Ridge Racer is an arcade racing game in the long running series by Namco.
Announcement and Release
Ridge Racer was announced at E3 2011. The announcement was accompanied by a showfloor "interactive trailer" that ran on PS Vita hardware. This application allowed users to filter and alter a running dubstep soundtrack while static images of cars are shown behind a variety of visual effects. This interactive trailer was later released in 2012 as a stand alone download on the PlayStation Network.
The full game released alongside the PlayStation Vita as a launch title in all territories.
- World Race - compete against ghosts, online opponents or using ad-hoc wifi.
- Spot Race - setup a quick race between eight AI opponents.
- Time Attack - race against the clock and to set a new best time.
The game initially has three tracks:
- Harborline 765
- Highland Cliffs
- Southbay Docks
Additional tracks are available as downloadable content:
- Old Central
- Sunset Heights
- Lost Ruins
- Oceanfront Cruise Way
- Redstone Thunder Road
- Silver Mountain Skyway
All tracks can be raced in forward or reverse directions.
Five standard cars are available when beginning a career. Two secret cars can be unlocked. True to Ridge Racer tradition, these secret cars are themed with angel (Archangel) and devil (Crinale) styling.
Eight additional standard cars are available as downloadable content.
#31 Hornet can also be purchased as downloadable content.
The original release of the game had frame rate and online play issues. Updates were made over the course of several months to improve the game:
- Shortly after the Japanese launch of the PS Vita (December 2011), version 1.01 was released to improve stability for online features.
- Version 1.02 and 1.03 coincided with the US and European launches of the PS Vita (February 2012). As well as improving the frame rate, this version added:
- A starting grid screen shown before the online modes "Online Battle" and "Face-to-Face Battle".
- Position table with team icons for current 1st, 2nd and 3rd players during racing.
- Lobby status messages for players joining and leaving are displayed during races.
- In lobbies, PSN icons added next to player names.
- More detailed information when viewing player profiles and replay data.
- Version 1.04 (April 2012) was the final update and it fixed minor graphical issues with new tracks available as downloadable content.
In an interview with Famitsu, director Hideo Teramoto remarked that they had begun development of the game in Spring 2011. He said although the development schedule was tight, the ease of developing for the PS Vita hardware and advanced state of the software development kit enabled the team to meet the target of being a launch title.
Sales and PlayStation Plus
In the US, the game was discounted as part of a celebration of Japanese developed games. In Japan and Asia, the game has been given away for free as part of the Instant Game Collection program.