Setup & Timing
The basic setup of Ridge Racer DS is very simple. Not that Namco had a choice; Ridge Racer DS was a launch title for the Nintendo DS, so nobody at the time was familiar with the system. As a result, Ridge Racer DS can be a good introductory title (especially for racing fans). The opening credits are longer than they need to be and are pretty much unskipable. Download time is not as efficient as it could be, but being a launch title, it's not bad.
Menus & Navigation
The menus are accessable via the Nintendo DS's buttons and the touch screen, with clear lettering and large, tapable areas.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
There are three different control methods in Ridge Racer DS, and they can fit any desired control method. Each player can make their own choice. "Easy Play: Control Pad" is probably going to be the most comfortable control scheme for most racers.
The graphics in Ridge Racer DS are a nice quality 3D. They won't blow your mind, but they're excellent considering the game came out alongside the system's debut. The game also includes several selectable options, including the number of laps and the number of computer-controlled opponents. The biggest fault in Ridge Racer DS's content is its audio. The announcer, while sometimes helpful (lap updates), is often annoying, unnecesary, and distracting. Also annoying is the sound effect that plays whenever your car hits anything. It doesn't sound like a crashing car. Instead, it sounds like a shopping cart demolition derby. It doesn't even matter what the car hits; it's always the same sound effect.
Category Score: 10.5 / 15
When looking at an older game (specifically, a launch title), there are two ways to approach the review. One is to compare the game to other early titles that were released at about the same time. The other is to compare the game to everything that's been released to date. In either case, the game holds up fairly well. A basic 3D racing sim, the game looks and plays well. There are issues with the choice of sound effects, but there are a number of system-specific options. Even though Ridge Racer DS takes a little bit of getting used to, I enjoyed playing the game. One catch: learn to drift if you want to survive.
Make the credits skipable.
Allow players to deactivate the announcer.
Vary the impact sound effects.
Permit players to select time of day/lighting for each race.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 78 / 100 (a.k.a. 40/50)
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