In the second of our hands-ons with 3DS games on the console's launch day, after PES 2011 3D, we're looking at Ridge Racer 3D, the latest release in the incredibly successful arcade driving franchise, and one that Pocket-lint has been looking forward to giving a proper going over.

That said, it wouldn't be right to review it fully until we've played it some more. Most of the games we've seen so far on the new device have only just arrived - with the exception of Pilot Wings Resort - and we find it's best to be honest about these things.

Certainly, there's so much depth in this iteration of Ridge Racer that it'll take plenty of play.

Initial impressions are good. Driving games seem made for stereoscopic 3D - you only need to look at Gran Turismo 5 on a 3D TV and you'll be hooked - and Ridge Racer 3D plays to these strengths. The crosstalk (where the left and right images overlap) is good, maintaining neat, crisp graphics that whizz along, and it's a real pleasure to have good old fashioned drift racing mechanics back into a game after the more realistic physics that have been so popular of late.

But, without having played through many of the levels (including multiplayer... yet), it's a tiny thing that has gotten us the most excited with Namco Bandai's latest. When you set up your initial profile, with driver name, etc, you also get to choose a mugshot that will be used in game. You can select either your already-created Mii, or you can use the front-facing camera to take a picture and use that instead. Then, when you're racing around the track, that pic will appear above your car for other drivers to see.

Obviously, that's of little benefit to single-player racing, but adds a new sense of fun to multiplayer.

The computer cars also have avatars, with some named (and modelled) after famous Namco videogames characters, such as the ghosts in Pacman.

Yeah, none of this has much to do with the 3D nature of the new title, but it's a good example of Nintendo's hope that people will see the 3DS as a social gaming device.

Ridge Racer 3D is available now at the lofty price of £39.99, although some are advertising as closer to £29.99. And you can also get it packaged with the console itself in some in-store offers.

Have you played Ridge Racer 3D on the 3DS yet? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

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