Developer & Publisher: Namco
Game Rating: T (Teen): Mild Language, Suggestive Themes
Release Date:December 9, 2003
$49.99 / $3.99: Game Stop Reno April 5, 2009
Players: 1 - 2
Dolby 5.1 Surround
R:Racing Evolution is a racing game featuring several modes of gameplay:
This is a single player story mode. You play the part of Rena Hayami who begins the story as an ambulance driver. After successfully racing the vehicle to the hospital, you're offered a chance to drive a racecar. Rena's saga to become champion and defeat her rivals will unfold in various cut scenes between races and driving challenges that you must complete. There are 14 chapters total.
There are a variety of racing events you can enter, each with an entrance few you must earn by winning previous challenges. You can also tune up your car or buy new cars.
Here you can run a single race against computer controlled cars on the track of your choice. You can set several game options, such as the number of laps and rival cars.
Choose a racetrack and car, and try to earn the best time!
This is a two player game. Choose a track, and two players race for either the best time or earn the most points.
The game features a variety of racing options you can set, including brake assist (will automatically brake for you if you enter a turn too fast), transmission types (automatic or manual), race difficulty, and adjustments to your cars performance. There are a variety of cars available, each with unique speed and steering characteristics. You can also unlock more cars by playing Racing Life and Event Challenge. There is also a pressure meter: when driving behind another vehicle, you will begin to apply psychological pressure to the driver which is indicated by a meter above the car. When full, the driver will be very likely to make a mistake giving you an opportunity to pass easily! There is an instant replay option, and you can save your best (or worst!) races for viewing later on.
Conceived by a development team formed by members of the Ridge Racer series and Namco's MotoGP, the driving type of R: Racing Evolution tries to focus on the real-life physics of motorsports machines. Details when racing as acceleration and braking in tight curves are now mandatory, leaving a little behind the arcade-friendly style that defines Ridge Racer. To help newcomers and casual gamers, the game offers a default break-assist feature.
Thanks to the controllers of the sixth-generation of consoles, intensity of aceleration and brake can be controlled with the sensitive trigger buttons of the Xbox and Game Cube controllers, while the DualShock 2 make use of the regular buttons with the Pressure Sensitive technology.
A prominent feature in this game when competing with the IA is the Pressure Meter. This measures the psychological pressure inflicted to a car in front of ours. The closer the distance, the Pressure Metter starts filling up. The affected competitor initiates a dialogue. When it's completely full, it starts to flash, indicating that the car ahead will make a critical mistake, paving the way for passing the out-of-control opponent.
Multifunction Display is a system that updates the player about the race condition in real time. Allows players to do car settings adjustments while racing. The displayed information depends of the car and the course of the race. Using the directional pad, the player can adjust settings of brake, steering, stabilizers and center LSD only in certain cars. The automobiles also can be adjusted in the Setting opcion through the menus, feature additional settings as final drive ratio, ABS, car weight, maximum HP/Torque, etc. These changes will be reflected in the races, affecting acceleration, speed and/or handling.
By winning and clear races or drive skillfully, the player can get RP (Reward Points) in the Racing Life, Event Challenge and VS modes. RP are necessary to buy new and better cars, tune-up owned cars to improve their performance, and to get into the racing events of Event Challenge.
Racing life is a fixed story-driven mode that lets you play as Rena, a young Japanese woman who goes from driving ambulances to the top of the professional racing circuit. Racing Life is broken up into 14 chapters, and each one is separated by a cutscene that advances the story.
Rena Hayami is introduced as a Japanese ambulance driver living in a nondescript Western country. On one afternoon, she responds to an accident at a racetrack. Pressed for time, Rena pushes her driving skills to the limit in order to deliver the injured racer to the hospital. Along for the ride with his injured team member, the former racing engineer and now team manager Stephan Garnier is impressed enough to offer Rena a chance to become a racecar driver herself. She accepts and joins Stephan's team, oblivious to the fact that the team is sponsored by a shadowy corporation called G.V.I., which determines the placing of the racers in the race, as shown in one of the chapters, when Rena (the player) is forced to place second, not first. At first, Rena benefits from the company's influence and is given equipment and opportunities to race in major events. However, she quickly develops a bitter rivalry with independent veteran racer Gina Cavalli. It is later revealed that Gina despises G.V.I., and her contempt for the company spills over to Rena, whom Gina considers to be their pawn. Later, when the first rally race chapter was introduced, Stephan's team mechanic Eddie is introduced, and it is revealed that Stephan was once a very good team manager, until an accident occurred involving one of his racers, he was forced to go into the dark. Towards the end of Rena's rookie season, Eddie comes up with a plan to leave G.V.I. with Stephan and Rena. They form a new team without G.V.I.'s influence and Gina finds new respect for Rena and the two become friends while continuing their rivalry on the racetrack.
