Ridge Racer Unbounded Demo Vrooms Into View

By Adam Smith on May 4th, 2012 at 5:30 pm.

I’m hoping Ridge Racer Unbounded will contain all the motoring mayhem that I crave. Although the full game’s most interesting component may be its Trackmania style building options, the demo is just a single race as far as I know. It’s downloading right now but my internet connection seems to be ailing slightly and is barely capable of propelling these words into your face, never mind downloading a city full of shiny speedboxes. Let’s hope this trial run scratches my crashy, smashy itch a little better than Dirt: Showdown’s did.

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46 Comments »

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  1. ZIGS says:

    Too little too late I’m afraid

  2. Linfosoma says:

    It’s more focused than the “not rally-not quite a destruction derby” game that is Dirt Showdown (based on playing both demos), but it’s still not as fun and pure as Burnout Paradise IMO.

    The first things that I didnt like (besides the terrible controller support) is not knowing which objects are destroyable and which ones are not, add the fact that the AI is surprisingly hard to catch up but very easily overtakes you on any mistake and you have a recipe for a rather frustrating experience.

    The driving physics are almost exactly like in Burnout, expect that you lose a lot of speed during drifting (something that really annoyed me in NFS: Hot Pursuit) and it’s somewhat difficult to get right (the trick is to start drifting before getting into a corner, and stop as soon as you start to track out).

    Also, for a game called Ridge Racer there’s a disturbing lack of ridges :P

    • DreamCleaver says:

      In my experience, I never really found it hard to catch up with the AIs, unless, of course, I totally messed up. I didn’t experience much of the infamous “rubberband-AI” either, because I was sometimes able to finish 10-20 (perhaps more) seconds ahead of the AI in 2nd place.
      It felt like the game took your skills into account instead of relying on the dreadful “rubberband-AI.”

  3. lessthandan says:

    This is a fantastic, arcade-y racing game. I don’t care what anyone says.

    (Disclaimer: I haven’t played any of the previous Ridge Racer games. I’m merely judging this one on it’s own merits)

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      same here, ive not played previous RR games (i think?) and its awesome and i love it.
      almost completed the campaign just a few tricky time trials i need to improve. Which is also another good thing i like, you wont progress just by coming first in races, later on in the game its harder to get higher scores to unlock more races. The AI is pretty fierce and i love the drifting which is weird coz i normally dont.
      I’m playing this more then Dirt 3.

      • trjp says:

        I love these bits of the thread – the bits where people have PLAYED the game and enjoyed it for what it is.

        Too much of gaming ‘chat’ is lead by people who hate the title or pick faults in the details and never, ever just say “well I played this and I had a bloody great time”.

        There’s much to love here – if you get hung up on things like the title or the fact that the nitro system isn’t what you want to it be or whatever, then you’re missing out.

        But then I like that too – I like that there are games like this which I’ve gotten a blast out of and other people have missed because they believed what a ranty teenager said instead. That’s “informational assymetry” I can deal with :)

  4. Turbobutts says:

    It’s a little late for that, and the game is terrible anyway.

    • trjp says:

      Care to elucidate as to why you think it’s terrible or should be just assume you’re a raging child?

      • TotalBiscuit says:

        Yeah, you expect a reasonable and properly thought-out explanation from Turbobutts? Well that’s likely.

        RPS comments are barely one step above Youtube right now.

        • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

          barely one-step above youtube? this site comment section is one of the best, critical community i’ve ever seen (at least in internet standard) . Yes, there’s some problems here and there and the forums is marginally better but it’s far above the youtube comment section in every possible respect.

          • El_Emmental says:

            “this site comment section is one of the best, critical community i’ve ever seen (at least in internet standard)”
            Exactly, it’s “barely one step above Youtube”.

            Nah really, the RPS comments are sometime (once a week or two) good for :
            – puns-train
            – well-researched and detailed additional informations about the game/event mentioned in the article

            Everything else is just the same thing you get on other websites (only with slightly less very-childish comments), plus the spambots about counterfeit jeans and iphone cases.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I don’t think you’ve really been exposed to enough of the horrors of Internet forums.

