Ridge Racer Accelerated Review

Ridge Racer has a long history of falling behind a number of much better racing games. Need for Speed, Burnout, Gran Turismo, and Forza have long entertained gearheads on the consoles, leaving Ridge Racer in the dust. Of these, only Need for Speed has hit the iPhone, and it already has two excellent entries on the platform (Undercover and Shift). Ridge Racer once again is stuck in second gear and underwhelms at every turn.

While graphics aren’t everything, we’ve seen what the iPhone can do, and Ridge Racer Accelerated is pushing no boundaries at all. The track design is uninspired, car models look incredibly outdated and blocky, and most importantly, it’s lacking the thrill of speed.

Ignore your speedometer, as it offers a poor representation of the actual speed of the car. In an arcade-style racer, speed is everything, and here we never felt like we were accelerating past cruising speed. This is especially noticeable on long straightaways, but becomes problematic on turns. Arcade drifting is one of the series’ high points, and the turning is too hard to control given how slow the vehicles feel. Pulling off a successful drift is far too hard for a game that should be about fun and accessibility.

Drifting on accident.

The key problems making these turns so difficult are the default auto-acceleration and tilt-only controls. The first can be turned off, but the second cannot, and the tilt controls are just too unrefined to provide the responsiveness other racing games have proven is possible.

When you first start it up, there isn’t a whole lot to do, either. The game comes with only two tracks, neither of which are anything to get excited about, plus mirrored versions. An additional track pack is available for a modest fee, but it’s far short of the 40+ tracks that are promised down the line, with no firm release date.

There are 18 cars in total to unlock, but because of the lack of a sense of speed and poor handling in general, you’re going to be hard-pressed to build up the desire to obtain them all. This is further hampered by a lack of a career mode to give the racing a purpose. A standard arcade mode (free racing), duel mode (head-to-head race), and survival mode (time trials) are really fluff in comparison to a robust career track.

Nice guys finish last.

Ridge Racer Accelerated fails compared to the competition and even its own namesake. There is nothing technically wrong with the game, but there is very little we could call right, either. It’s the epitome of average. As such, we can hardly recommend this to anyone when there are much better racing games on the market. Die-hard Ridge Racer fans might want to hold out for future updates and additions, but until then, you’ll have much more fun with something else.

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