Despite its long American name, Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 picks up where the previous title left off. Rather than racing the highways of Japanese cities at night, you doing touge action around some of Japan's most feared mountain passes and on a variety of short courses. You have a variety of cars to choose from as well. Many in the realm of gaming media (including a Wikipedia post on this game) have given this game lukewarm reception. In this blog entry, however, I'm going to let you know how I feel about this game released in 2007.
Here is some box art:
^ from: ucables.com - Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 (US version)
^ from: www.toysnjoys.com - Kaido: Touge no Densetsu (Japanese version)
^ from: ps2.guias-trucos-juegos.com - Kaido Racer 2 (European version)
LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S):JUL 27 2015 - several edits
--- Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 at a Glance ---I've never played the first title, so I can't give any past insight on this series. The key mode is Conquest Mode. Conquest Mode basically comes to live with a fantasy online forum where people chat about racing and offer challenges. This is where some of the message board members like to brag and have fun. Various racing events are available in this game ranging from drift trials to time trials. Racing is done by day and at night. Build up money and buy cars in the daytime, then head into the seedy underground racing realm at night to take on various rivals. At night, the racing can be a bit more intense because some roads are actually dirt roads as maintenance work is done on some of these roads. It's very important to have the right set of tires to take on each challenge.
If you are more interested in Time Trial racing, then try your luck at the Record Challenge. Use this section to practice your skills on all of the available courses. You are allowed unlimited tuning potential as you can overpower your car as much as you can. You can exchange points you earn to unlock more tracks and more cars. Hitting the walls will add time to your laps. So if you want the best times, try to avoid hitting the walls often.
Try the Record Tour if you want an intense challenge. The key here is primarily on rally racing. Try to post the fastest times in all of the courses while making sure not to whack the walls. You have four classes of racing in this mode. The "B" Class is for low-powered production cars tuned for rally, the "A" class features mostly high-end rally-type cars, the "J" class features all the jWRC (Junior World Rally Championship) rally cars (all front/FWD), and the premier "R" class are for the high-end pure rally race cars. Be sure to check the Course Map to see where the dirt roads are so you can be sure to know where they are as you race.
You can also do VS. mode racing for you against a friend (assuming you have a friend).
--- Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 at a Glance ---Now let's delve into the many different aspects of this title. All conversions to kilometers rounded to the nearest hundredth (i.e.: 0.345 = 0.35).
The Tracks - Long Courses.There are two types of courses- long courses and short courses. The only ones I'll share with you are all the long courses. You unlock the short courses with progress through Quest Mode.
• Hakone - A fairly simple 2.55-mile (4.10-kilometer) mountain pass at 2.55 miles in length. Not far from Tokyo. It is not a bad idea to use this course as your Long Course test track.
• Hiroshima - An intense 4.07-mile (6.55-kilometer) mountain pass in a beautiful setting with lots of sakura trees around.
• Haruna - "Initial D" fans should know this one, because Mt. Akagi for "Initial D" fans is 4.96-mile (7.98-kilometer) Haruna in real life. This is the legendary touge pass where you can tackle all the deceptive corners of this mountain pass.
• Akagi - A beautiful 3.51-mile (5.64-kilometer) long course with some tough corners.
• Ura Rokko - a short 2.2-mile (3.54-kilometer) touge pass in a lovely, park-like setting. A lot of the corners look like teeth of a cog gear.
• Omote Rokko - At 2.13 miles (3.43 kilometers), this is the shortest long course in the game. It is a difficult mountain pass with some tough corners and some decisive switchbacks.
• Shiga Kusatsu - a challenging 3.16-mile (5.09-kilometer) mountain pass in a nearly featureless setting.
• Nikko - an technical 4.38-mile (7.05-kilometer) Fall/Autumn course with many tricky corners. The middle of this course features many hairpin corners in succession. The section with multiple successive hairpins have some kinks in the road to try to get your car off-balance. Big drift points can be earned here in many of the corners.
• Zao - the longest touge pass in the game at 7.11 miles (11.44 kilometers) in length. This is one of two snowy long courses. You may want to win your battles quickly unless you're willing to run for quite a while on this mountain.
• Aso - This wintry mountain pass is 3.77 miles (6.07 kilometers) in length. Make sure to take caution with the snow banks on either side of the road here. Aso is dominated by snow banks compared to Zao.
