Game Zero[News][Games][Comics][Articles][Reviews][Links][Codes][Videos][Bios] 
 The Final Word game review

Tokyo Xtreme Racer -- Genki/Crave Entertainment

For most of us, this game is the closest we'll ever get to street racing at night on the highways of Tokyo. In fact, from what I've been told, this game is an exact replica of the Shuto expressway/business loop that circles the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower. The whole game is based on this "street racer" premise with multiple cars to choose from, each of which can be configured using the standard "good, better, best" formula including the standard tweaks for tightening or loosening a configuration. While this mod style is tried and proven for racers, games like Grand Turismo have made the approach somewhat dated.

I really enjoyed the racing in this game as well as the scoring method for determining who wins a race. Essentially each driver has a status meter, and the person who is in second looses "life" off of their meter. The farther back you are, the faster you loose "life". This then allows for races that are over in a snap when the skill level between the racers is drastically different. But when you have matched skills, and matched vehicles, a race can go on for quite a significant length of time. This was very cool in my opinion, and is one of the biggest selling points for the game.

An good racer in many ways. The graphics are sharp, and everyone loves to watch the streamers off of the tail-lights. Sound and music are pretty good, but don't necessarily stand out in my mind. In fact there are lots of things to like about this title, except for two big problems.

First, the single track problem... Yes, I said a single track. The concept of a game with one and only one track got old for me about fifteen years ago. Oh, you can drive both ways on it, but that soon becomes pretty boring. Then again, I'm the kind of person who drives a different path to work from time to time because I like the change in scenery.

Second, the complete and utter lack of physics between your car and anything else in the environment except the road surface. You can't run other cars off the road, but they sure can push you right out of the way. It's almost as if all of the other cars out there were big old blocks of granite locked in slots on the track. Great unmovable obstacles that do nothing but get in your way. What I really want to see is traffic that is dynamic and reacts to me, and if I decide to ram someone else's car into the sidewall, or push them into a median pole so that I can make that turn/fit under that bridge, then let me do it! And just to labor the point, put these interaction problems together and you actually get a situation where a dummy car/competitor car can be driving next to you and crush you into a wall or a space that your car physically wouln't fit in, causing you to wreck, only because you can't push back against them to eak out that inch of room that will allow you to fit. In fact, it's been so bad that I've developed a winning technique where I bounce off of other cars in turns so that I don't have to break.

Again, it was a fun game, but the problems really effected it's longevity. If possible, rent this one first before shelling out the bucks, just to be sure it's what you want.

>>>>> 16.5/25 <<<<< R.I.P.
Graphics 5.0
Sound 4.0
Gameplay/Control 2.5
Longevity/Playability 2.0
Overall 3.0
Total 16.5