Battle Gear 4 is an arcade racing game by Taito Corporation released in July 2005. It is the fifth product of the Battle Gear series. In 2006 the cabinets have then been updated to the Battle Gear 4 Tuned specification, which contains more cars, courses, and a new game mode.
The game runs on the Taito Type X motherboard, and has capability of connecting to the Internet. The typical controls include the gas and brake pedals, a steering wheel, a + / - shifting stick, and a handbrake. A "Nitrous switch" is available as well, which triggers either the Nitrous Oxide system on tuned NA cars, or a scramble boost function on tuned turbo cars utilizing forced induciton. Both boosts in engine power come at the cost of reduced handling. A newer variant of the cabinet Battle Gear 4 Tuned Professional Version, sports a further clutch pedal, and an H-shaped gearbox control. They are used together to simulate full manual shifting. The professional version was released in November 2006.
The Type X motherboard has a function to connect to the Internet. This allows the machine to access time attack records and similar information online, and to upload the new records. When coupled with the NESYS network entry key (sold separately), the key users can have their cars "downloaded" from the virtual garage, and used during the play. The BG4 entry keys are not compatible with the BG3 series entry keys. Subsequently, any rewards that a player gained are uploaded onto the server (if the player uses the entry key and the machine is connected). The player can connect to the BG4 garage, and perform extensive modifications to the car.
Changes from BG3
When compared to the Battle Gear 3, there are certain features changed in this game.
- The addition of European models (for example, Volkswagen Golf and Renault Clio (Lutecia) V6) and the European stages (with notable examples of the Monaco track and Monte Carlo Rally) representing a departure from Initial D.
- The Takumi Mode in Battle Gear 3 is removed. Instead, a severe speed penalty is implemented into the system, forcing the player to use the brakes.
- A more extensive tuning system is available to the key users. Instead of simply modding the external parts, the performance hardwares are available as well this time. These can be performed in the online virtual garage.
- A player can also activate the "Garage Extension" functions. This includes the benefit of having a team, customizing decals, vinyls and setting names and such. This costs 300 yen per month.
There are at least 5 options of gameplay, in Battle Gear 4 Tuned.
- Event race. From time to time Taito announces special races that are restricted to tuned cars. Each key is only allowed to participate once in each event race. Players attempt to set the best time (or drift point record in drift mode) to compete against other players.
- Race mode allows players to race various level of opponents on different tracks. The opponents are computer cars within the same class (A,B,C,D) of the players' car. The game defaults the opponents' skill levels from 1 to 10, but it can be extended to level 98. Levels over 10 can only be unlocked by beating the previous level of opponents.
- Drift mode is the new add-on in BG4 Tuned. In this mode, the player drifts his car around the corners, attempting to gain the maximum amount of points. The time is not recorded on the machine, but the drift points.
- One make race is similar to the race mode, but the opponents appear with the exactly same car model as the player.
- Time attack is the mode where the player attempts to set the best time finishing the track. Players can select other player's ghost car to run with them.
- Battle mode pits the drivers against each other. This extra mode can only be selected when there are more than one entrants joins the game, up to 4 players if 4 cabinets are available.
The game displays the result (after a game finishes) to a keyless player, and the additional title and awarded BG (battle gold, the virtual dollars in game) to the player using a key. Information are uploaded to the server, and the player can access the BG later on, provided that the machine is online.
Any player having the entry key can register an online garage account at the Taito website. This entitles the player to an extensive modification system that allows the player to customize his ride. Different from BG3, the player can now not only purchase external parts but also purchase performance parts. The "money" is calculated as battle gold, mentioned above.
As for the parts, a player can purchase upgrades for the brake, engine, mufflers, transmission, suspension, tyres and aerodynamic parts. One can also tweak the look of the car with custom (and enlarged) wheels, gauges and decals.
Depending on the car model, engine swaps are possible. This may range from a variant with forced induction (mounted with a supercharger or turbocharger), to swapping in a different engine from another vehicle by the same manufacturer. For example, the Nissan 350Z can have the V6 engine swapped with an RB26DETT found in the Skyline GT-R or a VK45DE from the Cima. Drivetrain and transmission swaps are also possible. For example, the Ford Focus ST170 can have, in place of its standard Getrag 6MT and FWD drivetrain, the Focus WRC's 6-speed sequential transmission and AWD drivetrain.
List of Tracks
Battle Gear 4 Tuned has 24 tracks available to the players. All tracks available in the reverse direction.
