Graphical evolution of early Ridge Racer games (PS1, PS2) (comparison videos)

Discussion in 'Console & PC Gaming' started by Alex p., Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Alex p.

    Alex p.

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    Hey guys,
    so recently I bought and played some old Ridge Racer games and even got hold of the Turbo Mode/High-Spec version of Ridger Racer 1, which runs in 60 frames and slightly improved graphics (only one opponent though!). To me it was striking, how much better RRType 4 (also PS1) looked, than the original RR1. RR1 launched alongside the PS1, while RRType 4 launched at the end of its life cycle. It's just crazy how much graphics improved in less, than 5 years in the same generation on the same platform.

    Then came RRV @ the launch of PS2 and blew even RRT4 away with double the framerate and resolution, and featured MUCH higher poly-counts, a bigger opponent field and still much better texturing, shading and special effects! I really think the timeframe between 1995 and 2005 was so special in that regard!

    What do you think? How did you "experience" the big graphical jumps back then?

    In order to demonstrate what I mean, I did some comparison vids with written side-notes and commentary:





     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  2. JohnBM01

    JohnBM01 Premium

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    One of the reasons why the first Daytona USA in the arcades was so heralded (outside of being a great racing game) was because it handled textured polygons at a beautifully fluid frame rate for its time. I tend to feel Ridge Racer Turbo Mode reminds me of what the arcade Daytona USA accomplished in arcades as much as Ridge Racer Turbo Mode did for console. I used to play the Ridge Racer Turbo Mode game a lot back then. For those of us who are Gran Turismo 1 veterans, you may remember the Hi-Fi Gran Turismo mode you can access.

    Graphically, while I made mention to Daytona USA and Gran Turismo 1, past "Ridge Racer" titles had plenty of tricks to make it stand out. For one, it had a makeshift time simulation during the races- something neither Daytona USA or Gran Turismo had in their time. "Ridge Racer Type 4" is a thing of beauty and still is today. Though R4 had fewer cars to a track, the models are still designed nicely and with things like environment mapping to provide a shiny effect. Maybe one of the most underrated racing games in terms of graphics is "Ridge Racer V." I still think this game is very lovely even as a PS2 launch title and even with its handful of jagged pixels. Even in RRV's development, I still recall the hi-res pictures of the Rivelta Mecurio. Here's a powerful opinion of mine- Ridge Racer V is just as beautiful even today as either PS2 Gran Turismo game (GT3 A-Spec and GT4) despite its age.

    Long story short- Ridge Racer has aged well as a franchise and graphically. It has evolved nicely while still being one of the most iconic racing game franchises of all time. One needs only to play the various titles to see how much the series has evolved in multiple respects.
     
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  3. Alex p.

    Alex p.

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    Great post. Thx for the input.

    What do you mean with the makeshift time simulation in RR? RRT4...yes, that IS A THING OF BEAUTY and is one of my favourite (racing) games of all time and has definatly one of the best OSTs of all time.

    RRV: I own the game since a few weeks and I was honestly surprised how well it hold up graphically, so I agree on that. Back at the launch of the PS2 I thought it was good, but not too special, as we already had previews of GT3 and I was very graphics sensible back then. I do think though, that GT3/4 look FAR better than it.

    GT1 High-Fi mode: Yep, learned about it just recently and made also a video/thread on that too:
    https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/thre...ps-mode-in-gt1-lets-take-a-look-at-it.394768/
     
  4. MagpieRacer

    MagpieRacer Premium

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    Ridge Racer Type 4. Man I remember when thay came out, it blew me away graphically at the time.

    I'll tell you what though, the unsung hero for me was Rage Racer ( technically the 3rd in the Ridge Racer series I think). Had a much more realistic colour pallette and art style, I find that one more memorable than its predecessors for some reason.
     
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  5. JohnBM01

    JohnBM01 Premium

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    Well during the original Ridge Racer, there was a point in the race (excluding the Beginner course) in which the afternoon would turn to sunset, followed by night, and back to the afternoon. The building textures even go from a day style to a night look. That's what I meant. "Rage Racer" even had some time changes also, but they were mostly minimal and not trying to replicate a 24-hour period.
     
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  6. Alex p.

    Alex p.

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    RRType 4, to me, is still the best looking and technically most impressive PS1 game. Yes, that means better, than GT1/2, Driver 1/2, MGS1, FF8/9, Vagrant Story, Silent Bomber, etc.

    I do understand your point about Rager Racer though. :tup:

    I didn't know that! Really cool...
     
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  7. MagpieRacer

    MagpieRacer Premium

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    Yeah without a doubt. RRT4 was unbelievable. I just meant with Rage Racer it doesn't get much love.
     
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  8. Qvale

    Qvale

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    Rage Racer is definitely an unsung silent killer.


    I love seeing these old consoles pushed to their absolute limits. Can't imagine what it took to get any game running at 640x480 on the PlayStation, let alone at 60 fps, let alone Ridge Racer. The N64 struggled enough with it at half the frame rate even with the Expansion Pak installed.

    Also, RRT4 has aged astonishingly well, and compared to the original game, it's no comparison. I feel like I notice a new little graphical flourish every time I play it.
     
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  9. KonkeriDife

    KonkeriDife

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    I bought R4 brand new when it first came out and also honestly felt that it was the best looking game at the time..but most importantly, THAT SOUNDTRACK.

    I really think it's THE best racing soundtrack, ever. Wish Namco would release an official compilation on Spotify.
     
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  10. Alex p.

    Alex p.

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    Yep it's a technical wonder really. PS2 resolution and frames on a PS1. I also love seeing old consoles being pushed to their outmost limits. What I alwayd did and actually still do is, to wonder how the first GT or RR may have run and looked on the Atari Jaguar, 3DO and Saturn. Especially these consoles were never really pushed 100%, unlike the PS1 and N64, which were pushed to 100% by several games. Like, what sacrifices would have to be made, to make them run AT ALL on the Jaguar and 3DO? Only 1 car on track, less draw distance, lesser physics, less polygons and ~ 15 frames? Would the be enough for the systems to handle these games at all?

    Also I wondered how GT3 could have looked on the Dreamcast, Gamcube and Xbox, would have been fascinating to see the differences!

    No doubt, RRT4 OST is GOAT.