            At least we can be vaguely gentlemanly to each-other much of the time here, and get the odd actual discussion amongst the who-is-wrong slapfights.

            Heck, just look at all the people punctuating correctly!

        • Iain_1986 says:

          Indeed.

          I personally blame the /r/gaming effect.

          When I eventually invent my time machine, 4th on the list is to go back in time, find the person who was about to start /r/gaming and…..get him/her really really drunk so they forget all about it.

      • Turbobutts says:

        - The handling is sluggish and unresponsive.
        – The garage is flat out boring and cars are almost indistinguishable handling-wise.
        – The tracks feel like they’ve been puzzled together in the rather simplistic ingame editor with the only outstanding features being destroyable walls and explosions that add nothing to the race progress except for being shortcuts in some cases.
        – There is no difficulty curve to speak of to the point where late career races are exactly as challenging as early ones.
        – And both the visual style and the soundtrack are a burden on your senses.

  5. Dozer says:

    Ridge Racer!
    RRRRIIIIIIDDDDGGGGE RAAAAACCCCCEEEEERRRRR!!!

    • Harvey says:

      oh thank goodness! further down than i thought, but now i’ve got what i came for.

  6. MegaAndy says:

    I think it’s fairly fun. Realistic racing is boring.

    kinda miss the ridge racer locking to track drifting though (didn’t realise i would, it’s kinda silly). I don’t think that would work with the custom tracks very well anyway.

  7. ttcfcl says:

    I like Ridge Racer Unbounded. It’s in the vein of Burnout 2 and Split/Second. If you’re a fan of those games and arcadesy crashing you’ll like this. It’s not quite Flatout 4 but it is very satisfying and the cars *gasp* feel different! Oh plus theres a mode where you’re a Terminator 2-esque black semi truck and all you do is plow through police cars trying to hit a takedown goal. It’s super evil-ly fun >:)

  8. Mistabashi says:

    Anyone got any comments on the track editor stuff? I’m quite interested in this, if the handling feels good and the track editor is fun I think it might be just what I’ve been waiting for since the last Burnout game.

    • trjp says:

      You can do a lot with the editor – some people have created some interesting stuff BUT there’s also a lot of “just impossible to complete” stuff there too.

      The whole game is made with that editor – the ways the track can be laid-out are necessarily a bit limited but it’s certainly fun seeing what you can get done.

  9. Navagon says:

    Why provide a demo after the game gets panned?
    That said, I wouldn’t have bought it anyway as I refuse to give so much as a penny to NB.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      70-75 Metacritic is an interesting definition of panned. That is to say, it wasn’t panned at all and you’re just making it up.

      • trjp says:

        He’s not played it – he’s just read one or two people grumbling (who also didn’t play it) and wants in on the Victor Meldrews…

  10. trjp says:

    As people have said, this is a perfectly decent Burnout/Split Second game – if the ‘Ridge Racer’ bit in the title disappoints you (either because it’s there or because the game clearly isn’t an RR game) then you’re missing the point.

    When it’s working – when you’re in the zone, tearing through the pack – it’s a massive, massive blast.

    It’s head-and-shoulders a better game than the Flatouts – the cars work better, there’s less padding and fluff.

    Nuff said.

  11. YourMessageHere says:

    I love the way the game’s basically uncontrollable with a keyboard. Really helps your PC port when you do that. “Press space to drift, lose control, crash and come last!”

    • trjp says:

      It’s a driving game – try driving a car which only has

      Full Throttle or No Throttle
      Slammed-on Brakes or No Brakes
      Full Left Lock, Full Right Lock or No Steering

      and I think you’ll crash everytime too…

      If you don’t own a controller or a wheel – don’t download any driving games – simples…

      • wazups2x says:

        I play DiRt 3 will a controller and do very well. I can compete just fine with other people in multiplayer.

        • trjp says:

          Good for you – what has that got to do with his complaining about the keyboard not being a good method of control then??

      • LionsPhil says:

        Bollocks. You can do a reasonably good approximation of analogue control by feathering the keys in many a racer from the less-than-simulationist end of the spectrum. Even 1NSANE, which is also the best reason to own a force-feedback joystick or wheel ever made.

