I take a look at the third part of the Ridge Racer series called 'Rage Racer'. A game by Namco released in 1996-1997 for the original PlayStation. A game quite different from the first two releases of Ridge Racer where it's not just simply racing but it is possible to advance, get more experience and basically experience a racing career. You can earn money and you get to upgrade your car and/or buy different ones.
You race within 5 racing classes on 4 different four tracks in this game - quite a bit different from the first two Ridge Racers and at the same time they look and feel familiar, especially the start/finish is similar. The car manufacturers found in the game are Gnade (Germany), Age (France), Lizard (USA) and Absoluto (Italy). All types and makes have different features and behaviours. The prologue movie on the game disc is different between American/EU release and the Japanese release. The Music in the game is quite distinct different from the first two releases.
Read more below if you want to see a complete list of all the Ridge Racer games out there.
This game came before the last Ridge Racer game released on the original Playstation called Ridge Racer Type IV. Here's a complete list of the ridge racer games on all the platforms they came out for.
The Arcade games are:
-Ridge Racer (7 October 1993), Namco System 22.
-Ridge Racer Full Scale (1994), Namco System 22
-Ridge Racer 2 (16 June 1994) Namco System 22
-Rave Racer (16 July 1995), Namco System 22
-Pocket Racer (1996), Namco System 11
-Ridge Racer V: Arcade Battle (2000), Namco System 246.
The console games are:
-Ridge Racer (1994 - Japan, 1995 - USA/EU), for PlayStation, similar to the arcade with an optional 3rd person view (Launch Game). Début of 13th Racing ("Devil" car).
-Ridge Racer Revolution (1995 - Japan, 1996 - USA/EU), for PlayStation. 13th Racing Kid and White Angel made their grand début in this game, challenging you in the game's Time Trial mode. Soundtrack was taken from the Ridge Racer 2 arcade game.
-Rage Racer (1996 - Japan, 1997 - USA/EU), for PlayStation. This game marked the début of the retries rule and customization aspects.
-R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (1998 - Japan, 1999 - USA/EU), for PlayStation, following the -Rage Racer formula, but instead of customization, there are four racing teams to choose from.
-Ridge Racer Turbo (1998 - Japan, 1999 - USA/EU), for PlayStation. (known in Europe as Ridge Racer Hi-Spec Demo) A new version of the original game which featured a reduced number of game modes but run at 60fps and featured gouraud shading which had been absent from the original. Was given away as a bonus with R4: Ridge Racer Type 4.
-Ridge Racer 64 (2000), for Nintendo 64, features tracks from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2 and its very own set of desert tracks ("Renegade") exclusive to the N64. (not released in Japan)
-Ridge Racer V (2000), for PlayStation 2 (Launch Game) - Allows slight customisation, R4-style Grand Prix races are present rather than the original's free-form structure.
-R: Racing Evolution (2003), for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube - the spin-off title in the series to feature licensed cars from vehicle manufacturers.
-Critical Velocity (2005), for PlayStation 2 - formerly known as Rune Chaser. Plot-based spin-off game featuring Ridge Racer cars (only released in Japan).
-Ridge Racer 6 (2005), for Xbox 360 (Launch Game).
-Ridge Racer 7 (2006), for PlayStation 3 (Launch Game) - Allowed complete customization of vehicles from body kits to engine parts and paint jobs.
-Ridge Racer Unbounded (2012), for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. (not released in Japan)
The games on the handheld systems:
-Ridge Racer DS (2004 - USA, 2005 - EU), for Nintendo DS, a port of Ridge Racer 64 with the additional feature of being able to steer by using the touch screen. (not released in Japan)
-Ridge Racers (2004 - Japan, 2005 - USA/EU), for PlayStation Portable (Launch Game), mixed new vehicles with tracks from the previous games.
-Ridge Racers 2 (2006), for PlayStation Portable followed the same formula as its predecessor with tracks featured in previous games of the series.
-Ridge Racer 3D (2011), for Nintendo 3DS (Launch Game).
-Ridge Racer Vita (2011), for PlayStation Vita (Launch Game), first crossover game in the series.
Cell phone/mobile phone games:
-Ridge Racer (2005), for J2ME
-Ridge Racers Mobile (2007)
-Ridge Racer Accelerated (2009), for iOS
-Ridge Racer Drift (2010)
The list was sourced from Wikipedia. And I must say I own quite a few of these :P
One of my favorite racing games on the original Playstation - Ridge Racer type 4. It is one of the best looking Playstation games featuring Gouraud shading resulting in very nice lighting effects not seen before on any other Playstation game prior to this.
The game was released in 1998 in Japan and in 1999 in the rest of the world. There's a definite pacman/namco thing going on here - celebrating the 20th birthday of Pacman. OMH we just celebrated Pacman's 30th so this game is old. I must say it withstood the test of time and still looks and plays great.
Replay value 7/10 - one needs to lay it down for a while before one acquires the taste to give it another go
Sound 9/10 - very nice tecnho/Jap pop music soundtrack totally fitting the game
The game shares some similarities with the N64 Ridge Racer64 outing.
A demonstration of the Ridge Racer - Hi Spec Demo disc that was included with each copy of Ridge Racer Type 4. It is the result of technical research that was put into examining the possibilities of creating a 60fps (NTSC)/ 50fps (PAL) racing game that was fun and enjoyable. By using new techniques they managed to succeed. The results were so sweet that Namco decided to put it on this demo disc which also features the same demo produced using conventional techniques.
The 'games' are just a basic 3 lap race that you can either win or loose.
Some interesting points in the video:
The 50fps/60fps Super Ridge Racer part (2:09)
The 25fps Regular Ridge Racer part (6:50)
Information on the background of these demos and the rest of the Ridge Racer series on Playstation (11:24)
This was always my favorite racer on the PS1.. Excellent series synopsis Mark.
Thank you Chip. Means a lot coming from you.
Didn't get into this series until R4 - and it is still a sweet looking game. It supports the linkup mode and I've been slowly getting the stuff together to try it out - have 2 copies of R4 (and Wipeout 2098 incidentally which also has linkup), and a link cable - just need to pick up a second console. The later PSOne doesn't have the linkup connection so I'm looking for older fatter grey box.
Very curious after the results!
Just picked up another old PS1!!!!
Seems to work OK - so - now to set up a link game which will involve moving a TV around.....might even make a little video of R4 and Wipeout 2097.
I also see that Wipeout 3 Special Edition (which we got in PAL) also supports it - may have a look around for a 2nd copy of that - and it would be fun to pick up a couple of copies of Doom or FInal Doom.