The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series started out on the Dreamcast and was built around the concept of street racing on Tokyo's highways. The series has since progressed onto other consoles, and it now appears as Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, a budget-priced offering from Crave. Though the game has been around for quite some time, it really hasn't improved much since the Dreamcast days. The new addition of roads from Nagoya and Osaka doesn't change the fact that, even as a budget title, TXR3 doesn't stand up to the other games in the genre.
The gameplay in TXR3 hasn't seen any significant additions.
In all, the game contains around 200 miles of highway to race on, though since the basic idea of a highway is usually to be as straight as possible, the amount of road isn't as impressive as it initially sounds. TXR3 features three basic modes of play: free run, time trial, and quest mode. Free run and time trial function as you'd expect and allow you to get used to the tracks and test your skills against the clock. The main single-player mode is the quest mode, which lets you race, but also gives you a garage where you keep your car and a series of menus that allow you to tweak your car--you can buy parts and upgrades, or you can purchase an entirely new car. The game does feature a two-player head-to-head mode; however, since most of the highways are straight, the two-player contests are typically a simple test of each vehicle's top speed.
TXR3 includes a total of 15 vehicles from real-world manufacturers such as Nissan, GM, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota. The selection of cars isn't that impressive, but the variety of upgrades for each is. You can choose to get new items that improve the performance of your vehicle's engine, the aerodynamics, and the handling. You can also trick out your car's look with different lights, side mirrors, and hoods.
The bulk of your time playing Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 is spent driving, but not necessarily racing. Your opponents are simply cruising around the highways as well, waiting for you to challenge them to a race. Once you find an opponent to race, to initiate the race you simply have to drive up behind the other driver and flash your headlights. Upon doing so, two fighting-game-like health bars appear at the top of the screen, and the race begins. As the race progresses, the car that falls behind begins to lose "health" from its bar. With each passing second, the bar loses more and more until it is completely depleted, at which point the leader is declared the winner. Cars can also lose health for hitting objects, so it's important to drive well when you're racing. After a winner has been declared, you are allowed to drive on and meet up with your next opponent. Once you've raced against all of the regular competition, a rival gang leader will challenge you to yet another race. If you are successful in defeating the gang leader, you are then given the option of purchasing his car. This formula of racing one opponent after the next, stopping only to buy upgrades, is pretty much the entire experience that Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 has to offer.