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PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews




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1-2 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

June 1996


Setting the Scene

I opened the box to this game with some trepidation, I had heard very mixed reviews of this game. Most of the PSX magazines seemed to agree that it was a great game but not much better than the original Ridge Racer. I own the original, it was the very fist PlayStation game that I bought all those months ago when the machine was first launched and so I was wondering if I had just wasted my money on a "one-week-wonder"


To those of you who missed out on the original Ridge Racer game, the concept is pretty basic. You can select any of the three tracks available, each one longer and more difficult to complete than the previous one. You can compete against 12 computer controlled cars in a normal race , two cars in the time trial mode or just against yourself in the free track mode.

The aim of the game is to get to each one of the checkpoints before your time runs out and to finish the race in pole position


The quality of the graphics is almost arcade perfect, there are still a few minor glitches in them every now and again, but not to the degree of the original game. To be honest when you are flying around the tracks at light-speed you don't even notice them.

In addition there are four race speeds ranging from an exiting 160 MPH sprint, to a brain busting 250 MPH ride of a lifetime! It is here where the game has been improved so much over the original, the speed at which the game now runs is amazing, at the higher speeds you could be tricked into thinking that you are actually racing for real! The adrenaline rush that it creates just has to be experienced.

Sounds and Effects

The sound is similar to that of the original, 12 music tracks are available for selection during the race, some are remixes of the original tunes and all are of a high standard. More in game samples have been added, allowing the commentator to be even more sarcastic about your driving skills, or lack of them. As in the original, when you get tired of the music provided you can swap the game disk for one of your own music CD`s and listen to your own selection of music while racing, a really neat touch.

The Options screen is plentiful, allowing you to set up the music and F.X levels, play all of the samples within the game and choose the controller keys that are most suited to your taste.


The playability of this game is massive, I would go as far as to say that it is more playable than the arcade equivalent.
The Artificial Intelligence of the new cars has been greatly improved and on the higher skill levels they will block your attacks and dart from right to left to get past you. New cars have been added and there is a secret mode that unlocks some special buggies for you to race in.
The memory card can be used to save various scores.

When you have completed all of the tracks a short demo/credits sequence plays and Extra tracks are made available for you to play. These are nothing more than the original tracks, but raced backwards. Don't let this put you off, they provide a real new challenge for you especially as the qualifying times between the various checkpoints become shorter.

In addition the various game speeds also provide longevity to the game, each time you select a new speed all of the breaking, accelerating and skidding points around the track are changed and thus have to be re-learned. This means that the number of different combinations that are possible within the game are staggering, this will mean that you will play the game for longer.

This game has ONE FEATURE buried within its surface that makes it a MUST BUY game....... THE TWO PLAYER LINKUP MODE. If you have always wanted to own an arcade racing machine and have a friend who also enjoys racing games, providing they also own a PlayStation, your prayers have just been answered. I don't know whether NAMCO realise this but you only need ONE COPY OF THE GAME to play the head-to-head linkup mode and what a fantastic addition to the game this is. There is no greater feeling than passing your mate just before the finish line after an awesome overtaking manoeuvre on the last corner of the track. You will find yourselves shouting abuse at each other as you block each other, smash into each other and overtake each other. The mirror provided in the in-car view allows you to smash your opponents into the wall as they try to sneak past you. To get around the problem of two players with different skill levels playing the game together, NAMCO have included a catch-up mode which if selected allows the car behind to go faster than the one in front so that someone who is still learning the track can still race against an expert. As an added bonus the original three RIDGE RACER tracks have been put on the disk and can be raced in the linkup mode with the newly added speed of this game.

Value for Money

FINALLY ARCADE RACING AVAILABLE ON A HOME SYSTEM. Move over Wipeout and Need for Speed a new king is born ! It shows off the power and ability of the Playstation to the Max.! Loads of different racing options will extend the life-span of the game! Two PlayStations can be linked together using only ONE COPY OF THE GAME! If you intend to utilise the two player LINKUP mode, then don't waste any more time GO AND BUY THIS GAME NOW!!





If you've bought this game and have never played it in LINKUP mode then you have wasted your cash. Whenever we all get together its the first game to go on the machine, we can get two machines to play from one copy of the game and Sony should be congratulated for this feature/bug in the game. The challenge to hold the lap record between my friends is INTENSE. Just when I thought that I had driven the perfect lap and got the best possible time, my brother goes and knocks over a second off it and its back to the drawing board again. I have definately had my moneys worth from this game in the linkup mode alone.











I am still playing the game for at least an hour most nights, It took a couple of days to complete all of the tracks and to be honest the only one that presented a major challenge was the 3rd EXTRA track, but that doesn't matter at all, I still love the game, the FEEL of the car is absolutely SUPERB. Its the closest I've come to playing an arcade machine at home. THE MORE I PLAY IT, THE MORE I LOVE IT








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