Following some discussion on the podcast recently, I decided to revisit some old favourite arcade racers, including Bizarre Creations’ swansong Blur.
For the uninitiated, this “powered up racer” features a delightful blend of real-world cars and locales with purely fantastic, neon-coloured power-ups. This makes the racing enormously aggressive and a huge amount of fun, and it’s a crying shame that Activision completely failed to market the game effectively.
But, well, the game still exists, so I’m damn well going to play it and enjoy it, and you can join me for the ride! Hit the jump for the first part of this new video series.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Blur – Powered-Up Racing
I wasn’t originally planning to cover the PSP titles in the Ridge Racer series, but after being well and truly glued to them for the last week there’s no way I can’t say something about them.
Known as Ridge Racers in Japan, the two PSP games are almost identical to one another, so we’ll be taking them as a single “unit” today. The main difference between the two releases is that the confusingly named Ridge Racer 2 has more tracks than its PSP-launching predecessor — most notably incorporating all of Ridge Racer Type 4’s circuits instead of just two — plus a few additional single-player modes, including the return of a “checkpoints and countdown”-style arcade mode of the type that hasn’t been seen since Ridge Racer Revolution.
Other than that, they’re pretty much the same game. It’s fortunate, then, that they’re pretty much the same brilliant game.
Continue reading Ridge Racers: The Greatest Hits
Over the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of series attempt to “reboot” themselves for one reason or another.
In many cases, this is an excuse to go back to older games and remake them with a more modern aesthetic or gameplay conventions, but in others, it is in an attempt to completely reinvent the series for one reason or another — usually as an attempt to respond to the ever-present phantom that is “market forces”.
The Ridge Racer series underwent such a reboot in 2012 with Unbounded. Not only was this an attempt to turn the ageing franchise on its head, it marked a shift in development strategy, too; Unbounded was developed not by Namco itself, but by Bugbear Entertainment, a Finnish outfit who had previously been responsible for the FlatOut series and Sega Rally Revo on the PSP.
Continue reading Ridge Racer Unbounded: The Black Sheep