May 11, 2008

Wangan Midnight - Maximum Tune Series

I have been playing the Wangan Midnight - Maximum Tune series since Version 1, so I figure now would be a good time as any to review this latest version.

The game in general is a racing game based on an anime story that takes place mostly on the metropolitan highway in Japan, known as the Wangan (these highway battles are also known as Shutokou Battle). You have a neat, full 6 speed gear box shifter, with a leather wrapped steering wheel, racing bucket seat with a cushion, and overall great music to get you going. You purchase a magnetic card from the machine to save all your data on for that car.

Main features about the game is the tuning that is involved. When you play in story mode, you get the tuning bars that allow you to tune either the handling, or power of your car. After completeing the first quarter of the story (20 races), you will start to tune your car points differently. After a while, you can begin to distrubite the earned points into your car, where you desire before a race. Example, if you are going onto a route that has a lot of turns, you can choose if you want more handling and less horsepower. Or if you know there will be a lot of straights, you can choose more power, less handling. To me, that adds a sort of strategic approach, and always make the outcome different.

Has all name brand cars, both old and new ones, along with various body kits, wheels, and other goodies you can add externally by competeing in ghost mode. Ghost mode is where you battle another players ghost that he has left on one of the 4 linked machines. It is as if you are battling the player, only he is on a set line that he ran, last ghost run he did. From there, you earn dress up points to bling out your car.

The game features all the other usuals, time attack mode, battling, and outrun mode in which you simply have to pass 10 cars in a row, one at a time. The physics in my opinion are just right. It's easy to pull off a drift, but the real skill lies in timing your turn and controlling it. Smoothness is what is needed to play well in this game, not just speed. The graphics are great, but I personally feel that Version 2 had a bit of better graphics.

All in all, this is a great arcade game that has some epic 4 player battles, great ghost mode to challenge players while they're not actually there, and just tuning the cars and drifting on the highway in the game in general.

If anyone plays that is in the New England area, feel free to let me know and maybe we can go to Tokyo Game Action or FunWorld sometime and play.
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