Initial D, a popular anime and manga racing series in Japan, has began
its US invasion, and this game is an excellent adaptation of the series.
The gameplay is simply incredible. As a unnamed driver hoping to make
his name known, you take on the majority of the racers from the Initial
D storyline along the Japanese mountainsides. The four courses, Myogi,
Usui, Akina, and Happogahara, have all been featured in the series and
landmarks from each track are visible, most noteworthy being the Akina
5 hairpins. With a wide variety of cars and opponents to choose from,
the game card feature makes the game much better. By buying a game card,
you can save your progress, cars, and ''money'' you earn by racing throughout
the game. You can use this money to fix up your car further, and take
it to race against the computer or your friends. Drifting, which is the
most used technique in the series, is quite easily done in the game. In
fact, the physics engine is set to drift, so hairpin drifts are easy to
learn, and add to the appeal of the game. However, this does come with
a price. For those of you used to other racing games, the drift style
will take a while to learn. Until that point, expect to be crashing on
the lightest of turns.
Initial D is known for it's well done computer graphic race scenes, and
this game does it justice. Everything, from the tracks and backgrounds
to each and every car has been done in great detail. Even little details
such as the galleries that come to watch the race and the leaves in the
gutters of the road (you are racing on public roads) have been done well.
The original Eurobeat music from the cartoon has been retained, but with
a short selection of songs, it gets a little annoying the fourth or fifth
race around. However, it is better than changing the music, as the Eurobeat
fits well. Engine sounds and the tires squealing as you corner are also
Now here's where this game shines. Although races are fairly long and
entertaining, you still have 16 racers to beat, plus an additional racer
or two once you finish that set. Combine this with your ability to save
your progress and car data, plus attempting to get the best time for certain
tracks, plus racing against others in the arcade, and you've got a reason
to make an arcade trip a weekly or even daily event.
Overall this is an excellent game, either for those who are fans of Initial
D or others who have just finished The Fast and the Furious and want something
more than a straightaway race.
written by: ChaiThai )