Races and Courses
Through the different game modes,
- Standard circuits: the most common kind of race. Features both the classic dedicated race and urban courses.
- Rally: as usual, this type of race takes place on off-road tracks, and provides a standard rally racing copilot that shouts out turns and warns of hazards while you drive.
- Drag: this kind of racing is especially simple, as all you really need to do is let off the brake when the race starts and hit the nitro boost button when an onscreen indicator lights up.
First time in the Ridge Racer series, R:RE features real-life famous tracks, besides fictional courses. Some circuits houses great championships, while others are focused in Rally races with beautiful natural enviroments. Certain courses reappears as inverted.
Road courses and street circuits
Suzuka Circuit:: Japan's most famous international circuit where 2-wheel and 4-wheel world championships are held. Ever since it was build in 1942, it has hosted various races every year. The diverse types of corners located at well-balanced intervals form a technical layout held in high esteem the world over. The game also features the "East" course that uses only the first half of the full course. Consists of the pit straight to the first half of the Dunlop curve (turn 7), before leading back to the pit straight via a tight right-hander.
Total length: 3,609 miles (East course: 1,707 miles).
Twin Ring Motegi (Super Speedway): This track was built in 1997 as the first Japansse circuit to juxtapose the European style road course and the American style oval course. The oval course, know as the Super Speedway, hosted American open-wheel races.
Total length: 1,500 miles.
Phillip Island GP Circuit: This circuit was built on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne, Australia. On this unique circuit, racers can enjoy ocean view from the courses. It host V8 Supercar races among others. The layout is build around a series of high-speed corners, but the two low-speed corners are the catch. Timing the braking well is the biggest challenge on this course.
Total length: 2,764 miles.
Yokohama street circuit: This circuit is set in the urban area of Yokohama's Minato Mirai. Modern skyscrapers and a giant ferris wheel are its defining characteristics. The layout is built around 90-degrees corners and straight-aways. This means the long open stretches and differences in engine power tend to decide the race results. A special section is divided by a median where you can drive on either side.
Total length: 2,658 miles.
Circuit de Monaco: The most famous urban course in the world is a mythical place where legendary drivers have run many a famous race. It is a super low-speed urban circuit, surrounded by guardrails. The narrow roads provide very few opportunities to pass your opponents.
Total length: 2,094 miles.
Green Field: This original mini-circuit has a classical layout built around complex cornerns. It is nicknamed "The Driver" because it look like the silhouette of someone driving. It is a relatively technical layout. In the final stages, choosing the correct lane is especially challenging.
Total length: 1,269 miles.
Rally Arena SS: A rally course exclusively for super special stage rallies. There is a point where it intersects itself with an overpass and after half a lap, you will pass your opponent's starting point, then return to your own starting point, another half a lap later. Fundamentally speaking, the player competes their skills on how fast they can return to the own starting point, but unlike normal rally courses, your rival is driving in the adjacent lane, which makes a subtle psychological impact.
Total length: 3,245 miles.
Waterbridge: On this tarmac rally course, the road surface is one of its challenging features. It includes areas poved in stone or that have sandy residue over asphalt. You can see the large ruins of an aqueduct while traveling the course. The road is narrow, so be particularly careful when passing throught the town.
Total length: 3,075 miles.
Windmill Hill: The roads are relatively wide on this gravel road rally course. It offers lots of easy curves, so the average speed is fairly high. You will lose time if you fall off the cliff, so some caution is required on sections without walls. Be sure to enjoy the view of the hilltop windmill.
This is the second main mode of this game, when players can attend various race events, buy and tune cars.
- Race: to enter an event, first it must to be purchased with RP. Event Challenge has up to three levels of clearing ranks for each race: gold, silver and bronze. The player can win more RP, cars and/or medals according to the clearing rank obtained. To win a car is necessary to finish first with a car belonging to a class that allows you to win the Gold. There is a total of 166 events distributed as follows:
- Single Race (67 events) - run one race only. With its many accessible events, this mode is a good introduction to the races. Some races limit your choices on such things as type of drive system and nationality of the car.
