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YMMV / Ridge Racer

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  • Breather Level: The last non-reverse course you unlock in Rage Racer is a simple high-speed oval. Granted, the competition on this course by the time you get to it is no slouch, but it's a chance to, in comparison to the previous courses, simply relax and enjoy your vehicle's top speed. It's also around this time that you start to unlock the awesome high-performance Assoluto cars.
  • Broken Base: Oh god, the Broken Base.
    • Unbounded. One half of the Fandom believes that Bugbear's interpretation of Ridge Racer has basically killed the series as a whole, with Unbounded being decried by most of its critics as a mash-up of several other arcade racers (the destruction of Split Second, the combativeness of Burnout, an art style similar to Blur) without having any of the series' traditional aspects (save for the drifting, but even the weighty-ness of it is different from the older games) that made the series popular. On the other hand, the other half of the Fandom believe Unbounded as a breath of fresh air for the series (except for the recent portable releases, the last console game was Ridge Racer 7; a launch title for the PS3), with some really solid racing mechanics (least they ripped off the best arcade racers) and a good track creator, among other good things people have to say for Unbounded.
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    • However, fans will nod their heads in agreement with the PS Vita Ridge Racer. Does it keep the series' gameplay? Yeah, sure, but so what? It's basically an overpriced demo that makes you buy everything else as DLC, some of which is content back from 7. Not only that, the entire game is a grind fest consisting of doing races for hints you already know and maybe an upgrade, and don't even get started with the level up system for online.
  • Eldritch Location: While it is perhaps a concession for Playstation 1 (where the rendering hardware is based off) system limitations especially regarding draw distance, the level designers seem to pay little to no regard as to how the geography of circuits in the same location affect each other; pristine beaches that head out to sea that should by all accounts run into the back end of a mountain, tunnels through a mountain that seemingly don't exist on the outside, Skyscrapers that are there and also not there depending on which road you take.
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  • Evil Is Sexy: The hidden menu in the PS Vita version of Ridge Racer gives you, in the background, a seductively lying Reiko Nagase in a latex suit based on the Soldat Crinale.
  • Expy / Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Some of the tracks in Type 4 do suffer from somewhat lazy design; one can easily see the influence Revolution's circuit's had on the layout of some tracks (Easy to Edge Of The Earth & Phantomile, Intermediate To Wonder Hill, and somewhat Expert to Heaven & Hell) and Shooting Hoops is just High Speed Ring from Gran Turismo in the setting of Special Stage Route 5/11.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The Ridge Racer fandom used to not have good relations with the fandom of Daytona USA and Shutokou Battle. However, thanks to an appearance of Daytona's iconic car, the Hornet, as Guest Fighter in Vita, the rivalry has toned down, and some even argue they are even Friendly Fandoms.
    • The Ridge Racer also had a fandom rivalry with Shutokou Battle prior to the Dreamcast versions of the latter, due to focus on illegal street racing through the closed roads.
    • R: Racing Evolution is like facing against Gran Turismo 3, Forza or Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift.
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    • But, for now, the biggest feud the Ridge Racer fandom had is with Project Gotham Racing.
  • Faux Symbolism: The logo for one of the fictional sponsors in the game is an Ouroboros (that is, a dragon eating its own tail, which is a symbol of eternity).
    • The Kamata Angelus, the Angel car, and the Soldat Crinale, the Devil car, are rather blatant examples of this. Hell, their logos are in the shape of an angel and a demon, to boot.
  • Game-Breaker: The Kamata Angelus in V. Ludicrous top end speed (almost 700 kph!!!), twitchy handling and zooming-past-you-in-no-time acceleration in one lovely-looking package. That makes the Battle Royal mode a breeze if you use it.
    • The Age Ultranova in 6 is this. It takes time to unleash the power of this Formula One car look-a-like, because it has the worst normal Nitrous charge in the game, but once you used Nitrous, a good drift can easily charge the entire Nitrous tank in one go with its devastatingly powerful Ultimate Charge. If you know how to handle it, this car will make the Nintendo Hard final races of the game complete anticlimatic races. Unfortunately, this car has been heavily nerfed in 7.
    • The Sinseong Jujak, the Assoluto Bisonte and the Himmel EO in 7. The Jujak has the best Ultimate charge in the game and synergizes the best with a Nitrous U setup. The EO might have the slowest Top Speed in the game, it also has the best Nitrous in the game and is the favored machine for Time Trial with a Reverse Charge setup. As for the Bisonte, it's essentially the best Flex Nitrous machine in the game.
    • The Soldat Crinale in the PS Vita release. With the right components and the right tune setup, it will blow everyone away in the dust.
      • Flex Nitrous + Ultra Ultimate Charge + Last Lap Nitrous upgrade combo. Here's how it works: Flex Nitrous is a single Nitrous tank which can be used at any time if charged; using the Ultra Ultimate Charge upgrade - which boosts the Ultimate Charge's power in spite of normal charge power - will let you charge MORE Nitrous you are supposed to, and thus you can kick in your Nitrous at any time. The Last Lap Nitrous upgrade makes things even better: once you start the final lap of the race, the car's nitrous tank will be charged with half of the entire tank (1 full tank and a half). Hello nigh-unlimited Nitrous!
    • The Manual Transmission Jump Start Trick in Rage Racer. Simply holding down the gas and shifting gears when the light says GO, while tapping the brakes, jumped your car to beyond its top speed instantly. If you're driving the Assoluto Squaldon, say hello to 0-230 miles per hour instantly.
  • Good Bad Bugs: One of the most well-known "features" of the PS1 port of the first game is that once the loading minigame has ended, you can actually remove the disc, since the entirety of the game that doesn't consist of the audio tracks has been loaded into the console's RAM. From there, you can put in a CD of your choice for a custom soundtrack with proper cues. However, since the game has no way of knowing about the tracks on the disc (it still thinks the game disc is the one inserted), you can end up with some unfitting choices for menu and racing music depending on what you put in, unless you burn an audio CD specifically tailored for the game's contexts.
  • Memetic Mutation: Kaz Hirai's impassioned plea to get gamers to care about the PlayStation Network rerelease of the PS1 port of Ridge Racer. Which, amusingly, hasn't happened yet.. But what DID happen is a rerelease of Type 4, much to the gushing of the entire Ridge Racer fanbase.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Conversely to the above, every time you manage to beat a section record still in the game's Time Attack, the announcer smoothly says "SWEET! YOU REALLY BLEW THROUGH THAT SECTION!".
  • Never Live It Down: The game will forever be remembered more for the "RIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACERRRR!!" meme from E3 2006, even though it has almost nothing to do with the games themselves other than the original being used to showcase PSN rereleases of PS1 games.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Soldat Crinale (Rivelta Crinale in Ridge Racer V), especially in the first few games, because when racing against it, its position is not showed in the racetrack map, and since it's a very fast, evil-looking car, it can cause sudden heart attacks. And its nickname (Devil) doesn't help either. Fortunately, in some games such as the PlayStation Portable titles, it's shown in the racetrack map, but still requires putting a good fight against the said beast.
  • Older Than They Think: Unbounded wasn't the first time a Ridge Racer game was made by a western company. That goes back to the Nintendo 64 days with Ridge Racer 64.note 
  • Polished Port: While having some of its own unique content and mechanics, for many fans Ridge Racer 64 is ultimately like a really refined port of the first two PS1 entries and then some, even allowing the player to use the prior game's drift and control systems if the player opts. Despite being made by an internal Nintendo team in America rather than Namco themselves, the whole game looks, plays and sounds like a missing link between the arcade style of the early series and Type 4. Ridge Racer DS would then port the game wholesale besides the control selection system, and still ultimately keep the same experience intact while showcasing the DS hardware when used properly.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: To unlock all vehicles in Type 4, you have to deliberately finish lower than 1st in Grand Prix mode, multiple times.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Rage Racer forces you to repeat races over and over early on just so you can afford better cars and upgrades, but by the time you're in Class 3 or 4, the races start to really pick up and you'll have a good car or two in your garage by then. Class 4 also introduces the Extreme Oval where you can really go flat-out, especially once you unlock the Assoluto cars.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The song "Pulse Phaze" sounds a lot like "Katamari On The Funk" with any reference to Katamari taken out. The lyrics become "Let's get together! Lalalalalalala".
  • That One Level:
    • EX Revolution Road is probably the best example of this trope. Not only it is almost 7 km long, it has many sharp blind corners, a few hairpins, fast and sudden chicanes and at the end, a jump right before a left hander, which can determine win or loss.
