The third arcade instalment of the Ridge Racer series, and the first actual sequel/spin-off, since Ridge Racer 2 was mostly the same as the original except for the revised soundtrack, a revised HUD and multiplayer support.
The music has also been revised with some completely new tracks covering techno/house and electronica genres, and some familiar ones – rare hero returns as a remix. Sadly this gets ruined by the two race announcers who insist on polluting the sound-waves with their rambling takes. The first one is a female sounding voice who is supposed to be the main announcer and has a tendency to repeat the same lies constantly (Go GO GOO This race is yours!!!) She also voices the attract screen. The second announcer is a male voice who seems to be one of the rival cars.
The original emulator for the game that was released in 2002, now has been eclipsed by MAME. Vivanonno could emulate most of the effects but has issues with the car shadows which can dissapear. Like Ridge Racer 2 however, there are a few geometry inaccuracies.
Left has filtering disabled and is how it would have appeared on the actual system, right has filtering enabled.
Cars are slightly sunk into the track, but lift up when the race starts
Nintendo 64 Version?
Possible leaked build of the game running on the N64?
Its just the Vivanonno version with the texture reduction set to the highest option, but if it did come to the N64 it may have looked soomething like this.
This was a fork of MAME and had the goal of emulating the Namco System 22/21 games with hardware acceleration. This had the benefit of better emulation performace since the graphics processing was offloaded onto the GPU.
Sadly Mjolnir was abandoned and the latest build is based off a very old version of MAME, which means System 22 emulation is very primitive and many graphics issues are present with the emulation being incomplete. As a result its difficult to play givern the graphics issues with this build. Also it uses an older ROM set which makes it incompatable with the currernt MAME sets.
A fork of MAME now allows for link play with selected System 22 games. Unfortunately it is far from perect and only seems to work with only 2 players reliably.
Track selection screen with link play enabled
Meanwhile other linked machines will advertise that they are able to join in, the top two are displayed on the idle machines whilst the bottom is displayed on the machine that initated the link paly.
Left: the test mode configuration. Each machine needs to have a unique car colour and CPU number, which allows each machine to identify each toher. On the right the attract screen when link play is detected
A two player game from both players view. The time is different on both machines because the right has the difficulty settings set to easy mode (H). Seems each machine can have their own independant game configuration. Infact you can have one machine set to complete three laps, whilst the other has to complete five, which does not seem fair. Perhaps Namco would assume the operator had to ensure all systems had the same configurations set?
Whilst its possible for two players to play this way, when trying to play with four players there seems to be a few issues. I would assume System 22 networking works on the basis it transmits network packets in a broadcast fashion, like UDP. When playing a ‘four’ player game it seemed that one machine was sending data to one machine, whilst receiving data from another which caused some interesting effects with the map display. Despite setting each machines IP address (emulated through MAME instance, the arcade board has no TCP/IP support) to be unique. It works on some sort of token ring like topology where one machine recieves data and then sends it on a different physical port to another machine, basically every machine has an input and output.
Its also possible that this is due to the early emulation, and may be improved in later releases.
Namco always put a lot of detail into the track environments of their Ridge Racer games, and there are many references to their other arcade and console titles via the use of track billboards or building signs. A lot of this detail gets missed do to how fast paced the game is, and the arcade nature of the game. Many players are not going to stop and admire the buildings close up, which is where MAME and the no-collision cheats comes in.
Once nice detail that gets over looked, in the demo attract sequence, you can see the brake discs heat up as they are applied!
This is the same novice track from the first Ridge Racer game, but has updated textures which give it a more detailed look. Some buildings have been altered but the layout of the track remains the same.
The crowd looks different compared to the Ridge Racer version.
The end of the alternative tunnel path, which is normally blocked off and inaccessible. Seems to lead into the abyss…
Outside of the bridge in the first segment of the track
Closer view of the shops,
Getting a closer view of the shops near the beach
Driving in the grass, the peds here are unanimated
Out of the track and a view of the tower in the background, unfortunately we cannot drive to it since it disappears
Building that reads Nyanta Nyanta, unsure what that means
On the novice track there is a section that is blocked off, which leads to a track on the Advanced course, driving past here just leads to a empty void, since the world here isn’t populated
Another view from a out of bounds perspective
Namco advertising their TR3 chipset that was Co-developed by Evans&Sutherland. Billboard reads Texture mapping Real-Time Real-Visual rendering system
An advert for that other fighting game Namco is known for
Driving on the sea, a closer look at the boats
A new track that was previously exclusive to Rave Racer but has since reappeared in the PSP version of Ridge Racer, This one is set in a more urban environment with a rolling highway.
At the start of the track you can turn around 180 degrees and drive through a highway, you can do this without the use of cheats. You can drive until you reach a tunnel, where the game teleports you back out of the tunnel at a higher speed.
A no-clip like view of the world
A look at the city, and a Pac&Pal store
Another system 22 advert, namco were really pround to show their arcade technology off
Another TR3 billboard
I don’t know if the transparency was intentional or they just forgot
Another noclip like view, except im nearly colliding with a helicopter. Theres no collision data so your car just clips right through the heli
View of the stadium, where LiberoGrande takes place
An alternative view of the mountain track, which normally cannot be seen within the game
I later learnt that this is an invisible wall, but when your collides with it at a certain speed the game teleports you to the bottom section, Driving into it at 10mph would just cause the car to bounce back to the track.
Some sort of casino??
A gas station for when you need to refill your car, although this inst a game mechanic, cars in Ridge Racer do not have fuel
Cup Ball, some sort of bowling center?
Buildings have no rendering data at the back of them, so the textures just disappear
Same Laperopter building in the first track
Better view of the spooky hotel ghost, seems Namco recycled building models to conserve ROM space
Going up the ramp, however the car clips through it
These tracks would remain exclusive to the arcade, and would not appear in any console version until the PSP version of Ridge Racer, I wonder what changes were made and if any buildings were kept?
Rave Racer Fan Site (Archived)
Namco Rave Racer (Archived)