125639_3It doesn't seem that long ago that I was completely blown away by Ridge Racer on the original PlayStation (which actually was a port itself) along with most of the gaming press at the time. Nearly 15 years later and here we are playing a comparable game on our phones. Namco's recently released Ridge Racer Accelerated [App Store] provides a lot of the same arcade racing feel as the rest of the game series, but similar to Ace Combat Xi or Pac-Man Championship Edition, the game has launched with part of the total content-- the rest either requiring in-game microtransactions or apparently coming via future updates.

Like most racing games, steering is controlled by tilting and other functions like braking or changing gears with a manual transmission are linked to on-screen buttons. Auto-acceleration is configurable in the options and defaults to off. The controls work well enough, but it seems like the tilt steering is a little touchy, even after fiddling with the sensitivity in the options. It wasn't anything game breaking, just noticeably less smooth compared to other racing games on the platform.

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The arcade driving style will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played a Ridge Racer game before, but may seem strange to newcomers to the franchise as performing well in races requires a great deal of drifting around corners. Drifting is easy to initiate, all you have to do it steer in to a turn, let off the gas, and press it again and your car will be going sideways. Learning to control your drifts instead of just spinning out takes quite a bit of finesse and a lot of trial and error until you get a feel for how much to turn in to them.

The graphics of the game pale in comparison to other racing games available on the iPhone-- Especially when it comes to the shockingly low complexity car models. You would think these comparatively low levels of detail would be part of a trade-off for an insanely high framerate, but Ridge Racer Accelerated's iTunes description mentions that the iPhone 3GS is the "recommended" platform with 3G optimizations "coming soon". Except the game doesn't even perform particularly well on the 3GS, and forum members are reporting the game is flat out unplayable on older devices. (Something we haven't entirely been able to replicate in our testing.)

For reference, here is me racing poorly on an iPhone 3GS:

Much like other recent Namco games, Ridge Racer Accelerated is a veritable DLC piñata. Initially coming loaded with only two tracks (or four if you count driving the opposite direction on those same tracks) and 18 different Class 1 and Class 2 vehicles are available (6 unlocked, 12 unlockable). 6 (3 + 3 in opposite direction) additional tracks are available for $2.99 and 9 Class 5 vehicles available for $1.99.

Early reactions have been mixed on the game. Basically, it seems if you can get past the disappointing performance, long time Ridge Racer fans can still have fun with the drift-heavy racing style the game offers. The ultimate goal of each level is really to beat your previous lap times across the tracks and cars included. There's no career mode or global high scores offered. Ridge Racer offers Arcade, Duel and Survival modes using the same tracks and cars.

Further discussion and impressions can be found on our forums.

App Store Link: Ridge Racer Accelerated, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Jay DV

    Sorry, Ridge Racer, but the nostalgia is all worn out. It looks like the same tired racer rehashed again. The course featured in the above video has been used in the past, what, 4 Ridge Racer games? Come on, just because it's a version for a phone doesn't mean Namco can rest on their laurels.

    Sorry, but no Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge Raaaacer on iPhone for me.

  • Jay DV

    Sorry, Ridge Racer, but the nostalgia is all worn out. It looks like the same tired racer rehashed again. The course featured in the above video has been used in the past, what, 4 Ridge Racer games? Come on, just because it's a version for a phone doesn't mean Namco can rest on their laurels.

    Sorry, but no Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge Raaaacer on iPhone for me.

  • Maeks

    So it appears like Lite versions are being replaced by the deceitful DLC strategy.

    That's too had really.

  • Maeks

    So it appears like Lite versions are being replaced by the deceitful DLC strategy.

    That's too had really.

  • http://dokidokigames.com Nic

    Fastlane always reminded me of Ridge Racer. It was out ages ago and smooth as your mum. Ridge Racer has always had a patchy history on mobile. I remember the DoCoMo Java version!!

    Personally, I still love Ridge. I really hope they can sort it out and get it running great on a 3G. Maybe they should have got the Fastlane guys to port this.

    ----
    [Doki Doki Retro Arcade and Doki Doki Bloki - OUT NOW!]

  • http://dokidokigames.com Nic

    Fastlane always reminded me of Ridge Racer. It was out ages ago and smooth as your mum. Ridge Racer has always had a patchy history on mobile. I remember the DoCoMo Java version!!

