Shutokou Battle 01 (首都高バトル 01), also known as Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 in North America, is a 2003 racing game developed by Genki and published by Crave Entertainment. It is the sequel to Shutokou Battle 2 and Zero. It is the last game in the series taking place in Tokyo's highway system (until Import Tuner Challenge) before Drift and Drift 2 took place in the mountains in Japan.
Why It Rocks
For the first time in the series, the player will now be able to drive in Osaka and Nagoya as opposed to just Tokyo (in addition of Yokohama) in a similar vein to Midnight Club series.
Over 600 rivals to race against including new teams such as D3, No Loser, Home Run, Low Position, Millenium 2 and Tribute-J.
Bleaker plot than in the previous games, where Tokyo is plunged into chaos after the defeat of 13 Devils in Zero. As the result, the player must challenge and defeat everyone in the respective cities until reaching the opportunity to face the toughest drivers among Tokyo (Dejected Angel and Jintei AKA Speed King), Osaka (No Loser and Darts) and Nagoya (Seeks, Genesis R and D3).
Solid handling model and physics.
Realistic features such as engine/oil temperature (which requires the player to make frequent pit stops in order to cool down their vehicle), tire wear and proper weight reduction (such as using carbon-fiber aftermarket parts, which are pretty useful to make your car a bit faster unlike in Need for Speed franchise rather than being purely cosmetic). Also, once installed, you can activate the turbo during a race. The only downside is that it will overheat your car's engine.
Expanded customization while introducing the ability to swap your car's engine upon reaching a certain milleage such as slapping a Mazda RX-7's Rotary engine on a Suzuki Cappuccino kei car!
While a bit disappointing as it sounds, the game's final boss Unknown appears as a ghost copy of the player's car rather than a homage to Akio Asakura's Devil Z from Wangan Midnight franchise. Also, his performance depends on how tuned your car is and can pass through the traffic in order to make the boss battle a bit more interesting and challenging.
It's the first game to introduce fully-licensed car manufacturers (with over 114 to drive) such as Lotus, Dodge, Ford, Gemballa, DeTomaso, Volkswagen, Toyota, Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz and Isuzu.
Outstanding soundtrack such as "Battle Of The Empire" (widely associated with the boss battle against Jintei AKA Speed King), "Crying" (as heard in the player's garage) and "Ice Machine Gun" (When racing against a boss).
Surprisingly improved graphics with heavily increased polycount and the landmarks are pretty accurate to their real-life counterparts.
It's the first game in the series to not be available in Europe.
The NTSC-U version's translation was rather rushed with some noticeable grammatical errors (such as the Lotus Esprit V8's description with the word "basic" mispelled as "baisc") and the developers learned the hard way of converting the currency from Yen to Dollars, which resulted in a game-breaking buginvolving a wanderer named Whirlwind Fanfare. As the result, it's nigh-impossible to encounter without trainers or cheating devices such as GameShark, Codebreaker or Action Replay due to the 99,999,990 money cap unlike in the NTSC-J version, where it's possible to reach 100,000,000 credits that are required to encounter the said wanderer before confronting Unknown, the game's final boss.
The tire wear's functionality is quite unusual, as once the tires are worn out, your car will become prone to oversteer as opposed to understeer unlike in the previous two games (specially 2).
The physics, albeit being fairly realistic for a Simcade racer, feel a bit floaty.
Some manufacturers such as Peugeot and Honda were cut due to licensing issues (albeit two cars from the former can be only accessed via trainers) and the latter not allowing their cars being involved in illegal street racing (with exceptions such as Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Underground).