Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero (PS2) Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero by Genki and Crave Entertainment. I didn’t receive a copy of this game and instead bought a copy at a local used game store to play it using the PCSX2 emulator. This review is for fun/practice.
Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero is the third game in the long running Shutokou Battle series of racing games. It was the first in the series to release on a console besides the Dreamcast. The game was originally being developed for the Dreamcast but that version was later cancelled and it was released on PS2 instead. It saw a limited release in the US and I was lucky enough to get a copy of the game when I was younger. The series has a total of 6 games, 4 of which are part of the Shutokou Battle series and the final 2 are part of the Kaido Battle series.
Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero is a street racing game that takes place on the highways of Tokyo. The campaign has you racing many different racing teams as you fight to become the best racer in Tokyo.
There are 5 game modes to choose from including Quest, Quick Race, Time Attack, Free Run and Versus. Quest mode takes you through the main campaign. Quick Race allows you to jump into a race with any vehicle you want. Time Attack has you racing courses for the fastest time possible. Free Run allows you to wander around aimlessly with no goals and versus mode allows you to compete with another player.
When you begin Quest mode you’ll need to buy a starting vehicle in one of 3 categories, A, B, and C rank. A rank has the best cars but they also cost the most, C rank, on the other hand, has the cheapest cars but they aren’t the best or the fastest. You can choose to spend all your money on an A or B class car but you won’t have money left over to upgrade your vehicle at first. You can also choose to go with the cheapest vehicles in class C and then buy a bunch of upgrades. The problem with C rank cars though is you’ll max them out really easily so I usually go for the rank A vehicles. Their upgrades are more expensive but it’ll last longer.
After setup you’ll be taken to your garage where you can access all of the game’s many sections. In the car shop you can purchase new vehicles and in the parts shop you can purchase various upgrades for your vehicle. Upgrades include engines, suspensions, body tuning, aerodynamic improvements and weight reduction to name a few. The setting window allows you to tune your vehicle any way you wish. This includes gear ratios, acceleration, steering, turbo boost and ride height.
The rivals section allows you to view all of the rival drivers that you’ll need to defeat. There are close to 400 of them in total and it’s no simple task to beat them. Each driver in the game is part of a team and each team member varies in skill and difficulty. When you defeat all of the regular members of team you’ll have to face their team leader in battle and if you beat them, you’ll get their sticker and you’ll sometimes get a new vehicle or new parts to purchase. This also applies to some lower level members of the team as well. The rivals section also has bios on all of the drivers in the game and when you defeat them you’ll be able to view their car as well. One group of rivals that will pose the biggest challenge is the 13 Devils racing team. They have some of the fastest vehicles and provide the biggest challenge to beat. It’s also never a good idea to let them get ahead of you or you’ll lose incredibly easily. I recommend racing them in an area with a lot of turns because they’re built for speed and will brake around corners. Facing them on straights isn’t recommended. The final rival you’ll need to defeat is known as Speed King and he has the most powerful vehicle in the game and acts as the final boss. He also has the highest difficulty out of every rival in the game and defeating him requires some skilled racing and a very fast vehicle.
Once you’re ready to race you simply click the start button and you’ll be taken to a map of the highways. At first, the map is very small consisting of a single loop but as you beat teams you’ll unlock new areas to race in and new rivals to defeat will appear.
The game is a linear racing game by nature but you’re able to freely drive around the highways as you see fit. To begin a race you must get behind a rival racer and use the R2 button to flash your headlights at them. This prompts the race to begin. There are times when a Wandering racer will decline the offer to race due to your lack of skill but if you defeat racers and find them again in the future, they’ll race you.
The objective of each race is to drain your opponent’s SP to zero. To do this you must stay in front of them and their SP will drain slowly. The further away you are away from your opponent, the faster the SP drains. Running into traffic or smashing into walls will also knock off chunks of SP based on how fast you were going. If your SP runs out then you will lose the race and you’ll need to race them again to try to defeat them. Keep in mind that the game doesn’t have any difficulty options so all races require skill to win.
When a race concludes you’ll get prize money from your opponent and you’ll be given the opportunity to return to the garage or to continue driving around racing other drivers. If you stay out long enough you’ll have raced all of the current rivals and you’ll need to return to the garage to get new ones to spawn when you next load the map. It’s worth noting that your car performance degrades the longer you’re driving and it decreases faster if you have the turbo boost setting high. So, that’s something to consider as well.
The game is fully compatible with the PCSX2 emulator as well and is what I used to play the game for this review.
Overall, Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. I wound up playing through the entire game as a teenager and I couldn’t tell you how many hours I wound up sinking into it. The game looks great in the emulator and the game’s handling and gameplay hold up incredibly well. The game is also incredibly addicting and looking at it you get the impression that it’d get a bit repetitive after a while but it pulls you in with each racer you face and you won’t want to put it down. I highly recommend the game, it’s a blast.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review folks and I’ll be back with my next review soon.
Happy gaming folks! – Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!