Shutokō Battle series: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shutokō Battle (首都高バトル ?) is an arcade oriented driving game series created by Genki in 1994. The games were released in America as Tokyo Xtreme Racer and in Europe as Tokyo Highway Challenge.

Contents

Shuto Expressway

The series is based on illegal highway racing on the Shuto Expressway's Bayshore Route in Tokyo with custom tuned cars, which was a common occurrence at the time, until stricter police enforcement came into force.

Despite this, a such underground cultural phenomenon is growing popular in Japan since the mid 80's with its dedicated manga (Shutokō Battle's biggest inspiration being Wangan Midnight), anime series and video games (C1 Circuit, Wangan Trial, Naniwa Wangan Battle, etc.). It is the subject of the highly influential 1986~1996 series of six films Shuto Kousoku Trial (aka Freeway Speedway: Megalopolis Express Way Trial) which was an obvious source of inspiration for the Shutokō Battle series.

The game series' influence can be measured by the number of North American and European driving video games inspired by the series' iconic features like the cosmetic tuning (Midnight Club, Need For Speed Underground, Juiced or Supercar Street Challenge among many others), the selection of Japan import cars or the choice of Tokyo as the background like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the trailer of the first film series episode was included in the western editions of Shutokō Battle Zero.

History & Sidestories

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Franchise

The series is known under many names when published including the extra "Drift King" when released by BPS, it was renamed overseas Tokyo Highway Battle when published by Jaleco & THQ International. Other names include Tokyo Xtreme Racer by Crave Entertainment, Tokyo Highway Challenge and Import Tuner Challenge by Ubi Soft, and even Street Supremacy when released by Konami.

The Shutokō Battle series, which was also sometimes translated as Metropolitan Highway Battle, longs for over ten years and has been released on almost every video game platforms including cellular phones and media from ROM, CD-ROM, GD-ROM, DVD-ROM, UMD to downloadable binary files.

"Drift King"

The series was originally subtitled "Drift King", after the trademark nickname of street racing and professional racing driver Keiichi Tsuchiya who is featured in the first Shuto Kousoku Trial episodes and endorsed the game with, then team manager, Masaki Bandoh of Bandoh Racing Project.

SegaSaturn sidestories

During the 90's Genki produced a highway drift/adult content oriented Shutokō Battle sidestory series for the Sega Saturn, Wangan Dead Heat and a circuit/tune edition unique episode Kattobi Tune (PlayStation) which oriented the Shutokō Battle series through a new direction, leading to the Dreamcast version and it's worldwide recognition & distribution. "Kattobi Tune" was compiled under the supervision of Rev Speed popular Japanese tuning magazine and features seven licensed professional tuners, RE Amemiya, Spoon, Mine's, Trial, "RS Yamamoto", Garage Saurus and Jun Auto, appearing years later in Racing Battle C1 Grand Prix and also in the influential Gran Turismo series by Polyphony Digital.

Wangan Midnight

In 2002, Genki released the home game version (while Namco did the arcade versions) of a racing comic "Shutokō Battle"'s fictional universe is based on, Wangan Midnight. The arcade games grown so popular that an anime feature in the likes of Initial D has been released in 2007.

Touge racing

Recently, the popular illegal highway racing series "Shutokō Battle" has been extended to illegal touge (Japanese for "mountain") racing with the Kaidō Battle series, the third Kaidō episode being a crossover between the two series. Touge racing grew exposure in the western culture in the 2000s with the international broadcast and video release of the popular anime series Initial D. However 1990s Japanese popular touge racing games like Taito's Side by Side (aka Battle Gear series) or Atlus' Touge series were not released abroad.

Drift racing

The D1 Grand Prix drifting championship inspired the new series Racing Battle released in 2005 and remembering the 1997 drift cicuit based Shutokō Battle Gaiden and the continuation of the "Shutokō Battle circuit + RPG" concept introduced in Kattobi Tune[1], a genre close to the Zero4 Champ series by Media Rings.

