Most, if not all, of today’s car racing games are based around a series of circuits in which the player must strive to be the first to wave the chequered flag. They will usually move on to win cups, grandstands, and so on. But Ubi Soft’s Tokyo Extreme Racer turns the racing genre on its head. In Tokyo Extreme Racer there are no hi-tech race circuits or cheap trophies, just hundreds of miles of Japanese concrete roadways.
Tokyo Extreme Racer (TXR) is essentially about speed, it’s about showing off, but to do that you need a finely tuned car. Beginning with some of the poorest cars available, your ultimate goal is a giant task, and it’s here where the gameplay shines through. There are 125 cars to choose from that must be gradually tuned in order to succeed. When you’re up against a whopping 400 opponents, each with different characteristics and driving styles, the realisation of the challenge the game offers really hits home. Other modes of play, such as Free Run, Time Attack and a 2-player option help to give variety to the game.
Visually, the game is very pleasing. TXR features highly detailed Tokyo environments, complete with graphical effects, such as heat ripples, reflective mapping and sparks.
Overall, Tokyo Extreme Racer introduces a different slant on the age-old racing genre. It’s not completely original, but there are some innovative ideas that have been well demonstrated in the final product.