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Ridge Racer Series To Go Off The Rails With "Unbounded"

New Ridge game to focus on "Drive, Destroy, Dominate" instead of "Drift, Drift, Drift."

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.    

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
46 Comments
Posted by Jeff

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.    

Staff
Posted by fitzoperfecto

I enjoy the entire series for better or for worse...

Posted by spencer_twin

wiki wiki waaaa 
Posted by Crushed

I like how she abandons an actual Ridge Racer-style car and starts driving a totally different one while crashing through shit. You know, to reassure fans that the spirit of the series is still there.

Posted by MaFoLu

Unbounded sounds really wrong...

Posted by JJOR64

What did I just watch?  As a fan of the series, I'm not sure if this is the right direction for the series.  If the game plays just like its predecessors, then that's OK.  If it plays like some other racing series like Need for Speed or Burnout, then that makes me a sad panda. 

Posted by guypussy

The "Japanese-ness" of the RR series is its biggest charm. And you think this game will feature yet another classic RR soundtrack with tunes like this? (To this day I listen to the RR6 soundtrack on a weekly, non-gaming basis.)
 
A new RR game was like an ice cold glass of Coca-Cola made with real sugar -- damn if you wanted to drink it every day, but so smooth and delicious.

Posted by DarthB

Love the physics on the cab flying through the air.  Fucking spectacular.

Posted by 1p

Oh god, i hope the music is good.

Posted by PufferFiz

wow that looks awful
fucking Christ just make a normal fucking ridge racer game.

Edited by Skald

Unbounded is a horrible subtitle, and that was a horrible trailer.

Posted by WatanabeKazuma

Colour me interested. 
 
Ridge Racer 4 is still my favourite, although I really enjoyed 7. 
 
@guypussy said:

" The "Japanese-ness" of the RR series is its biggest charm. And you think this game will feature yet another classic RR soundtrack with tunes like this? (To this day I listen to the RR6 soundtrack on a weekly, non-gaming basis.) 
I feel the same way, the music is definitely one of the defining aspects of the series for me. The RR4 intro is probably my pick.
Posted by patrick

Woo! Wreckless endangerment!

Posted by oatz

You know a game is going to be good when the trailer has awful visuals and sound design.

Posted by Malakhii

I guess they see how burnout is the top dog of arcade racing, and are now trying to hit that mark. Hopefully it turns out well. Good racing games are always a plus, and are becoming less and less common. 

Posted by mouse5050

well damn...

Posted by chickdigger802

Women can't drive.  
 
Especially ones with that kind of ass. 

Posted by zudthespud

"unbounded" is such a Japanese name, I love it.

Edited by Eribuster

Is it all going to be dark and grungy now? I really liked the clean aesthetic previous Ridge Racer games. 
 
Oh well, I guess that's what Ridge Racer 3D is for.

Posted by afrofools

I hate bugbear so I automatically hate this game. In FlatOut your car would flip on tiny cardboard boxes, making you lose the race... utter bullshit.

Posted by AuthenticM

I have never been a fan of Ridge Racer. With this said, I thought this trailer was kinda great.

Posted by Brackynews

I'm just in the "man, I wish Namco would rerelease R4" camp.
Likely because I am 10X better with grip than drift. But I think the campaign progression is 100X better than RR6 or RR7.

Posted by animateria

Sounds like a NFS game. 
 
NFS Unbounded... 
 
Anyways, was FlatOut any good? I never heard much about it.

Posted by SuperSambo
I wouldent be excited for a new Ridge Racer game, but this has perked my interest. 
 
@MaFoLu
said:
" Unbounded sounds really wrong... "
Yeah, looks and sounds just bad. 
Posted by SomeJerk

This is why Namco's dying.
 
BLUE SKY IN GAMES MA'FAKKA
 
Never forget your roots.
 
RR1-RR2-RRR supremacy.

Posted by MaddProdigy

Hey, Burnout did pretty good right? And didn't that Hot Pursuit thing sell really well? Well they had awesome car destruction and black/red cars, and we have neither of those...could we just, ya know...take them? YEAH

Posted by aurahack

Is it Ridge Racer Type 4? 
 
No? 
 
Then no thanks.  
 
...  
 
 
...  
 
 
AHFUCK. I'm just gonna end up getting anyways. 

Posted by ZombieSpace

Played the hell out of the first flat out, second one was alright. Never been a ridge racer fan.

