Released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Genki's Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3 remains the zenith of Japanese street racing-style games for many fans. The vibe of cruising the Shuto Expressway on the prowl for rivals to face off against in the night to a soundtrack of cool, weird techno interspersed with jagged guitar riffs is something you really can't get in the medium nowadays. But when TXR3 was brought to the West, the conversion wasn't perfect, and a serious error made the game impossible to complete. Until now.
A modder has developed a patch that fixes the game's economy so that two particular late-game enemies tied to money earned can now appear normally. See, when TXR was localized for American and European audiences by Crave Entertainment, the team cut all vehicle and parts prices and rewards by 100, for a rough conversion from yen to dollar scale to create a more natural economy for Western gamers. It's the same trick Gran Turismo has employed since its earliest days, and it works well enough—so long as the developers remember to catch and change all the relevant values in the game.
Crave seemed to have missed two "Wanderer" opponents, which were set to appear after the player earned 20 million and 100 million credits, respectively. Because all race rewards were lowered to dollar scale, those were unreasonable sums of cash—especially the latter, as it's impossible to hold more than 99,999,999 credits in the export version of the game. Without beating these Wanderers, you can't technically complete the entirety of TXR3, which is why this fix that modder Kinglink published on ROMHacking.net matters.
It should be said that this isn't technically the first patch of its kind; one of a similar nature was reportedly previously published, though in a form that was really only designed to be used on a PS2 emulator on PC. With this version, someone could theoretically create a fixed copy of the game that can play on the original hardware, so it's a little more permanent.
I haven't had a wealth of experience with TXR3, though I also don't have much of an excuse, because the game's been sitting in my collection for about two years now. The second Tokyo Xtreme Racer entry on Sega Dreamcast is the one I grew up with and have enjoyed over the years. As it happens I got sucked back into that game last spring, around the time I got my Dreamcast back after I had an HDMI mod installed in it. TXR is a truly charming series with undeniably dazzling soundtracks no matter which installment you play, and I'd do many crimes if it meant Genki could develop a new one for modern platforms.
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