Tokyo Xtreme Racing was definitely a surprise hit when the Dreamcast launched last year. Granted there was much not variety in courses (there was only one, but it was big). The feeling of racing on the actual streets of Tokyo was quite a thrill. Considering that it reminded me so much of the DC Beltway, I felt quite at home with the first title, and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Tokyo Xtreme Racing 2 follows the same formula. There still is just the one course, but it is three times larger than before, involving more offramps to use and more shortcuts. Cars are now classified by three different classes similar to those in Gran Turismo, and once again, they are named after their engine ID. However, it is very easy to make out these cars and what makes they are, as some of the details are so sharp and clear.
The game’s rules are the same as before. You start off with 10,000 credits to buy a car, and to earn money, you seek out rivals to race. By flashing your highbeams, you signal a challenge to the opponent. Be warned though, because not only can they flash back at you to challenge you, but they can also reject your challenge if they don’t want it.
Once all members of a gang have been defeated, the leader will come out in his own set of wheels. Defeating him will defeat the entire gang. There are also mysterious racers known simply as "Wanderers" and several bosses as well.
The graphics, which already looked good in the first game, look actually better this time around. Not only do all the cars look much smoother, but they can be articulated with different stickers, including those which can be created from scratch. Everything still runs at 60 frames per second, but there is some excessive slowdown when more than three cars are on the screen at one time, which can be a distraction.
Sound is ok, not much really to brag about. The cars sound well, but as for the music, I will admit that I liked the previous game’s music more. As a matter of fact, I found it more appropriate to download a Japanese radio station off my PC and listen to that on my rear speakers, while having the car sounds from the front.
It added more to the overall atmosphere. In the end, TXR2 carries on the great play that made the first game such a hit. It gets 4 Gems and I can only wonder what future releases will be like.