When the Ridge Racer series emerged on home consoles, it established itself as the one of the leading arcade-styled racers. Fast forward a couple generations, and unfortunately it’s changed so little over the years that other hot rods have long since caught up. Launch titles usually don’t squeeze all of the hardware juice out of a console–but Ridge Racer 6 looks can almost pass as a regular Xbox game.
Building textures look noticeably low-res even at blurringly fast speeds, and the cars themselves fall short of models seen in Forza. Borrowing levels from previous games, the game’s stages fail to excite you. Game mechanics seem trapped in the previous gen, too. Building up nitrous gauges is a take back to the PSP version, and the addition of the Ultimate Charge does little to approach a Burnout level of intensity. And isn’t next-gen a perfect time to make damage modeling standard? Not in this conservatively status quo racer. The computer controlled cars seem clueless of their surroundings, make each course a mind-numbingly repetitive ordeal. Namco typically delivers satisfying electronica tracks, but the cobbled-together score innocuously bumbles in the background in RR6, helping to fill out the otherwise devoid experience. Of course, all else is overshadowed when you hear the Ebonics-spouting announcer–the only phrase missing from his crass stereotypical banter is “word to your mother.” Race long enough and you’ll even have the pleasure of hearing him use the leet-speak hot phrase, “own.” It’s not a bad game when you break it down, but there’s no sense in dropping 60 bucks on a next-gen title when there are plenty of other previous gen games that’d get your heart racing faster. Hold out for the inevitable next-gen Burnout. 80/100