Back in the 90s there were these things called Arcades, not the machines, but places that were filled with these machines that each had a single game that offered an experience that could be consumed in a single sitting. Nowadays pretty much everyone and their 5 year old has a device that they can play games on, and most tend to be focused on extended play over a longer period than just one sitting. Riptide GP: Renegade is like the former. A game that can be played in a single sitting that offers a fun experience. If I had to sum it up in a few words, I’d say that it’s a steller nostalgia orgasm, reminiscent of the classic arcade age of the 90s.
OK, I know, I know. There are sure to be some people out there saying. “OMG what are you talking about”, “the arcade age never ended, it just turned into mobile gaming, pfft (insert angry emoji)”, and yea you’re mostly right about that. Most of these single sitting styled arcade games are found on mobile because they’re a bit easier to develop and they’re consumed far more frequently on those platforms; however, my impression is that arcade styled games are meant to be played with real physical buttons.
Yup, I’m biased, but don’t we all have our own biases?
I’m sure there are some of you who think physical controls are a thing of the past or that pizza doesn’t need pineapples, and you’re wrong btw, but just like me you’re entitled to your opinion. For me Riptide GP: Renegade for the XBOX ONE, Windows PC and now the Nintendo Switch harkens back to a simpler time, a time when games were just mindless fun. A time when games didn’t need a deep engrossing story, realistic physics, or to even make any sense. Remember games like SSX where you could race down a mountain at breakneck speed as a cow on a snowboard? Yup, that’s the kind of mindless fun that Riptide GP: Renegade offers, and that is further enhanced by the ability to natively use a controller to play the game.
The controls in this game are easy enough to get a handle of quite quickly, which makes it especially great for new players. The left Joystick controls your movement, left trigger handles brake, while the right one handles acceleration, The “A” button lets you boost, and the tricks are implemented by using both joysticks simultaneously while your character is airborne or sliding across certain structures. These controls can be customized in some versions of the game for those who prefer a different control scheme so it’s left up to the player how they’d like to play.
Pretty simple right?
The game does have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to steering, though this can be expeditiously overcome by practice. Each Jet Ski controls differently and they are further affected by the motion of the waves. Some stages like “The Ruins” can have you lose quite a lot of control just from the jerking motions of the waves in some sections. If I had to give a bit of a pro tip, it would be that little is better when trying to go around corners. Basically, be easy on the left-stick. Taps or slights movements are more effective in this game. Once you get the hang of that all you’ll have to master is the trick system, and like the steering it just takes practice to have them all down. Fans of games like the original SSX games, not that last one -_- will almost instantaneously memories all the tricks and be able to start experimenting where on the tracks are the best places to pull them off, and how they can be chained with boosts to make smaller jumps much bigger. Once you have that down, it’s time to start locating all the shortcuts on each course, OH and there are some really nicely hidden ones. Hydro thunder fans will know what I’m talking about.
Graphically, Riptide GP: Renegade is a good looking game. Textures, character models and animations are all good. Note that I didn’t say something like exceptional, because they’re not, but they don’t need to be. This an arcade racer, and I think it benefits from not looking too ultra realistic. That may not be an opinion that everyone shares, nevertheless I like it as is. On the Nintendo Switch the game looks as good and runs as just well in both handheld and docked mode. Which is nice because some games on the platform have vastly different performance depending on the orientation you use.
As for modes, the game has a campaign that serves to teach you how to play the game while leveling up, and unlocking characters. Each course in this mode has a 3 star system that awards first to third place with either 1 to 3 stars depend on their place at the end of the race. Races also get mixed up into other types other than the standard affair, like a score based race that requires you to do tricks to earn points in a section of a stage for a set period of time, then there’s an elimination mode whereby the player in last place is eliminated when a timer hits zero, then it is repeated till only one player is left. You also have obstacle course races, and boss races. Other modes include challenge mode that sees you try to get a place on an online leaderboard, online multiplayer (your best bet with this is to get a couple friends to buy the game at the same time with you, because this game uses a lobby system and it’s wasn’t populated at the time of review), quick race, and 2 to 4 player split screen local multiplayer… pause for effect….
YUP! You read that right. This game has local multiplayer, and OMG is it fun. I didn’t notice how much I missed playing local multiplayer with family and friends. The ability to taunt your opponent during and after a win is easily one to the biggest selling points to this game.
“That’s right Alex, I’m better than you and you know it”, “When you’re ready to step up to the podium you know where to find me”
All in all Riptide GP: Renegade is a game that makes me reminisce about the good times I had with games like Hydro thunder, and SSX3, while at the same time making itself one of those games that I will forever associate with good memories. If this sounds like the kind of game for you then I can’t recommend it enough. If you have $10 to spare then I say get it. It’s also a cross buy game, so XBOX ONE owners will be able to play it on both XBOX and PC.
The copy of Riptide GP: Renegade used for this review was supplied to us by Vector Unit.