While I often feel like I've been at the forefront of the "man, I wish Namco would do something different with Ridge Racer" movement--a movement that boasts upwards of seven members, worldwide--the announcement of Ridge Racer Unbounded hasn't exactly sent me into the streets to rejoice. Let's call it a mixture of cautious optimism for a franchise that's clearly in need of drastic change and that back-of-mind feeling that these changes might actually be too drastic. That said, it's still probably the most interesting Ridge Racer-related news I've seen since the invent of the Jogcon.
The game is Ridge Racer Unbounded, and it's headed to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC in 2012. The game is being developed outside of Namco Bandai, which, unless I'm mistaken, makes it the first console-based Ridge Racer to be developed outside of Namco since Ridge Racer 64. Development duties are being handled by BugBear Entertainment, the studio that developed the destruction-focused FlatOut series. With that in mind, it shouldn't surprise you to hear that Unbounded will also be focused on bashing up cars. The released information provides the game's new mantra, "Drive, Destroy, Dominate."
At some point this starts to sound more like a FlatOut game than a Ridge Racer game. The release goes on to talk about how fans "new and old" will appreciate it. Typical stuff. What's missing, however, is an explicit mention of hot 360-degree drifts around corners and ridiculous Pac-Man-shaped bonus cars. If I can jump into a car shaped like Pac-Man and destroy it by T-boning a taxi, well, I'm totally on-board.
Speaking of which, check out the trailer, which is flagrant in its disrespect for cab drivers:
At this rate, I'm hoping that the game's menus are packed with shots of Reiko Nagase beating up a cop with a knife in her teeth or something equally messed-up. Either way, count me among the "interested to know more" crowd.