The game I released the first PlayStation with was Destruction Derby, but it took me a few days to accompany it with one of the best adaptations of the time, the unforgettable Ridge Racer. A racing arcade with a very limited number of tracks, as was usual at the time (Daytona USA in SEGA, without further elaboration), except that it was actually raced within a city.

It’s a classic, of course, which I love very much. In fact, I still have the Hi-Spec version that was gifted to me with Ridge Racer Type 4. So when Microsoft announced the latest backwards compatibility, I craved Ridge Racer 6 for Xbox 360 (at grossly inflated prices) to give myself a good dose of nostalgia while I check how he’s faring on Xbox Series X and Incidentally, the extent to which the passage of time has left a dent in it.

A true PlayStation icon, now on Xbox 360

We’re talking about a game from 2005… And it shows. It meant the jump to a new generation console and as one of the emblems in the first months of life. It happened with the first Ridge Racer on PlayStation, Namco repeated it with Ridge Racer V on PS2 and surprised with this Ridge Racer 6 on Xbox 360, which ended up being the debut of the saga on a Microsoft console. And only eye.

It is also not that the saga lived its best moment (unfortunately), since a long time passed without repeating the success of its beginnings, but if we compare the gross figures of the first of 1993 with that of 2005, the leap was at 130 vehicles and 15 different racetracks more than noticeable. And that reused in some paths, not counting mirror mode. But this quality of reusing, expanding or shortening the tracks on the same stage has always been part of its appeal, shared by other classics of the genre such as Konami’s cuqui GTI Club.

In perspective, he could be credited with the small evolution in terms of his driving style. But to give up that arcade style with such an over-the-top and easy-to-execute skid was to betray its true essence. So replaying Ridge Racer 6 now from Xbox Series X reminded me of part of what I felt with Ridge Racer on PlayStation: drifts stay the same. And on a personal level I appreciate these typical leisure activities amidst the rise of eSports with this professionalization in tournaments and prohibitive flyers.

Unfortunately, as a result of its PS3-only “Director’s Cut” the following year (Ridge Racer 7), the saga stalled in later years with Pachi slots, portable console supplies (PS Vita has one of the worst ratings in its history), or the Experiment called Ridge Racer Unbounded, which tried unsuccessfully to replicate the burnout formula. And yes, there were also games on mobile that stupidly went five years without another game.

But getting back to that sixth numbered installment on Xbox 360, which was by no means the best launch game on Microsoft’s console (Project Gotham Racing 3 pisses on Namco’s work), it had enough to draw in all those folks who grew up racing from the Japanese company. We had a clear example of this with its cinematics where Reiko Nagase appeared; but also for the Pac-Man mini-game before the actual game starts racing.

On the other hand, there was something that (for better or for worse) was no longer known. Its campaign menu had a slightly odd progression system that could be overwhelming at first: a series of “connected” circuits where we chose the order to complete. We could “chain” races back to back, or play it safe (or rush), one at a time. Anything to unlock a bunch of extras.

Ridge Racer 6

There was no longer a predetermined order for the laps, but it depended on the route of the “map” (image above) that we chose between different paths, with the stimulus of those questions for which vehicles or another price series reported all the laps complete that surrounded them. And the number of “tests” exceeded a hundred, therefore at first the exposed thing overwhelmed with so much.

And what about the circuits? As I said, his actual count was 15 tracks. If we counted the reverse mode, it triggered at 30. As for their names, they didn’t always reveal the resemblance to other paths (there were places that were repeated but with different routes), so we sometimes had the inevitable déjà vu during the first tests. Too early even for inverted mode draw.

  • Lake Shore Drive
  • Riverside Rave City
  • Southbay Docks
  • island circle
  • Surfside resort
  • highland cliffs
  • Port line 765
  • flyer loop
  • Seacrest District
  • Laketop Parkway
  • Midtown Parkway
  • airport round
  • Sunset Heights
  • Crossbay Tunnel
  • Downtown Rave City

Each, logically, had a different length, as well as a series of curves that were more or less complicated. But in reality, like all Ridge Racers, thanks to Drift there wasn’t a difficult turn, since it was like using a compass: the car didn’t lose direction (unless we lost our hand), it just reduced top speed a little . And to do it, you had to let go of the gas pedal and accelerate again to skid and straighten up.

There were only abysses when it came to steering a racing car in accordance with its class. The beginner class (which you had to go through) was class 1, while supercars were reserved for class 4. These were extremely fast and with them, any track that seemed easy to us became extremely complicated when it came to skidding due to their high speed.

Ridge Racer 6, a second juvenile… strange

Ridge Racer 6

Already in terms of the number of opponents, it was 14 per race and with three laps for each test. But, as in the past, there were also iconic head-to-head duels against a range of supercars. In addition, there were no official approvals for the vehicles, although they were based on well-known brands. And as usual in the saga, decorated on certain occasions with motifs reminiscent of various Namco classics. The wink in Ridge Racer 6 was quite high.

For example the shot above with this side marker with Pac-Man. And if we talk about decoration, there was even The Tower of Druaga or SoulCalibur to name a few. Playable it was 100% Ridge Racer, apart from the addition of nitro in the last few deliveries, which reloaded when slingshot. Now there have been tests with it disabled for a more classic experience that suits me better.

Through sensations, despite the “generational leap” of these, there were honors in the circuit design in a way, vaguely reminiscent of those of earlier deliveries. But as I said, what was missing was that it was more groundbreaking and not so continuous, and of course assuming a more noticeable generational leap. Of course, thanks to Xbox Live Gold, it had the opportunity to play online games.

pac man

Gaming Xbox Series X, no matter how smooth it runs, doesn’t hide its gaming aspect from the first batch of Xbox 360 where Namco failed to realize its full potential. And given its recent backwards compatibility, it’s hard to spot that it was long ago withdrawn from the digital market, except on the US store, where it’s available for just $9.99. No, Ridge Racer 6 is no longer in Europe.

And on the second-hand market it is extremely sold out in all shops, while on portals such as eBay or Wallapop it is inflated with bids from 50 euros to direct purchases for 100 euros and more. In my case the cheapest I could buy sealed was almost 80 euros NTSC USA version. It’s the effect of backwards compatibility, especially when it comes to games that came out on a major console 16 years ago.

Of course, it also depends on the edition of these video games at the time. Because with Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, of course, that crazy price didn’t happen. Whatever the case, my collector’s desire has outweighed my affection for the Ridge Racer. And also because it doesn’t look like there will be a new chapter in the short term. Another day we were talking about the SEGA Rally situation… Damn!