RIDGE RACER: TYPE 4 (1999) – NAMCO
One of my more successful reviews on this blog was my coverage of Gran Turismo, and its subsequent follow ups Gran Turismo 2 & Gran Turismo 3, where I proclaimed that to a large extent they live up to their tag of being the ‘real driving simulator’. These games however only cover one third of the holy trinity of racing games; there is simulation, kart racers where the likes of Mario Kart have dominated for years, and then the good old fashioned arcade racer. Arcade racers have always been about two things; driver’s skill to go as fast as possible, and leaving you with a huge smile on your face.
Some of the best franchises in game history have their roots at least in arcade racing; Need For Speed used to be an exercise in time trials, whereas Outrun stole millions of children’s quarters in arcade stores and Wipeout added a futuristic twist to the genre. The one name that stands out more than any other in my opinion however, is Ridge Racer. While some of you may only see it as a meme from E3, the Ridge Racer franchise encapsulates everything that an arcade racer should be; and one game in particular from the franchise shines out like a beacon; the fourth instalment, Ridge Racer: Type 4 (hereafter referred to as R4). With its release date nestled between the original Gran Turismo games, R4 had a bit of breathing space to work with, and offered a game that did its very best to upend Polyphony Digital’s new behemoth. Namco took it seriously; it wasn’t simply a port of an arcade machine like the three before it, it was a purpose made console game. So did it do the trick? Continue reading Going Back To Real Racing Roots – Ridge Racer: Type 4 Review