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Railfan: Taiwan High Speed Rail
Developer(s) Ongakukan, Actainment
Publisher(s) SCEI, Ongakukan
Series Train Simulator series
Aspect ratio 1080p
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) Template:Country data Hong Kong July 12 2007
July 12 2007
July 12 2007
Template:Country data Japan November 1 2007
Genre(s) Train simulator
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) CERO: All
Media Blu-ray Disc
Input methods Sixaxis, DualShock 3 (rumble not supported)

Railfan: Taiwan High Speed Rail (Railfan 台灣高鐵, レールファン台湾高鉄) is a July 12, 2007 train simulator co-developed by Ongakukan and Actainment for the PlayStation 3 system. The Asian market edition for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore is available in Traditional Chinese and English languages. The Japanese edition which was released five months later adds Japanese in the language selection option. Although Zone 3 and Zone 2 region locking logos are displayed in the Blu-ray Disc box arts, the game is actually All Zone which makes it workable on each and every PlayStation 3 version worldwide.

Contents

Train Simulator series

Railfan: Taiwan High Speed Rail is the latest episode in Ongakukan's popular Train Simulator series and it is the follow-up of Taito's Railfan: Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line which was released in Asia in 2006.

Taiwan High Speed Rail line

stations]]

The software is based on the Taiwan High Speed Rail's 350km line from Zuoying to Taipei. A Sony team has captured 700km, both sides of the HSR line, in Full HD including the eight stations which are located on the west coast of Taiwan. The simulator is based on the 2007 line since the Taiwan HSR opened to public in early January, additional stations are planned for 2012 though.

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Line data

  • Elevation: underground, ground level and elevated portions
  • Length: 350km
  • Total length: 700km
  • Maximum speed: 300km/h
  • Stations: 8 (Zuoying~Taipei)
  • Train: high-speed train Shinkansen 700T (12 cars)

Stations

  • Taipei Main Station: underground, located in downtown Taipei City, shares the station with Taiwan Railway Administration.
  • Banciao: underground, located in Banciao, shares the station with Taiwan Railway Administration.
  • Taoyuan: underground, located in Jhongli, near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
  • Hsinchu: elevated, located in Lioujia, Jhubei, near Hsinchu Science Park.
  • Taichung: elevated, located in Wurih.
  • Chiayi: elevated, located in Taibao.
  • Tainan: elevated, located in Gueiren.
  • Zuoying: ground level, located in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City, joint station with Taiwan Railway Administration's new Zuoying Station, line terminal until extension to downtown Kaohsiung Station is built.

Taiwan High Speed Rail train

arriving at the Taichung station]]

Available train is a 3D modelling of the THSR custom 700 Series Shinkansen, known as 700T. The 700T high speed train is a 12 cars model including a single Business Class car and 11 Economy Class car. Maximum operational speed is 300km/h, though speed regulation systems such as D-ATC (digital Automatic Train Control) and PSSC (Program Station Stop Control) are available.

Three different views are available, 3D modelled full cockpit, topless cockpit and rail view as taped by the HD camera. Additionally the HUD display is fully parametrable and can be entirely disabled. The "outer view" (recorded from an helicopter) from the original Railfan episode was removed. By default the BGM is disabled which allows to hear the 700T's actual sound as recorded by the Ongakukan team. Real time interactivity is limited to traction and brake levers adjusting, dead man's switch (DSD for Driver's Safety Device), horn signal, windscreen wiper control, doors opening/closing operation (when "Real" option is enabled) and driver seat adjusting.

700T hostess vocal messages are recorded in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. On the other hand, drivers messages are only spoken in English, however since most of the early THSR drivers and trainers are senior personnel from the French SNCF[1] or the German Deutsche Bahn, they have a strong European accent. This was remarkable in the Chinese commercial and it is confirmed during the game's ending movie where credited drivers are Daniel Clairotte (seen in the game opening) and Holger Wulf, engineer Manfred Haubitz is credited as announcer since the conductor-engineer broadcast was taped for added realism[2].

Modes

The software includes a free mode dedicated to tourism with features such as gourmet spot, and three game modes with rules and penalties.

Tour Mode

The Tour Mode features 300 recommended "Siteseeing" and "Dining" spots specific to each station as well as an "Introduction" to the 700T and the THSR. This mode is based on text, available in the selected language, pictures, maps and 3D models. Free "Driving" without restriction nor penalties is also possible in both Local and Express lines.

Time Attack Game

The Time Attack mode is based on fastest record from Zuoying to Taipei.

Trial Drive Game

Trial Drive mode focuses on station stopping accuracy.

Eco Drive Game

Eco Drive mode is set for electricity preservation challenge.

Promotion videos

Two Full HD promotion videos were released in the PlayStation Store. The first version Railfan HSR Movie trailer for press conference[3] was released in the Hong Kong PS Store in May 25, 2007, and the second one, Railfan THSR free promotion movie[4] which is closer to the actual game's opening movie, was first aired at the Tokyo Game Show 2007 then uploaded on the Japanese PS Store in September 20, 2007.

The first promo video features behind the scenes segments of the software's production in Taiwan. The two 700T European drivers are appearing, as well as the Train Simulator series producer and Ongakukan CEO, Minoru Mukaiya[5]. Also appearing is an Ongakukan engineer setting the HD camera which recording will be streamed during the simulation. Recorded video framerate is adjusted on flight according to the Railfan: THSR user's accelerations and decellerations. An added motion blur visual effect is used at low framerate speed.

Notes

  1. French railmen drive Taiwan high-speed trains, in Le Figaro, June 21, 2007
  2. Japanese release, Ongakukan press release, September 2007
  3. Railfan HSR Movie trailer for press conference (SD)
  4. Railfan THSR free promotion movie (SD)
  5. Ongakukan website's Corporate info

Media links

External links


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