Ridge Racer DS offers a whole new racing
experience with true analog steering through the DS touch screen and up
to six player races. Thanks to the power of the Nintendo DS, full 3-D
graphics are possible on a handheld, allowing for total racing immersion
in detailed racing environments.
The revitalisation of the Ridge Racer series continues apace, thanks
mainly to the arrival of two new handheld formats: the PSP and Nintendo
DS. Whilst the PSP version has attracted much of the fanfare, its
dual-screen brother has been running on empty - which is unfortunate,
because Ridge Racer DS is very much a pilgrimage for fans of the series,
retaining many familiar tracks and most importantly the arcade flavour.
With the added bonus of being playable on the move, along with its novel
system of control, this is one DS title that deserves your attention.
Ridge Racer DS
offers all the fast-paced action you've come to expect from the
Ridge Racer name---now in the palm of your hands on the Nintendo DS.
Touch the screen and
drive! -- Analog steering through the use of the Nintendo DS Touch
Race your friends!
-- Supports up to 6-player simultaneous play through the
Nintendo DS built in wireless support.*
Pick from 20 total
exciting racetracks - A total of 20 racetracks in three different
locales including the quintessential Ridge Racer cityscape, a scenic
Northwest course from Ridge Racer revolution and the sun-baked
desert of the Southwest.
*Note: Wireless multiplayer gameplay requires each player to have
Nintendo DS system and a copy of this game.
Eager to deliver a
quality racer - in the midst of fevered anticipation for Mario Kart -
Nintendo handled development duties themselves. The single-player mode
is comprised of Grand Prix races and car challenges - with the latter
allowing you to take on and win those vehicles if successful. Truth be
told, there really isn't anything within the DS framework that hasn't
seen before; many have compared this game to the Nintendo 64 version of
yore - and it's certainly a fair point of reference.
On paper, the Grand Prix mode looks commanding - with 20 tracks and over
30 cars to acquire - however such figures need to be placed in context.
The tracks typically provide variations of the arcade concourse, which
effectively translate to a handful of locations and environments. At a
time when contemporary racing games seem obsessed with shortcuts and
alternate routes, it's refreshing to find that Ridge Racer DS instead
focuses on driving performance.
Speaking of which, Nintendo have introduced three levels of control
difficulty: the easiest employs the tiny D-pad for movement in
conjunction with the buttons (i.e., tried and true). The only criticism
with this method is that it confirms the D-pad is a touch too small, and
its plastic construction a little too clunky. The next option is the
stylus, which can be used to control the steering wheel on the lower
screen. The cars themselves are categorised in terms of speed, handling,
acceleration and so forth - and some motors will ideally appeal to
expert players (for instance, those who would favour power sliding over
Mind-boggling at first, it goes against the grain of everything we've
learned about racing schematics, but given time it becomes eerily
comfortable. The thing to remember is that by removing the stylus (from
the screen) the steering wheel will centre automatically. And while the
first few races might resemble pinball - as you haphazardly collide with
every obstacle on screen - the stylus increasingly offers a refined
Graphically, Ridge Racer looks rather impressive on the Nintendo DS -
with awesome polygon models, great backgrounds and more importantly a
stable frame rate. As with the graphics, the musical score and sound
effects all return from the wilderness (e.g. the original Ridge Racer)
to make a welcomed return to this awesome portable console.
In conclusion, Ridge Racer DS is a worthy racing game for the system and
offers some great graphics, addictive gameplay and a blast down memory
lane. A must have for car fans or for those gamers that want a hard -
fast and great game! Check it out!