The outbreak of the Sony-Nintendo handheld war loomed closer today, when the first US game for the PSP went gold. That distinction went to Ridge Racer, Namco Hometek's second portable version of its drift-racing arcade and console series after Ridge Racer DS. Rated E for Everyone, the game will go on sale alongside the PSP on March 24.
Sporting 3D graphics on par with its PlayStation 2 cousins, Ridge Racer will also feature revamped tracks from the first Ridge Racer, Rage Racer, R4, Ridge Racer Revolution, and Rave Racer. Although they only start out with three cars, gamers can unlock more by winning events in the world tour mode. The US version of Ridge Racer features a new "MAX Tour" option in world tour mode, not available in the Japanese edition, which GameSpot test-drove in December.
The game also includes new features such as a nitrous boost and a wireless battle mode that lets up to eight players race simultaneously via the PSP's 802.11b wireless functionality. "Namco has created a game that takes full advantage of the new platform's wireless connectivity capabilities and offers gamers new to this genre a unique experience," said Namco president and CEO Nobuhiro Kasahara.