I want to be R4-ever young.
Push Square has pondered the infancy of 3D console graphics during the 32-bit era, and reflected that the ageing process was not always visually kind, especially to PSone launch games. Some early titles like Jumping Flash! hide their pixelated wrinkles behind bright colours and plain models, while others like Battle Arena Toshinden seem creaky with well-worn textures today. Therefore, it feels great to review Ridge Racer Type 4 — known as R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 in Japan and North America — because Namco’s arcade drift racer has aged wonderfully within the context of the capabilities of the fifth generation, since its European release at the tail end of PSone’s lifespan in 1999.
The December 1998 preview — during the same month as the Japanese release of R4 — in Issue 113 of Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine titled ‘Something To Finally Kick Gran Turismo’s Ass’ explained that, “the Ridge Racers have always been about high-speed action rather than technical accuracy. R4 will be no different, but will push the very limits of the PlayStation in terms of graphical presentation. Rumoured to be Namco’s last game for Sony’s box (because the system can’t be pushed any harder).”
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