Ridge Racer Drift

Namco designed the original Ridge Racer in 1993 for the arcade, and later ported it to the PlayStation where it became the stuff of legend. Since then, Ridge Racer has inspired more than a dozen sequels, most of which have been quite successful. However, in some instances, such as Namco’s first foray o­nto the mobile platform, it was more miss than hit.

Ridge Racer mobile looked polished enough in 2005, but the game suffered from low frame rates, which sapped it of the high-octane energy that normally powers this series. The game happened in a flash, caused a minor stir, and then, just as quickly, faded away. It seemed perhaps that Ridge Racer, arguably the father of the modern 3D arcade racer, was destined to go unrepresented in the mobile gaming domain.

But just when we were ready to give up, Namco returns with a bang. They call this entry Ridge Racer Drift, and this time, mobile technology is powerful enough to realize an authentic Ridge Racer experience. The graphics are sleek and sexy, and they move both fast and furious enough to sate any gamer’s need for speed. This is pure Ridge Racer racing even down to the drifting. Of course, the controls are not as refined as they would be o­n a console. They are, however, intuitive, and the feedback is good enough to deliver a fun and exciting racing experience.

If there is a complaint here, it is that there are just six cars and nine tracks, and we wish there had been more. o­n the positive side of that equation, each is precisely designed and impressively distinct. Each car and each track, and therefore each car-track combination, provide a truly unique experience. This aspect makes Ridge Racer drift a worthy addition to the Ridge Racer family.