        • trjp says:

          No, you only THINK you’re “feathering” things – games just cobble together some sort of response but you’re still applying ‘digital’ input – you’re either pressing a key, of you’re not.

          What ‘analogue’ keyboard controls do is move something along an analog, accelerating curve depending on how long you hold the key – but they’re unable to read ‘how hard’.

          Press left and the ‘wheel’ starts to turn left. The longer you hold it, the faster it turns. Lift off the key and generally it’s instantly back to straight. Same applies to right. What happens when you press left and right at the same time tho (impossible with a stick so what do you do?)

          Then there’s throttle and brake which you could quite reasonably want to use at the same time but generally on rather different scales and in very different ways.

          A good racer will nowadays use the throttle as a drift control unit as well as speed control – the brakes are not only possible to lock-up in many games (requiring careful use) but also tend to both trigger AND regulate drifting.

          Trying to do all of that with a cobbled-up system around a keyboard is like trying to play Just Dance with a fishing controller.

          • LionsPhil says:

            What ‘analogue’ keyboard controls do is move something along an analog, accelerating curve depending on how long you hold the key

            Um, duh. And since there’s decay, you can bounce on the key at varying rates to get varying degrees of steer. Well done, you spent a lot of words explaining something I already stated.

      • YourMessageHere says:

        Well that’s weird, I could have sworn I’d played, finished and enjoyed a large number of driving games – including but not limited to several NFS games, all the GTA games, Interstate 76 and 82, Driver and Screamer back in the day, and yes, 1nsane as well – on my keyboard. Given that I’m not interested in sim games and I utterly detest pads, I obviously avoid technical driving games, the kind of thing that requires perfect precision. Keyboards are perfectly adequate for arcade-type driving games, so long as they’re integrated into the handling model by whoever ports the game. This has not happened, and it’s totally avoidable.

        With regard to what you’re saying about feathering – it’s been a very long time since releasing a key snaps the wheels back to straight forwards. By feathering you maintain the steering along the analogue curve.

        May I humbly suggest that you stop talking crap, i.e. telling me and LionsPhil that what we are doing doesn’t work, when it clearly does?

  12. BrendanJB says:

    Needs more giant enemy crabs.

  13. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    This game was originally intended to be another Flatout game according to the developers Bugbear then Namco asked if it would be possible to make a Ridge Racer game out of it by changing certain gameplay elements (presumably Namco were being cheap as this is a very low budget game by todays standards). This is why the end result is a strange mixture of what you have seen before because you effectively have seen this before on PC its called Flatout Ultimate Carnage and is stlil one of the best looking arcade racers on PC (textures alone put most recent games to shame despite being 4 years old!!).

    Namco are obviously unhappy with low sales but they only have themselves to blame repositioning another game altogether with Ridge Racer branding was never a good idea. Cheap to fund yes good game no its quite average at best something you may pickup in the 75% off Steam xmas sales.

  14. LionsPhil says:

    Well, Flatout 2 has nothing to worry about w.r.t. losing its place as the arcade racer on my hard drive. What a mess.

    * Graphics are so DARK SHADOWS AND BLINDING SUN that you can’t actually see a damn thing, so they then have to put overlays in plain white over corners and things to smash into, which are indestructable unless you press the button which makes them blow up spectacularly even if you nudge them at low just-span-off-and-am-recovering speeds.
    * Compared to FO2, you can’t spend nitrous unless you’ve got a full tank
    * Compared to FO2, you can’t spent just some nitrous (which in FO2 was a great way to regain control of a snaking vehicle, powering out of it at the right moment), since pressing the POWER button spends it all in one Tron-esque streak
    * Any time you do something—say, smash an NPC car—the camera gets all distracted showing it pirouetting beautifully while on fire. Which is great and all, but time is still passing, and you’re now driving blind at 100+KPH. Into a wall.
    * Vehicle damage seems to be completely arbitrary. There’s no indicator of it accumulating, it has no effect (oh FO1, you and your increasingly crippling suspension damage), and actually “crashing” seems to be completely arbitrary: you can slam into a truck at top speed just to stop dead against it (because you hadn’t pressed the magic button), or you can powerslide gently into a wall and explode. If there’s an internal hitpoint counter behind that, it’s not conveyed at all.