Posted by JoeRosa

I like where this is going after the hit/miss of 6 and 7

Posted by pain777pas

All I wanted them to do was to make it more like burnout paradise in that there is this open world to practice and time yourself in some areas, different vendors and car dealerships for esperenza, Raggio etc... What else a menu to just attack tracks and find listed tournaments to those tracks that can be accessed on the map of the open world or something. No need for damage, real physics, different music, everything should stay the same just make getting cars more interactive and cinematic by finding different OEMs in an open world. Others playing in the open world and can chat and race on the  fly at an intersection or set up a tournament of one of the many standard tracks. I know I'm rambling but I need to know more. Is this game going to ruin or enhance the series?

Posted by FourWude

#One more win
its Ridge Racer
A Ridge racer
i feel the need for speed...#

Posted by Mechanized

2012? wtf
 
Kinda early to announce a game like this.

Posted by Zaxex

That trailer was pretty ugly by today's standards. Concept CG trailers usually look impossibly good; I would be disappointed if that was how the final game looked. If it's coming out next year surely they can wait until they have a decent looking trailer to announce it.  
 
Hell Flatout looks much better and T-boning a taxi isn't really very exciting or unique. 
 
I've thought Namco should try making a Ridge Racer game that isn't a launch game for a while now but this looks pretty bad. Maybe Ridge Racer is at it's best when made on a console before anyone has experience making games for it. 

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

Unbounded is the most awkward name they could have possibly come up with. 
 
I get tired halfway through saying it.

Posted by Funzzo
@PufferFiz said:
"wow that looks awful fucking Christ just make a normal fucking ridge racer game. "

I agree. What the hell did I just watch?
Posted by vinsanityv22

It's cool to see a Ridge Racer being positioned as an actual new, solid game instead of just "that racing game that's always there at launch". The series has been devalued, as of late, and that's lame - Ridge Racer is awesome.
That being said, I REALLY hope Namco is pulling the reigns in on Bugbear for this one. The last thing we need is to slap the Ridge Racer name on another ugly, derivative, "urban" racer. Ridge Racer is as much about Japanese style as it is racing; cool, borderline futuristic cities. Colored lights. Sweet cars and slick techno music are all musts - not to mention the presence of Reiko, the Ridge Racer girl. 
Unbound should be great if it can build off of that with it's destruction-focused racing. But right now, it just looks like a generic Need for Speed ripoff. This one just has a suspicious Reiko model in it - if they're not showing her face, it's probably because they didn't do a good job modeling it.

Posted by MrKlorox

Cool. Regular-ass Ridge Racer is the dullest "modern" racing franchise I can think of.

Posted by sharma55

SICK DRUMS!

Posted by JazGalaxy

I don't get why Ridge Racer needs to change. Ridge Racer is, afterall, an arcade game. It's a hardware pushing light racing game.  
 
As a result, we really only need one per console generation. One every 5 years or so, really. 
 
Developers tax themselves unnecessarily when they try to make sequels that are "all-new, all-different" while trying to stay true to original games in the series. 
 
Make new games instead and only make sequels when the hardware has progressed enough to do it without gimmicks.

Posted by Raven10

Wait a Ridge Racer game that isn't launching with a console? What madness is this? I guess we have Ridge Racer 3D and the inevitable Ridge Racer NGP to keep the classics alive.

Posted by drumpsycho89

sooo um im thinking BURNOUT RACER???? anyone?? no?? awww :( lol how about RIDGEOUT?????? no?? awwww :(

Posted by Soap

Is it just me, or did that look like a dodgy PS2 pre render?

Posted by Rox360

What? Not only do I not know what "unbounded" means.. although I am glad to see another un-adjective game title after spending so much time joking about everything that's Unleashed and Untied and Untethered in the game world... But I also don't know what the heck went on in that trailer!
 
City! Car drives into alley. Poorly animated girl abandons car to get another car, then drives off, crashing into an appantly helium-filled taxi on the way. Title card. Great cinematography, there.
 
What was the point? And why does the graphical quality look like something that stepped right out of StarCraft 1, minus the cool?

Posted by Aklost

"Unbounded"  should be "Unbound". Unbounded is technically a word but you'll never hear people say it. 

Posted by Deusoma
@Aklost said:
" "Unbounded"  should be "Unbound". Unbounded is technically a word but you'll never hear people say it.  "
This, and also all the other cars were very clearly empty, you don't usually see that kind of admission in a trailer.
Posted by RedRocketWestie
@Aklost said:
" "Unbounded"  should be "Unbound". Unbounded is technically a word but you'll never hear people say it.  "
Okay, I'll play devil's advocate: I don't get all the hate. These are two different words with two different meanings, and "unbounded" makes more sense (to me, at least) in a racing context. It sounds a tiny bit awkward, but I get the impression most of the hate is just bandwagon jumping. It's not THAT bad.

Unbound - without restraints/bindings; not bound.

Unbounded - without boundaries; limitless.