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Landon Rogers
Landon Rogers

Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 \/\/FREE\\\\

I remember Tokyo Extreme Racing way back when it came out on that old dinosaur, what was it called? Dreamcast? Yeah, something like that. The concept of the game design was simple: race around Tokyo expressways and highways, flash other racers and beat them in head to head competition. The trick of was that you raced through the highways and in and around traffic. It was a whole lot of fun back then. I had never played a racing game quite like it. You soon got to know various personalities of different gangs and developed rivalries with these racers. There was the mysterious "Wanderer" who roamed the lanes in a souped up Econoline van and tore up anything that was foolish enough to challenge him. You earned credits to tweak out your car and even decorate it with new paint schemes and stickers. It wasn't a perfect game, but it was unique enough to be worthy of dedication.

Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3

Tokyo Extreme Racing 3 for Playstation 2 follows the same formula of the earlier Dreamcast iteration which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly isn't good or shall I say good enough. The overall game design is still in tact, which is not a bad thing. You begin in either Osaka, Yokohama or Tokyo and work your way around each highway segment, mastering them as you go. You move from city to city challenging to local talent there as well. There is very much a gladiatorial vibe to this whole set-up. As you rack up more money by beating more racers you can improve upon your initial piece of junk until you've either built the Millennium Falcon of street racing. There is even a vague little narrative going on that has something to do with "The Powers" and how they "gather" with other "powers" to determine who is the most "powerful". Something tells me that some of that story was lost along the way as the game traveled from Japan to America. It's not as bad as All Your Base Are Belong To Us, but it's pretty close.

What made TER a good racing game back in the day was its unique take on racing. The accurate reproduction of Tokyo's highway system and the racing mechanics were new. Each racer had a life bar which drained as soon as you began to lose the race and you lost more power by crashing into things like pylons or other cars which gave you incentive to drive sensibly. TER3 plays essentially the same way.

What we have with TER3 is essentially the same game that was put out for Dreamcast. The graphics might be better, the sound certainly isn't, but the gameplay is in tact and sprinkling of a lame story about street racing leaves much to be desired. In fact, to charge full price for what amounts to a poor remix of a cult classic is not only inexcusable, it is unethical. If you haven't played TER (it's known is Japan as Shoutoko Highway Battle) it might make a fun rental. If you're looking for a serious driving game with some serious action, you'd be better served with the current generation of racing games that not only innovate but inspire. TER once did that with a novel premise, but now that premise is old and in the face of games like Pro Race Driver (an excellent story driven game) or Need For Speed: Underground (excellent for the fast and the furious) TER3 simply does not hold up and I would be remiss to recommend it. The creators perhaps dreamed of making a "serious racer's game" and so they left out of a lot of the "fluff". In doing so they also left out all of the fun. While the gameplay is pretty solid, the staidness of the graphics, the lack of finish and polish and the distressing lack of improvement or evolution leaves a cult classic racer in the lame category of retro-retreads. It is an absolute shame because the TER series used to be something cool.

The final game for "Anime NYC" week is a title that, at first glance, clearly isn't an "anime" game. Before you cast this off as me getting an excuse to talk about a game I missed out on during my childhood (despite you being right...) hear me out first. Often imitated and duplicated, the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series made its debut on the Sega Dreamcast, known as Shutokou Battle. The unique highway racer was successful enough to warrant a direct sequel on the same console. A soft "reboot" was released on the PlayStation 2 as Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero, followed by the direct sequel Shutokou Battle 01. Thanks to questionable naming conversions in English, 01 was known as Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 even though this was the fourth game.

There is no "point A to point B" sprint races or a "finish line" to speak of, as the only way to win a race is by depleting your opponent's health bar to zero. A player's first experience with this game will likely compare it to a fighting game and they wouldn't be entirely wrong. The most reliable way of ensuring victory is simply driving faster than your opponent. The greater the distance the faster the health bar depletes. If the trailing racer collides with the wall or other vehicles, it will also deal damage in relation to how direct the hit was. Upon winning the race you earn credits and begin to build up a multiplier based on win streaks.

Defeating enough rivals from a specific team will flush out the Team Leader who usually drives a far greater car than anyone on the team prior. At this point in the game, it's entirely okay to win with "dirty tactics" than flat-out speed. In the later stages, you'll need to use both your wits and your power, but for now, ramming a car into a divider is valid. Car damage exists in this game, but not in the way that one would expect from traditional racers. It all involves monitoring your car's oil and engine temperature.

Before the release of Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, Namco and Genki worked on an arcade racing game based on the Japanese manga Wangan Midnight. The series focused on Akio, a young racer with a deep-blue Nissan S30Z that's blisteringly fast to the point he gets the nickname the "Devil Z." Before Genki developed Wangan Midnight, they included the car in Shutokou Battle historically as the final challenge the player battles once they defeat all rivals. They aren't known by their name, but simply "???" although all signs obviously point towards Akio and the Devil Z.

Unlike the last racer (ZERO) this one actuallly has trucks beat the first big boss and you should unlock the isusu vehicross but if you buy have tons of cash cause its slower than heck as well as heavy 041b061a72


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