    Personally, I still love Ridge. I really hope they can sort it out and get it running great on a 3G. Maybe they should have got the Fastlane guys to port this.

    ----
    [Doki Doki Retro Arcade and Doki Doki Bloki - OUT NOW!]

  • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

    For the most part, the car looks like a lifeless box floating down the road. Not sure if this will be enough to make an impact with all the quality racing games already available for the iPhone.

  • http://www.stormchild.net Stormchild

    For the most part, the car looks like a lifeless box floating down the road. Not sure if this will be enough to make an impact with all the quality racing games already available for the iPhone.

  • http://www.revjuegosiphone.com Anibal
  • http://www.revjuegosiphone.com Anibal
  • ahmed409

    guys, stop bashing. this game is great!
    it says in the itunes description that :

    courses and machines will be rapidly added via FREE UPGRADE throughout 2010

    stay tuned for 40+ courses and 60+ machines :
    the total RIDGE RACER EXPERIENCE

    *some cars and courses only available at the ONLINE SHOP

    so just have patience, its gonna be great!

  • ahmed409

    guys, stop bashing. this game is great!
    it says in the itunes description that :

    courses and machines will be rapidly added via FREE UPGRADE throughout 2010

    stay tuned for 40+ courses and 60+ machines :
    the total RIDGE RACER EXPERIENCE

    *some cars and courses only available at the ONLINE SHOP

    so just have patience, its gonna be great!

  • enquarius

    This is what I expected. Garbage.... Exactly what namco did with I love katamari rushed it out. The controls are alright, graphics match the psp not too bad, but it has framerate issues galore... Do yourself a favor unless you have an iPhone 3gs or itouch 3rd gen wait to buy this. Namco still has a way to go to fix this. $2.99 is a good price point, you don't get much for it. I hate apples in app purchasing, charging more for extra tracks? What's up with that? I'd rather play the game and unlock them!!

  • enquarius

    This is what I expected. Garbage.... Exactly what namco did with I love katamari rushed it out. The controls are alright, graphics match the psp not too bad, but it has framerate issues galore... Do yourself a favor unless you have an iPhone 3gs or itouch 3rd gen wait to buy this. Namco still has a way to go to fix this. $2.99 is a good price point, you don\'t get much for it. I hate apples in app purchasing, charging more for extra tracks? What\'s up with that? I\'d rather play the game and unlock them!!

  • dumas1000

    I have no issues with the DLC model Namco is trying to in porting their AAA/IP titles to the iPhone. A) it combats rampant AppStore piracy. B) no other system, handheld or console, would allow you to purchase a full retail AAA title for less than $30. It's ridiculous that people would expect to get complete versions of these games, like Ridge Racer or Ace Combat, for just a few bucks.

    However, I do have issues with the overall quality. It does not appear as if Namco is putting it's best foot forward with these games.

    • belsunce

      ok I'm sorry but releasing a racing game with only 2 tracks is offensive and should be, at the very least, frowned upon.

      speak with your wallets guys, don't encourage these deceitful practices. especially when the game doesn't play well (as seems to be implied here)

  • dumas1000

    I have no issues with the DLC model Namco is trying to in porting their AAA/IP titles to the iPhone. A) it combats rampant AppStore piracy. B) no other system, handheld or console, would allow you to purchase a full retail AAA title for less than $30. It's ridiculous that people would expect to get complete versions of these games, like Ridge Racer or Ace Combat, for just a few bucks.

    However, I do have issues with the overall quality. It does not appear as if Namco is putting it's best foot forward with these games.

    • belsunce

      ok I'm sorry but releasing a racing game with only 2 tracks is offensive and should be, at the very least, frowned upon.

      speak with your wallets guys, don't encourage these deceitful practices. especially when the game doesn't play well (as seems to be implied here)

  • Diablohead

    My 2g touch runs it at about 15fps, sometimes better in low areas and in duels but I quite like this game for what it is so far. It feels and plays just like a console ridge racer and that to me is worth £1.79 even if you only get a few tracks as a base.

