PIXELATED: Tokyo Xtreme Racer is coming back

Video game publisher Genki recently tweeted an picture of a Nissan GT-R idling at a Tokyo expressway pull-off zone at night, ready for action. For JNCers of a certain age, then image should instantly evoke the thrill of Tokyo Xtreme Racer, perhaps the only game in the world that had a button reserved exclusively for flashing your headlights at other drivers. It looks like late-night Shuto battles are back. 

The days of Playstation 2 — and before that, Sega Dreamcast — coincided perfectly with the height of the tuner era. Unofficially inspired by Wangan Midnight and the illicit hashiriya races that took place late at night, advancing in Shutoku Battle (if you go by its Japanese name) meant taking down other teams one by one until you were king of the streets.

All the action took place on highly realistic depictions of the Shuto, Tokyo’s metropolitan expressway system. Gameplay consisted of driving around a sea of Hiaces and Crown taxis until you came upon a fellow speed demon. Then you’d flash your headlights, and it was on. Once you beat enough minions, the team leader would then come and flash their headlights at you.

Eventually the game branched into the highways of other cities beyond the capital, and then to touge stages as drifting became mainstream. The last title in the series was published in 2011. Fast forward to 2017 and Genki seems to be reviving the series, but for smartphones.

Titled Shutoku Battle Xtreme, there is currently an early registration campaign for Japanese Android and iPhone owners. Those who register receive a bonus car, depending on how early. So far, cars include the new Suzuki Alto Works, Honda S660, and R35 GT-R. A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X is also depicted in another illustration. It’s not clear when the release date is, or if it will be available outside of Japan. We can only hope.

Images: Shutoku Battle Xtreme.

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17 Responses to PIXELATED: Tokyo Xtreme Racer is coming back

  1. Nigel said:

    The return of four hours of sleep over the weekend. (I can hear the Boss music in the back of my head ).

  2. Cho said:

    Datsun Bluebird 510(BRE) or the Datsun Bluebird SSS

  3. Lupus said:

    TXR3 was, and still is my second favorite game for PS2, just behind GT4.
    There was also an official “Wangan MidNight” game for PS2, based on TXR2 graphics engine.
    For PS3 there is also “Wangan MidNight” game, that is the closest to the original Shutokou Battle.

    In TXR3 I’ve loved the Free Ride mode, in witch you could just drive around Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka expessways. The only flaws of that game i would dare to pinpoint are: only two traffic cars – what is uber-boring, and crappy looking suroundings of road – bulidings, structures, cranes, and overall skyline behind concrete bariers. But everything else is flawlles – driving mechanics, large variety of cars to race, complex tuning, duration and rising dificulity level, and of course – the mood. A bit menacing, myserious, addicting.

    • Andre said:

      TXR3 has nothing on TXR0 with it’s choice of cars (including pedestrian traffic, although unlicensed). I do agree that TXR3 was more technical (and dare I say, realistic), I give it that, oh and the fact that you can travel outside of Tokyo. Weather effects were a nice addition as well. But man, TXR0 was pure unadulterated fun.

  4. Will said:

    After surfing the obscure Japanese site for this game, I’m pretty sure this is going to be mobile game, not console or PC.

  5. Brian Henderson said:

    I am so in love with this gaming series. I grabbed all of them on PS2 and have both Wangan Midnight and Initial D (different series all together, I know) on my PS3, even though I can’t read them.

    My ONLY gripe with this announcement is that this is going on a phone as opposed to a next gen gaming console. The PS4 has LITERALLY NOTHING that can even compare. While NFS is fun, it is SUPER arcade style. The modifications are decent, but the biggest draw is that it is only online. Great concept but doesn’t play out well in real life. Xbox One has the Forza series. And, while I can’t complain about the games from a car/racing standpoint (6 or Horizon 3), from someone who is more interested in Wangan runs and togue sessions, there really is nothing to come close to filling that void.

    For a traditionally Japanese car culture life style standpoint, nobody has captured that as vividly or accurately as Genki (racing project). Those of us who have played their games and been part of the JDM tuner scene have had a void for quite some time as far as gaming is concerned. I would LOVE for them to bring this up to a next gen console and really explore what’s available.

    • Andre said:

      Actually the Wangan Midnight and Shutokou Battle (aka Tokyo Xtreme Racer aka Import Tuner Challenge aka whatever else it was called outside of Japan) ran side by side in Japan and were both published by the Genki Racing Project.

      Also, not sure if XBOX One has backwards compatibility or not, but if it does, you can always try the Import Tuner Challenge for the XBOX360.

  6. EMC2 said:

    Working my way through “Import Tuner Challenge” (i.e. Shutokou Battle X) at the moment!

    I also really hope they bring back the Kaido Racer/Kaido Battle series as well

  7. Jack Brown said:

    TXR series were awesome. Still have the games an my ps2 memory cards for when the days of nostalgia come back. But I will say, import tuned challenge for Xbox 360 was pretty dope as well.

  8. jdm only said:

    anyone here play racing rivals?

  9. ImUrOBGYN said:

    Gran Turismo has a headlight flash. 😉

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