Bandai Namco hit the nostalgia button after filing several trademarks for arcade racing classics Ridge Racer, Ace Driver, Rave Racer, and Victory Lap. 20 years ago, these titles were the main attractions in arcades across the world. Could we be seeing the return of beloved racing franchises from Bandai Namco?
What Are These Bandai Namco Games?
Ridge Racer first released for the Namco System 22 arcade in 1993 and saw a console release a year later. It was hailed for its graphics, gameplay, and music. It was one of the first racing games that allowed players to race in different environments like beaches and cities and not just race tracks. Ridge Racer made appearances on many consoles and most recently on an IOS spinoff in 2016. Despite the niche market, Ridge Racer is one of the more influential racing games. It helped establish the Playstation’s popularity and was a major influence on the Grand Turismo series.
Rave Racer was the third game in the Ridge Racer series. It released in arcades in 1995. It improved on things Ridge Racer did well such as its graphics and responsiveness. Its only criticism was the lack of courses, as it only had 4 courses.
Similarly, Ace Driver made its debut for the Namco System 22 arcade in 1994. A console release was planned in 1995 but was eventually canceled. Ace Driver was a Formula One racing title. It was also hailed for its responsiveness and graphics at the time. It spawned two sequels; Ace Driver: Victory Lap (1995) and Ace Driver 3: Final Turn (2008).
Will We See A Return?
Bandai Namco will appear at E3 2021 on June 15. It is possible that they could be planning something with these games. It has been years since these racing classics have seen mainline releases. However, we will just have to wait and see what Bandai Namco has in store for E3.