The first episode is taglined "C1 Grand Prix" which is a double reference to the D1 GP and the Route C1, the latter being the Inner Circular Route of the Shuto Expressway and the circuit for most episodes of the Shutokō Battle series.

Series timeline

Releases

1994
1995
  • 02/24: Shutokō Battle 2: Drift King Keichii Tsuchiya & Masaaki Bandoh (Bullet-Proof Software, Super Famicom)
  • 12/15: Wangan Dead Heat (JVC/Pack-In-Video, Sega Saturn) CERO+18
    • United States 1996/08/06: Highway 2000 (Natsume)
    • Europe 1996/XX/XX: Highway 2000 (JVC)
1996
  • 03/22: Touge Densetsu: Saisoku Battle (Bullet-Proof Software, Super Famicom)
  • 05/03: Shutokō Battle: Drift King Keichii Tsuchiya & Masaaki Bandoh (Bullet-Proof Software, PlayStation)
    • United States 1996/07/16: Tokyo Highway Battle (Jaleco)
    • Europe 1996/09/30: Tokyo Highway Battle (Jaleco/THQ International)
  • 08/30: Wangan Dead Heat Plus Real Arrange (JVC/Pack-In-Video, Sega Saturn) CERO+18
  • 12/20: Shutokō Battle Gaiden: Super Technic Challenge - Road To Drift King (Media Quest, PlayStation)
1997
  • 02/28: Shutokō Battle '97: Drift King Keichii Tsuchiya & Masaaki Bandoh - New Limited Ver.97 (Imagineer SPD2/Genki, Sega Saturn)
  • 04/25: Shutokō Battle R (Genki, PlayStation)
1998
1999
2000
  • 06/22: Shutokō Battle 2 (Genki, Dreamcast)
    • United States 2000/09/27: Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2 (Crave Entertainment)
    • Europe 2000/12/14: Tokyo Highway Challenge 2 (Crave Entertainment, Ubi Soft)
2001
  • 03/15: Shutokō Battle 0 (Genki, PlayStation 2)
    • United States 2001/06/09: Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero (Crave Entertainment)
    • Europe 2001/05/28: Tokyo Xtreme Racer (Crave Entertainment, Ubi Soft)
  • XX/XX: Shutokō Battle H" (Genki Mobile, Feel H" Mobile)
2002
2003
2004
  • 02/26: Kaidō Battle 2: Chain Reaction (Genki Racing Project, PlayStation 2)
    • Europe 2005/11/16: Kaido Racer (Konami)
2005
  • 04/04: Shutokō Battle Evolution (Genki Mobile, i-mode Mobile)
  • 04/21: Shutokō Battle (Genki Racing Project, PSP) CERO+12
  • 05/26: Racing Battle: C1 Grand Prix (Genki Racing Project, PlayStation 2)
  • 07/28: Kaidō Battle: Tōge no Densetsu (Genki Racing Project, PlayStation 2)
    • Europe 2006/12/01: Kaido Racer 2 (Konami)
    • United States 2007/04/17: Tokyo Xtreme Racer: Drift 2 (Crave Entertainment)
  • 09/06: Shutokō Battle Evolution Plus (Genki Mobile, i-mode Mobile)
2006
2007
  • 07/26:Wangan Midnight (Genki, PlayStation 3)
  • 09/27:Wangan Midnight Portable (Genki, PSP) CERO+12

Note

  • Drift Racer Kaidō Battle (2003) which was the American version of "Kaidō Battle ~Nikko, Haruna, Rokko, Hakone~" published by Sammy has been definitely cancelled. The original game was licensed to Crave Entertainment for an American release in April 2006 as "Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift" (PlayStation 2).
  • Tokyo Xtreme Racer Advance (2004) was not designed, nor produced by Genki but by "David A. Palmer Productions" in UK for Crave Entertainment (Game Boy Advance).

Domestic Releases

External links

    1. ^ Kattobi Tune official website

See also


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