Published on Saturday, March 18, 2023: We are bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of PS Plus lineup for March 2023. The original text follows.
push square reflected on the infancy of 3D graphics for consoles in the 32-bit era, and reflected that the aging process was not always visually favorable, especially for launching PS1 games. Some early games such as Jumping Flash! hide their pixelated wrinkles behind bright colors and simple patterns, while others like Battle Arena Toshinden seem creaky with worn textures today. So it’s nice to consider the Ridge Racer Type 4, known as the R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 in Japan and North America, because Namco’s arcade drift racer has miraculously aged in the context of fifth generation capabilities since its European release at the PS1’s end of life. 1999.
In a December 1998 preview—the same month as the Japanese release of R4—Electronic Gaming Monthly issue 113 titled “Something to Finally Kick Gran Turismo’s Ass” explained that “Ridge Racers have always been rather fast actions than technical precision. R4 will be no different, but will push the boundaries of the PlayStation in terms of graphical presentation. Rumor has it that this will be Namco’s last game for the Sony box (because the system can’t be forced any further).”
In support of EGM’s point of view, John Linneman, in a frankly excellent review of old DF Retro games – in this case a technical analysis video of Ridge Racer Type 4 on Digital Foundry – he praises it as one of the most beautiful racing games on the platform, describing an atmosphere unheard of on the PlayStation . He applauds the pre-rendered opening cinematic featuring Reiko Nagase’s mascot as magical in 1999, and praises the game for consistently hitting the 30fps goal.
Namco added detail to the eight tracks of the Real Racing Roots ’99 Grand Prix by installing a Ridge Racer Type 4 for different seasons from May to December 1999, and the developers connected the track locations together, whether the tracks were in Japan or America. For example, if you look at the left side of the track for a May early evening peach-lit, Wonderhill track, and then compare it to the mint blue skies in November in the mint blue skies of the Heaven and Hell track, you will notice that they share part of each other’s tracks in Japan, in Fukuoka. Perhaps you will realize that the paths are connected to each other subconsciously, starting from the moment when you pass under the cables of the suspension bridge.
This makes the fields more memorable, as does the roadside scenery associated with Namco’s gaming heritage. Hence, Race 1 of the Final Grand Prix is called Phantomile – after the excellent PS1 2.5D platformer Klonoa: Door to Phantomile – and as you race to a throbbing bass tune called Motor Species, you’ll pass both Pac-Man and Pooka from Dig Dug watching on billboards. The previous race also had Yokohama as a backdrop, but this time the Out of Blue circuit has a cool and relaxed vibe thanks to the beautiful piano melody of Lucid Rhythms as your car glides along the ridge of the harbor, past the lighthouse, under skimming seagulls.
All this vibes revolves around the eighth and final Ridge Racer Type 4 track, Shooting Hoops, set in Los Angeles, as Race 4 of the Final GP takes place at 11:45 pm on New Year’s Eve 1999. last lap, keep cool” and you feel cool as you drift through the nighttime cityscape past a helicopter with a spotlight. If you look up, you’ll see Galaxian playing on the top screen as the vocalist sings “Movin’ in Circles” “Movin’ in Circles” “Moving to the beat, Ridge Racer”. You will also improve your driving skills by realizing that you don’t have to brake or drift through all the corners of Shooting Hoops, so you can keep your vehicle top speed.
After a great hour, it’s nice when you win a Grand Prix, put your feet up and enjoy the funky melody at the end of the Ridge Racer (One More Win) credits. You can then celebrate your victory with an exquisite electronic dance soundtrack including Kimara Lovelace’s vocals and musical contributions from composers such as Hiroshi Okubo. At this point, you might as well declare your love for this PS1 racing game.
The classic arcade-style racing gameplay of Ridge Racer remains intact, although it’s not really based on a co-op game. Consequently, the AI of the competing racing teams is still aggressive and they will block you from passing or crash into the tunnel walls. The leaders of the racing pack are especially eager to prevent you from overtaking, but the difficulty curve is nicely balanced. Even so, your nerves will still mount, as in the second run you must finish at least second, and in the last four races of the final round you must always finish first.
Accordingly, you can still interfere with your AI rivals by watching the rearview mirror inside the car and drift around them while mastering responsive handling. You can also choose the Grip method of driving, where you slow down with the accelerator to get around a tight turn in time, but most Ridge Racer fans will obviously prefer the Drift method when you enter a corner hard and bring the car’s tail into a dead end. a satisfying slide as it is synonymous with the series.
Although it takes approximately less than one hour to complete all eight Grand Prix courses, each of the four teams has their own story and are assigned a specific difficulty based on the setup of their cars. So let’s say you beat the game with a regular Pac Racing Club (PRC) setup – and found out why his manager Yazaki is obsessed with the death of a top-notch racer named Giuliano – you still have three more team stories to go through. You can then try Solvalou’s difficult difficulty level or the Dig Racing Team (DRT) expert setting.
There are three main save points scattered throughout the Grand Prix, although it’s recommended to manually save the game right after you’ve completed eight tracks in order to save any cars or modes you’ve unlocked. You can unlock a total of 321 racing cars (including the hidden car, which is a big Pac-Man on wheels), as well as Extra Trial mode and reverse tracks for Time Attack and Vs Battle multiplayer confrontations. Battle Against Rivals is a basic one-on-one, split-screen race on a single track where you can customize the number of laps and assign up to two computer-controlled cars, which keeps the track from appearing too empty, but not a factor in the result of an actual two-player race .
An extra celebratory champagne pop for gamers was the inclusion of a separate Ridge Racer Hi-Spec demo disc included with the Ridge Racer Type 4 game box, which was a fun bonus, with a 60fps upgrade and a conversion of the original 1993. arcade game. Either way, replaying Ridge Racer Type 4 is a reminder of how great the game was back in 1999. It’s the pinnacle of the four Ridge Racer titles on PS1, and sets it apart from competitors Daytona USA and the Sega Rally Championship on Saturn. So rekindling arcade racing memories with an excellent PS1 game that’s aged just like Ridge Racer Type 4 might just make you feel like the R4 is forever young.
Namco developers were able to squeeze great technical performance out of the 32-bit PlayStation, especially in the latest fifth generation games such as Tekken 3, and in 1999 the Ridge Racer Type 4 was steadily on track, reaching the target of 30 frames per second, and circuit design was smooth. The atmosphere created by the details of the course is enhanced by the subtlety of the graphics, which are enhanced by a great dance soundtrack performed by musicians such as Hiroshi Okubo, and the vocals of Kimara Lovelace add zest. The arcade-style gameplay was a fun and fast contrast to the Gran Turismo sims, and it slid its tail confidently alongside the best Nintendo 64 and SEGA Saturn drift racing and blue sky racing. As Namco’s racing game, it sits at the top of the four PS1 Ridge Racer titles, pushing the pedal all the way to making Ridge Racer Type 4 a true PlayStation classic.