Initial D Another Stage
|a game by||Sammy|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games|
Have you ever wondered what It would look like if The Fast and The Furious was converted into an anime? Well, wonder no more because in Japan this already exists in the of manga series Initial D. No there isn’t a Vin Diesel protagonist with a lovely shiny bald head in this one but it does deliver a street racing based narrative that is eye-catching and equally well written. For this reason, you can see why a game developer might take a chance on taking this IP and making an interesting game with it and in 2001, that is exactly what happened as we would be treated to Initial D: Another Stage on the Game Boy Advance.
This game plays like other handheld racers within this period such as GT Advance Championship Racing or Top Gear GT Championship, going against the trend of normal GBA racers that use a top-down view and offering a visual display that really pushes the GBA to its limit.
Limited By The Hardware
What baffles me about this title isn’t that the developers took a chance on a lesser-known series but rather why they would choose the GBA as their means of presenting it to the world. The series has a rather interesting story that goes along with the fast cars and the intense racing action. The series has a diverse set of characters, each with different personalities and thanks to the limitations of the GBA, this is never really put across to the player. You get the exposition that the character has just turned 18 and has a new set of wheels to race around in but other than that, there isn’t much else to say.
The other issue with this title unless you are of Japanese origin is that the dialogue for this title is completely in Japanese, meaning that what little exposition is given to you is lost in translation. Not to mention that it can make the menuing in this game akin to guesswork.
A Bold Decision
Despite this criticism of using the GBA to host this title, one thing the developers nail better than most games on the GBA is the graphical content. While a lot of racers made their way to the GBA, almost all of these were top-down views with abysmal graphics. It seems that Initial D: Another Stage aims to capitalise on this by offering one of the most visually competent racers on the platform. With a variety of tracks, cars and dynamic animations that bring each area to life and represent the world of Initial D with a good amount of authenticity.
Sadly though, the gameplay and controls leave a lot to be desired. While the game looks great as you zoom around the track, the way the car handles is rather basic and uninspired, meaning that if the game didn’t look quite as aesthetically pleasing, you won’t get bored pretty quick.
Skids Off The Road
This game has to be commended for bringing a racing game of this calibre to a console that didn’t really support such a venture. The visuals are outstanding and offer a lot more than many other handheld racers on the market at the time. However, there isn’t really much else of substance throughout the game. Any semblance of a story is absent, the sound quality is forgettable and the racing gameplay is boring and basic.
Overall, it’s one that might prove interesting for fans of this very niche manga series. However, for everyone else, this is a title that isn’t worth investing your time into.
- Visuals are very ambitious for the GBA
- A large roster of characters to race as/against
- Sound quality is below average
- The gameplay is dull and lifeless
- Dialogue and menus only in Japanese
Download Initial D Another Stage
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP