Argh! Again, they reject me! I dont think ill ever drive for the Green Egg Racing Team now at this rate! Oh, i forgot I was writing a gaming blog then! Heloshi everyone, its the Nicest Yoshi in Yoshi’s Island with a new look blog and a hope that itll be consistent now. I’ve been playing Rage Racer a lot recently, the older, edgier brother of Ridge Racer Type 4 if you will and after having put some time into it, I can see the improvements that Rage Racer’s hipper, younger brother has and while this game isnt as good it gets an appoval for improving on Ridge Racer Revolution. Published and Delevoped for the PS1 by Namco in 1996, Rage Racer was meant to be more realistic and darker in tone than normal Ridge Racer games as the title itself can be used to further that notion as its called “Rage” Racer, so I can only imagine that the exhausts on the car’s are supposed to be screaming out like “AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH! IM ANGRY!” Sentient car exhausts aside, Rage Racer introduced some new elements and paved the way for Ridge Racer Type 4 and was the first appearance of Reiko Nagase, the character Namco used to promote the Ridge Racer series by including her in every intro sequence and trailer from Rage Racer onwards.
Interestingly, the main part of the game takes on a Career-esque style mode where you race in four varied courses and work your way up a Class system, earing credits to upgrade and purchase new cars on your way to the as expected from the Ridge Racer series, part where you can race and earn special cars and oddly, the fabled Angelus and Crinale cars which im sure are the renicarnated forms of Angel and Devil from Tekken 2 arent in this game this time. However, the special cars featured in this game make up for that. Starting from Class 1, you start with a bog standard car and have to partake in three courses with varying difficultly but all are around the same length so you wont have to worry about spending what could feel like hours on the same track. Instead of the generic tracknames like its predessors used, Mythical Coast, Over Pass City, Lakeside Gate and the bounus oval track named The Extreme Oval, (Cue Michael Bay style explosions) are alright sounding track names and fit each course well. Personally, Mythical Coast is my favorite track as its not that hard to learn how to manoeuvre through each corner and seeing as the track reminds me of an Italian coast, its a great way to introduce the game and when you get to grips with the controls, is a joy to race in.
The cars are classic Ridge Racer fare, from brands created especially for the series made to represent real life brands and each brand representing a certain country like Agé, a french company specialsing in cars that handle corners well but tend to have a low top speed because of that. Overall, there is a good selection or cars to choose from and there is a car stuited to everyones style of drving too but heres where I have to make sure that the elephant lets everyone know that he’s in the room. (Loud trumpeting) That was louder than I thought it would be… Anyway, in order to use different cars or so you can use a lower class car in a higher class, you need to use credits to buy cars to tune up a car to another class. While that is fine, a fair bit of grinding has to be done because of how many credits you are given for clearing a race as, especially if you dont finish on first place can be too low and therefore you could spend a lot of time on the same track because of that and seeing as there are only three tracks to race in in the lower classes, it can get boring very quickly as a result. The soudtrack has been improved a lot too, with the usual electronic feel present but with some songs having an agressive techno vibe too, really helping to set the tone the Rage Racer is trying to deliver and two songs in particular have a chilled out vibe too, Silver Stream being one that would fit perfectly in Ridge Racer Type 4. The hidden song Deep Drive happens to be one of my favorites as it adds in a splash of retro into the mix as well. The songs that stick out in my mind are:
- Mech Monster for being the most agressive in terms of techno and it always makes me picture some kind of mech boss in a Shoot Em Up series like Darius,
- Silver Stream for being a chilled out song, an outside in a group that likes aggression and it works well as a result, providing the player a chance to ease up and relax if its used on the right track,
- Rage Racer as its basically the game’s theme as it shares the same name and lets you know what the general theme of the music to follow is, which is a requirement for any starting music really,
- Volcano Vehicle as its one of those great songs that can make you feel ready for anything as its fast paced and everything just works well together which makes it perfect for when you need to race on the multi lapped track, The Extreme Oval.
Overall Rage Racer is a good racing game that is let down by a lack of replayability, courses and a credits system that might have benefitted from having the rewards increased in each race to reduced the amount of time spent grinding for them. The graphics are improved over past titles but the driving wasnt perfected yet as collisions can be really annoying as you lose too much speed if you even accidentally clip another car and there are times when you just lose too much speed that its better to just quit the race and start again, so you tend to keep steering the car around like its driving on jelly just so you dont hit anything. Rage Racer is an agressive duckling, trying to find its feet but getting argny at everyone to tries to approach it but in time, it was able to turn into a rather chilled out Swan and now prefers to answer by the name of Ridge Racer Type 4.