Ridge Racer DS review

Ridged for pleasure, maybe, but not GamesMaster's...

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Ridge Racer - a name synonymous with Namco, a name synonymous with class. With the delectable Ridge Racer proving to be one of PSP's standout launch titles, the DS version will surely rock the house, right? Er, no. Dead wrong, actually.

Okay, so it's really, really fast, but sacrifices have been made to ensure this pulsating frame rate - namely, Ridge Racer DS looks rubbish.

Cue bland cars, blocky 'landmarks' and an abundance of clipping (where you'll frequently drive through pavements and mountainsides).

The familiar wacky powersliding and OTT arcade-style gameplay prove fun for a bit, though sadly there's no nitrous boost.

But the much-trumpeted "driving via stylus" control scheme is just about the worst gameplay mechanic ever, until you attempt the thumb strap that is. Our advice: stick to the D-pad.

Tenacious (some might say extremely unforgiving, or just plain unfair) opposition AI provides a testing challenge, but whether you'll actually be bothered to persevere with the challenge is another matter entirely.

Perhaps the most stinging criticism we could hurl at Ridge Racer DS is that it makes Need for Speed Underground 2 look half-decent - and that is just plain wrong.

We mean, at least that abomination had a bit of depth to it. If you're on the hunt for a decent handheld racer, either wait for Mario Kart DS or splash out on a PSP.

Ridge Racer DS is out now

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