    • hkiphone

      You got better results than me.
      My iPhone 2G barely ran the app. Crashed several times just after running the intro movie, even after freeing up over 40MB ram.
      Rebooting helped better, was able to load up the first track, but it was so slow. The 3-2-1 countdown took 3 seconds EACH.... and just powersliding around the first corner made the game crash - guaranteed.

      A real shame. I loved the Ridge Racer series, and I am well aware that the initial cars are all bog slow, and its the later stages when the game really comes alive. Guess this game is shelved until i get a 3GS...

  • Audi

    gee reminds me of how bad the sega rally demo was on xbox 360.

    • belsunce

      yes except that game turned out quite well (SR revo) where this is a final product being sold like this...

      • spiffyone

        Not-so-funny story if you're a Sega fan:

        Sega had actually started a new Euro studio (Sega Racing Studio) for racing games specifically, and Sega Rally Revo was their first game. Hit a homerun first time out, and then, what does Sega do?

        They shut down the studio.

        Typical Sega. One step forward, two steps back.

      • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash Bulk Slash

        I loved Sega Rally Revo, it was the first next-gen killer app in my book thanks to the deforming track surfaces. It's just typical of Sega to shut them down like that. I bet they could have made a new Daytona by now...

  • Diablohead

    My 2g touch runs it at about 15fps, sometimes better in low areas and in duels but I quite like this game for what it is so far. It feels and plays just like a console ridge racer and that to me is worth £1.79 even if you only get a few tracks as a base.

    • hkiphone

      You got better results than me.
      My iPhone 2G barely ran the app. Crashed several times just after running the intro movie, even after freeing up over 40MB ram.
      Rebooting helped better, was able to load up the first track, but it was so slow. The 3-2-1 countdown took 3 seconds EACH.... and just powersliding around the first corner made the game crash - guaranteed.

      A real shame. I loved the Ridge Racer series, and I am well aware that the initial cars are all bog slow, and its the later stages when the game really comes alive. Guess this game is shelved until i get a 3GS...

  • Audi

    gee reminds me of how bad the sega rally demo was on xbox 360.

    • belsunce

      yes except that game turned out quite well (SR revo) where this is a final product being sold like this...

      • spiffyone

        Not-so-funny story if you're a Sega fan:

        Sega had actually started a new Euro studio (Sega Racing Studio) for racing games specifically, and Sega Rally Revo was their first game. Hit a homerun first time out, and then, what does Sega do?

        They shut down the studio.

        Typical Sega. One step forward, two steps back.

      • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash Bulk Slash

        I loved Sega Rally Revo, it was the first next-gen killer app in my book thanks to the deforming track surfaces. It's just typical of Sega to shut them down like that. I bet they could have made a new Daytona by now...

  • ClassicGamer

    When will developers learn to make games that can be played from the 1st-generation iPod to the iPhone 3GS? Drop polygons, drop visual effects, but let us play!

    There's no point in releasing a game to a market of 25M users if only 3M of them have a fast enough device.

  • ClassicGamer

    When will developers learn to make games that can be played from the 1st-generation iPod to the iPhone 3GS? Drop polygons, drop visual effects, but let us play!

    There's no point in releasing a game to a market of 25M users if only 3M of them have a fast enough device.

  • pinachina

    This game has much potential. The framerate is garbage, but it looks and feels JUST like Ridge Racers on PSP! I can see finally selling my PSP if they get this game optimized and up to 60 fps on the 3Gs. I'd like the challenges (World Tour) to return, with more appearing as you purchase downloadable content. A small goal would be nice. If multiplayer is a go with this game eventually, I might scream like a giddy school girl at the top of my lungs..

  • pinachina

    This game has much potential. The framerate is garbage, but it looks and feels JUST like Ridge Racers on PSP! I can see finally selling my PSP if they get this game optimized and up to 60 fps on the 3Gs. I'd like the challenges (World Tour) to return, with more appearing as you purchase downloadable content. A small goal would be nice. If multiplayer is a go with this game eventually, I might scream like a giddy school girl at the top of my lungs..

  • http://www.obamanetwork.eu Yoshi 256

    A port of the PSP version? I certainly don't need this game.

  • http://www.obamanetwork.eu Yoshi 256

    A port of the PSP version? I certainly don't need this game.

