R4: Ridge Racer Type 4
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|R4: Ridge Racer Type 4|
North American Cover box art of R4: Ridge Racer Type 4.
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 is a racing video game developed by Namco for the PlayStation. It is the fourth title in the Ridge Racer series and the last to be released for the PlayStation. The game was released in Japan on December 3, 1998, in North America on May 1, 1999 and in Europe on September 1, 1999. It was later re-released on the PlayStation Network in 2011. It is the first Ridge Racer series game on the PlayStation to utilize Gouraud shading on polygons.
R4: Ridge Race Type 4 is an arcade-style racing game with a strong emphasis on powersliding around corners. Vehicles utilise one of two styles of powersliding depending on the make of car they select: Drift and Grip. Drift cars require players to tap the brake once whilst turning to break into a smooth powerslide whilst Grip cars requires players to alternate between brakes and gas whilst turning to powerslide.
Vehicles are earned by playing through the game's Grand Prix mode. Players select one of four teams; Dig Racing Team, Pac Racing Club, Racing Team Solvalou and R.C Micro Mouse Mappy, who each have varying difficulties, and one of four manufacturers; Age Solo, Lizard, Assoluto and Terrazi, which determines the style of car and powerslide type the player will use. In each race, the player must attempt to reach a qualifying position, with later stages requiring players to place in higher positions to qualify. Depending on the qualifying position in each race, players will be awarded a new vehicle, or an upgrade to their current one, based on their team and manufacturer, with better cars earned for reaching consistently higher positions (i.e. the best cars are earned by placing 1st in each match whilst the least impressive cars are earned by just clearing the minimum qualifying positions). There are a total of 320 vehicles earned by racing with every combination of team, manufacturer and qualifying position. If the player unlocks all 320 cars, they will unlock an additional car modelled after Pac-Man.
The game also features Time Attack mode, in which players can attempt to get the fastest time on each course, and VS. Battle, a split-screen mode for two players (the first to appear in the home console series). Players can also create them our car decors and participate in Extra Trials against powerful prototype cars. The game is also compatible with the JogCon peripheral and the PocketStation device, which allows players to trade cars with friends.
Ridge Racer Turbo
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 came packaged with a bonus disc containing a single-track remake of the original Ridge Racer video game titled Ridge Racer Turbo (known as Ridge Racer Hi-Spec Demo in Europe). The demo implements Gouraud shading on the car models and runs at 60 frames per seconds (50fps in the PAL version). The original 30fps version of the track is also available for comparison, along with playable demos of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Tekken 3.
A peripheral, the JogCon, was released alongside the game, packaged in special editions. The device features a steering wheel type device in the middle of the controller to provide accurate control. The game's soundtrack, Ridge Racer Type 4 Direct Audio, was released in Japan on January 27, 1999.
The game was critically acclaimed and a commercial success both in Japan, the UK and the United States.
- Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 9 out of 10 (90%)
- IGN: 9.4 out of 10 (94%)
- GameSpot: 8.7 out of 10 (87%)
- Edge: 8 out of 10 (80%)
- UK Playstation sales chart, June 1999, published in Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 46