Ridge Racer 3D
Developed By: Namco Bandai
Published By: Namco Bandai
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Available on: 3DS
ESRB Rating: E
When I got my 3DS I wanted a fun game that takes advantage of the 3D capabilities. Ridge Racer 3D fits that bill nicely. Honestly I’m not much into racing games but I don’t mind a casual ride now and then. Ridge Racer 3D is friendly to novices like me but it does get tough later in the game.
This by no means is a realistic racing game. You can smash into walls, cars and your automobile will not have alignment issues or body damage. Your car is also magically guided back to the track if it’s mid-air and steering off course. If you’re a fan of movies like Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift you’ll like how easy it is to do those drifting maneuvers.
The single player campaign has you work your way through the Grand Prix. Each racing event consists of four races in which you have to rank 3rd place or better on the first two, second place or better on the third, and first place on the final track to complete the event. Your progress is saved after each race so you don’t have to re-do the whole event if you mess up. You can also go back and improve upon your score and earn extra points if needed.
Strong Points: A fun pick up and play racing game.
Weak Points: Lots of recycled race tracks; multiplayer requires separate game cartridges.
Moral Warnings: Some harmless taunts but no complaints here.
Points are like currency in this game. You are awarded points depending on how well you do in each race. You can buy cars, nitrous kits and pre race enhancements such as starting each race with some nitrous in your tank. Nitrous is otherwise earned by drifting or slip streaming behind a racer to gain momentum.
In each race you start off at position number eight and you must work your way up. My strategy is to shrug off the last two or more on the first lap and get to third by the second lap and aim for first place on the final lap. The AI is relatively challenging; sometimes it’s tricky to even get in sixth place right away and many racers don’t give up their positions easily and will zoom past you using nitrous.
The race tracks themselves are obviously pieced together and the segments are recycled quite a bit. Sometimes they have a coastal or downtown theme setting but I found them to be rather random. Some of the tracks are narrow and others are a tight fit and force you to race single file. You’ll never know what the next turn will bring. For example you may start off by an airport and the next turn will have you going in an underground or an underwater tunnel.
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)
Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10
The 3D visuals are nice but this game looks good with the 3D disabled as well. Sometimes the 3D effects are disorienting while doing the drifting maneuvers. The race cars are customizable and often have different models which are faster and cost more points. You can customize the paint job and the nitrous kits it will use if you can afford to do so. There are many different car styles with some looking like classic cars and others like pickup trucks. Most are sporty though.
The voice acting is good but again, many of the voice clips are recycled. There’s a male and a female announcer but I mostly heard the female. You’ll get praised for passing racers and taunted when you are passed up. The male announcer just lets you know how many laps are left. The music is mostly guitar metal/rock but some techno style music tacks made it into the game too. You can skip songs if you like but I was more concerned with the race instead of the music.
Multiplayer is available but requires that each player has the cartridge in their possession. There is a street pass mode where you can race against the “ghosts” of other game owners you tag on your travels. The single player save data is stored on the game cartridge instead of the 3DS SD card. This made it difficult for my husband and I to share the game since he did not want to interfere with my single player campaign. There is a quick race mode available if you just want to pick up and play.
Other than the multiplayer disappointment, I’m glad I got this game. It shows off the 3D features nicely and it’s just plain fun. Certainly not realistic but how can you go wrong with driving over 300mph and doing crazy drifting techniques? Once you get to the advanced Grand Prix mode it gets pretty challenging but it’s rewarding at the same time. This game deserves its E rating and is safe for kids but the 3D effects are not recommended for kids 7 and under. Fortunately, this game looks good in 2D as well.