Initial D Extreme Stage

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a game by Sega
Platform: Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 4/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 6.3/10 - 7 votes
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See also: Racing Games
Initial D Extreme Stage
Initial D Extreme Stage
Initial D Extreme Stage

Whatever niche topic that may develop some degree of public interest, you can guarantee there will be a manga about the subject. Following that manga, there will be an anime, and after that anime - you can probably guess - a video game. Initial D, originally a manga about street racing, does not choose to shake up the cycle. It embraces it in the game offering of Initial D Extreme Stage.

As you can imagine - it is a racing game. Not only is it a racer deriving from the franchise, but it is also about the billionth entry into the series. Since 1998 there seems to have been at least one of these games released every year - so after nearly 10 years, how do these Initial D games manage to stay fresh? I guess we'll find out.

No West Allowed

There may be a reason why Initial D Extreme Stage never saw a western release. Perhaps there are not enough enthusiasts of the franchise to justify mass distribution. Or maybe that there really isn't much that differs between the previous incarnations of the Initial D game, and it is the same as its predecessor Initial D Arcade 4.

It's definitely the latter, where the game feels and plays like a port of the arcade version. There won't be any sugarcoating here - for a franchise in a genre that's not particularly difficult to develop - the publishers have to do better here. Initial D Extreme Stage is one of the most clunky racers available on the market. The controls are overly sensitive, resulting in frequent spins and crashes. There is absolutely no skill in the world that could help maintain the equilibrium of your vehicles. The visuals are reminiscent of the old racing arcade games - environments are blocky with only real model detailing on the cars.

Initial D Extreme Stage was made to be played in short bursts. There is no real progression in the game. There are no mechanics that improve on your vehicle or driver's statistics. Nor any sequences that make you take any interest in what is going on around you. What's further frustrating is the entire game seems to be a showcase for Japanese car brands - where the cars you select are only the latest models available to the nation. Nothing here is working - an Initial D fan may say otherwise, though.

Initial D is Also the Grade

Those that are not familiar with the anime - Extreme Stage will be a poor choice of racer. The whole concept is very niche - and the game is not well made enough to provide players with any sort of enjoyment outside of the references to the anime.

There's too much-broken gameplay for this to be enjoyed by anyone outside the Initial D bubble.


Being a racer published by Sega, one would expect at least a carbon copy of their classic racer Sega Rally Championship that resembles an arcade-style. Not here, however. Initial D goes a bit off the beaten path to deliver something for fans - and fans only. Maybe it's better if one of them gave their opinion on it, but this is not a good racer, all things considered.


  • The art style is unique compared to other Initial D titles
  • Loyal to the series


  • Cars are nearly uncontrollable
  • The port of an arcade onto console does not deliver much entertainment
  • Basic racer mechanics seem broken

Download Initial D Extreme Stage

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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Playstation 3 Screenshots

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