Developer: Namco Bandai
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I’m confident I wasn’t alone in being mildly worried about Ridge Racer Slipstream when a teaser trailer was released for it. Looking like it was going to pursue a freemium route, it made me twitchy. Fortunately, there was little need to worry. Ridge Racer Slipstream is a premium title that’s backed up by the availability of in-app purchases rather than reliant upon them. They’ll speed things along a fair bit, but a lack of an energy bar system is quite reassuring.

ridgeracer7Instead, Ridge Racer Slipstream is a quite well-rounded racing game that still captures the Ridge Racer spirit. In all, there are 10 different venues and 20 different courses, plenty for one to sink their teeth into. The career mode in particular is quite extensive with an arcade mode for those after a quick thrill, as well as online time attack competitions.

Controls are fairly adaptable. It’s possible to choose between tilt or virtual arrow controls, as well as choose to control the gas or have it work automatically. The most important button – the brake – is always ready to be tapped, and it’s essential to success. The brake helps one go into a drift, making it easier and faster to take a corner. Mastering when to drift and when to straighten up again is vital, and does take a little practice. The opposition in Ridge Racer Slipstream is reasonably challenging; rarely feeling unfairly tough but also not too easy either. Practice, as always, makes perfect.

ridgeracer5After each race, it’s possible to use the money gained to buy upgrades and new cars. This will take a bit of chipping away, tempting one into exchanging real money for in-game money, but it’s achievable. A perks system providing further boosts is also available here, and can make quite the difference when confronting a particularly challenging race.

It’s somewhat cheeky offering up in-app purchases alongside a premium price tag, but it’s just about forgivable. Ridge Racer Slipstream offers the traditional Ridge Racer spirit, with some stunning visuals, as well as distinctive music reminiscent of other titles. More importantly, it’s going to keep arcade racer fans entertained for a while to come.


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