News Article

Gold Pass Beefs Up Ridge Racer Vita's Day-One Offering

Posted by Sammy Barker

Palette cleanser

From what we’ve played of Ridge Racer on the PlayStation Vita, it’s a solid entry into the franchise. But the game’s slender content offering has (rightfully) prompted some fierce vitriol from fans of the drift-heavy series. With just three tracks and a handful of cars on offer out of the box, the game’s a tough proposition – even with its slashed price-point. Thankfully, Namco’s got a solution.

The publisher’s announced that all first-run copies of the game – available alongside the PlayStation Vita’s launch on 22nd February – will come bundled with a Ridge Racer Gold Pass. Said pass will grant free access to five additional cars, three extra courses, two music tracks and an extended “music mix”.

If you’re buying the game digitally then you’ll still get access to the extra content, provided you download the game before March 1st. Beyond that the Gold Pass will run you €6.99 (£5.85).

In April, Namco will introduce an additional DLC pack which will grant players with a further injection of content for €5.99 (£5.00). Assuming you pick up both packs, you should have a pretty complete game.

We suppose that given Ridge Racer is the cheapest game available at the PS Vita’s launch, the DLC model makes sense – with the game not costing much more than a standard release once you’ve purchased all of the DLC. We just think Namco’s gone about this the wrong way. The publisher seems caught between two business models – it should have gone either freemium or traditional, but where it’s at now is a confusing mix between the two.

In other news, Namco's also announced a PlayStation Vita application that will launch alongside the handheld and include demos for each of its launch titles. Games include Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen and Touch My Katamari.


Game Screenshots

User Comments (2)



Dak_n_Jaxter said:

I've never played a Ridge Racer before... is more arcade or sim? It looks really good regardless



JamieO said:

I think that there is a real historical element to the disappointment that a PlayStation gamer feels on learning that the Vita version of Ridge Racer is so short on content. I was discussing this the other day and I think that Namco Bandai should have been more conscious of the tradition that every single new launch of PlayStation hardware has been introduced with a Ridge Racer game. For example, my PlayStation launch experiences were like this:

* Ridge Racer (PS1, 1995): I played it the year before on the arcades, but my jaw properly dropped when my friend first booted up the PlayStation version. Compared to my SNES, the quality of the polys, textures and the faithfulness of the conversion were stunning (note that minimal content was far more acceptable due to the early 3D revolution, technological leap of this release).
* Ridge Racer V (PS2, 2000): It was my brother who first invested in PS2, and even though I had basic experience of Dreamcast, this game brought in the next generation for me.
* Ridge Racers (PSP, 2004): If Vita gets even a little bit close to impressing like the stunning sense of graphically sharp and powerful tech that playing my Japanese import of Ridge Racers achieved, I will be a very happy man.
* Ridge Racer 7 (PS3, 2007, PAL): This game brought everything that was great about Ridge Racer together in one package for me: it had the visual shine of a new generation of hardware, the controls were wonderfully tight, the drift based arcade gameplay was fun, but most importantly it was jam-packed full of content. Namco Bandai could have used all of Ridge Racer 7's tracks as a starting point to boost the PS Vita's Ridge Racer content.

I feel like Namco Bandai have a responsibility to uphold this tradition, they are mad not to have recognised it themselves, by providing more than a bit of free DLC to bump up its content. They have built a legacy that is of value, I wish that they had given more priority to this Ridge Racer launch title.

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