• Hokkaido - the final long course is a proper rally-type pass. It's best to let go of racing tires as 90% of this 4.57-mile (7.35-kilometer) course are all gravel roads.
The Tracks - Short Courses.I can't give you too much information on the short courses. However, I will share as many as I know off the top of my head:
• Hakone Nanamagari (0.98 miles/1.58 kilometers) - A short course dominated by chicanes. This is a great track to test and hone your drifting skills.
• Usitouge (0.67 miles/1.08 kilometers) - A beautiful short course with a forest-like setting. It is the shortest course in the entire game.
• Myougisan (1.09 miles/1.75 kilometers) - a lovely mountain pass with lots of trees. The make-or-break section relates to how you deal with the consecutive left-right-left combinations leading to the Finish line (on the Downhill course).
• Happogahara (1.24 miles/2.00 kilometers) a rhythmetic course that's good for drifting because of its wide corners. To have a great time drifting, make sure to take full advantage of some of the wide corners.
• Yokohama (0.68 miles/1.09 kilometers) - rather than the city streets of highways of Yokohama, you are racing on a brief urban stage away from the major city. This is as close as you'll get to touge battle in any major Japanese city in this game.
• Yukinoohtani (1.45 miles/2.33 kilometers) - a fairly long short course mostly dominated by walls of snow. Corners are somewhat easygoing.
• Kirigamine (1.63 miles/2.62 kilometers) - a course that combines tough drift corners with high-speed racing. This is the longest short course.
• Ohtarumi (0.89 miles/1.43 kilometers) - This course is dominated by sweepers and a few switchbacks. The course will test you to a huge degree despite its diminutive length.
Gameplay Types.There are different kinds of events in TXRD2. Here are some of them in brief detail:
• SP - This is where one-on-one matches are staged. The winner is either the one who has the most gauge energy at the end of the race or the one who crosses the line first. Trailing the other car or hitting walls will deduce your SP gauge. The more you trail, the faster the wear of the SP gauge.
• CA (Corner Attack) - This is where your drift battles are staged. Try to surpass the point total as best as you can as time will allow. Hit a wall or slow to a stop, and you lose all of your points. Bonus points are offered for chaining together successive drifts of 1000 points or more.
• TA (Time Attack) - Clear the course in the shortest amount of time or within the time limit.
• TAC (Time Attack Corner) - This is the same as TA, only that you have an SP gauge. The best thing to do is to try to clear the course without suffering damage to your SP gauge.
• CAT (Corner Attack Trial) - This race is (thankfully) reserved for sponsorship tests. In these races, you must acquire a certain number of drift points in each section to continue. Hitting a wall or slowing to a stop during a drift area in CA will remove all of your drift points. Hitting a wall or slowing to a stop while in a drift zone in this mode will automatically disqualify you. This is by far the most frustrating and difficult of all the races.
• FL (First to Last) - You receive a head start and try to finish the course first. Pull away too far, and you win. You also win if you make it to the finish line before your rival does.
• LF (Last and First) - This is the reverse of FL. You start behind your rival and must try to motor far ahead of your rival. If your lead is too great for the rival to catch up to (usually at about 109.6 yards), you win. You also win if you make it to the finish line before your rival does.
The Gameplay.The story mode is driven by a fantasy online forum. The message board features lots of info where people share whatever and issue challenges. It's where smack is talked and where you can flex your muscle against opponents. Opponents you go up against can offer any kind of challenge. You take on a variety of individual opponents. You have Hi-Gamblers which put up a lot of money or car parts on the line. There are Tricksters, which are more like the Wanderers of past Tokyo Xtreme Racer games. Supporters help you get more Fans if you beat them. At times, you may even square off against Medalists. Medalists help you earn prizes if you beat them. There are 40 prizes in all, and not all of them can be won by taking on Medalists. When you have beaten all there is to beat, you must contend against the bosses of each mountain pass, called Slashers. Two of the biggest foes you will face are the Absolute Emperor and Miracles Summit. Some opponents you defeat will be friends with you. If they become your friend, you will be free to use their car in battle. You are unable to, however, purchase parts for it or anything.
