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This time around as Ridge Racer Revolution is loading up, Namco offers you a small game of Galaga which they have named Galatic Dancing. Forty little space creatures will dance all over your screen in sets of ten as you zealously try to blast them. If you manage to get them all, you'll have eight extra cars to choose from when playing the game.
Before playing a race you'll be able to customize your game by using Course, Game, and Car Select. There are three courses to choose from in Course Select varying in length and difficulty: novice (4.26 Km), intermediate (6.17 Km), and expert (6.74 Km). Each of the courses will take you on different paths through a main track circuit going through the city, beach, hills, tunnels, and bridges.
Game Select offers three possibilities for racing: race, time trial, and free run. Race is exactly that between 12 cars (including yourself) with 3 laps. Time Trial is a race between two cars in 3 laps, and free run is an unlimited number of laps used for practice driving.
Car Select offers four cars for you to race with, unless you were successful in the Galaga game and then you would have all 12 cars to choose from. Each vehicle is presented with a name and specifications for acceleration, maximum speed, handling and grip. The automobile is displayed in the center of the screen rotating counter clock wise with all four wheels turning. Once selected, you'll choose your transmission between automatic and manual. The maximum speeds will also be displayed with automatic always being slightly slower than manual. Once you have made all your settings, you can start racing!
Game play in Ridge Racer Revolution is quite comparable to the original Ridge Racer with slightly better vehicle control and improved graphics with a smooth 25 frames per second and plentiful background details. There are two views in which the game can be played from: in-car view and out- of-car view. The in-car view is of a first person perspective and provides the most realistic feel of racing. In this mode a rear view mirror has been added, which was not available in the first Ridge Racer, allowing you to see the cars that are going to pass you. This gives you a chance to try and block them from doing so by getting in their way. The out-of-car view places you behind your vehicle and doesn't allow you see cars approaching from behind.
Your goal in Ridge Racer Revolution is win first place at all three difficulty levels of novice, intermediate, and advanced. Once this is accomplished, the three races will need to be done backwards in mirror mode which has a little more difficulty than the first three. Each mirror level will award you with a new car to drive. Winning the novice mode will give you the black Devil car #13. Intermediate mode give you the Racing Kid, and finally the Expert mode has the White Angle car in store for you.
Practicing the mirror courses is possible without winning the first three races. At the starting line, move forward a bit and turn your car around. Watch your rear view mirror to see if the wall has disappeared behind you before you turning around. If it does, you have driven too far forward and will have to try again, otherwise race towards the wall and bust through it. This gives you the same level as you selected to play, except now it will be in mirror mode.
Ridge Racer Revolution is mainly a one player game. If you are interested in playing a two player game, you'll need to have two copies of the game, two PlayStation consoles, two monitors or T.V.'s and one link cable to link the two machines together. Having a friend or neighbor that you can link up with will furnish many hours of competitive fun!
Other items that are displayed on the screen while you race other than the rear view mirror and your car are: your position in the field, lap time(s), revolutions per minute (RPM), speedometer, gear display, record race time, record lap time, circuit map showing your car's position and that of your Time Trial rival and the remaining amount of time.
The 3D textured graphics in the game are very similar to the original version, however this time the scenery doesn't pop up as you drive. Nevertheless every once in awhile a mountain side may disappear for a second and then reappear, but these are very minor details. The racing cars are still textured with just a plain flat color, but the landscapes and objects are much better and contain more details. The races take place during the day and night and the graphics differ simply in the way the tracks are lighted around you. All the graphics for the road and your car are still lit with the same amount of light, but just ahead of you, the sky, and other objects around you are dimmed to give the impression of night.
Record speeds and times are all that count in the game. Therefore you won't see any spectacular accidents and wipe-outs. Hitting another car, wall, or simply going off the road will bring your speed down. Three types of crashing sounds are provided for the game, each recorded for playing on the left, center, or right which furnishes realistic stereo sound effects. Still the crash sounds themselves sound like someone hitting a metallic garbage can. Other sound effects include airplanes and helicopters that fly over the race track recording your race for playback at the end. A total of 34 sound effects are available in the game.
Eleven sound tracks are provided on the CD-ROM that are mostly techno style music and haven't changed much from the first version. The music supplies a sense of rushing which helps in a race, but is a little unpleasant to listen to after many hours. An announcer is also heard during the races letting you know how well or bad you are doing. He'll inform you of how well you started off the race, how many laps are left, whether your lap time was a new record, and if there are any cars behind you that you should think about blocking. In all there are over 30 samples for the announcer.
The options menu will enable you to set your controller to your desired settings, adjust the volume and balance, listen to all the music tracks, and test all the sound samples on the CD-ROM. Records are also recorded for Time Trials on all three courses of novice, intermediate, and expert.
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