7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Interesting idea but there's better racers out there
, April 27, 2012
This review is from: Ridge Racer Unbounded - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
This is the first Ridge Racer game I've ever actually played. It looked pretty interesting from the trailers so I decided to pick it up when a copy finally arrived at my local Best Buy 5 days after it was supposed to be out (Gamestop, Amazon and every other outlet seems to have also gotten the ps3 copies late). The game features destructible environment pieces scattered around the track that can either serve as shortcuts or means to wreck racers surrounding you. If that sounds familiar, it's because it totally is!
First of all, the game is rather frustrating at times. You start out with 1 car available to you and you stand no chance of catching up to any of the AI racers and will see yourself in the bottom 4 until you unlock 1 or 2 more cars. What keeps it from being an annoyingly frustrating game is that it's actually really fun to "frag" other racers. It doesn't really do much to help you overall since the lead car has probably already lapped you though. The biggest problem I seem to have is the controls.
I'm used to Hot Pursuit's excellent drifting controls. This game is much like Blur in the sense that it's much harder to control and often times just pointless. One minute you'll be just fun going to drift around a tight corner and the next you'll find yourself completely turned around (in other words, don't floor it after you drift into the wall and stop for a second). If that doesn't happen, you'll find yourself wrecking often. There's been several instances where I fill my boost/frag gauge up and go to smash through a building and my boost will end 2 ft before the wall and wreck. Also, no matter how much of a lead you think you have, if you wreck, you're going to end up at the end of the pack. You'll also frequently notice the AI rebuilding boost at an incredible rate. To fill your boost meter, you can go really fast, drift, catch a lot of air (it is possible to fill your boost meter from a long distance jump alone), or drafting. There are lots of other in-game perks to doing this stuff as well.
To keep you interested in the single player races, the game has a lot of in-game awards for random things you can do during a race. Things like jump distance, amount of racers fragged, number of objects destroyed, reaching ludicrous speed, and even drafting for long periods of time will net you awards which are the most effective way to earn XP early on since you won't exactly be placing 1st right off the bat. Outside of all of this stuff, the game also offers online multiplayer with a slight twist.
You have your standard racing modes but what's kinda cool about the online component in Unbounded is you can create your own city. It's a very basic track editor but you can create several events across it. What's also pretty cool is to publish it, you have to race on it and while doing so, you will earn xp and various awards. I found this method to be quite useful in not only netting myself some trophies but also leveling up a little faster. You can view and participate in other users cities as well and try to beat their times. It's a cool extra feature you don't see in a lot of racing games. But outside of that, the game really isn't anything super special that you haven't or can't find in another game and to top it off, the online community is almost non-existent and there is NO local split-screen multiplayer. So unless you have a friend with another ps3 and tv in the same room as you, you'll probably just be playing this by yourself.
Overall, this game is cool if you're used to racing games and are looking for a little more of a challenge. Everything this game does is something other games like Split/Second, Burnout: Paradise, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Gran Turismo 5 and Blur do on a better scale. It's certainly not a horrible game by any means but without an online community and sketchy controls, it's hard to recommend it over the other games in the same genre that offer you more bang for your buck (and by now, at a cheaper price point).
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