No one knows how the race began…
June 1997 – I was 9, Gaming was slowly becoming my passion and it was a truly exciting time of my life, Some of the most amazing games were being released and having no cares in the world other than getting as much time on the PS1 is something I often long for. (curse being an adult)…
This week we will be looking at what is quite possibly my all time favorite racing game. Rage Racer; A fast paced, adrenaline fueled sprint around a set of tracks (Mythical Coast, Lakeside Gate, Overpass City & The Extreme Oval) which all interlink between one and other, a formula which Namco implemented in Ridge Racer and have done in other games since.
Lets start with taking a look at some gameplay:
The game borrows a lot of its philosophies and physics from the previous Ridge Racer: Revolution title, this time with darker graphics and imagery, leaning away from the “cartoonish” appearance of previous games.
Perfect! That trophy’s yours!
The game revolves around a single player campaign where the player earns credits for winning races and ranking up, you can then buy cars and upgrades to make yourself competitive in the higher classes.
There are 11 classes in the game, or GP’s –
- Class 1: Calme GP
- Class 2: Brise GP
- Class 3: Rafale GP
- Class 4: Mistral GP
- Class 5: Tempete GP
- Class 1: Aisance GP
- Class 2: Agitation GP
- Class 3: Irritation GP
- Class 4: Colere GP
- Class 5: Rage GP
- Class 6: Diable GP
You are given a Gnade Esparanza as a starting car, an all round saloon which excels at nothing in particular other than getting you through the first GP, at this point you are given several cars to purchase, I always went with the Age Erriso due to the phenomenal handling. Lizard’s were available which focused on acceleration and Assoluto which focused on top speed.
As you progress through the GP’s you unlock a new race called the Extreme oval in the Rafale GP, Basically a test of agility in keeping the throttle held down while navigating the corners and CPU cars without hitting anything, if you do, its going to cost ya!
The Assoluto Fatalita is essential for winning this race, with the highest top speed out of all the early cars its pretty much the only way to win the race.
For completing the Regular GP, you are awarded entrance into the Extra GP, the main difference being the tracks are mirrored (which in itself is a massive issue as the tracks do not flow anywhere near as well in reverse) and the CPU opponents are also faster, Almost a 1997 version of ‘New Game+’
Completing this will enable entrance into the Diable GP, giving the player the change to race against the “Devil Cars” or Age Vainqure, Lizard Bulldog & Assoluto Squaldon (who thinks of these names?)
Rage Racer received generally favourable reviews, Scoring 7/10 from IGN and 84% on Game Rankings, Criticism about the unrealistic collisions was fairly common, not that Namco actually listened to it (just play Ridge Racer: Type 4 and you’ll see)
But none of that matters to me, this game was my Holy Grail of racing and I still play it to this day, the nostalgia has not dimmed and I can see myself being a fan of this game for life.
Rage Racer can be picked up for less than £5 on Amazon.co.uk – Worth every penny.
Stay tuned for more Flashback Friday content next week.
Did you play this or any of the Namco classic racers as a kid? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to spread the #PoweredOn revolution using our share buttons at the bottom of this article.