Shutokou Battle series

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Shutokou 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. The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series lasted from 1999 - 2006. In 2017, Genki released a new installment of the series, titled Shutokou Battle Xtreme, for iOS and Android devices.

Shuto Expressway[edit]

The series is based on illegal highway racing on the Shuto Expressway's Bayshore Route in Tokyo with custom tuned cars, a common occurrence at the time of the series' debut. However, since then Japanese police have begun cracking down on street racing and the hashiriya scene. Anti-street-racing legislation have also been enacted, levying heavier fines for street racing infractions.

Despite this, the underground cultural phenomenon of illegal street racing has seen its popularity steadily growing in Japan since the mid-80's with its own dedicated manga (Shutokō Battle's biggest inspiration being Wangan Midnight), anime series and video games franchises (C1 Circuit, Wangan Trial, Naniwa Wangan Battle, etc.). Perhaps the most influential popular works spawned by the phenomenon were the six Shuto Kousoku Trial films (a.k.a. Freeway Speedway: Megalopolis Express Way Trial) released from 1986–1996, which were 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 its iconic features, such as cosmetic tuning (Midnight Club, Need For Speed Underground, Juiced, and Supercar Street Challenge among many others), a wide selection of Japanese import cars, or the choice of Tokyo as the game setting, which has even influenced films like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Indeed, the trailer of the first movie in The Fast and the Furious franchise was included in western editions of Shutokō Battle Zero.

History[edit]

Franchise[edit]

The series is known under many names through localizations, such as Tokyo Highway Battle when published by Jaleco & THQ International; Tokyo Xtreme Racer by Crave Entertainment; Tokyo Highway Challenge and Import Tuner Challenge by Ubisoft; and even Street Supremacy when released by Konami.

The series has lasted over a decade and has been released on almost every video game platform including cellular phones and media from ROM, CD-ROM, GD-ROM, DVD-ROM, UMD to downloadable binary files.

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 Projec.

Sega Saturn spin-offs[edit]

During the 1990s Genki produced a highway drift/adult content (omitted in the localization Highway 2000) oriented Shutokou Battle spin-off series for the Sega Saturn, Wangan Dead Heat, and a circuit/tune edition unique episode for the PlayStation, Kattobi Tune, which oriented the Shutokou Battle series through a new direction, leading to the Dreamcast version and it's a worldwide recognition and distribution. "Kattobi Tune" was compiled under the supervision of Rev Speed, a popular Japanese car 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.

Kaidō Battle[edit]

Kaidō Battle (街道バトル) is a spin-off series for the PlayStation 2 created by Genki. They are focused on Touge racing and heavily centered on drifting. The franchise currently has three games, with two of them being released in North America under the Tokyo Xtreme Racer banner by Crave Entertainment.

The series, like the main Shutokou Battle games, includes licensed cars and authentic Japanese mountain roads as courses. In Conquest Mode, the player competes during the day in drift contests, earning more points for holding a drift longer or for a quick combination of drifts, but earns no points if the player bumps against the wall or a guard rail. Doing this, the player earns money to buy new cars and modifications. Daytime racing also features racing for sponsors, which includes a kind of racing challenge determined by the sponsor. Beating a sponsor challenge earns the player a sponsor. Sponsors give the player better parts and extra bonuses for winning drift contests.

At night, the player can challenge rivals in the parking lot, and race them in a vein similar to Shutokou Battle/Tokyo Xtreme Racer: the first one to have their life bar depleted loses; however, the first racer to cross the finish line will win the race. Through the night, the player will face the "Trickers", a type of mini-bosses in the course. After all the Trickers have been beaten, the main boss of the course (called the "Slasher") will challenge the player through an in-game BBS system. After the Slasher has been beaten, the player may advance to the next stage. The final boss in the last course is called the "Emotion King."

Games in the series

Drifting[edit]

The D1 Grand Prix drifting championship inspired the new series Racing Battle: C1 Grand Prix released in 2005 and remembering the 1997 drift circuit based Shutokou Battle Gaiden and the continuation of the "Shutokou 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[edit]

Releases[edit]

1994
  • 05/27: Shutokō Battle '94 Keichii Tsuchiya Drift King (Bullet-Proof Software, Super Famicom)
1995
  • 02/24: Shutokō Battle 2: Drift King Keiichi 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: Tōge Densetsu: Saisoku Battle (Bullet-Proof Software, Super Famicom)
  • 05/03: Shutokō Battle: Drift King Keichii Tsuchiya & Masaaki Bandoh (Bullet-Proof Software/Genki, 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
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)
  • 04/20: Tokyo Xtreme Racer Advance, was not designed, nor produced by Genki but by "David A. Palmer Productions" in UK for Crave Entertainment (Game Boy Advance)
  • 04/21: Shutokō Battle (Genki Racing Project, PSP) CERO+12
    • United States 2006/02/28: Street Supremacy (Konami)[2]
    • Europe 2006/09/29: Street Supremacy (Konami)[2]
  • 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
2011
  • 11/01:Shutokō Battle (Genki, Mobage)[3] (shut down as of June 29, 2012)
2017
  • 01/26:Shutokō Battle Xtreme (Genki, Android & iOS)
Cancelled
  • 2003/11/XX:The Fast and the Furious (Genki, Vivendi Universal Games, PlayStation 2 & Xbox)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kattobi Tune official website
  2. ^ a b Street Supremacy Release Information for PSP - GameFAQs
  3. ^ Shutokou Battle Mobage for iPhone and Android

External links[edit]