Ridge Racer Unbounded

Ridge Racer Unbounded News for Xbox 360

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5Out of 10
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Ridge Racer Unbounded screenshot
Ridge Racer Unbounded screenshot

Expending his destruction resource, Jonaas slams his car into a pillar holding up a bridge hanging over the track. The bridge starts to crumble, raining down huge slabs of concrete on several cars unlucky enough to be underneath it at that moment. Not only can you use targets to attack your rivals, but also physically alter the course for subsequent laps. There are said to be around 12 targets in each track.

While the 'story mode' takes place in Shatter Bay, Jonaas teases the fact that the game is actually comprised from thousands of cities. Thousands. This is clearly ridiculous from a single-player standpoint, which alludes to the fact that it's tied into multiplayer. Perhaps players can create a city of their own - with their own routes and targets - and then share it with other players? Perhaps it's a LittleBigPlanet-esque world built from a patchwork of other people's tracks. This is clearly a feature Bug Bear is proud of; not being able to talk about it seemed to pain poor Jonaas. One for E3 then?

So, it's Riiiiiiidge Raaaaaaaacer! Except it's not. Another very Japanese franchise has had its reins handed to a western developer, and the fans are deservedly worried. "Yehhhh this looks awful if the trailer is indicative of what they're aiming for. I don't want to hit other cars at ANY POINT AT ALL while playing Ridge Racer," offers VideoGamer forumite Woffls, a sentiment echoed in gaming communities across the web.

Jonaas is conscious of the pressure this puts on him as a developer. "I'm aware of the concerns of the fans" he admitted, "but Namco Bandai wouldn't have come to us unless they wanted a western developer's point of view."

True. Over the course of its 18-year history, Ridge Racer has revolved around the same core mechanics. Another game in the same vein might have caused less of a backlash initially, but shake-ups like this are necessary every once in a while. Besides, Namco has revealed that Unbounded is just one branch of the Ridge Racer tree, and there could very well be a Ridge Racer 8 in the future too. While the detour might be a little too drastic for some, there's no reason to write it off just yet.

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clangod's Avatar

clangod

Even though I haven't played a RR game since god knows when, I have been a fan of the series since the PS1 all that time ago.

Based on what I know so far I'm on the fence with this one as:

a) I'm all for change and new approaches to the franchise but the idea of traps and shortcuts is in theory a bit of a negative point for me. Not being a fan of many combat like racers, the only saving grace here so far is the lack of weapons or "pick ups" for the vehicles.

b) As a franchise that has done little to evolve itself after so long it is interesting to see a different direction. One that will undoubtedly offer something fresh for the RR legacy. So as keeping with the tradition of not taking RR too seriously, it may just work in keeping the fun factor without over complicating matters.

I guess it's a wait and see scenario...
Posted 06:01 on 19 May 2011
jtorry's Avatar

jtorry

I've been a huge RR fan since the PSone, but I think the RR formula was getting a little stale so this sounds like it might actually be ok.
Posted 14:39 on 18 May 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 30/03/2012
Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher: Namco
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 4,702 35
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