Ridge Racer may be the most popular choice so far for PSP owners, but does that mean it’s any good? We jump in and find out.

The game is broken down into four options: World Tour, Single Race, Time Attack, and Wireless Battle.

Single Race allows you to jump straight into the action and race a selection of cars either automatic or manual and then a track.

Like any gaming option it means you can get on with playing if time is short. Because we are talking about a game on a portable device the opportunity for a quick gaming fix while waiting for someone or something is more prevalent that when you are sitting at home settling in for a evening of gaming entertainment.

The races and cars available depend on how well you’ve done in the World Tour Stage - the further you get the more tracks and cars become available - but overall it does what it says, gives you a chance to practice your racing skills without messing up a challenge.

Those challenges are found in the World Tour section of the game and there are nine tours to drive your way through. Most include three tracks on which you have to race 11 other drivers. To progress you need to come first overall in the tour. That doesn’t mean first in every race (sometimes second will do), but it certainly helps come final race day.

Failing the nine tours, you can also create your own tour based on time. Here you can choose a tour of 5 minutes (pretty pointless as most races take just under that) to a massive 60 minute tour session. The great thing about the custom tours is the randomness of the maps and those looking for a more impressive single race without unlocking everything should try here first.

So you don’t end up being last all the time you can opt to practice without traffic in the Time Attack mode. This option lets you drive the tracks without interference against a ghost car of yourself. Its strangely addictive and racing against yourself means you can be in good form when it comes to racing against friends via the Wireless Battle option.

Graphics are very impressive and considerably better than the other racing title currently available - Need for Speed Rivals. We would go as far to say that they are as good as the PlayStation 2 version of Ridge Racer. From the mist coming down the mountains to the random cows in the fields next to the tracks, there is plenty of detail both from the countryside and cityscapes if you get the chance to glance a look.

Verdict

From screeching tyres to techno tunes, this is a well-oiled package that will have you racing till the cows come home. The lack of customisation of your car will deter some gamers, as will the shortness of some of the races, but if you like pure racing, without the fuss and a little bit of Nitro this is the PSP title for you. This is one game that deservedly lives up to the hype.