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Sept. 25, 2006
Ridge Racer 2 - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
17/10/2006SonyNamco BandaiNamco Bandai1-8$79.95

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Getting some nice air!
If you purchased your PSP on launch day last year one of the standout titles you likely considered purchasing was Ridge Racer. It was a stunning game which brough the series to its former glory of the PSOne days. The cars were slick, graphics smooth, drifting played a major part again but it was one of the best games technically on the PSP - and still is. It's pretty unsurprising then to lear the Namco Bandai are preparing a sequel to the game and it's due out this year in Japan and Europe - America doesn't seem to have a release date for this one strangely.

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Lighting really is spectacular.
So what have we got here. Well we're still waiting for all the fine details but we believe this pack will include 10 new tracks - some of which, if not all, have been seen in previous games in the series. Namco Bandai are also promising new cars, and game modes. While the cars are still a mystery we do have details on the two game modes. The first is Duel which is a one-on-one race with a computer-controlled opponent. The second new game mode is survival which sees four cars start a race with one being knocked out as each checkpoint is passed. As well as these two new modes the Arcade mode, Time Attack and World Tour is making a return, and should be a bit larger this time - especially if Namco's claim of three times the game length is true!

Graphically this game looks to be on par with the original, or perhaps just a little better. That's understandable given how far ahead of most of the competition the original looked. If anything the lighting appears to have been bumped up, as well as the trackside detail. The soundtrack has also been remixed from previous titles.

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Hitting the nitros.
The real question is what can Namco Bandai bring to the table with Ridge Racer 2 on the PSP. Will it simply be a case of the original game with some new features bolted on and charging full price? In recent times we've seen companies such as Take Two with Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remixed and Capcom with their upcoming Devil May Cry 3 Dante's Awakening Special Edition include plenty of new content as well as the original game - but at a budget price. Should Namco be looking at the same? To us 10 (or so) new tracks, and a couple of game modes might be enough to let it slide, just. What we can't dispute though is the quality of the original game - if you never picked that one up then this sequel is almost certainly a no brainer. Expect a mid-October release.