Ridge Racer and Sony system launches go hand in hand. The arcade racing series has accompanied the PS1, PS2 and PSP system launches. Next week, on November 17, the PS3 will launch with its own iteration, titled Ridge Racer 7. Like any launch software, Sony intends to show off the power of its new console with it. And it to that effect Ridge Racer 7 mostly succeeds. It sticks to what made it popular in the first place, namely physics-shunning race dynamics, so those looking for the next step in the series will likely feel burned.
Those looking for an evolutionary step in the franchise will hit the gas and never look back. Ridge Racer 7 is, if nothing else, a vastly rewarding title that does a fine job of making racing fun, above all else. It certainly ignores the real-world physics presented by some of its peers, like Project Gotham Racing 3. It also keeps the action focused on high-speed maneuvering and less on wanton destruction, like in Burnout Revenge. But what it lacks in realism and explosions it makes up in a solid, albeit entirely unrealistic, race experience. Players will spend more time perfecting the art of drifting than anything else, but in the case of Ridge Racer 7, that's totally fine - since the developer structured the entire game around it.