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February 19, 2007
Ridge Racer 7 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
23/3/2007SonyNamcoNamco Bandai
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-22-14$99.95

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Ridge Racer 7 looks impressive.
Namco's Ridge Racer series is set to return as yet another launch title on a Sony platform. Previously Namco had a title available at launch for the Playstation, Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable - now the Playstation 3 will also be graced with a version at launch. Riiiiiidge Racer 7 is that game and it promises to be the best yet with plenty of single player racing, but also a robust online campaign as well. Given the resurrection the series has undergone with two brilliant PSP games (well, the second one was mostly the first one I guess) we're very keen to see this souped up, 1080p hi-def version hit our TV screens.

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Note the blurring at speed.
Ridge Racer 7 includes a total of 40 machines and 22 courses filled with nitrous, fast corners and hairpin turns. With reversed courses, the total grows to 44, the most in the series ever. The brand new machine customisation mode gives players the power to create their new dream machine with 375,000 possible visual customisations and 7,150 tuning modifications. Exactly how much these tuning modifications actually changes the handling of the system remains to be seen.

One of the big enhancements to the series in recent times is the ability to drift the cars around the courses. It has always been a part of the series but with the nitros added since the PSP versions of the game you now get an even bigger boost then ever before. In fact the real way to succeed in this series is the master the drifting techniques - and that's something that will take quite some time.

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Now that's a mixture of cars!
Ridge Racer 7 introduces an all-new career mode called Ridge State Grand-Prix. You will be tested to the limit as you build a career over 160 races. The game also includes a co-operative mode to keep you occupied.

Online gameplay will also be present in this title. In fact Namco have included support for 14-players online. Racers will be able to bring their customised machine online to prove who the ultimate Ridge Racer is. Online features also include a global ranking system with downloadable content.

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Yet another stunning in-game screen.
Graphically Ridge Racer 7 is a showcase for the Playstation 3. With graphics running at 1080p and silky smooth frame rate this should be a showcase for Sony's system and while the trackside and car detail isn't equal to that of the Gran Turismo series it's certainly nothing that will disappoint either. Hopefully Namco will improve their typically average sound (read: music) from previous games in the series.

Ridge Racer 7 looks like a perfect companion to your purchase of your brand new PS3 on March 23rd. The game looks stunning, promises plenty of game modes and should keep arcade styled racing fans very happy indeed. For casual gamers though the real question will be whether this game promises to bring anything fresh to the series.