Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher: Namco Bandai
It is for the umpteenth time that I bury my controller in the sofa, cursed to watch my car explode into flames at the death of the race, a drift gone slightly awry having sent my car slamming into some neighbouring garages as the lead I built so carefully over three laps is snatched away at the very last moment and I finish in 7th.
Ridge Race Unbounded is not good for your blood pressure.
Anyone who has cursed the rubber band machinations of the oh-so-sweet, yet-brutally-unfair racers in older Mario Kart games will find much to swear about here, with Bugbear's title generating a significant feeling of impotence on a number of occasions, as flat-out speed (forgive the pun) is spat upon by fellow racers who glide past you serenely, often even without boosting.Click here to read more...
In a tiny, decrepit room deep in the bowels of a decaying abandoned office complex, a small group of game journalists held their breath as a beautiful sports car charted a course for destruction. The fictional supercar gracefully drifted around a corner, i's racing livery resplendent in the sun and sparks flying up in jawdropping slow motion courtesy of a languid debug mode. It was a glorious sight to behold... but the stunning vehicle was headed towards a selection of reinforced concrete bollards that would completely destroy it. Steel met concrete in an agonizing half-second, and our breath was suddenly exhaled en masse as the supercar punched straight through the barrier, shattering the stone, denting the car and yet slowing it down one iota. Half a dozen of them yielded to the car's inexorable drift, which was followed by the developer smashing through the wall of a bank to take first place after several seconds of airtime.
When the race was over, the Bugbear developers asked us what we thought... and there was only one thing to say. "Awesome: but put the debug slow-motion mode in the full game. Do it now."
The developer laughed and informed us that we weren't the first, second or even the twelfth team of hacks to demand it. But even if it doesn't make an appearance in replays or the pause menu, Bugbear's Ridge Racer reimagining is still set to provide some seriously visceral thrills and an exciting new take on a classic franchise.
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