Ridge Racer Unbounded 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Ridge Racer Unbounded
Reviewed by
Ash Pinch
on
Ridge Racer Unbounded 360 Review. This is not Ridge Racer as we know it; it is a complete re-imagining of the series.† For the better or worse Ridge Racer has changed, it is no longer a circuit racer but it still features similar drift centric handling.
Rating:
2.8

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 6.0
Distributor: Namco Bandai
Review Date:
April 2012
Reviewer:
Ash Pinch

7.6


Ridge Racer Unbounded

Ridge Racer: Unbounded is the latest instalment of the long standing Ridge Racer series and the first console release in a number of years.  The developers have taken a completely different direction than previous titles.  Fans of the series will not be guaranteed an enjoyable game as this is something completely different to previous outings.  There are some things that remain unchanged so that fans of the series still have something to cling on to.

The biggest change in Unbounded is that the racing has moved away from circuit racing and on to the streets.  There are no more closed off walls and there are now explosive shortcuts and trucks that can be used to gain victory.  This is a quantum shift and the game now feels less like a Ridge Racer and now more like Blur or Burnout.  There is no story whatsoever here; there is no explanation of why they are racing on streets and no ultimate aim, other than to take over a city for no particular reason.  This provided little motivation to continue racing, there are a lot of cars but there is little difference between them other than drive type.  There are of course multiplayer and versus modes here and Unbounded can offer some good pick up and play fun.

There are a number of different modes featured in Unbounded, Domination featuresí racing that encourages use of shortcuts, takedowns and traps.  Takedowns are taken straight out of Burnout and shortcuts out of various modern arcade racers.  There are also races that focus purely on racing, this cuts back on takedowns and shortcuts and is pure racing.  There are also some other surprising race types that I wonít spoil, but these are few and far between.  Ultimately Unbounded has taken a bunch of ideas from other arcade racers and put them all together, this kind of thing doesnít generally work but here it all fits together seamlessly and the racing is tight.  There is a very steep learning curve in this title, with no hand holding and some genuine skill to finish first in any race, even from quite early on.  This provides a great sense of challenge and can add replay value for those wanting to come first in all the races.

An aspect that hasnít changed over the years is the excellent handling model; Unbounded features the same over the top drifting racing seen in previous titles.  It has been tweaked quite a bit and the cars no longer feel like they are on rails to the same extent as seen in past instalments, this takes some time to adapt to but is overall a very welcome change.  Drifting around corners in Unbounded is not only the fastest way around a corner but it is build up your boost meter, which when full gives a turbo boost, lets you use shortcuts and perform takedowns more effectively. 

Unbounded looks spectacular, with a wealth of highly detailed cars, there are limited colours but this hardly an issue.  The environments also look nice and there is some good destruction here too.  The cars show on intense destruction as is also seen in Burnout Paradise, although these videos do go for a little too long and you will be skipping them after a couple of races.  There is also a strange occurrence where if you hit a wall straight on it may not trigger one of their destructions sequences and you will just be looking directly at a wall.

Ridge Racer has some excellent sound effects, the engines sound exaggerated and feel in tone with their appearances.  Also the explosions and takedowns sound appropriately over the top.  One aspect of the sound that worked out surprisingly well was the sound track.  This title features dub step soundtrack, and although I generally am not a fan of the genre, it fits in perfectly with title and adds to the controlled chaos that is the racing as a whole.

This is not Ridge Racer as we know it; it is a complete re-imagining of the series.  For the better or worse Ridge Racer has changed, it is no longer a circuit racer but it still features similar drift centric handling.  It seems to have just moved with the times, this change may not appeal to the older fans, who like me like the older games.  But may also appeal to a wider audience, this is worth a look for Ridge Raver fans and arcade racing fans alike, donít let the monumental shift simply turn you off the series. 






 
 



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