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Project Gotham Racing 3 vs. Ridge Racer 6

Project Gotham Racing 3
Score = 5 out of 5

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This is a must have for PGR1 and PGR2 fans; no questions asked just go buy it. The franchise just keeps getting better and better. This version looks great, sounds great, the cars handle precisely. I can't think of anything wrong with it, except that maybe it isn't enough of a simulation for those people who want a full simulation experience. It's enough of a simulation for me - any more real and it would start to become a hassle to maintain the car and everything.

PGR3 looks so good that sometimes I purposely lose the race because I'm driving around looking at things. Everything looks good: the buildings, backgrounds, parks, water. Racing across the Brooklyn Bridge is very cool because the views up and down the East River are amazing. According to Microsoft Game Studios there are as many polygons in the Brooklyn Bridge as there was in the entire city in PGR2.

The sound is also fantastic. Each car has a unique sound and this sound is modified by the surroundings and whether it is in front or behind you, closing or pulling away. So you can hear a car, recognize the engine sound and hear it pull up on your right, look at it and know you were right and then it's by you. PGR3 is immersive in every sense of the word.

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The online community can suck you in too and then all of a sudden it is 6 hours later and all you've done is played PGR3 all afternoon You can have an Online Career using the garage from your Solo Career. The Online Career mode automatically matches you against other players of a similar ability. They use the new TrueSkill system for rankings which measures your skills over four or five races. Your race from you online career might even end up on Gotham TV. The whole premise of PGR3 online is this Gotham TV, with a Heroes Channel to watch the best racers in the world, a Friends Channel where you can meet up with your friends.

One crazy detail is the crowd. They respond to your driving and jump out of the way when you crash into a wall. There are about 4,500 different combinations of crowd members, all built up from hundreds of modular body parts. Most of them are Bizarre Creations or Microsoft Game Studios employees.

Ridge Racer 6
Score = 4 out of 5

I'll cut to the chase right out of the gate. Ridge Racer is a fun to play arcade style racing game but PGR3 is more fun to play because of its realism.

I like Ridge Racer. The panoramic backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous. Each one is a work of art. The cars are amazingly detailed. The lighting effects and reflections are something to see. Surround sound is realistic and you can hear cars getting closer to you. It's an arcade style game meaning that sparks fly as you battle with your opponents. The cars handle like sleds that get thrown around curves at high velocity. It's pure arcade racing fun - thrills and spills that will get your heart pounding.

If you'd like to view the slideshow click here.

There are 130 cars and 30 courses. There's a career mode that tries to match you with events that are your speed, so to speak. This is the first time that Ridge Racer goes online. Players can choose to compete in a variety of different modes for up to 14 players, with voice chat support, including Rank Match and Player Match. Rank Match is tied into the games's persistent leaderboard, allowing players to compete for World Ranking Points in a series of races that can be customized by the game's host. Players can enjoy more casual races in Player Match, with outcomes that are not tied into World Ranking Points and settings that are also customizable by the game's host.

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