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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ridge Racer Type 4

John Marine | 11:36 PM | | |
The swan song of Ridge Racer on the PS1 was with Ridge Racer Type 4 (or R4). If you're going to go out, best go out big. This was probably what NAMCO was thinking with this 1998 racing game. Even against Gran Turismo, R4 delivered with loads of cars and an outstanding soundtrack. This post on "John's Race Space" will offer up my own thoughts and views on "Ridge Racer Type 4." Keep reading on if this is what interests you!

Ridge Racer Type 4

Say hello to Ridge Racer Type 4:

Ridge Racer Type 4
^ from: (YouTube) - Get ready for the experience of Ridge Racer Type 4, which many people would argue as the greatest Ridge Racer of all time.

Ridge Racer Type 4 was a mind-blowing game offering one of the greatest racing experiences on the PlayStation 1. Even while Gran Turismo was asserting itself as the best racing game of its time, NAMCO dared think otherwise by offering their own competitive racing game. Ridge Racer Type 4 comes across as a very beautiful racing game (even today) offering impressive racing action and a fabulous soundtrack. If Rage Racer was an indication in a change in the style of music, R4 was even more a musical diversion as this game mostly offers chill-type music and lounge-style music. Personally, I enjoy the music a lot in R4. There are only two songs I don't like in the game- "Burnin' Rubber" and "The Objective." Just about every other song is amazing. While Pac-Man is the mascot of NAMCO, the public face of Ridge Racer is the beautiful Reiko Nagase. She surely showcases herself to you in this game. This is just a game, so Reiko Nagase is not real. Also, this game features some of the best drifts in the entire series. You can now confidently drift around corners without fearing you'll lose too much speed or lose complete control. And in addition, you will be given the opportunity to race Drift cars and Grip cars for two different driving experiences in R4. There is a lot of savor in a game like this.

The game is centered around Real Racing Roots '99, or RRR for short. Only the best can achieve victory in this set of races. Eight races spread across three different Heats will determine the truest of champions. Prepare for racing with intense action. Four teams are waiting for you to sign with them along with four manufacturers ready to lend you their finest machines. How far will you push yourself and your abilities to win Real Racing Roots '99?

As an added bonus, this game features a modified version of the classic Ridge Racer called "Ridge Racer Turbo Mode." It is mostly as a tech demo showcasing some interesting changes to improve this game's frame rate. This special version of Ridge Racer is the classic Ridge Racer game but with certain tweaks to showcase this game at an amazing 60 frames per second. You will see what was sacrificed to make the amazing technical detail as you play it. In fact, you can even read about what changes were made in the development of this modified classic Ridge Racer to achieve the performance it has mustered. You can still play a 30 frames per second version of Ridge Racer included on this disc for comparison.

There is one other personal thing about this game for me. This game was where I got to hear and respect Kimara Lovelace. She's the singing diva providing excellent vocals in "Movin' in Circles" and in "One More Win" among other songs in the game.


This game offers a total of about 321 cars. But really, this game features 81 cars- 20 cars from the game's four manufacturers tuned to different levels plus one bonus car to unlock.

In regards to tuning levels, here are the four teams in the order they appear when you do Grand Prix mode:

• Dig Racing Team (Expert) - a once-successful American team with a new manager uncertain financial future.
• RC Micro Mouse Mappy (Easy) - a French team run by the owner's daughter for this season.
• Pac Racing Club (Medium) - a newcoming team from Japan.
• Racing Team Solvalou (Hard) - an elite Italian racing team. Victory seems required and expected when you race with this team.

Each team features cars tuned to certain levels. You will actually find that cars from higher difficulty teams are actually a bit faster or a bit slower depending on the team. When you select a team, you will be given a choice to be sponsored by one of four automakers. They include:

• Assoluto (Drift) - an Italian manufacturer with aggressively designed cars.
• Lizard (Drift) - an American automaker with bold and dynamic cars.
• Terrazi (Grip) - a Japanese manufacturer with unique and unusually designed automobiles.
• Age Solo (Grip) - compact cars with great handling are the trademark of this French manufacturer.

The Drift cars will allow you to slide aggressively into corners. The Grip cars stay glued to the road and offer precise handling into corners. Take advantage of these differences in driving dynamics to make the most of each car. Each class of car is divided up into Stages, and there are four of them. Stage 1 is what you start out with. The fastest cars are the Stage 4 cars. Depending on your performance in the Grand Prix races, you may end up having the same car you used in a previous stage of Real Racing Roots '99, only upgraded. So if you perform poorly, instead of a better car (let's pretend you're using the Lizard Bonfire), you may end up with a Lizard Bonfire that has been upgraded to compete as a Stage 2 car. It is also possible you may get a new car that isn't exactly the best offering from that company but is still relatively competitive based on your progress in the game. How you perform with a car and with a certain team will determine what cars you will earn as you progress through the game. To that end, you may find racing for Dig Racing Team to be totally difficult. The different manufacturers' cars behave differently from one another. Be sure to take advantage of these differences and try to race each course and each race as best as you can.

