Tokyo Game Centre #13: Ridge Racer V

A brief postcard from the game centre this week: a well-known classic in the wild. I just like seeing Ridge Racer machines still in arcades and still getting played. Racing games have always provided the right limitations on player movement and perspective to coax the most impressive visuals out of whatever is the latest technology. Virtua Racing was Segaโ€™s first 3D hit, Mario Kart proved the potential of Mode 7, and Ridge Racer on the PlayStation was probably the smartest looking of its cool, arcade-in-the-home launch games.

Ridge Racer, launching alongside Battle Arena Toshinden, and soon joined by WipEout and Tomb Raider, represented a promise that gaming would be cool from now on. The fact that those arenโ€™t cool ideas now proves they bullโ€™s-eyed the fickleness of fashion. But the fact that Ridge Racerโ€™s still around โ€” still getting updated and still getting an audience โ€” proves we didnโ€™t need that promise anyway. Itโ€™s a true hall-of-famer.

Next week, octopus.

(See all postcards from the game centre here.)

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Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life โ€“ the videogames, the metropolis and the people