R: Racing Evolution
|a game by||Namco Ltd.|
|Platforms:||GameCube, XBox, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.6/10 - 5 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games|
The Ridge Racer series has always been about arcade-style driving. Sail off into the corners at full speed, swing the rear end around, jam the gas, and head down the straight. With Racing Evolution, Namco opts to inject a bit of realism into the game, transforming it into a dull jack-of-all-trades hybrid. The developers try to spice things up a bit with a Story mode that forces you to play through various types of racing in order to unlock new vehicles. But the action on the track is mediocre, especially once you realize you'll have to wrestle with the touchy control on the same tracks in the same cars over and over. One facet of the Ridge Racer legacy goes mercifully untouched--presentation. R impresses with shiny rides, lifelike courses, and gorgeous cinemas. But these skin-deep looks can't mask the fact that R doesn't stand out in any category. You want a better pure racing sim? Play Gran Turismo 3 or Sega GT. Arcade racer? Project Gotham 2 and Burnout 2 destroy this. Unless you're a bona fide Ridge Racer fanatic, there's no reason to play R.
R straddles the median, never committing to being a full-on simulation game, but never being as arcadey as its Ridge Racer ancestors, either. Unfortunately, the results ain't one of those "best of both worlds" things: Ridge racers will hate spinning out every time they approach a turn too fast, yet serious drivers can find much deeper games elsewhere. The Story mode is interesting, because it teaches you how to drive properly (and features hot rendered chicks). At the same time, it forces you to play certain circuits and race types in order....
Rs take on obsessive racing realism is a miserable failure. It gets the basics down--beautiful real-life cars and courses--but forgets the most vital ingredient: gameplay. As a driving sim, ft feels watered down, with twitchy, frustrating controls and zero customization options. As an arcade racer, the game lacks any sense of danger, requiring you to brake into corners and speed out of them with as little drifting as possible, ft is neither here nor there...nowhere you'd want to be.
Download R: Racing Evolution
The Ridge Racer series has been around for some time now thrilling fans with its arcade racing style. Keeping a series fresh year after year is a constant battle however as this latest release shows. Breaking from the pure arcade racing style, Namco has shifted gears and focused on a more simulation based racing game. Although this latest release does attempt to freshen things up it doesn't quite make a complete break from the arcade racing style, ending up in limbo and not performing either style at a high caliber.
Simulation based sports games including racing generally take multiple releases to create an experience that accurately mimics physically elements, has a dynamic AI, and a smooth and responsive control system. Trying to compete with established franchises is difficult at best, as the competition has had plenty of time to refine gameplay and add new levels of depth. R: Racing Evolution falls victim to many of these issues and although the game isn't bad, it has difficulty going head to head with more established racing simulations. For instance, for a racing sim, the physics miss the mark in both driving characteristics, with unrealistic car responses, and also in portraying a sense of speed. The controls fall short as well, lacking a smooth interface and generally feeling stiff.
R: Racing Evolution does offer a standard set of features associated with most racing games. In addition, a story mode is also included offering a decent plot with impressive cut-scenes. It is on the short side however and once it is complete the issues with the gameplay aren't going to give many reasons to continue playing.
The graphics and audio don't help to set it apart either with a mundane performance. The cars look decent and are well modeled but the environments in total are unimpressive. The audio is similar with track sound effects not quite right but the communication with your pit crew and other drivers during the race helps distract from some of the weaker audio elements.
Although not making a clean transition to racing simulations, R: Racing Evolution still ends up with a reasonable performance. With the story mode offering incentive to play initially, racing fans should at least consider it for a rental.