Doing races in the daytime has you picking up C-EXP to try to get into bigger events. The way you earn C-EXP is by racing and winning in daytime events. Remember that I've never played the first "Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift" game, but I heard the previous game had a limit on the number of races you can do in one day. TXRD2 doesn't have such limitations. In fact, you could race and win one certain race 50 times before going over to night racing. Because you can race an unlimited number of official races for C-EXP, you can quickly rack up money and C-EXP good for entering tougher events and getting money for buying cars and tuning cars. A great way to build up C-EXP is to compete in Advance Races when they become available. A bigger way to earn C-EXP quickly is through Master Races. Master Races require you to have a certain kind of car with many races offering big prizes (including new cars!). In my recent play of this game I competed in a Master Race at Ura Rokko which got me the HKS Altezza drift car and 55 C-EXP. To get to either level 19 or Level 20, I ran this Master Race multiple times just to reach the next level of experience in this game. So if you want to build up C-EXP, try going after the Advance and Master Races.
Not to be outdone is Gymkhana. Gymkhana is a mode where nine big cones are laid out, and you must try to beat the course in the quickest time possible. You have to ways of doing Gymkhana- TA and CA. All Gymkhana courses are the same when you do Gymkhana. I think there are ten Gymkhana courses in all. The only difference is that in later levels, you need to complete the course quicker. The TA Gymkhana events require you to properly race around the cones while posting the fastest time. The CA Gymkhana events require you to acquire a certain number of drift points to win. If you don't have enough drift points, you may be able to just slide around in places to try to get enough drift points. But remember- you MUST cross the finish line in time, or you're not going to earn anything. I recommend doing a lot of Gymkhana to build up your funds. You won't build up C-EXP, but you will build up money, which can be just as important.
Tokyo's most notorious highway gang, the Thirteen Devils, are out to terrorize the mountain passes. The team that seeks to restore order against the Thirteen Devils are known as Kingdom Twelve. You will be involved in battles against both the Thirteen Devils and Kingdom Twelve. Not to spoil the game, but you may come across a gang later in the game called Twenty Master. No one knows who they are or if there are really 20 members of this group. Big money and parts upgrades are available for defeating Twenty Master members.
Cars.The cars in this game are mostly of Japanese makers, but there are also some European cars to choose from. Everything from Kei cars to some of Japan's finest sports cars are all available for you to race in all of their glory. Some cars are absolute oddball cars. Nationalities of car in this game include Japan, Italy, Germany, and France.
• New Car - Purchase a brand-new car in this game. Your payment options are diverse in that you can pay for it all in cash, or by trading in one car for the purchase of one car. You can trade for the car, but without selling equipped parts; or you can trade by selling the car and with its exchanged car parts.
• Used Car - This where you can buy a used car or sell your current car. A maximum of seven cars are available each week (or each day). Each used car may have some tuning done to it. Also, you may be able to pick up a car that may not be available to you right away. For example, you could purchase a car that may not be available until later in the game. You'll never know what you'll find in the Used Car lot!
• Tuned Car - Buy an already tuned car. There are tuned cars available for all four drivetrains in the game. It is not recommended to come here early in the game because the cars can cost much more than you're used to.
Parts Shop.Upgrading your car is made possible by purchasing individual parts. Here are some of the many options available to you:
• Engine Tune - three different parts can be tuned. When you purchase one part of one level, you'll need to look for a combination that will give you the most power. You'll know what part combination you will need to draw the most power for your engine when you see what one value is higher than the others. Combining two parts that yield the most power earns you a "Moderate!" Combining all three parts that yield the most power yields a "Critical!" For example, try getting Engine Parts A from AKP, Engine Parts B from HRM, and Engine Parts C from UNI to draw a "Critical!" Try to get the "Critical!" mark in your engine tuning. This also gives you a chance to equip a Bolt-On Turbo to draw even more horsepower. Believe me, you need to invest in a Bolt-On Turbo for non-turbo cars for that extra bit of speed. If you want to remove the Bolt-On Turbo you've installed, it can be removed, but for a hefty fee. Adding a bolt-on turbo to a Normally-Aspirated car will access the Turbo options to come up.
• Turbo Tune - Modify your car's turbo setup. Buy an Turbo Kit to add more power, then fine tune everything by purchasing an Intercooler, Turbine, and Air Cleaner. Take away the turbo (normally-aspirated cars only), and you'll have to pay a hefty fee. Like the Engine Tune, you can purchase a combination of parts to get Moderate and Critical levels. It is not as easy, however, to put together a consistent combination of parts to get a Critical! for your car. So don't fret about this too much.
• Power Tune - Pick a muffler, cooling module and a computer ROM for your car. Each car is different in design, so the kind of muffler you get will depend. Cooling modules will help keep temperatures down for your car. Purchase a Computer ROM for your car for high-tech horsepower tuning. You can enter the garage and substantially raise or lower your car's horsepower.
• Powertrain - Tune suspension setup and brakes. You can also purchase transmission upgrades as well as an LSD (limited-slip differential). Transmission upgrades help you to make the most of delivering your car's power to the road. The Limited-Slip Differential is perhaps most important in helping you drift better. The character of a car can completely change with LSD setting changes. Be very careful tuning the LSD. Purchasing brakes help you stop better. The higher the level brakes, the more stopping power you get. Upon purchasing a brake package, you can choose between four different brake caliper colors- black, red, yellow, and water blue.
• Body Tune - Lighten the car and install a rollcage for added rigidity. A lighter car is better for acceleration and handling. While adding a rollcage will add weight to the car, it will make the car more rigid all around than in stock form.
• Tire - You can purchase different kinds of tires. Sports tires are perfectly fine for all kinds of racing. Racing tires are great on asphalt roads, but terrible off-road. Mount your car with wet tires for on wet or stormy days. Purchase Spike Tires for great handling on icy or snowy roads. The price of the tires will be doubled if you purchase one set of tires for all four wheels.
• Wheel - Equip a car with any kind of tires and even shop for wheels from real-world manufacturers. Wheel makers include (but are not limited to) 5zigen, Yokohama, Takechi, Watanabe, and Prodrive. Prices will be doubled if you pick one set of wheels to be fit on both the front and rear wheels. There is no real performance advantage noted in picking certain wheels.
• Dress-Up Tune - Purchase various equipment pieces to dress up your car. This includes everything from bodykits to various carbon fiber parts. A rally kit modifies your car to include a roof scoop, antennae, and a rally-appropriate rear spoiler. You can add mud flaps to your car to keep mud off of your car (not that your car will ever get dirty). Canards can be added to the front of your car. These canards are little winglets attached to the front bumper on either side for some aerodynamic advantage up front. You can add a GT wing and customize its appearance and mount position. Everything from the wing itself, the mounting position, and the endplates can be tuned upon purchasing. The GT wing will add rear-end downforce to your car. You can also customize the headlights. Adding eye liner will disguise your headlights to have a meaner appearance. I personally don't purchase these in the game because I don't like this feature. A winker tune turns on the winker lights all the time. Purchasing a light kit gives you varying levels of lighting power. You can even choose what color lights you want to use- white, yellow, or blue. Purchasing carbon hoods or trunk/boot lids will lighten your car somewhat. Leave the carbon unpainted to shave off a few pounds/kilograms of your car. Finally, you may purchase a full aero kit that gives your car a full body kit makeover. A few cars may even have actually-licensed kits (like Syms). Be warned- your car becomes heavier with a body kit.
Customization - Dress-Up Shop.At this shop, you can add graphics to any car in the game as well as change up colors. This is where you can make your car YOUR car. You can add decals to your car in the Cutting Sheet Tune menu, apply sponsorship stickers on your car, or change the car color.
• Cutting Sheet Tune - Decals can be applied to the hood of your car and on the sides. A maximum of five layers can be applied for both the hood and the sides.
• Sticker Tune - By earning sponsors in the game, you can place sponsorship decals on cars from as many as 16 different points. Placing sponsor stickers on your car will yield additional money for race victories in official events. Where you place certain sponsors can yield more funds. You will need to experiment with putting certain sponsorship decals on various parts of the car to get the most bonus money. More about this will be featured later in this blog entry.
• Body Color Change - This is where you can change the base color of your car. Choose Dealer Color to paint up a car with any of the original colors the car came with. The Maziora Color gives the car a funky color-shifting paint style. I personally don't like the Maziora colors, but you might like it. Use the Optional Color menu to come up with your own color style for your car.