    • Phantomile in Type 4 is the shortest course in the game at 1.8 kilometers, but it's still only a 3-lap course, so you don't have much time to get to first place, which is mandatory in GP Mode to advance. If you've been placing poorly and getting all the bad upgrade cars, it's an uphill battle to avoid losing all four of your lives. To contrast, the final course Shooting Hoops is slightly longer, but has 6 laps and thus plenty of time to gain first place.
    • From the same game, Heaven and Hell. The issue with Phantomile is purely lack of time, while the course isn't that difficult. The early parts of H&H are shared with Wonderhill from early in the championship, only this time, you will probably be doing those bits in a much faster car. Not helped by the fact that the bits of the course it doesn't share with WH are chock full of right angle turns and tightening hairpins. Taken Up to Eleven when you factor in you have to race the Devil Cars here in Extra Trial if you want the Dig Racing Team (hardest difficulty) versions of the Terrazi Utopia and Age Solo Euracil. In GP Mode it's not too bad even when driving for RTS, but with DRT it can be a realm grind because you have to win. The save point is after this race, but screw it up and you'll have to go through Phantomile and Brightest Nite again to have another go.
      • Shooting Hoops can be this with DRT if you have the best cars; winning can be purely a matter of luck. Not making any mistakes helps, but even that isn't a guarantee of victory. Using inferior machines actually makes thing easier because the AI is less aggressive.
    • Revolution's Extra Advanced track can be pretty hectic on Time Trial, mainly due to the very narrow section towards the end, and considering the White Angel (the Kamata Angelus pre name change) WILL be up your gearbox the entire time, if you screw it up, you may as well just accept defeat and start again. And again. And again....
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Zig-zagged with Dig Racing Team, with a little Unstable Equilibrium thrown in. In GP Mode, Dig Racing Team is the most difficult team to play GP Mode with in R4, due to the difficult opponents AI, usually low top speed and tricky handling of their machines (in-universe, this is explained by DRT having budget shortages and overall being one of the worst teams), whereas the two "grip" teams MMM and PRC have easier-for-beginners machines and Racing Team Solvalou's machines are at least Difficult, but Awesome rather than "handicap mode". For time attack modes, at least with the Shooting Hoops track, they boast the best top tier Stage 3 and Stage 4 cars (car number 12 and 19 respectively) in the game, and their second bests in those Stages aren't slouches either, nearly as good as RTS. While they start off rubbish, their best car in each tier gets a much bigger boost in top speed over the previous model compared to the other teams. Their Stage 2 cars start off nearly as slow as MMM, but car 5 (the best in Stage 2) is as fast as the PRC version, and with Stage 3 & 4, while again they start off slow, if you're good enough to keep winning then their bespoke models (i.e. the cars that aren't just tuned versions of previous models) again get significantly bigger boosts in top speed over what would happen with their competitors.
    • Ridge Racer V has the Kamata Fortune. It's supposed to be a newbie friendly car with its easy handling, but goes at the speed of molasses and even its oval engine has disappointing performance. On harder difficulties, the Fortune may make certain races Unwinnable. For reference, the Danver Toreador and Himmel EO have better performance with Difficult, but Awesome handling.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For their time, several major entries in the series typically pioneered visual techniques and technical showcasing or progression on their hardware. The best examples would have to be Type 4, held as the best-looking racing game on the original PS1, and V demonstrating the PS2 hardware straight out of the gate with its 60 frames per second and legendary real-time intro.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: When Namco announced that a new Ridge Racer title was coming for mobile platforms, the fanbase was definitely not amused. They actually wanted — and still want — a full scale Ridge Racer game for next-gen consoles.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Suprisingly averted. According to 5, the Kamata Angelus has a W18 DOHC engine. One would think that W engines by design have to have a number of cylinders that is a multiple of 4, which 18 clearly isn't, as modern W engines do, but no, it's using the older "three-bank" design, in which case such engines do exist (even if on closer inspection the configuration more closely resembles a Y). They were often used as aeroplane engines in the first half of the 20th Century, which is Truth in Television as early racing cars did indeed use such engines.
    • Volkswagen's VR 5 engine shows that you can possibly create a W18 without the archaic 3 bank configuration.


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