Review by Psycho Penguin

"Namco delivers a racing experience unlike any other"

Introduction

Let me get this off my chest first: R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 is my SECOND favorite racing game of all time (F-Zero and Top
Gear tie for first). Namco promised outstanding gameplay and graphics, and they delivered with an outstanding gaming
experience. The magazines hyped this game up (almost too much, in my opinion) to seem like the greatest game ever, and while it isn't as good as promised (some unfortunate flaws are soon found in the game), it is still an outstanding quality game that is well worth the 20 bucks or so that it costs.

Graphics (9.7/10)

Better than Gran Turismo 1 and 2. There, I said it. Flame me all you want, I don't care. The lighting effects are incredible, especially when you go underneath a tunnel. The graphics are very good all around, even the replays are fantastic (but admittely not up to par with Gran Turismo 1/2). There are minor clipping problems, especially in the fifth stage, but that doesn't detract any from the score. Better think twice before calling Gran Turismo 2 the prettiest looking Playstation racer ever....

Usually I do a character design paragraph, but today I decided to do a car model design paragraph for this review. And let me tell you, the car models in this game are fantastic! Every car in the game looks very realistic, and are designed very nicely! Everything from the bumper stickers to the logos on the car are present, making this the most detailed Playstation racer I have ever seen! Overall, the car model designs in the game are fantastic and completely worthy of the hype given to them.

Overall, the graphics in the game are outstanding, especially during the replay mode. The backgrounds in the game are very realistic, and the car models are very detailed. The graphics during the replay mode are simply breathtaking, especially in the detailed car models. It looks like you are actually watching a car race. Namco delivered excellent graphics that definitely live up to the hype.

Music/Sound (9.6/10)

One of the best, if not the best, soundtracks on a racing game ever. The soundtrack is so good that Namco released a pretty popular soundtrack to the game in Japan only (?) Anyways, each of the songs are fantastic, but I especially enjoy a few unique songs. A great part of the game is that you can choose the music track that you want to listen to
before you start each race!! Sweet!! Overall, a fantastic soundtrack. The sound effects are great as well. The cars racing sounds like car racings, screeching turns sound realistic, etc. The sound effects are so good you may think that you are actually racing a real life car! Great audio effects.

Music in the game is fantastic, and completely worthy of getting the soundtrack that was released. I like how you can change what track you want to listen to in the stages. For instance, let's say I am in the second race, about to start. The screen comes up, and allows me to choose what track I want to listen to during the race. You can even choose an option called ''Random'' which randomly selects a music track for you to listen to, and then changes it several times throughout the race. Overall, the music in the game is great!

Sound effects in the game are top notch as well, as Namco made sure to give the game special care when it came to the sound effects, and it shows. First, the sound that the cars make when racing down the roads are great. It definitely sounds very realistic, much like when racing down a highway yourself, from the various engine sounds to the crashes, it definitely is very good. Overall, the sound effects in the game are outstanding.

Overall, the sound effects and music in R4 are great. The music is varied and sounds great, and I like how you can change the tracks yourself. The sound effects in the game are very realistic, especially the sounds of the engines when racing through the various races. Great job, Namco!

Gameplay and Control (9.2/10)

The control is great, much better than Gran Turismo 2. It is very easy to control your car, and making smooth turns are smooth and very easy. The gameplay is good as well, although it has a severe flaw, which I get to to in just a minute. The game is just like any racing game, you race through different stages, but there are no pit stops which is why I prefer
a game like Top Gear. It just doesn't seem as realistic without pit stops. There are several different modes, including the multiplayer mode and a grand prix mode.

The Grand Prix mode has a flaw however: ITS BORING!! (at least for me) See, before you can start racing, you have to pick a car, brand manafucter, and some other things. Then you get to listen to some boring ranter which never changes. Then you finally get to start. Finally, you think, Im out of the woods. WRONG! Then after every few races you get to hear some more quotes. Ugh. Anyway, the racing is too good for me to really complain about the Grand Prix mode, but it would have been better if Namco included a way to turn the boring quotes and stuff off.

Also, you may have noticed that the game comes with two CDS: dont get too excited about it, because only one has the actual game. The second CD is basically just a few demos (including Klonoa, an underrated gem I advise buying) and a one-track ''update'' of Ridge Racer Revolution. I could have lived without it, but overall its a good addition.

Overall, R4 is a great game that is definitely worth buying. The game may seem like your average racing game, but it really isn't, thanks to the various game modes that it provides. Control in the game is outstanding as well, especially when dealing with making the various turns, etc. This game is definitely fun, and lives up to most of the hype.

Notes
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# of Players: 1-2 players
Memory Card: 1 block
Special Controllers used: Dual Shock, Namco JogCon (?)

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Other Important Scores
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Replay Value (Medium)

You probably would end up wanting to race single races after a while. Why do I say that? Mainly because the grand prix mode is stupid as can get. It is basically filled with boring dialouge from your various instructors, and the music that plays during these scenes is just terrible. Overall, the replay value is average, and would have been higher had the grand prix mode been more improved.

Challenge (Low)

Pump that difficulty level up, if you can (Ive never tried) Why do I say this? Because the challenge level of the grand prix mode is pretty much non existant on the default challenge level. I breezed through the various races of the grand prix mode with ease. The later races got to be a bit of a problem, though, and will probably be one for the average player as well. Overall, the challenge level is low, so try to raise the difficulty level if you can.

GOOD POINTS
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-The music and sound effects in the game are outstanding
-The level design of the races is fantastic
-Plenty of depth, featuring several different game modes.

BAD POINTS
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-Racing on the default challenge level is too easy.
-The grand prix mode is boring, featuring mindless dialouge and insanely crappy music.
-The game is a little on the short side.

Fun Factor (9.3/10)

R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 is a unique racing experience from one of the premiere gaming companies out there, Namco. Gran Turismo 2 may be getting all the press now, but it doesn't hold a candle next to this wonderful racing game. The boring grand prix mode doesn't detract from the grand gaming experience known as R4. Get this game today if you're a
Playstation racing fan dissapointed with the newer Gran Turismo 2.

Overall (9.4/10)

Overall, R4 is a great game that is definitely worth buying. The game may seem like your average racing game, but it really isn't, thanks to the various game modes that it provides. Control in the game is outstanding as well, especially when dealing with making the various turns, etc. The graphics are amazing, especially the detail in some of the car models. And the music and sound effects are great as well. This game is definitely fun, and lives up to most of the hype.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/00, Updated 07/16/01


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