All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


R: Racing Evolution

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone / Teen
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Media: GCD/2
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

The next game in the Ridge Racer line has come out. R: Racing Evolution has superb graphics, a detailed story and a large assortment of beautifully rendered cars.

The gallery version of the cars is outstandingly well done. The shine and reflectiveness makes you feel like you are in a dealership looking for a new muscle machine. And, even though the in-game cars don't quite have this spectacular a look, they are still some amazing models. The landscape and car models have a lot of detail in them and they are all displayed without slowing down the frame rate. After the race, you can sit back and watch the replay from different cameras around the track. This way you will get the full affect of the high detailed images.

In Racing Life (R:RE's story mode) you are treated to some great CG cutscenes as your character progresses through the chapters.

There is a wide variety of music to listen to while racing down the track. Unfortunately, I found that the default volume of the radio was too loud to let me hear what everyone else on the track was saying. So thankfully, there is an option to adjust the volume as well as an option to just turn the music off. I found I raced better with the music turned off -- plus you get to hear what your pit crew is saying, not to mention the banter that goes on between cars.


The main attraction R: Racing Evolution has is its Racing Life mode. This story mode puts you in the shoes of an ambulance driver who has been discovered by a manager at G.V.I -- a well-known racing team. Your first missions involve proving yourself and showing the team that you have what it takes to race professionally.

As G.V.I's new driver, you will get access to many cars from Dodge, Honda, Acura, GM and several other brands. You will drive cars from many classes --everything from the Mini Cooper to the S2000. As the game progresses, you will even develop a rivalry with a driver from another team, Gina. Typically she is the car in the lead and the hardest of the bunch to pass up.

In this mode you earn cars, movies and RP's (reward points). These points are the currency in the game. With these (earned by finished races with a certain rank, putting on a lot of pressure on the track and various other categories) you will be able to buy new cars, tune up your old cars as well as buy challenges and racing events.

One of the interesting features about Racing Evolution's races is the effectiveness of pressure on the other drivers. As you approach a driver from behind, a bar appears over their car. This bar is different lengths depending on how well the driver can keep his or her cool. As you approach, the bar will fill up -- turning from blue to yellow to red. If you stay on the driver's tail, they will eventually mess up. They may take a curve too wide or lose control of their car. Either way, it helps in getting and keeping them behind you.

The amount of control you are given over your cars is amazing. Besides the standard options of automatic or manual transmission, you can also choose to have Brake Assist turned on (an option that seemed to hold me back more times than not). You can also adjust the suspension at each of the wheels -- this got a little above my head though, so I can't say much about that.

In the Time Attack mode, you race around an unlocked track in hopes of beating your best time. If you want to, you can follow a ghost car around the track. This car follows the path of your fastest recorded lap. The game also features a Two- Player Versus mode. Here you and your friend share the screen as you see who has the best control.

One major problem I had with R:RE is its lack of an autosave -- or even a message asking you if you wanted to save. When I first played the game, I spent several hours going through the Racing Life mode. I got about halfway through when I decided to quit for the day. When I returned a few days later, I realized that none of that progress had been saved. I went to the Load/Save option and saw that the file I had started was still set on Chapter 1. That means that all of the vehicles I had unlocked or purchased, as well as the challenges I had completed were gone as if they never existed. And as of now (when I am writing this review), I have yet to get near that point in the story again.

I'm sorry, but as a programmer, I can see that it should be really easy to call the save command, or even ask the user between races if they want to save. If it isn't as simple as adding a few lines of code, then there is something seriously wrong with said code. This seems like major goof in a very solid game.

On a side note, this game also comes with a free copy of Pac-man Vs. This multiplayer Pac-man has one person controlling the power pellet gobbling partial circle on a GameBoy Advance, while up to three other players act as the ghosts on the Game Cube. This game can have a slightly addictive quality to it, but it will often lead to tangled wires when the role of Pac-man changes hands -- literally.


Each race in R: Racing Evolution can be set to one of three difficulty settings. These three settings are pretty dead on. I found the Normal setting to be just my speed because it was challenging, but I knew If I kept working on it, I would eventually get past it and continue the story. The Easy and Hard settings are basically what they sound like. The other cars are harder to pressure in the later setting, while they aren't quite as fast in the Easy setting.

Game Mechanics:

It took me a while to get use to the controls of R: Racing Evolution. Maybe it was the fact that the accelerator is the Right Shoulder button, or maybe it was simply because I just got done reviewing two Hot Wheels: World Race games; either way it took some time. Once I got into the swing of things though, I found the controls to be quick and responsive.

You shift gears (with the manual transmission) with the A (shift up) and B (shift down) buttons, while the Left Shoulder button is the brake and the X button is the hand brake. The Y button is to switch to the cockpit view, where you are closer to the ground and have the advantage of a rear view mirror.

Besides the distinct lack of an autosave feature, there are very few problems with this game. If you are a racing fanatic, then you should definitely pick up a copy of R: Racing Evolution, and even if you aren't, then give it a rent. You might find yourself fascinated with the storyline just enough to go and get it.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Nintendo GameCube Metroid Prime Nintendo GameCube Sonic Adventure DX Director's Cut

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated