Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • Crave Entertainment

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • DreamCast

rating

Go Speed Racer, go!

The nightlights are bright against the darkness of the 2 A.M. hour. Conversation

is muted by the dull roar of our mufflers and sound of the wind passing between

the trees. After a long night of spinning records at a local club, the weary gang

and I head home. Our little caravan of rice rockets comes to a stop at one of

San Francisco’s many traffic lights…and then, it begins.

A Mitsubishi Galant pulls up alongside, sporting one of the ugliest body kits I’ve ever seen and a muffler that could wake the dead. In fact, it has. The sleepy occupants inside a finely tuned Honda Prelude have come to life. The light turns green and all hell breaks loose.

While I still have no idea why the driver of the Galant thought he had a prayer

against us that day, I do know one thing for sure: street racing is the drug

for driving fanatics everywhere. And since driving enthusiasts can’t always

be behind the wheel, Crave Entertainment and the Sega Dreamcast have come together

to bring gamers the next best thing – Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2.

As the sequel to one of the Dreamcast’s top-selling launch titles, Tokyo

Xtreme Racer
, TXR2 has a lot of expectations to live up to. While

a better game than the original, this racer still carries its fair share of

oil leaks.

Right away, you’ll notice the amazing graphics that Tokyo Xtreme Racer

2
sports. It’s hard to believe, but the graphics are even better than the

first. Each car is exquisitely detailed and has the perfect shine as if it had

just rolled off the showroom floor. The lighting effects are brilliant, with

each individual nighttime light dancing across your car’s exterior. With the

right camera angle, you can even see the driver inside the car along with the

glowing lights of the interior instrument panel. Some small anti-aliasing problems

mar the perfect look of the cars at times, but the eye candy clocks in at the

top of the list for Dreamcast racers.

Getting yourself started isn’t as easy as it was in the first Tokyo Xtreme.

The quality of cars that you’ll be able to buy at the start of the game has

gone down noticeably. Oh well, I guess that Integra (or that Type-DC2M that

looks like an Integra) will just have to wait.

Selecting a car will also be more of a chore due to the lengthy amount of time

it takes to load each car on screen. Surprising, since the original didn’t really

make you wait much.

When you’ve finally decided on your new ride, it’s off to the mean streets

of Tokyo to battle over 350 rivals whose sole purpose is to burn you like dry

brush in the Oakland Hills. With so many enemies, you be spending plenty of

time in the driver’s seat.

TXR2’s physics engine has been overhauled and runs much more smoothly

than before. Cars in the original would often skid around like the road was

made of ice and hitting the rails often helped more than it hindered. Now, the

handling of the cars is much tighter and bumping into the side of the freeway

can quickly result in a lost race.

The battle system has also been tuned to produce a greater challenge. As before,

each car has a “life” meter, which begins to drain when the racer

trails his rival. As a new feature, cars will also lose life if they run into

objects. This means that you can have a monster lead and lose the race by running

head first into a wall at 200 mph. It’s just like real life… only without the

crushed ego, crushed car, and crushed body.

One

of the biggest complaints about the first TXR was that only one course

was provided. This “freeway” was way too short and there were no multiple paths.

Fortunately, TXR2 has taken that complaint to heart and made a change

for the better. While there is still only a single freeway to race on, you’ll

notice that it is indeed a massive freeway (over 100 miles long) with

plenty in the way of multiple routes. Players can even unlock other sections

of the freeway as the game progresses for an even larger track than before.

The game has over 120 cars for you to choose from. The initial pickings are

slim, but as you begin to rack up thewins, you’ll also begin to unlock cars

left and right.

To fix up your dream machine, you can head over to TXR2’s parts shop.

Here you’ll find everything you need, from the top of the line engines to the

meanest looking body kit you’ve ever seen. You can even customize the color

of your car or create your very own racing decals!

With all these great improvements and features, it is with a heavy heart that

I bear the bad news. Remember the slowdown that occurred in the first TXR

if too many cars got onscreen at once? Well, it’s still there, and now there’s

even a hiccup or two when your car is the only one on screen.

Then there’s the autopilot problem. As before, an autopilot takes over at

the beginning of each race. Several times this insane program sent me into the

bumper of a civilian car right before the start of the race. I’ve also been

sentenced to a death by wall collisions a time or three. It’s truly frustrating

to know that you’ve lost the race before it has even begun. All this courtesy

of the DUI convict that somehow got a job programming the autopilot.

Avert your gaze – there is still more trouble. In a fast-paced game such as

this, there shouldn’t be too much stoppage of play between battles. After completing

a race, the replay will automatically pop up. While this is great for showing

off the game’s graphics or reliving that amazing race you just had, it doesn’t

need to be done every single time. This wouldn’t be so bad except that

it takes time to load (and unload) the clip. Even after you get past this, you

still have to deal with a menu and the evil autopilot all over again. This game

is all about racing, so get on with it already!

And sadly, there’s no multiplayer. Why they took out the two-player versus

mode from the original is beyond me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy this game. It’s just that too many

things slow down what could have been a truly amazing experience. Still, if

you’re an import tuning freak or the kind of person who can overlook the technical

problems, Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 won’t let you down.



 

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3
Rating
Amazing graphics
Much bigger track
More cars, rivals, parts
Improved battle system
Slowdown
Druken autopilot
Loading times
No multiplayer