In the mid-90’s, a manga comic book and anime program called ‘Initial D’ became popular. Initial D was about a teenager named Takumi working at a tofu shop.
Over a period of years as a delivery driver, he has honed his skills in the mountains surrounding his home town until he is a very capable drift racer.
Over the course of several different iterations of the anime, Takumi works his way into the underground drift racing scene in his Toyota AE86 hatchback, becoming a legend in the process. A team of drift racers gradually forms, each specialized in a particular aspect of the sport
This kind of driving might seem dangerous, and indeed it is. Sega decided to give people a safe outlet for their drifting desires and created the Initial D arcade game series. The latest version is called Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited.
This arcade game puts you in the driver’s seat – literally – of many of the different types of vehicles used in the anime series. With a full sit-down and shift experience, Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited really immerses you in the drift experience.
Sega completely overhauled the in-game physics of the game, ensuring that even those who have mastered the previous titles will be able to enjoy the new feel of this game.
The car selection remains true to the original anime.
For fans of the hero of the series, you can choose from several different types of Toyota AE86: The Trueno GT-APEX, the Levin GT-APEX or the Levin SR. For those who prefer the heavier, more power Nissans there are Skylines, Silvias and 180SX’s.
Other classic drift cars represented in the game are the Mazda RX7, (third and fourth generations), and the Mitsubishi Evolution. Newschoolers can try their hand at the Subaru WRX or the Honda S2000 and even front-wheel drive cars make an appearance in the form of Honda Civics and Integras.
There are 6 different courses on which players can drift, with an additional special match where you can go up against Takumi’s father, Bunta. It is also possible to customize your car for performance, appearance and even add aero packages.
Game progress and car tuning is saved onto small memory cards that you can take to any arcade that you want – although they are not backwards compatible with any of the previous versions of the game.
One thing is certain: while it may seem a bit irresponsible to encourage young drivers to possibly act out their video game antics on public roadways, there are definitely many parents out there who sleep a little better knowing their child is at the arcade practicing their drifting instead of on a mountain road in mom’s minivan.