A lot of the games at Sony's PlayStation 3 pre-launch event seemed a little bit... sluggish. Not so Namco's near-final version of Ridge Racer 7, which had us zooming around tracks about 200 miles an hour - and it felt like it. With extremely crisp track graphics, super-shiny cars, and precise control, RR7 looks to be a buffed-up version of exactly the same thing we've been used to for years - polished till it shines.
That's what's kind of funny about Ridge Racer. If you've been through a PlayStation launch (or two, or three - don't forget PSP) you definitely know the drill. This racing series is simply addictive and fun, and while RR7 makes concessions to street racing (you can modify your cars - big deal ) it's still an evolution of the slick, arcade-style racing the series is best known for. Having been addicted to the PSP version a little over a year ago, we're not complaining.
We got to try two entirely new tracks, and both were real lookers. While the game isn't pushing the PS3 to present a gritty world the way, say, MotorStorm seems to be, it's definitely a bright and inviting game, and it's a huge improvement over last year's "is this really next gen?" Ridge Racer 6 on the 360.