Ridge Racer V

released on Mar 04, 2000
by Namco

Ridge Racer V is all about excited drivers pursuing the sheer frantic fun of unrestricted racing. Players will be able to drive super-cars with supreme power, speed and style that just can't be bought in a showroom. Features include four different modes – Grand Prix Mode, Versus Battle, Time Attack, and Free Run. Enhanced graphics, sound, and gameplay elements round out a package that also supports several steering wheel peripherals.

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i AM enjoying racing to the max, thank you

Ridge Racer Type 4 represented racing towards the future. The platonic form of driving represented by crossing the finish line and becoming the champion of real racing roots '99 at the exact turn of the millennium. In contrast, Ridge Racer V is racing in the future, as imagined in the Y2K era of the early Playstation 2.
Ridge Racer V is, compared to the soft, silky, jazzy vibes of Type 4, a much more aggressive game in terms of visuals, music and gameplay. This lead me to not like it as much as its predecessor first, but after playing more and learning the feel of the new tracks and cars, I came to appreciate the art of drifting through ridge city. Drifting is absolutely the name of the game here, it's much easier to enter a powerslide compared to previous games in the series, and even the grip cars will be powersliding around most corners. This results in early moments of frustration as you will regularly lose control of your car, but once you learn to tame these beasts, the game becomes very satisfying, the first time you win a GP against the brutally aggressive AI will be a moment to remember.
The music is still full of bangers like Type 4, but there's less direction in the soundtrack. You can tell that in Type 4 each song is designed to perfectly complement the race tracks - the bass solo in Naked Glow is just as much a part of Wonderhill as the environments and corners themselves, but while songs like Euphoria and Samurai Rocket are still great, they don't have the same kind of bond with the race tracks themselves, and frankly I found a few of the songs in this game to be forgettable.
Ridge Racer V takes a less narratively-driven approach. This time you manage your own team (which is mostly done behind the scenes), and participation in the ridge city race events is very much an individual affair. This leads to a more "console racer" and open ended feeling to the game, for better and for worse, but it does mean that this game has way more content and longevity than previous Ridge Racer games. I especially love how time attack is incentivised and contextualised within the game. Most tracks have a rival time that you can attempt to beat, if you beat all of a given rival's times, they will be available to 1v1 duel, and if you beat them in that duel, you unlock their special car that represents the extremes of Ridge Racer V's car design and variety. It's awesome stuff and I really wish more racing games did this kind of thing.
If you can take the time to learn this game it's an extremely rewarding experience, and one I appreciate in helping me get back into the racing game genre. You can tell that Namco were well and truly at the top of their game in this era, and Ridge Racer V definitely deserves its reputation as a standout early PS2 title. It doesn't quite reach the heights of Type 4, but it's close enough in almost all respects.
Also, Ai Fukami > Reiko Nagase. :^)

Ridge Racer V is a difficult game, which is a massive departure from Type 4's more pleasant and easy going difficulty, that I feel compliments the game's entire direction. The music is a lot more abrasive, the announcer has a less relaxed cadence and a new racing queen Ai Fukami replaces fan favorite Reiko Nagase. The visual aesthetics are of that Y2K futurism era and even though it's going for a different tone, it does feel like a Ridge Racer game with the mix of urban, seaside views and drifting.
While I do enjoy how it's a tougher game than Type 4, I'll admit that a Ridge Racer game being a relaxing experience appeals to me a lot more. The fact that this game made me question if I preferred it over Type 4 says something about its quality and appeal though and I would love to be able to play the game on original hardware, or at least a smoother experience than how my PC was emulating it.
EDIT June 1st 2023: I must have been playing it on normal difficulty, because I made sure to put it on easy this time and it's a lot more laid back. Also, using a later build of PCSX2 that emulates the game better on my PC, even though it's not perfect, so uh yeah this game rules!

melhor soundtrack já feita e eu sou o rei do drift nessa porra

the other racers must take me overtaking them to heart because they try to fucking kill me every time i do it

near perfect followup to R4 going for a more urban and moodier feel this time, still feels amazing and much more of a challenge, shit's great