This is one kind of review that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Here we’ll revisit some gaming classics from the ps1 and ps2 era (and maybe some psp titles as well) and have a look at them to see how they’ve aged for the modern player. Unfortunately I don’t own any of those consoles from back in the day anymore but all of the games are available to purchase and download from the psn and played on the more modern consoles.
Most of them we will have played them back in the day like it’s the case of this first retro briefiew. I spent countless hours with this game back in the day because I truly loved it as a kid. Let’s see how the game fares now without the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia.
Ridge Racer Type 4 is an arcade racing game from the ps1 era. This franchise is very well known nowadays from the unrealistic approach to the races it has. You can see that specially on the way that cars corner the most tight turns. Certainly, if you’re looking for some realistic racing, this game won’t be for you. Drifting in this game is anything but natural, so it obviously requires some getting used to but it’s also consistent which means that you’ll learn to dominate your car pretty fast anyway.
One of the more interesting characteristics of this particular title is it’s main mode. It’s called grand prix mode and it represents you as a driver during the racing roots championship. At the start of the game you have to choose a racing team to join and depending on which one you choose you’ll get a different story. The game also lets you choose a car brand (all fake ones) to supply the cars for the racing team. After each round of races you’ll get a new car from them and each time you’ll be given a faster and better handling car.
An unique note is the fact that the car given doesn’t only depend on the manufacturer you chose at the start of the game but also on your performance as, if you end the races on first position you’ll be rewarded with a better car than if you ended the races third. All of that makes for some great replay value as you’ll see yourself starting new championships to unlock all of the cars in the game which are many.
This main championship consists on three rounds of races. The first one with 2 races of 2 laps each will only require you to reach a third place to advance. The second round of also two races will have a cut at the second place while the longer third row of races will require you to win every single race to advance. You have three chances to reach those qualifications in each race and if you fail it’s game over. The difficulty settings are chosen depending on which racing team you sign for at the start of the career since some teams won’t upgrade their cars that much and thus you’ll have to be a perfect driver to win with those. However, unlike other games of the era, I never found the game to be too harsh on the player. I remember that not even back in the day I had that much trouble managing to beat the championship.
Apart from the main mode you’ll also have the chance to race single tracks with the cars that you’ve unlocked in the grand prix mode and, unlike the most recent Ridge Racer Unbounded, you can play the game against a friend in a split screen duel.
There’s also time attack and a very challenging unlockable mode which will have you try to beat a super fast mini car that will surely put your skills to test.
Let’s talk about the game’s graphics and how they’ve stood the passing of time. Yes, sub-hd games look kinda blurry and you’ll see jagged edges everywhere but the game still has some sort of clean look. Cars aren’t the most detailed (they weren’t even back in the day) but they look fancy enough and the tracks are pretty creative and dynamic. Another positive is the framerate which, for a game this old, is surprisingly stable.
As for the sound department, I just love it. And this might be just my nostalgia for the music of my childhood but I love the music in this game. I still hum to pearl blue soul when I’m playing racing games nowadays so what can I say?
Things I liked
- Grand Prix mode: Each of the 4 racing teams has its own story to follow with some of them intertwining at parts. It’ll make you want to race with all of them to know all of the story behind the game’s events.
- Unlock-a-thon: If you consider all of the variations of manufacturers + racing team and the different unlocks depending on your racing positions… there’s more than 300 cars to unlock. Pretty amazing.
- Soundtrack: This might be more nostalgia than anything else but I just love the dance soundtrack of this game.
Things I didn’t
- Tracks: They are well designed and certainly the better looking part of the game but there are so few of them. There are less than ten and some of them are just versions of each other. Dissapointing.
Who’d like this?
Among ps1 era racing games, this one has to be one of the best and it has aged pretty well. So, if you like arcade racing games, you can’t go wrong with Ridge Racer Type 4. It handles nice, doesn’t look too bad, has a great career mode and it’s all mixed with an amazing retro soundtrack.
<The game was dowloaded and played on ps3 but it can also be experienced on the go on a playstation vita or on playstation tv> <You can check the game running here>