- Super Novice (resembles the Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
- Super Novice B (high speed street track with Yokohama Bay Bridge, based on the Bayshore route of Shuto Expressway, Japan)
- Super Novice C (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Super Novice")
- Novice (resembles Itsukushima, Japan)
- Novice B (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Beginner")
- Novice C (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Beginner", tweaked)
- Novice D (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Beginner B", resembles the Hanshin Expressway, Japan)
- Intermediate (resembles Mount Aso, Japan)
- Intermediate B (setting resmbles Odaiba, while the track layout itself resembles Streets of Willow Springs, USA)
- Intermediate C (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Intermediate", resembles Hakone)
- Intermediate D (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Intermediate B", a mixed course with dirt and tarmac roads)
- Advanced (The Circuit de Monaco)
- Advanced B (A snow course)
- Advanced C (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Advanced")
- Advanced D (Battle Gear 3 "Advanced B")
- Super Advanced (Mount Myōgi, Japan. A sprint race that resembles Touge)
- Super Advanced B (A rally Super-special stage)
- Super Advanced C (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Super Advanced")
- Super Advanced D (A race track with various elements mimicking the Suzuka Circuit)
- Dreadnought (Mt. Akina, a track featured in Initial D, it is Mt. Haruna in reality)
- Dreadnought B (Mt. Akagi, also featured in Initial D as well)
- Super Dreadnought (Part of Turini, a Special Stage in Monte Carlo Rally)
- Super Dreadnought B (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Super Dreadnought", based on the Happogahara touge)
- Super Dreadnought C (Battle Gear 3 Tuned "Super Dreadnought B", based on Nagao touge)
Cars are divided into 5 classes, class S, A, B, C, D. Below is a brief list of cars, grouped into sections.
"Normal" cars are cars that featured in the game, sans any special decals and such.
- Any cars below, with performance parts installed and tuned regardless of the original level and the degree of modification.
Cars that clock 270-280 horsepower, the maximum available for a stock car in Japan. Vehicles in this category include:
- Honda NSX NSX-R (NA2)
- Honda NSX NSX-S (NA2)
- Mazda RX-7 FD3S
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX GSR (CT9A)
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR GSR (CT9A)
- Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evolution III (CE9A)
- Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Evolution IV (CN9A)
- Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR32)
- Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec (BCNR33)
- Nissan Skyline GT-R V-specII (BNR34)
- Nissan Fairlady Z Version ST (Z33)
- Subaru Impreza WRX STI spec C (GDB) 2004
- Subaru Impreza WRX STI spec C (GDB) 2006
- Subaru Impreza WRX STI Version VI (GC8)
- Subaru Legacy B4 2.0GT spec.B (BL5)
- Toyota Supra RZ (JZA80)
Class B cars generally less powerful than the class A cars, and have around 190 to 255 horsepower (190 kW). Cars in this category include:
- Honda Accord Euro R (CL7)
- Honda Integra Type R (DC2)
- Honda Integra Type R (DC5)
- Honda S2000 (AP1)
- Mazda Atenza (Mazda 6) 23Z (GG3S)
- Mazda RX-7 (FC3S)
- Mazda RX-8 (SE3P)
- Mitsubishi FTO GP Version R (DE3A)
- Nissan 180SX TYPE X (RPS13)
- Nissan Silvia K's (S13)
- Nissan Silvia spec-R AERO (S15)
- Renault Clio V6 (BL7X)
- Toyota Altezza RS200 L edition (SXE10)
- Toyota Celica GT-FOUR (ST205)
- Toyota Celica TRD Sports M (ZZT231)
- Toyota MR2 GT-S (SW20)
- Volkswagen Golf GTI (Mk V) (1KAXX)
These cars push even less power form the engine, but generally easier to handle because of that. They clock around 120-185 horsepower. Cars in this category include:
- Citroën C4 2.0 VTS (B5RFK)
- Citroën Xsara
- Ford Focus ST170 (WF0ALD)
- Honda Civic SiR (EG6)
- Honda Civic Type R (EK9)
- Mazda MX-5 Eunos Roadster (NA6CE)
- Mazda MX-5 Roadster RS (NCEC)
- Mazda MX-5 Roadster RS-II (NB8C)
- Mini Cooper (RE16)
- Peugeot 206
- Suzuki Swift (ZC31S)
- Toyota AE86
- Toyota MR-S (ZZW30)
- Volkswagen New Beetle Turbo (9CAWU)
These are generally light, low-powered cars, and has around 80 to 115 horsepower (86 kW). Cars in this category include:
- Honda Fit 1.5S (GD3)
- Mazda Demio (DY5W)
- Mitsubishi Colt Plus Sport-X (Z23W)
- Nissan March 12SR (AK12)
- Toyota Vitz RS 1.5L 3door (NCP13)
- Toyota Corolla Levin AE85
Several cars have additional paints, decals, vinyls and parts that can be selected. It usually comes with handling changes unless the car is already customized. Cars that can have special decals and packages are
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, Ralliart Package
- Nissan 350Z Nismo decals
- Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 Nismo LM package (Similar to the Le-Man racing R33)
- Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Nismo package
- Subaru Impreza spec C STI package
- Toyota Altezza TRD package
In addition, the cars driven by the D1 Grand Prix Top Secret Team driver Youichi Imamura, who Taito sponsors, are also featured in the game, these include the A'PEXi Mazda RX-7 and the ORC Nissan 350Z. Both cars are tuned mainly for drifting.
- Side by Side (Arcade)
- Side by Side Special (PlayStation)
- Side by Side 2 Evoluzione (Arcade)
- Battle Gear 3 (Arcade)
- Tokyo Road Race (PlayStation 2)