Review by paleselan

Reviewed: 06/02/11

Racing Above The Mediocrity Line

Let’s face it, the 3DS didn’t get off to a good start in terms of software. Many games fell at or below the mediocrity line. Ridge Racer 3D is slightly above the line, but not by much. It’s not a great game, by any means, but it’s decent, considering its competition.

Ridge Racer 3D has plenty of modes. A player can race through three lengthy Grand Prix, make a Custom Tour, or race against themselves in Time Trial. All the modes work as they’re supposed to, but are lacking in terms of challenge. In addition, full races can be saved to the SD card for later viewing.

Local and Streetpass multiplayer is also available in the game. Local multiplayer works great if you can find someone else with the game. It would help if there were WiFi races, but there aren’t. Streetpass mode works fine but has an irritating flaw. Instead of using race times this mode uses race saves. So, whenever the game comes in contact with another 3DS with Ridge Racer in sleep mode, and both players have the same race saved to their SD cards, the game swaps data and runs a virtual race to find a winner, but finding someone with the same race saved is mission impossible.

The gameplay is standard for a racing game. Players race as fast as they can while drifting around tight corners to fill a nitrous bar. The nitrous can then be used to give a car a temporary boost to keep it in front of the opposition. It is nothing special, but it works well enough to be an enjoyable experience.

While racing, players can enjoy a diverse music from six albums. The music is upbeat and doesn’t get boring. It’s a shame that there is annoying voice acting. The same voice spams the airwaves while racing, and there are only about five different lines that can be all heard within the first race, and are repeated constantly.

In addition, the 3D looks great. The added depth really helps players judge the distance of sharp turns and other cars. There is a flipside to the graphics though. They look incredibly aged. These graphics look like stuff from the beginning of the Gamecube lifetime. Almost every separate pixel can be seen. That’s not a good sign considering that the 3DS can support graphics that are superior to the Wii. Additionally, environments are recycled… a lot. One can only drive through a similar looking tunnel so many times before he gets an extreme sense of déjà vu (in a bad way).

The Verdict: 3DS players are thirsty for a good game. Ridge Racer 3D is not a bad option if players have exhausted their other choices, such as Street Fighter IV. People who want a reason to use their 3DS may find this purchase justifiable, but most others are probably willing to wait for some of the other 3DS games coming out this summer, such as Zelda and Star fox.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Ridge Racer 3D (US, 03/22/11)

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