With so much competition in the racing game genre it wasalways going to be hard to stand out. You guessed it, R Racing doesn’t. Stuck somewhere between arcade and realistic car physics it’s hard to squeeze a sense of either precision or fun from the cars as you progress through the game making you wonder at just what type of gamer Namco are targeting with this release.
In the game you play Rena, a pert ambulance driver turned racing pro, and progress through a ‘Racing life’ comprised of fourteen chapters interspersed with a threadbare plot and plenty of animation featuring top heavy racing divas in unzipped race suits. The chapters alternate between track and rally races as you drive, win and collect the cars on offer.
A novel feature of the game is a pressure meter on the other races that increases the longer you sit on their tail. Hang around the back bumper long enough to fill the pressure meter and the poor fellows will lose their nerve and spin off the track, letting you pass. Inpractice if you get close enough to the other drivers you can usually pass them before filling the meter.
By default the game is set up with a braking assist featureswitched on which lets even the most uncoordinated of drivers make good progress around the tracks and through the game, I tested it on a six year old an found that he could quite happily progress through the first few rounds. Switch this off and set the difficulty to hard and more advanced drivers will find that it puts up slightly more of a challenge but not much more, this is the kind of game that is possible to finish in a misspent weekend.
For this reason I can’t be too hard on this game, forget about the comparisons to other races and you are left with a game that offers that short term thrill of an easy complete, if you have the expendable income to play a title in one shot for laughs then R Racing is acceptable you can always part exchange it afterwards for something more taxing.
R Racing fails to distinguish itself and with so many other options out there it is easy to pass it over. Its one saving grace may be its ease which may be incentive enough for those not that bothered by realism but equally bored with toy racing games to give it a weekends worth of notice.