  • http://f1stockcars.com/ Ade

    So basically... this turned out to be as poor, if not worse, than yesterdays video made it look....

    No surprises there then!

    When will developers learn to program from scratch - not just sloppily port code from one console to another and expect it to be playable

    The are a dozen better racing games on iPhone, DESERVING of your money - vote with your wallets

  • http://f1stockcars.com/ Ade

    So basically... this turned out to be as poor, if not worse, than yesterdays video made it look....

    No surprises there then!

    When will developers learn to program from scratch - not just sloppily port code from one console to another and expect it to be playable

    The are a dozen better racing games on iPhone, DESERVING of your money - vote with your wallets

  • Oliath

    This game is an utter disgrace. Fastlane does exactly what this is trying to achieve and delivers better graphics and smoother framerate.

    Do not be seduced by what this should be because it's far from it.

  • Oliath

    This game is an utter disgrace. Fastlane does exactly what this is trying to achieve and delivers better graphics and smoother framerate.

    Do not be seduced by what this should be because it's far from it.

  • HalloweenLover85

    It's RIDGE racer!

  • HalloweenLover85

    It's RIDGE racer!

  • Michael

    I don't mean to nitpick, but "Riiiiiiiiiidge" is actually saying Ridge in a slower way, not accelerated :D

    • Chinito77

      I think they were referring to the original game intro which has the announcer saying Ridge really slow but excited.

      • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

        It's a reference to Kaz Hirai at the E3 where he introduced the PS3. After dropping the bomb that it was "only" going to be $599, he then proceeded to show Ridge Racer (with a PSP rear view mirror) to the crowd.

        He starts off with, "It's RIDGE RACER!" The crowd is silent. No cheers or applause. Nothing. He adds, "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge RACER!" Embarrassment ensues as the crowd is completely unimpressed.

        Search Youtube for "Sony's Embarrassing E3 2006 Press Conference" for more info. (And laughs. ;))

  • Michael

    I don't mean to nitpick, but "Riiiiiiiiiidge" is actually saying Ridge in a slower way, not accelerated :D

    • Chinito77

      I think they were referring to the original game intro which has the announcer saying Ridge really slow but excited.

      • http://www.wolf3dmaps.com thewiirocks

        It's a reference to Kaz Hirai at the E3 where he introduced the PS3. After dropping the bomb that it was "only" going to be $599, he then proceeded to show Ridge Racer (with a PSP rear view mirror) to the crowd.

        He starts off with, "It's RIDGE RACER!" The crowd is silent. No cheers or applause. Nothing. He adds, "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge RACER!" Embarrassment ensues as the crowd is completely unimpressed.

        Search Youtube for "Sony's Embarrassing E3 2006 Press Conference" for more info. (And laughs. ;))

  • br1an

    Man, that looks dull.

  • br1an

    Man, that looks dull.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash Bulk Slash

    I've not been able to finish a single race on my 3G without it crashing out. I've rebooted, re-installed, everything. This is just another rushed mess from Namco.

    Also, the reason the cars are have low poly details is that they're being re-used straight from the PSP game. At least the PSP game had a decent framerate. Namco obviously had the B team working on this port.

  • http://twitter.com/BulkSlash Bulk Slash

    I've not been able to finish a single race on my 3G without it crashing out. I've rebooted, re-installed, everything. This is just another rushed mess from Namco.

    Also, the reason the cars are have low poly details is that they're being re-used straight from the PSP game. At least the PSP game had a decent framerate. Namco obviously had the B team working on this port.

  • Timothy

    DLC format sucks. The iPhone is for true casual gaming. This is not a PSP or a DS. The prices should not go past 10 dollars even counting DLC. it's bait and switch to offer the game for cheap with limited content then have DLC that pushes the overall price to around 20-30 dollars. I am speaking with my wallet and saying NO to all title that do this to consumers.

  • Timothy

    DLC format sucks. The iPhone is for true casual gaming. This is not a PSP or a DS. The prices should not go past 10 dollars even counting DLC. it's bait and switch to offer the game for cheap with limited content then have DLC that pushes the overall price to around 20-30 dollars. I am speaking with my wallet and saying NO to all title that do this to consumers.

  • oliath

    I have bought bad games before but this one takes it to the next level.