- Time Trial (40 events) - race alone from start to finish, attempting to set record times. Choose from numerous courses, such as tracks that allow you to race certain segments of courses or drive through specially-laid-out circuits with obstacles.
- One-Make Race (10 events) - races limited to single car models. In this event, differences in car quality are less significant and the results depend purely upon driving technique.
- Tour Race (10 events) - races of multiple courses, competing for the highest total score. Driving at a steady speed in each race is the key to victory.
- VS Rival (10 events) - an one-on-one duel with a rival racer. Opponents are veteran masters, so it is recommended challenge them only after tuning up a car and have a polished technique.
- Tournament (15 events) - this tournament-style event ends when you lose a race. With each win, car speeds increase.
- Extra (14 events) - stop in the designed area within the time limit to clear this challenge.
- Performance Shop: here you can spend RP to improve the performance of your cars by purchasing "Steps", which make increase the maximum power and torque of the engine and decrease the weight of the car. There are up to two steps: you need to buy Step 1 first, and then you can buy Step 2.
- Car Dealer: here you can buy new cars, or different versions of cars that already you have using RP.
Other game modes
- Arcade: run a single race on the course of your choice against computer players. This mode is best when you want to become familair with the playing style of R: Racing Evolution. You can make settings like transmission type, class of the rivals, brake assist ON/OFF, number of laps, etc.
- Time Attack: drive on a course without any competition. The goal is timing the performance from start to finish. Since all courses are available to choice from, this is an ideal practice mode.
- VS: the 2 player VS mode of the game. It provides for two types of Battle: Normal (first place wins) or Points (who scores the most RP wins).
Garage / Cars
In this option the players can view cars purchased or achieved through Racing Life and Event Challenge modes. Also, you can see replays saved in the memory card or the cutscenes of Racing Life.
GT Class 1
- Chevrolet Corvette C5-R
- Dodge Viper Competition Coupe
- Honda Takata Dome NSX
- BMW McLaren F1
- Nissan Calsonic Skyline
- Saleen S7 R
- Toyota Esso Ultraflo Supra
- Volkswagen W12
- Fiat 500 Type 110 F Garnier
- BMW M3 GTR
- Ruf RGT
- TVR Cerbera Speed Twelve
GT Class 2
- De Tomaso Pantera GT5-S
- Lotus Sport Elise
- Alfa Romeo 156 GTA
- Honda S2000
- Mazda RX-7 R-SPEC
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII RS
- Peugeot 206
- Subaru WRX STi Impreza
- Dodge Charger R/T
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500
- DMC De Lorean
- Nissan 350Z
GT Class 3
- Mini Cooper S
- Audi TT 1.8T quattro
- Honda Integra Type R
- Toyota VM180
- Fiat Punto Kitcar
- Ford Puma Kitcar
- Audi Infineon AUDI R8
- Bentley EXP Speed 8
- Advan Kondo S101
Rally Class 1
- Ford Focus Rally Car
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII Rally Car
- Peugeot 206 WRC Prototype 1999
- Subaru WRX STi Impreza Rally Car
- Mini Cooper S Rally Car
Rally Class 26
- Honda Integra Type R Rally Car
- Mini Cooper S Rally Car
- Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Junior Rally Car
- Fiat 500 Type 110F Rally Car
- Renault Alpine A110 Rally Car
- Fiat Punto Kitcar Rally
- Ford Puma Kitcar Rally
- Ford Focus Drag Car
- Dodge Charger R/T Drag Car
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Drag Car
- Mazda RX-7 R-Spec Drag Car
- Nissan 350Z Drag Car
- Pac-Man VS was included as bonus in the Game Cube version. This idea came from Shigeru Miyamoto.
- All cover arts are different in each region to appeal to each sector and penchant for cars. American cover displays a yellow Dodge Viper Competition Coupe. In Europe the cover shows BMW McLaren F1 GTR. Finally, Japanese cover art have a De Tomaso Pantera GT5 S.
- This is the first game in the Ridge Racer series to be rated T for Teen. This is because the use of middle language in the story mode. Also, because of the attire of the girls. Both Rena and Gina wear their racing uniforms with a low-cut.
- Xbox versions includes a exclusive special H1 Hummer.