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This review is for the Nintendo DS game, Ridge Racer, developed by Nintendo and published by Namco. Ridge Racer is a fast paced driving game, based on a port from the N64 version of the game.
There are a total of thirty-two cars to drive and twenty different tracks. You will likely start by playing the grand prix mode, which allows you to play through all of the different tracks, competing against eleven other cars. This then allows you to play through the other tracks on your own to beat your best time. The grand prix mode is quite difficult to work through however, as you need to win through every race to be able to get through to the next track.
You can choose how to drive in the game, either using the stylus and touch screen, or the directional buttons. You are likely to revert to the latter however, as the stylus is quite unresponsive and fiddly, and isn't really precise enough. Unfortunately the controls generally are not too good, with the collision detection seeming to be quite poor. Despite all of the other features in the game, this does rather the game's playability.
The graphics in the game are quite basic for a Nintendo DS game, although this is an older game, so things have progressed since then, especially given that this is a port of an even earlier N64 version of the game. The sound though is better, a range of different background music tracks, and some sound effects as well.
The multi player options are good, you can either play against five other players if you each have a copy of the cartridge. You can also play with just one cartridge of the game, but you do have a reduced number of tracks and cars which you can use. This multi player mode is very good and adds a lot of playability to the game. You are also not limited to just one game save, as there are three different save slots.
To win this game, you will likely require a lot of games playing, as getting through the later levels in the grand prix mode is very difficult. The first few levels are easy to get through, and you will find that winning at harder levels is a real challenge, which involves learning the tracks and every twist and turn. This can be frustrating in terms of its difficulty, but it does mean that you keep playing the game "just one more time" to try again to win.
The game is currently available on Amazon for fifteen pounds, although if you are happy with a second hand copy, at the time of writing, these are available for around eight pounds from sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 3+, so is suitable for children of most ages.
In summary, this is quite a well thought through game with a range of features, but ultimately a lot of these are limited by the collision detection and control problems. There are a reasonable number of cars and tracks to play through, and the game is fun enough, especially in multi player mode.
Ridge Racer DS is set to deliver a whole new experience to racing fans by offering true analog steering through the Nintendo DS touch screen, up to six-player multiplayer races, a variety of exciting single-player racing modes and much more. Ridge Racer DS features a total of 20 racetracks in three different locations, including the familiar Ridge Racer cityscape, the Northwest course from Riger Racer Revolution, and a sunny desert in the Southwest