Replay Value: 10
The fourth installment in the Ridge Racer series has been released. The game is also being hailed as one of the greatest racers yet, and it is. Ridge Racer games are based on cars that were created by Namco, so you will never see a Corvette, Ferrari or any other "real-life" sports car.
R4 also has one of the best graphics ever seen on any racer yet. The stages are beautifully designed as well as the car models. The frame rate always stays at a crisp 30 fps. Just in case if some one is wondering if the graphics are better than those in Gran Turismo, the answer is yes. The graphics in R4 are alot more smoother than GT's as well.
The gameplay is nearly perfect, because the game mixes RPG as well as Racing elements, mostly it's Racing, but the RPG element comes in when you select a team, when you win races and some other times. The computer controlled cars are not smart and not stupid but they are pretty easy to pass by. But since the game has 320 cars it would be tough to get all of them if the CPU is hard.
Now I want to talk about the sound, the soundtracks are awesome, but the speech voice is a little low and I can't always hear or understand what the announcer says, but this is only during the race, otherwise the sound is very good and as mentioned before the soundtracks kicks ass, especially the R4 theme.
As for the control, it is very easy to get used to and has that Arcade feel to it. But what about that stupid pinball effect that happens when you hit the sides, well it's been greatly lowered. The effect is nearly gone. Now the car's handling, as I said before the game has that arcade feel in it, so the handling will not be like the kind you will find in a Need For Speed game or another "sim" type racer.
Last but not least the Replay Value, R4 will keep you hooked forever or until you get the all of the cars including the secret Pac-Man car. R4 features 8 tracks 320+ cars, 2 player head-head support, 4 players via link cable, and an extra CD which includes demos, videos, and a 60 fps version of Ridge Racer and few more things.