Ridge Racer 2 was a slight update to the series, adding linkable multiplayer and a revised soundtrack with several new tracks in addition to remixed versions of the original.
The announcer voice has been altered slightly, and has several new links in response to the players driving ability.
Some graphic effects have changed, whilst the textures are mostly similar to the original, the lighting effects have changed with RR2 using a hue/fog effect to simulate the day to night cycle, rather then the original which dimmed and changed the Sky texture.
Lastly a rear view mirror has been added, which required a redesign to the HUD.
Emulation – MAME Vs Vivanonno
Emulation for the game has improved over the years with the MAME System 22 core benefiting from being years in development, whilst Vivanonno has not been updated since 2003. Between the two emulators there are some diferentces in the rendering, with there being some unique advantages between the two.
Mame is considered to be more accurate to the arcade version, but Vivanonno has some advantages like texture filterning which System 22 is not capable of. This gives the game textures a less blocky appearance.
Vivanonno on the left, MAME (238) on the right
Night Time Effects
The MAME version now has a black ‘fog’ effect that covers the track at night, compared to Vivvanonno which misses the effect and leaves the track at full draw distance.
This flickers on Vivanonno but works fine on MAME
Cars not aligned correctly on track
The cars on the Vivanonno version are sunk into the track slightly and are missing the shadows. The brightness is also different, also notice the curve of the car, above where it says RIDGE
Score screen error
Not all of the textures appear on the Vivanonno version
Some of the road textures bleed or overlap, causing the effect
On Vivanonno the chevrons will dissapear at a cetain angle, noticable when you are drifiting.
A fork of MAME allows for limited linked play with both instances of MAME, at the moment this is currently running on one machine but should be possible over a local area connection. However latency will be tight since these arcade machines were meant to be linked close together which rules out internet play.
Screen this is displayed when waiting for other players to join, the attract screen on the linked machines changes to indicate players can join.
Starting position for both machines in one game
Thanks to MAME and a few cheats (Drive Anywhere), the car can escape the track, allowing us to get a better view of the scenery.
Another look at the audience at the start of the track, exactly the same as the first Ridge Racer
A look at the buildings outside the track
The fake cars in the other side of the tunnel have changed slightly, they seem to have more detailed textures, but are now lacking wheels. Unless these are floating. anti-gravity cars?
View of the city at night, the game simply swaps the textures rather than apply lighting effects, and the skybox has changed
Ridge Laser – Remix album by Namco