DRIFT includes a few different modes of play, though pretty much all your time will be spent in the main conquest mode. The conquest mode is split up into two types of races--day races and night races. Day races are single-car challenges in which you're basically just trying to beat the high drift scores. At night, you can travel to various parking lots and challenge rival racers to races. Usually these are one-on-one affairs, but there are a few variations, and sometimes they just go right back to the high-score races. Basically, what you do in each of the game's track areas is go back and forth between day and night, over and over again, until you've beaten every area rival (which takes quite a bit of time), then move to the next area. In between, sponsor challenges will pop up; completing them can earn you new and better parts. But these challenges tend to follow the same formula as the other races, so they're not much of a change of pace.
Apart from the conquest mode, there are some stand-alone versions of the race types found in the career mode, as well as a basic multiplayer setup for some two-player split-screen action, but that's about all. Granted, the conquest mode is very, very lengthy, and the game is a budget title; but again, with the focus being solely on the repetitive and often irritating drift races, you'll find yourself done with the game long before you finish off the conquest mode.
The OutRun and Ridge Racer franchises have made their mint making drift racing a fun experience. But with its lackluster sense of speed and irritating controls, DRIFT just can't make its style of racing fun.
Graphically, DRIFT looks like the sort of racer you'd have found when the PlayStation 2 first launched five years ago. That's not altogether surprising, since some form of this exact game was released back in late 2003 in Japan as Drift Racer: Kaido Battle. The cars are boxy looking and low on detail, and the aforementioned complete lack of damage modeling doesn't help matters. The track environments aren't half-bad looking, but the weather effects aren't very good, and if you happen to get too up-close and personal with any of the environmental textures, well, let's just say that they weren't designed with such close scrutiny in mind. At least the frame rate's solid throughout. As for the audio, the basic racing sound effects are good enough, and the game actually has a pretty rocking and varied soundtrack. It goes from wailing guitar solos to blues rock to Japanese ska in a matter of minutes, and it's all good stuff, if slightly cheesy.
While the most dedicated fans of drift racing will likely laud Tokyo Xtreme Racer DRIFT for some of its design choices, most racing fans simply won't know what to do with it. The racing is steadfastly dedicated to one esoteric brand of racing that, by itself, just isn't a whole lot of fun, and the game simply doesn't present itself well enough to make up for the gameplay's more annoying elements. For those thoroughly entrenched in the drift-racing scene, DRIFT might be worth its budget price. But most any other driving game fan will find themselves quickly bored with DRIFT, especially those raised on the concepts of high speeds, flashy rides, and the Razor Callahan-esque street-racing villainy.