Sponsorship.You are allowed a maximum of 16 sponsors. Each sponsor (all of which are fictional) will pay you a certain amount of money for race victories in the daytime races. To win sponsors, you must clear a race challenge. Winning a sponsorship gives you the opportunity to boost your winnings for victories in daytime race events. To make room for more lucrative sponsors, you can cancel contracts of low-paying sponsors in exchange for higher-paying sponsors. Go to the Dress-Up Shop to place sponsor decals on your car.
--- Elements of Racing Games: Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 ---I have a few things to share here for aspects of the game that interest me. "Elements of Racing Games" is my analysis piece on racing games, giving you a look at things I've observed.
Sponsors.The first thing I want to touch base on is the Sponsorship aspect. Up to sixteen sponsors can be placed around your car. This was something I've thought of to try to dress up cars in Gran Turismo games. Trouble is, you can only place one sponsor on each of the sixteen points. The areas where sponsor stickers can be placed on the following places:
• front bumper (two mounting points - for either side of the front bumper)
• door windows (two mounting points for either side door window)
• doors (three mounting points on either side door window)
• rear bumper (two mounting points for either side of the rear bumper)
• rear windshield
Something like this is something I wouldn't mind seeing in Gran Turismo to make some extra money. The system is executed nicely. I will make a Gran Turismo-themed blog entry in the future in regards to sponsorships in the future.
Tire and Brake Wear.Another aspect of this game is the fact that when you race, there are gauges for tire and brake wear. Your tires and brakes will fade away with extended usage in each race. In a recent race I did, the tire wear damage was full. I literally swear that every corner felt like I was going to drift out of control. I almost lost the race, but managed to hold on late to win.
--- Why Should You Care About This Game? ---I mentioned earlier that this game got lukewarm reception by a number of gaming media sources. The G4TV show, "X-Play," gave this game a 1 out of 5. One such reason was because of how tough it is to slide the car out into corners and how you have such little space to make any memorable drifts. People just think this game is purely uninteresting and confusing. This is going to offend some of you NFS fans, but for the time this game came out, I'd rather do the drift battles in this game than the canyon battles in NFS: Carbon. It's not tough to get cars to drift. And besides, for Japanese drifters to slide their cars out on such narrow roads is incredible. This is purely authentic stuff.. It's not any major franchise, but it certainly isn't a lackluster title. This game takes itself seriously that most other games (especially budget titles) don't.
Here's my tip to you in case you want to get this game. If you treat this game like a rally racing game than as some illegal street racing game, you'll appreciate the level of challenge this game has. There are even rally cars you can unlock to take your experience all the further.
Why You Should Buy (or at Least Rent) This Game:Think of this game as an illegal street racing game where you don't have the cops trying to pursue you, Hollywood-type drama, or anything usually indicative of a run-of-the-mill illegal street racing game. This game is different. It may not be anything serious or unworldly, but it is anything but a pathetic title. I've played games that completely lack character and feel flat. At least this game features a level of playability that is very fun. Maybe the fact that Conquest Mode is fueled by a fantasy message board adds a level of character that seems unusual. The story tends to play itself out in a nice way. Maybe not to the level of a well-made movie, but the story is quite unique in execution.
There are two reasons why this game can be poor. The first reason is that the manual for this book features some poorly-written material. There are some sections that say "Not really sure what this means" and even some that say "(????)." When you make a game manual and you don't even know what each aspect of the game is about, that's sad. Another poor aspect of this game is that some of the Japanese to English translations are somewhat bad (but not terrible). I probably would have also wanted to see many more kinds of cars to race on these roads.
The game is tough to understand right away. Once you get the hang of it, almost everything will feel second nature to you. So get ready for an awesome adventure on the twisty highway roads and mountain passes of Japan! If you've enjoyed my review of "Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2," I want you to go get this game for the PlayStation 2 by clicking on this Amazon graphic below. Thank you for reading!
PERSONAL NOTE (added April 13, 2011): I want to thank everyone for reading this blog post. I am glad that even though this is an old game, I am proud so many of you still visit this blog post to get my insight on this game. I hope my insight will help you to be a champion in this game. Even if the big-name reviewers gave this game bad marks, you didn't care what they had to say because you still gave this game a chance. So thanks to all of you for reading this blog post!
Thank you for reading, and thank you for keeping this blog post relevant!
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