Ridge Racer Unbounded – Game Review

 

Genre: Driving

Release: (March 2012)

Developer: Bugbear Entertainment

Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

Scores

Metacritic – 71

IGN – 70

Gamespot – 80

Machinima – 85

Review

Crazy arcade racing game.

Cars have no brands.  But they look awesome nonetheless.

You have to earn speed bursts by filling up your boost meter first, by making power moves such as drifting, drafting, jumping, and destroying an enemy car.  Maximum of 12 cars in a race.

Just played this today, and won my first few races, unlocked about 3 regions from a total of 9.  You progress and level up, with races increasing in difficulty.  Every time you win a race and get points, you also unlock new cars and new regions.

With the city editor, you can create your city, tracks, and events.  You can even select which car class, which race, time of day, difficulty, traffic, and time for each event.  Super custom.


Game Modes
Domination     – gather power to fill your meter,  then destroy your opponents.

Shindo             – pure racing.  Fastest speed wins.  Use nitro to boost speed.

Frag Attack      – get as many frags as you can before time expires.  Bonus points for destroying targets.
Drift Attack     – get as much drift points in a given time.  Good drifting gives you bonus time.

Time Attack     – a single sprint race.  Cops lurk in the background too.

Soundtrack
Loving the soundtrack! It has an extreme energy.  It has a great selection of techno, drum & bass, hardcore, dubstep, and dirty elektro house, a very good compliment to the overall aggressive driving vibe of the game.

You can also press hotkeys to change the music track forward and back quickly.

Notable artists:  Skrillex, Overseer, Noisia & Upbeats, Crystal Method.

Scenery

In a fictitious city called ShatterBay, a techno-industrial-ish city reminiscent of NFS Underground 1 and 2.

You can destroy specific areas to reveal shortcuts.  (But you need to boost to destroy them.)  You also get a boost bonus if you pass through special shortcuts.

Crashes are extreme.  The background music is also low-pass filtered when your car crashes, adding to the effect that you are “going down”.

Extra fun

Destroy mode, where you drive an Oversized Truck.  The objective is to destroy as much police cars in a given time.  The boost meters fill up very quickly by default.

Track Editor.

Reading the many reviews, a lot of people love the track editor.  We rarely see a racing game with a track editor.  This should be a nice bonus for customization fans.

 

Cons

Cannot remap the keyboard buttons.  It only has 4 presets.  Very annoying.

(Although you have an option to use an Xbox controller if you have one.)

Verdict

It’s not a racing sim, its all out pure arcade racing fun.  Ultra sleek cars with equally crazy names.  Destruction.  High speed jumps.  A city, track, and event editor to keep your creative head busy.  A solid game with fast energy, great music, cool graphics, and overall fun gameplay.

 

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