Ridge Racer: Unbounded
Ridge Racer: Unbounded presents the player for a very fun arcade racing experience with elements from other arcade racing games – it lost the Ridge Racer feeling in the third turn.
The intro video is nice, with a lot of feelings. I was actually thinking of Mirror’s Edge when I watched it upon booting up the game for the first time. The underground community that works against the big corporations to make life better for the people at the bottom was what made me think of the futuristic world of Mirror’s Edge.
This game doesn’t have too much in common with earlier Ridge Racer titles; no over the top sliding – many would say way too much Need for Speed and Forza has been blended into this game to make it more mainstream. I believe many Ridge Racer fans will be very disappointed with this title, but gamers such as me that thought the wild sliding in for example Ridge Racer 7 was more annoying than fun will simply love this game.
I love arcade racers, I won’t hide that – and therefore I love this game. While you don’t have any weapons as you have in for example Blur, you can certainly take down your opponents if you want by fragging them using your boost – in most game modes. Taking down enemies feels just the same as in Burnout Takedown and Paradise, and sliding around in the corners feels like the newest Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. No open fields and cliffs to jump out from as in Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and The Run, but massive buildings to crash into instead. This is city racing at it’s best.
Earn your powers
When the boost meter is full, by drafting, drifting and destroying, certain elements throughout the city – such as parking lots, kiosks and train stations can be shattered by the use of the boost and you can cut corners and surprise your opponents from an angle they didn’t expect.
Domination Race is the most common race mode and the mode who works best in this game; be the first over finish line, and do keep in mind that you’re getting points and boost for taking down your opponents and destroy elements throughout the game.
Drift Attack is exactly what it sounds like – keep your drift string and add seconds to the clock, making enough time to get enough points for three stars.
Time Attack is a little different from time trials in other games; use ramps to perfect your skills and up your time and get those stars.
Shindu Race is clean racing, no frags, but with boosting – drift, draft and destroy to get more boost and win the race.
Instant restart is a must for a game of this type when you hit a wall for the fourth time or get fragged by one of the opponents and you simply want to have a better chance of winning the game – and they included this. Pause, restart, ready.
A game mode that stands a bit out than the rest is the time attack mode that represents you for the same environment as the other game modes, but with added ramps, as in skate ramps. Use them to your advantage and get a good time to take the three stars home – the first couple times I simply jumped out from these ramps, making me fly for quite some time, and ending on the roof of the car or simply crashing. Hilarious times.
Music gets an F
One thing I simply couldn’t stand about this game – no, more than that, I hated it, is the soundtrack. Luckily for me, it’s something that’s easily turned off in the audio settings of the game. The soundtrack consists of dubstep and electro songs – Skrillex, Crystal Method, Scratch Perverts amongst others – and Hiroshi Okub songs from earlier games in the series will be available just as he has made some new tracks for the new installment.
While there are proper variation in the different venues across all the events, the built-in map editor adds to the experience. The basic editor features an easy grid, where you can place different sections, which you can unlock by playing through the main races in the single player events. After you’ve connected a looping racetrack, you can customize the track by adding, moving or removing objects. It works well but feels limited at times.
The Ridge Racer series was due for a reboot, a modernisation if you will. And Bugbear Entertainment did a good job re-innovating the series – while the game has many known elements from the racing genre, the game has its own unique feeling. The game could have used something more that was unique, something that isn’t represented in other arcade racing games. At least something that haven’t been in a game with release date within the last year or two.
The game is still great fun, and I would highly recommend this game to anyone if they are the slightest into racing games, even more so if they’re into arcade racing. I would still clarify/warn fans of the Ridge Racer series that this game is not like the earlier installments.
Miss; This is just me, but the choice of the music. racing games does need music that gets you going, but this is over the top and simply more annoying to listen to than helping my blood pressure to stay at top level.
Need; Maybe some more story driven experience and more variation in the racing tracks and environment.
If you liked Ridge Racer: Unbounded, you might like Blur and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.
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