game stays relatively stable; the only real lag issues that I had stemming from my own weak internet connection.

What really sets this one apart from most other racing games is the ability to create your own city. The ability to create your own tracks and share them online gives the game an incredible amount of replay value that I encourage all racing franchises to look into. The interface could stand to be a bit more intuitive, but I award developer Bugbear Entertainment massive points for the experiment.

I still can't believe that I'm saying this, but I honestly hope this franchise stays its course. "Ridge Racer: Unbounded" is one hell of a surprisingly good time and easily one of the best racers that I've played in years. I can only hope that Namco Bandai continues to cultivate what they've just stumbled onto.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent The East Texan News Articles

Discuss This Article



East Texan readers should know that Houston LASIK specialist, Dr. Amjad Khokar, member of the Texas Medical Association, is a LASIK surgeon in Houston offering the most advanced LASIK technology and experience, providing a safe LASIK surgery.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format