    • trjp says:

      Aside from your inability to separate your personal preferences from objective issues – you’ve made a few mistakes anyway.

      I never once crashed because I couldn’t see where I was going. If I was to contrast that with – say – Midnight Club 4, which is like driving with random blindness, I’d not be worried about RRU at all.

      Accident/crash cams can be disabled – and whilst you’re not driving your car, the computer IS so the only way it’s going into a wall is if you were going too fast, inches from it, beyond help (I can’t ever remember that happening to me tho).

      Vehicle Damage is indicated in a few different ways – it’s not a brilliant system but RRU is far, far too quickfire to care about things like a gradually disintegrating suspension, it’s a not that sort of game (and thank GOD it doesn’t do something retarded like throw your bonnet into your view!!)

      The nitro/power system is totally different – it’s not “better or worse” – it’s just how this game works.

      FO2 was a slightly shoddy game IMO (less shoddy than FO but still not a polished experience) – it got repetitive too quickly and the sideshow events were largely corny, dodgy and a bit crap. RRU is a MUCH more polished experience and it has way more “in the zone” moments.

      Perhaps you’re just a bit slow for it? :)

      • LionsPhil says:

        Aside from your inability to separate your personal preferences from objective issues

        “I’ve chosen to wilfully misinterpret your opinions as an attempt to decree facts from on high, and use that to tell you that you’re wrong and stupid!”

        Bless. Goodbye now.

        • alundra says:

          The ones like trjp that think arguing is engaging in personal offenses are the most pathetic….

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Yes, I think I had all those issues too. At the time I thought it might just be because I was pretty tired, but it’s something of a relief that I wasn’t the only one who experienced this.

      That nonsense POWER mechanic, though, that really is incredible. Giant white letters say SMASH CAFE, so I drive right into the dot – and stop dead because I didn’t use the POWAH. I was saving it for when I might need it to do something actually useful to me, like gently nudge an opponent in order to make them violently explode. Vehicle Damage Critical, it says, as badly animated flames leap from my bonnet. Just for a laugh I then press the POWAH button. The wall explodes. Whatever.

      • Max.I.Candy says:

        @ LionsPhil & YouMessageHere.
        Well thats one of the gameplay elements and it works well once you understand it.

        You have your nitro stored up (mainly gained from drifting which is easy to do and works well), you can use it when you want or you can use it to punch through certain obstacles (which are always lit up and sign posted ONLY WHEN you have a full bar of nitro) to cause an explosion that can take out nearby racers or open up small shortcuts.
        Also it adds points to your score which is important later on the game when its harder to unlock new races.

        The other destructable environments are based on their heights. Basically anything that is the same or lower then the height of your car is destructable.

        Also, i turned off the little “Take Out” cut scenes of the cars getting smashed up in the first hour of playing the game.

        It really is a great arcade racer. I prefer it to Flatout2 and i rate it up there with Burnout Revenge, which is the last Burnout i liked.
        Like i said before, the game is fair, whith a good AI and forces you to constantly learn, perfect and improve as you progress.

        The track editor is a blast, ive spent hours making my own tracks, publishing them and playing other peoples tracks and beating their scores, the game deserves better recognition and a better MC score in my opinion.

        edit.
        fyi, you can break thru the obstacles even with your bonnet on fire, completely harm free, if you use the nitro and hit the obstacle before the boost is finished. Not really hard to figure out.

  15. Big_Adam_2050 says:

    Yeah, its not a great game.

    Its good, it is solid, it doesn’t do anything technically wrong. But its just very “meh”. And rather short.

  16. theloz says:

    I sank over 50 hours into Ridge Racer 2 on the PSP and I downloaded the soundtrack, so I consider myself a fan.

    I was really looking forward to this demo. I waited patiently for the download to finish, all the while mentally preparing a fantastic rant about how dreadful it was. Then I played it and ended up having a wonderful time. What an absolute letdown!

    It’s not Ridge Racer but I don’t hate it anymore. Come the next Steam sale, I’ll probably pick it up.

  17. rocketman71 says:

    Kind of too late.

    Also, multiplayer is online-only. Their loss.