Once you get everything set up, it's time to race!


You will be racing in Japan and in the United States in your Real Racing Roots '99 experience.

• Helter Skelter - a fairly simple urban Japanese course.
• Wonderhill - a technical natural terrain course in Japan.
• Edge of the Earth - a medium-level American race course around downtown and an airport in America.
• Out of Blue - A course utilizing the city and some coastline drives in Japan.
• Phantomile - the game's shortest course, a technical city course in Japan.
• Brightest Nite - an American course utilizing a theme park an an airport.
• Heaven and Hell - a natural terrain course in Japan that is long and challenging.
• Shooting Hoops - an American highway course boasting high-speed racing. Drifting not needed here.


The bulk of racing and majority of unlocking content is through the Grand Prix mode. By racing for different teams and with different manufacturers, you are trying to win every race and maximize your abilities. Real Racing Roots '99 consist of three individual Heats. You must finish each race within a qualifying position to advance. You must place 3rd or better in the first two races, 2nd or better in the second two races, and you must win all four of the remaining rounds to become champion. You have four chances to clear each race. If you exhaust all of your tries, the game will be over, and you must retire from the Grand Prix. The First Heat features two-lap races. Every other race except the final race of the Final Heat are three laps. The final event, "Shooting Hoops" is a six-lap race.

Your performance throughout the rounds of the Grand Prix will determine what kinds of cars you will get. Winning every race will net you the best cars. You know you HAVE to win all of the races in the Final Heat to advance. If you want to unlock EVERY car, you'll be playing this game over and over again trying to finish in different qualifying positions to access the majority of cars. For example, you may win every race of the season in one go, then have to finish some races in certain positions just to get some of the lesser cars. Maybe instead of winning every race, let's just pretend you finish 3rd in the first Heat races followed by 2nd in the Second Heat races.

Besides the Grand Prix, you can race in Time Trials and even race Extra races to earn the major cars from each manufacturer. Once you clear the Grand Prix for the first time, you will be able to add new cars to your eight-car collection to race in any of the events outside of the Grand Prix. These cars, excluding the Extra ones, can be customized with different car colors and decals. You can earn more decals through progress in the game or make your own with the decal editor.

Time now I offer my thoughts on "Ridge Racer Type 4."

Ridge Racer Type 4: Final Thoughts

Ridge Racer Type 4 is an all-time classic for good reason. The best drifts followed by arguably the best soundtrack in any Ridge Racer game make this an absolute joy to play. I honestly feel NAMCO did their absolute best to offer the best Ridge Racer experience on the PlayStation 1. Very few people will argue about almost anything regarding this game. Not only is this the best Ridge Racer on the PlayStation 1, many will even argue it is the best racing game on the PlayStation 1- even including the Gran Turismo titles. The only things I didn't like about R4 are the "Burnin' Rubber" and "The Objective" songs. The only thing I am indifferent about is the rather confusing and lengthy method to try to get every car in the game. If you manage to get all of the cars [without cheating] more power to you!

I guess the theme for racing in this game is to be a smooth operator. Of course, race as hard as you can, but be smooth with it. Even the in-game announcer has a mellow vibe to his comments. Well... except for comments like, "my grandma drives faster than that! Get with the program!" That would explain the smooth drifts coupled with the sweet house music and lounge music that compliments this game. These concepts converge so well in defining this game's character that it is criminal. This game will not disappoint you in the least sense.

Bonus Commentary!

I mentioned how amazing the Ridge Racer Type 4 soundtrack is. Let me share with you some of my favorite songs for each track. These are the songs I mostly listen to for each of the courses. The first entry to each race track is the song I usually the one I listen to most for each course:

• Helter Skelter - "Pearl Blue Soul"
• Wonderhill - "Your Vibe," "Thru," or "Move Me"
• Edge of the Earth - "Naked Glow" (my favorite song and my favorite race track), sometimes "Motor Species"
• Out of Blue - "Silhouette Dance," "Revlimit Funk," or "Quiet Curves"
• Phantomile - "Motor Species" or "Revlimit Funk"
• Brightest Nite - "Naked Glow," sometimes "Your Vibe," or sometimes "Motor Spieces"
• Heaven and Hell - "The Ride"
• Shooting Hoops - "Movin' in Circles"

I think if you manage to unlock all of the cars, you will get a bonus song called "Eat 'em Up," if I am not mistaken. I haven't accessed the bonus material, so I can't comment on this front.

Video Preview.

Now that you know about the game, it's time I offer you a video preview. This is a simple game play video for your enjoyment to showcase "Ridge Racer Type 4." Take a look:

^ "Ridge Racer Type 4 (HD) - Gameplay 1"

See if you can get Ridge Racer Type 4 (or any other Ridge Racer) using this below:

Another "John's Race Space" post concludes.

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