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Ridge Racer (series)

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File:PSX Ridge Racer.png

Ridge Racer is a series of arcade racing games developed and published by Namco for both the arcade and various consoles.

Ridge Racer uses tracks which take place in the fictional city of Ridge City. Ridge City contains varied landscapes such as cities, beaches, woods, and mountains. Ridge City is located in Ridge State, whose location is unknown. The actual scope of Ridge city has changed over the series, adding new tracks all the time. However, The City still retains the original course from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2. In some of the earlier games, all of the tracks share the same starting line and finish line, but open or close off different parts of the track to yield a different course, with the gameplay itself often focusing on drift racing. The soundtrack predominantly features fairly up-beat techno music composed by Namco in-house artists. Most of the games use Reiko Nagase as a mascot, and many feature Full Motion Video sequences by Kei Yoshimizu from Keica inc.

Games

Arcade games

Console games

  • Ridge Racer (1994 - Japan, 1995 - USA/EU), for PlayStation, similar to the arcade with an optional 3rd person view (Launch Game). Début of 13th Racing ("Devil" car).
  • Ridge Racer Revolution (1995 - Japan, 1996 - USA/EU), for PlayStation. 13th Racing Kid and White Angel made their grand début in this game, challenging you in the game's Time Trial mode. Soundtrack was taken from the Ridge Racer 2 arcade game.
  • Rage Racer (1996 - Japan, 1997 - USA/EU), for PlayStation. This game marked the début of the retries rule and customization aspects.
  • R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (1998 - Japan, 1999 - USA/EU), for PlayStation, following the Rage Racer formula, but instead of customization, there are four racing teams to choose from.
  • Ridge Racer Turbo (1998 - Japan, 1999 - USA/EU), for PlayStation. A new version of the original game which featured a reduced number of game modes but run at 60fps and featured gouraud shading which had been absent from the original. Was given away as a bonus with R4: Ridge Racer Type 4.
  • Ridge Racer V (2000), for PlayStation 2 allows slight customisation, R4-style Grand Prix races are present rather than the original's free-form structure.
  • Ridge Racer 64 (2000), for Nintendo 64, features tracks from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer 2 and its very own set of desert tracks exclusive to the N64.
  • R: Racing (Evolution) (2003 - Japan, 2004 USA/EU), for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox.
  • Ridge Racer DS (2004 - USA), for Nintendo DS, a port of Ridge Racer 64 with the additional feature of being able to steer by using the touch screen
  • Ridge Racer (PSP) (2004 - Japan, 2005 - USA/EU), for PlayStation Portable, mixed new vehicles with tracks from the previous games.
  • Ridge Racer 6 (2005), for Xbox 360 (Launch Game)
  • Ridge Racer 2 (PSP) (2006), for PlayStation Portable followed the same formula as its predecessor with tracks featured in previous games of the series.
  • Ridge Racer 7 (2006), for PlayStation 3 (Launch Game) - Allowed complete customization of vehicles from body kits to engine parts and paint jobs.
  • Ridge Racer Accelerated (2009), for iOS
  • Ridge Racer (working title) (TBA), for Nintendo 3DS

Mobile Phone games

Reiko Nagase

File:Reiko.gif

Reiko Nagase (永瀬麗子 Nagase Reiko?) is a fictional character, a CGI race queen featured in the Ridge Racer series of videogames, as one of the girls holding cards before the start of each race, and appearing in the FMV cutscenes, most of which have been directed by Kei Yoshimizu from Keica inc.[1] An unnamed girl resembling Reiko first appeared in the real-time arcade intro for 1995's Rave Racer, but she was officially reintroduced (and named) a year later in Rage Racer.[2][3] Whether the Rave Racer girl is supposed to be Reiko is unknown, but Reiko's Ridge Racer 6 outfit bears a resemblance to the Rave Racer one.

In 1998's R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, she was given more prominence, as the opening animation, which used a Kimara Lovelace song, was a short story starring her,[4] and introduced a redesign to her 3D model by Kei Yoshimizu.[5] This is when Namco started giving more exposure to the character, heavily using her image to promote the game.[6][7]

Also on R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, she is known to have a cameo appearance as having sent a fax mail to Pac Racing Club, but due to her profession,this was kept as a secret (only gained through coming 1st place overall up to Phantomile).

Due to her newfound popularity she went to make many appearances in games outside of the Ridge Racer series (see list below), most of them featuring her white and red outfit from the R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 promotional artwork.[8] In the year 2000 she also appeared in the Nintendo-developed Ridge Racer 64, but notably they reused older Reiko artwork on it.

While still appearing in other games, Namco decided to replace Reiko in 2000's Ridge Racer V with newcomer Ai Fukami (深水 藍).[9] In 2001, Namco created an image girl for their Namco Sports line named Hitomi Yoshino (吉乃ひとみ),[10] and while the Ridge Racer series doesn't belong to that line she was featured in a Ridge Racer trailer shown in the 2002 edition of the E3.[11]

Since her popularity with fans still was strong,[12] Namco decided to bring back Reiko Nagase for 2004's Ridge Racers.[13] Featuring a revamped 3D model for the introductory animation, again by Kei Yoshimizu,[5] said model has also been used for her subsequent appearances, in the intros for Ridge Racer 6 (2005), Ridge Racer 7 (2006), Ridge Racers 2 (also 2006) and Ridge Racer Accelerated (2009).

She is prominently featured in the Ridge Racer pachislot to be released in 2008,[14] along with a PlayStation 2 version.[15]

She has been featured in many products licensed by Namco,[16] including the first and sixth wave of Namco Gals gashapon.[17]

A character named Kei Nagase, with a notable resemblance to Reiko, plays a role in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. In Ace Combat 2's details (where she is available to be chosen as your wingman), it is stated she is Reiko's sister.

A vague and unsourced article in the short lived Incite Video Gaming magazine[18] revealed that Reiko Nagase was modelled after Kei Yoshimizu, but he has denied it since then, and there is no visible resemblance.[19]

External links

References

fr:Ridge Racer (série)ja:リッジレーサーシリーズ

pt:Ridge Racer

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