Ridge Racer PS Vita review

Ridge Racer

Of all the Vita launch games, this is the trickiest to review – and I say that having played almost all of Golden Abyss in one sitting, going steadily madder as I wiped dirt off Drake’s artefact for a tenth consecutive hour. But this is a much stranger package. Priced lower than any other boxed launch game (Amazon currently has it at £17.99) this is reflected in the content you get: just three tracks and five cars.

The rest you’ll have to get via DLC, a code for some of which (five new cars, three new courses and three new music tracks) comes with the game for a limited time at and just after release. After this, additional courses and cars will be released at later dates – at additional cost.

Got it? Thought not. It’s an overly complicated system that screams of an attempt to be modern and forward-looking, but will actually end up with a bunch of pissed-off purchasers feeling like they’ve paid nearly 20 pounds for a trial version. Which, to be perfectly honest, is pretty much all this is.

And it’s a shame, because the core racing is decent. Drift-heavy, it’s a world away from the slick quality of Wipeout but still enjoyable enough for a thrash around. It also has an interesting approach to progression: rather than a single-player campaign, you race communally with all other Vita players on your team (chosen at the start of the game), with all your results tallying cumulatively when they’re uploaded online.

However, this is evidently useless when you’re not connected via 3G or Wi-Fi, so trying to play this solo is a brief and dissatisfying experience. And no matter how good the core racing, it can’t distract from the gouging you’ll take on the price.

If the central game was free, to then be supplemented with DLC, that would be a different story. As it is there’s no value to be found here, just a car crash of a pricing model that rear-ends your wallet and sideswipes your sense of enjoyment all at once.

Our Score

Score: 3