When you do aim to pass an opponent on the shoulder, they tend to get their own burst of speed. I assumed this was just a strategic move on the part of the A.I., saving a boost to prevent being overtaken, but sometimes even gathering all three nitrous charges for a triple boost couldn't prevent me from being easily passed on the final shoulder. Particularly in the higher classes, achieving a required first-place position was more than a little frustrating, and made me wish for online opponents to even the playing field.
Despite a few baffling missteps, though, I enjoyed Ridge Racer 3D. Even when beaten handily, it was always fun enough to inspire me to try one more time. The game serves to sell the 3D effect, and it's a solid series entry in its own right. If you enjoy arcade racers, and especially if you have a friend or two for local multi-player, this entry is worth taking for a spin.
Ridge Racer 3D's visuals pop in 3D mode