    Totally unplayable on my 3G.

    I know the description states that optimization is coming but no where does it say it wont run.

    Namco are a f*&^& disgrace to gaming on the iphone and i hope this app totally bombs because of this.

    This is the first app in the hundreds and hundreds that i have purchased that i honestly feel inclined to ask for a refund from.

    I would encourage others to do the same to send a clear message.

  • oliath

    I have bought bad games before but this one takes it to the next level.

    Totally unplayable on my 3G.

    I know the description states that optimization is coming but no where does it say it wont run.

    Namco are a f*&^& disgrace to gaming on the iphone and i hope this app totally bombs because of this.

    This is the first app in the hundreds and hundreds that i have purchased that i honestly feel inclined to ask for a refund from.

    I would encourage others to do the same to send a clear message.

  • Volodymyr

    rubbish game...

  • Volodymyr

    rubbish game...

  • http://www.babyfoodgrinder.org Baby Food Grinder

    If it's anything like the PSP version, then I'll have to be careful not to drop my iPhone!

  • http://www.babyfoodgrinder.org Baby Food Grinder

    If it's anything like the PSP version, then I'll have to be careful not to drop my iPhone!

  • JamesDean69

    Even on a 3GS Ridge Racer is almost unplayable. Wow, what happened to this game? This isnt the Ridge Racer I remember. I remember this game being super fast with drifting and awesome turns. This game had NO sense of speed whatsoever. Graphics are terrible. I deleted it within a day. Gave it a few tries but just could not get into it. Even if they add tracks and cars, this games time has just past by.

  • JamesDean69

    Even on a 3GS Ridge Racer is almost unplayable. Wow, what happened to this game? This isnt the Ridge Racer I remember. I remember this game being super fast with drifting and awesome turns. This game had NO sense of speed whatsoever. Graphics are terrible. I deleted it within a day. Gave it a few tries but just could not get into it. Even if they add tracks and cars, this games time has just past by.

  • Henning

    The steering is hard and the in-car view feels like riding a bike. Maybe a traditional game-pad steering option can make it more true to the series.

  • Henning

    The steering is hard and the in-car view feels like riding a bike. Maybe a traditional game-pad steering option can make it more true to the series.

  • iphone ftw

    you shud be grateful this amazin game is on the little phone! so stop complainin!!!

    ps review guy... U are horrible at this game xo

  • iphone ftw

    you shud be grateful this amazin game is on the little phone! so stop complainin!!!

    ps review guy... U are horrible at this game xo

  • Chinito77

    I was really looking forward to a Ridge Racer game on the iPhone. I thought they could easily do the original one and have it run at 60FPS like the special edition version for the PS1. So much for the neat tracks, excellent techno music, and memorable cars. :(

  • Chinito77

    I was really looking forward to a Ridge Racer game on the iPhone. I thought they could easily do the original one and have it run at 60FPS like the special edition version for the PS1. So much for the neat tracks, excellent techno music, and memorable cars. :(

  • Sara

    I just tried the dem... huh game on my ipod touch 2G! SO SLOW! And controls suck! How are we suposed to play a racing game based on drifting if it's almost impossible to do with the tilting stuff? They should add a complete touch control option (like in Ferrari GT).

  • Sara

    I just tried the dem... huh game on my ipod touch 2G! SO SLOW! And controls suck! How are we suposed to play a racing game based on drifting if it's almost impossible to do with the tilting stuff? They should add a complete touch control option (like in Ferrari GT).

  • S13racer

    I too thought I was tired of Ridge Racers..

    But I am currently hooked tilting my iphone up and down on this thing.

    The fact that this game is Extremely difficult to drift with is a good and a bad thing.  If it was easy to learn I don't think I would be playing it as often.

    My setting is the notch on the sensitive for the controls, and I use Automatic (I am giving my self a Huge exception here, just because otherwise it is too difficult). The red arrow on the bottom is a huge help, it tells you exactly where your car is going to be aiming after your drift.

    Once you start getting some consistency with your drifting, it becomes hugely rewarding, and addicting!

    I truly believe this is a refined (yet simple) game.  It just has a big learning curve.  Yes they are trying to make money, but Full props to Namco for this adaptation.