Trial: Ridge Racer 7
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: November 16, 2006
Platform(s): PS3, 360
Review by: Shane Roberts
Trials are a feature of Playstation Plus membership. The consumer downloads the entire game with a 60-minute timer attached. If the player chooses to buy the game digitally at the end of 60 minutes, all progress carries over, including trophies earned.
This is my first Ridge Racer and my first game that uses drifting as a central mechanic (besides Mario Kart). Ridge Racer 7 doesn’t look half-bad for a game that came out in 2006. Environments are bland but pretty enough, and effects from cars like taillight blur, kicked up dirt, and sparks are nice touches. With the exception of the drift mechanic, the game is about as straightforward as arcade racers get. Use the left stick to sheer, drift to build nitrous, use nitrous to pass opponents. There are no shortcuts, no crazy hooks like Split/Second or Blur, the environments are not interactive in any way, and there’s no damage model whatsoever. Because of the emphasis on drifting, it’s impossible to wreck or even crash your car. You’re still the one doing the steering, but it feels like the front of your vehicle is constantly chasing a magnet that assists in unrealistically straightening you out after each turn. The standard system that requires you to do a whole lot of racing to unlock new cars is here too. As with MX vs. ATV Alive, I have no idea how people play these games for longer than an hour or two.
Will I buy it? No.