Aug 1 , 2021 by FlorreW
Tokyo Xtreme Racer Review
Whats the game aboutThis is a racing game that is all about racing during the nights in Tokyo against over 100 opponents, all in different gangs. It is not like other racers and that can be both good and not good depending on what you prefer.
The expressway in central Tokyo is called Shuto (hence the JAP title name Shutoku Battle) and this well known highway circles around Tokyo tower and Imperial Palace. When starting up the game you have 3 different modes to play:
Quick Race - Race against time or challange rivals to a so called "SP BATTLE". You can use a demo car or a car you purchased and tuned in "QUEST" mode.
Versus Battle - Also here you can use a car you purchased in "QUEST" mode, but instead od going agains the AI you play agains another player in split-screen !
Quest - This is the main/primary mode in the game and also what will be explained a little bit more in this review. Oh thats me burning rubber in the GIF below by the way (in Quest mode).
When you start the game in Quest mode you get 25k "CP" and for this money you must buy your first car. That ammount of money wont get you much more at the start but after you start racing , and winning, you will slowly get more money and use this on different upgrades.
So whats the deal ? What makes Tokyo Xtreme Racer different ? I would say two things, first of all you drive at the same map the whole time. Some reviews says this is lazy by the developers (not having more then 1 track) but the track is really big. It takes around 5-6 min to drive around it, also you can choose to drive it in either direction.
The track you will be racing on is "Shuto Expressway Inner Circular Route C1". And as you can see on the image above here to the right,it is a perfect replica of the real road.
The other thing that makes this game stand out is the way you race. In a "normal" racing game, you choose your map and then all cars start from the same spot and tries to get first to the finnish line. In Tokyo Xtreme Racer, you cruise around the highway until you spot some of the rivals (you can track them on your map ingame). If you want to challange him/her, then simply drive up behind the other car and start flashing your headlights and the race is on ! You and your rival will have oen "lifebar" each when the race starts, when you are ahed of your rival his "lifebar" will drain and vice versa. The further away from your rival you are , the faster his health drops.
There are 141 different rivals to challange, each of them belongs to a specific gang (except for the devvas/devils). When you win agains all members in a gang, that "gangleader" will show up behind you and challange you. And when you start winning over alot of the gangleaders, the "Devas" will start showing up. There are four devas (Grim Reaper/Midnight Cinderella/Silver Wolf and Banshee). After you defeat theese you will be greeted by "The end" screen , but no worries. The game will save and you still have to beat alot of rivals, and this time you will go after "The Devils". The encounter with Rival "Zero" is something you will not forget when the time comes.
As said before you can tune/upgrade your car. You can change engine,transmission,brake,cosmetic things and chassis. There is also a possibility to change alot of settings on the car such as steering and brake response, brake balance, Crossmission ,Ride height, final gear and more.
Handling/ControlsThe handling in this game takes some time to get used to. It feels a bit like the car is "floating" around on the track in the beginning. But you will get used with it after a while and when you start getting used to it you will notice that the controls actually are pretty tight.
SoundThe soundeffects are good without being exceptional in any way. When it comes to the music, it is a mixed bag of japanese pop/rock/techno tracks.I do not think music like this would be in a game today that was to be released in Europe/Usa and it is a bit cheesy and very 90-s, but in my personal opinion , that only adds to the charm of this game.
GraphicsIt is hard to imagine i guess ,that when this game was released in 1999 ,60 fps was a big deal. Tokyo Xtreme Racing is a really nice looking game and it is in 60 fps. It has for its time very nice lighting effects and the sense of speed is very good. The detail is overall pretty good , everything except for the "horizont" looks sharp and nice.
As i wrote earlier some reviewers are complaining about the lack of tracks, this is however in my own opinion no problem when we have a map that is as big as this one. And you can tell that Crave really tried to pay attension to the details while making the "Shuto Expressway" map into the game.
I have 4 screenshots of different points on the ingame map, on theese points i tried to find the same spot via Google maps to see if it was anything like the game. So was it ? You be the judge ! (Keep in mind , the game is from 1999 and the google map images are 22 years later)
Lets check one last picture below here, i belive the they did a great job to recreate the road as close to reality as possible.
Overall they have done a great job with the graphics considering it was released so early in the dreamcasts lifespan.
Still fun to play ?So one important question remains , is it still fun to play today ? Yes it is a blast ! This game predates the fast and the furious movies with 2 years and all of the classic jap racing models are present here, Nissan 240SX,Honda Civic,Toyota Supra,Nissan skyline,Mitsubishi Lancer hell even the classic Toyota Corolla is there.
Today theese cars are classics, some of them almost impossible to get without paying insane ammount of money, but here , in Tokyo Xtreme Racing they will always be.
About once a year i pick this game up, enjoying the "night driving" and fast pace races. Trying to tune different cars each time before i finally take the last rival and lay the game aside to wait for another year.
There is something special cruising up behind a gang member flashing your lights to challange him and then off you go, winning the race and then immidiatly get challanged back by the rivals "boss". Maybe having a hard time beating him until that very corner comes where you know exactly where/when/how to turn and gets ahed of him again!
Is this the best racing game ever ? No. Is is even the best racing game on Dreamcast ? No. But it is a great racing game, that some people will love and other will think is nothing special. Everyone is different but this game is my kind of racing game i love it !
This game is a gem, the score is a weaker 4 out of 5 points. While there are better racing games on Dreamcast , this one is amongst the better ones for sure !
Pros- 60 Fps
- It feels really fast
- The atmosphere
- Unique game mode
- Cheesy music
Cons- The wacky collision effect
- Handling takes some time to learn