Ridge Racer 7 Preview
Ahh, another PlayStation, another Ridge Racer to come with it. Many of us were given a pretty solid Ridge Racer fix last year, with not one, but two games. The PSP's Ridge Racer proved to be a fantastic and long lasting experience and the Xbox 360 launch title was a solid and fun entry, if not a bit hollow. Regardless, it's been a while since we've been treated to so many Ridge Racer titles in such a short span, so we'll take all that we can get -- after all, not once throughout the PS2's life did we get another Ridge Racer.
Either way, finally the details on Ridge Racer 7 have finally been revealed and this may very well end up being the best game in the series to date. Based on the screenshots Namco's shown off, the track design in the seventh one seems to be the most vibrant and scenic without a doubt. The cars look certainly better than they did in RR6. In fact, the overall image of RR7 is much cleaner and sharper than that of RR6 -- which is not to say RR6 looked bad, but it definitely wasn't the best software that showcased the X360's power. Much like Ridge Racer V, aesthetically, RR7 is set to make our mouths water with a spectacular draw in distance and a frame rate that won't quit.
Moving on, RR7 will feature a list of 40 cars with a total of 22 playable tracks that can also be driven through reversed. Additionally, an all new customization mode will allow for up to 375,000 exterior setups and 7,150 performance changes. So yes, there is now a full fledged tuner section in the game; something the series has been missing or a while now. The game's bread and butter consists of the career mode called "Ridge State Grand-Prix". In the career, you will build your career and climb the ranks as you make way through 160 races.
Online gameplay will also be one of the game's bigger highlights, with up to 14 players having the capability to race against each, and even do co-op races such as Team Battle, Relay Race, and Pair Time Attack. Of course, you can also use your customized machine in the online world, too. Lastly, Ridge Racer 7's "World Hub" constantly keeps you connected to the online world of RR, providing you up to the minute stats of player rankings from all around the world, in addition to comparing your stats to the top ranks.
While we hope for RR7 to be a launch title, there's still a bit of uncertainty around the release of the game. Namco says it'll be out Q4 2006, which may very well mean it'll end up being a launch title, or a launch window title (meaning, it'll be released 1-3 weeks after the PS3's debut). Nonetheless, we're desperately looking forward to Ridge Racer 7 -- it's certainly going to be one of the better racers to hit the PS3 for a long time.
9/11/2006 Arnold Katayev