Ridge Racer 3D Hands-On

With a focus on accessibility and high-speed action, Ridge Racer 3D is reaching out to arcade racing fans old and new.

Ridge Racer is back to christen the launch of another gaming platform. Loaded with new cars, new tracks, and new gameplay features, Ridge Racer 3D is shaping up to be a solid member of the 3DS's launch lineup. But how will it take advantage of the system's 3D capabilities? Read on to find out.

Who's Making It: Namco Bandai's venerable Ridge Racer series returns with Ridge Racer 3D. Born in the arcade, this seasoned racing franchise has seen numerous sequels and iterations over the years leading up to its latest release, Ridge Racer 7, on the PlayStation 3.

What It Looks Like: Ridge Racer 3D has put on some muscle, some American muscle. A whole new set of muscle cars and tracks are in the works for this entry. True to form, these are all still unlicensed vehicles and venues in a world alive with crisp, clean visuals that pop with color.

How It Uses 3D: Using the power of the third dimension, Ridge Racer 3D affords you a better sense of spatial awareness with its use of depth. It simulates the feeling of looking down a road and lets you better judge your positioning in relation to the other racers and to the track. A sharp turn off in the distance is easy to spot, and it's even easier to gauge how far you are from that spot. This might buy you a few key seconds to react accordingly. If you're coming up on another driver, the 3D view can help prevent an unwanted fender-bender as you attempt to overtake your opponent.

What You Do: You race. Racing lets you collect points that you can then cash in on various unlocks and upgrades--such as a brief boost of speed at the start of a race. Racing also sets up your ghost data, which you can then swap with other racers via the 3DS's Street Pass feature. And if you're really clever, you could devise a scheme to track down one of the people whose data you've swapped with and challenge him to a race--in the game's local multiplayer, that is. If that person isn't too freaked out by this, you can then introduce him to your other Ridge Racer friends for some four-person multiplayer fun.

How It Plays: True to the series' pedigree, Ridge Racer 3D has the feel of an arcade-style racer. Accessibility trumps technicality, and a new easy drift mode option is available for the casual racer in each of us. Similar to the way drifting is handled in Nintendo's Mario Kart series, easy drift mode requires only a simple button press to send your car into a slide. Letting up on the button will then take you out of the drift and straighten out your car automatically.

The boost meter also returns in Ridge Racer 3D. Divided into three sections, this meter can be cashed in to get you that little extra boost of speed right when you need it. Sections can be fired off one, two, or three at a time depending on which combination of the 3DS's shoulder buttons you use. And if you're really stylish, you can boost into a curve, immediately go into a drift, and when you come out of that drift have a section of your boost meter refunded to you.

What We Say: From what we've seen, Ridge Racer 3D looks as if it's sticking true to the series' roots with accessible controls and high-speed action. The 3D vision is definitely a boon on the racetrack, and it lets you spend less time calculating distance and more time calculating how not to crash. And with the new easy drift mode, this latest entry in the Ridge Racer series strikes a good balance between the more technical racers and the pure chaos of kart games. Keep an eye out for Ridge Racer 3D alongside the launch of the 3DS.

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Discussion

26 comments
HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

@GregSci lol someone is actually getting an NGP ha that's a good one.

GregSci
GregSci

I am getting this... but on NGP with awesome graphics on an giant screen... MWAHAHAHA (3DS fanboys bleed!)

cuddlekin
cuddlekin

LAWL so many nintendo fanboys on here downrating any comment about how PSP is better than the DS, go out and get lives. inb4 thumbs down ratings.

Ceraby
Ceraby

This brings back memories. Ridge Racer was the very first PS2 racing game I had and introduced me to trance music. Would love to have this game when it comes out.

dillonpeterliam
dillonpeterliam

The DS overall sold more that double the amount the PSP's, the new Gen of handheld aren't much different besides the improved Hardware and of course 3D without head wear, so dont make the same mistake again by puting down the 3DS as it is more than likely to sell more that the PSP NGP . . .

chazy035
chazy035

That's not what IGN said.

Frostide
Frostide

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Astelon
Astelon

Lol at people comparing 2011 3DS looking "little bit better" than 2005 PSP version. Do you see the irony? Also, -Bottom screen: 3.02" (77mm) 320x240 pixel touch screen seriously? 1 square inch of iPhone4 display has more pixels than the entire screen on 3DS. Also, 2005 called, it wants its stereoscopic displays back. It doesn't belong in 2011.

Nitro702
Nitro702

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MrDoomLWest
MrDoomLWest

the PSP is not selling, what makes you think that a PSP2 will do better

Anikung
Anikung

How in the world are you guys being able to comment on how good the game looks compared to the psp from two screenshots?

zMd113
zMd113

Wow! Nintendo finally caught up with the PSP, too bad the PSP2 will blow it out of the water later this year.

JD2995
JD2995

This game could look much better, just looks a little better than the PSP version.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

I may get a 3DS, I was skeptical and haven't used my DS in years because it just wasn't advanced enough. The PSP was advanced enough but lacked loads of quality games; the best were God Of War, Assassins Creed, Gran Turismo, Modnation, GTA, NFS Underground, Tekken and Metal Gear were pretty much it.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

Damn I wish this was on PSP and please don't use thumbs down for this comment

vader501st
vader501st

RIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRR!

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

Nice, will I get it at launch? That remains to be seen.

Bufta
Bufta

ok so now im excited

ITS_ENDOT
ITS_ENDOT

looks better than psp version anyway :)

Tha_DRP
Tha_DRP

Ridge Racer on nintendo? meh' I'll check it I guess

v61k
v61k

To quote the great Kaz Hirai: RIDGEEEEE RACERRRRRRRRR

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

wow looks as good as ridge racer 6 on xbox 360 wow just wow

CyberKlown28
CyberKlown28

320 km/hour? pull over *yells into megaphone* "PULL OVER" *guy speeds up* "requesting back up we got a 419, repeat a 419."