Ridge Racer, released in Japan as Ridge Racers[lower-alpha 1], is an arcade racing video game developed by Namco for the PlayStation Portable. It is named after the eponymousRidge Racer video game series to which it belongs. The game was released in Japan on 12 December 2004, in North America on 24 March 2005, and in Europe and Australia on 1 September as a launch title. Available in the game is a fully playable version of the Namco arcade game New Rally-X.
Ridge Racer has been described as a ‘compilation’ of the series, featuring tracks, cars and remixed soundtrack from previous titles in the 1990s.Ridge Racer was very well received by critics and was praised for its visuals, gameplay and soundtrack. It was re-released in 2005/2006 as a platinum title. A sequel titled Ridge Racer 2 has also been released for the PSP.
The core aspect of the entire Ridge Racer series is drift racing, that is traditional lap racing against opponents with the added twist of intentionally oversteering and sliding the car through sharp corners and turns, known as “drifting”, which earns the player several bonuses during a race.
Game modes are World Tour, Single race, Time Trial, and Wireless Battle, which supports up to 8 player multiplayer over the PSP’s ad hoc, Wi-Fi network capability (see PSP Wireless Networking for further information).
Notable in the game is the “nitrous boost” system. The player has a Nitrous Gauge made up of three nitrous tanks, which at the start of a race are either completely depleted or only partially full. As the player drifts through the corners (especially at very high slip angles) during the race, their nitrous gauge fills up. When the player fills up one of the three nitrous tanks, it can be activated to achieve a temporary speed boost. The nitrous tanks cannot be recharged while any tank is in use though, but the residual speed increase when the nitrous boost expires can be used just before entering corners to recharge the player’s nitrous tanks at a faster rate than normal.
The music in the game is a collection of new songs and songs taken from previous Ridge Racer games, arranged across several “discs”. The “Red” and “Blue” discs contain all-new songs put together specifically for the game while the two “Classic” discs contains a collection of remastered songs from Ridge Racer titles. Lastly, the “Remix” disc contains songs from past titles remixed by their original composers.