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Ridge Racer 64
Platform:  Nintendo 64
# of Players:  1-4
Developer:  Namco
Publisher:  Nintendo
Features:  Rumble Pak
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
People have slept on this game, why I do not know. In my opinion one of the hottest racing games for the N64, this amazing feat of a racing game has been brought to life by Nintendo a far cry from the critics who said it couldnít be done anywhere near as good as it is on Sony. Iím a pessimist when it comes to conversions so bear with me. First the pros: 1) no pop up, this is rare on racing games. Pop up is when the background catches up with the race as if to say here they come hurry and put up the background. All the traditional aspects of Ridge Racer are here helicopters, the neon lights blinking hurry up, the replay at the end of the race, the oh so nice lighting effects from the head and tail lights. The sun shines through this tunnel on an intermediate stage while a plane passes by. A helicopter peeks into the tunnel to assesses the progress of the racers and even the annoying announcer weíve all come to know and love spits out his trademark catchphrases like ďThis is the last lap make it your best.Ē

Forget the cons I really donít have much bad to say about this game except for that N64 blur in all their games. Maybe that could have been avoided with the use of (are you listening Nintendo) the Expansion Pak. Really guys what is the use if youíre not going to implement this great technology on all your games or at least the deserving ones. Even without the Expansion Pak the graphics are top notch. Certain tracks give you waterfalls to look at, rust covered bridges, pine trees the rocks and cliff faces look pretty good. What I didnít expect to see in this game that Sonyís has is the backwards track trick. For those of you who donít know when the timer ends at the beginning of the race simply turn around and go through the wall the entire track will be backwards, road signs and all.

All in all the control is there, the variety in the cars twenty-five in all, nine tracks, and a first for the Ridge Racer series split screen four player racing. Iím getting it. If you like racing pick this one up you wonít be disappointed.

Jesse Labrocca

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