Of the few racing games presenting themselves at the launch of Vita, Ridge Racer Vita was the only racer to capture my interest. After Ridge Racer 3DS seemingly please it’s audience, the Vita version should maybe be able to do better, no? With all of the Vita’s bells and whistles, would Ridge Racer Vita hold up the brand name?
To cut to the chase, no. The presentation of RRV is great. The trance-style soundtrack keeps you in the intense drifting action of RRV. The appearance of each car is futuristic and stylish. The controls are damn near perfect. This all sounds great right? And for the most part it is, except the developer forgot to put a game in here.
What you have with RRV is a shell of a game. RRV relies almost completely on online multiplayer. Racing online is great, WTH am I talking about? Well, there’s such a limited amount of tracks, even with free DLC and the “Gold Pass” that comes with the game when you buy it new. You will have raced on every track in less then an hour. Oh, at one point you’ll unlock the option to race on each track backwards…. Yay?
The online, ghost and face-to-face battles are great, but it is such a limited amount of tracks even these can lose their interest. The cars as well are for nothing more then appearance as each car handles identically and even has the same exact upgrades.
You earn points after completing each race. You use these points to upgrade your machine. It takes about 5 races won to unlock a block in the upgrade system. Not bad? Well about 75% of the blocks are used to only get you closer to an upgrade. So in order for you to actually purchase an upgrade, you’re talking to 15 to 20 races. Don’t mind grinding? Good, you’ll be doing it constantly. Your machine gets faster as you gain levels. But you’ll find yourself racing against cars you have no chance against, which means starting multiple races you know you can’t win just to get a couple points.
When first starting RRV you’ll be given the option of which racing team to join. These teams are on a global leaderboard. Every time you win a race against a rival your team gets points. But there’s never an incentive to actually make sure your team does well, none whatsoever. This would be the only aspect to actually get you to care about playing RRV in single-player and nothing is done with it.
Ridge Racer Vita is the equivalent of an online only downloadable game without any kind of content to keep you playing. I have put 5 hours into this game, 5. I have done everything multiple times to the point of boredom. Your first hour of playing RRV you’ll love it. After that… eh.