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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Race is OOOOOOONNNNNN~!

It's early September and I've ran things that I have planned earlier on: upgrading my Redmi 1S to MIUI 8 because apparently it's being a pain in the buns that it sent little to no push notifications like normal (plus some delayed notifications), and trying out Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5DX, which has been out in all arcades throughout Indonesia earlier this week, with Maxi G dress-up system being the headline feature and the fact that this blog title has something to do with the game.

It's been a long time since we have MT5, which was rolled out without a Maxi G system which the Japanese MT5 has, and as it was announced that the international releases of the 5DX would have such a system, it's a full-on hype because apparently players really want to have less burden in dressing up cars, me included, hands down. Although the game has some features that are sacrificed, the new modes implemented in 5DX definitely changed the way Maximum Tune is played.

MAXIMUM TUNE (REMASTERED IN) 5D('s)X

The 5DX version of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series of arcade video game is the 9th installment (including the original Wangan Midnight) of Wangan Midnight arcade series based on Michiharu Kusunoki's manga series of the same name developed by Bandai Namco Games, and is the second "expansion" (in my language) of MT5, reusing the fashion used in MT3 (to 3DX and 3DX+). As usual, players will drive one of the cars varying from tuners like Nissans and Toyotas, Euro sports like RUFs and Mercs, and American muscles like Chevys, among others, as they dive to the world of Wangan Midnight and get involved in racing against some of WM's prominent machines, like Akio Asakura's Devil Z and Tatsuya Shima's Blackbird, as well as some tuners like Jun Kitami for instance via the game's Story Mode. Aside from the said mode, there's also Ghost Battle where you can battle against ghosts from different arcades, Japan Challenge which is Ghost Battle with Japanese opponents, ocassional online events such as Online Champion Match, and Time Attack where your time will be submitted to the game's server. The game also allows for modifications (these are called Dress-Ups) and supports progress saving via Banapassport.

GET THAT CASH! You get Maxi Gs everytime you win a Ghost Battle race, and Dress-Up system is drastically changed. (Image: WMMT 5DX official site
The international 5DX added several key features missing from MT5, the most prominent being the Maxi G and Maxi Shop system which drastically changes the way you get Dress-Up Parts: first, you earn Maxi Gs everytime you win a Ghost Battle or the like, and this Maxi G applies to your Banapassport AS A WHOLE, meaning that you earn Maxi Gs for your Banapassport regardless what car you are using. The Maxi G you earn can be spent in the Maxi Shop where you can buy whatever the Dress-Up Part you want, but there's a twist: Shop Grade system, which is accumulated the same way the old Dress-Up system in MT does. The Shop Grade holds a set of Dress-Up Parts for a particular car you drive, and at some point you'll get a free Dress-Up Part if you reach a certain Shop Grade. Details about that go here. 5DX also adds a new set of parts too, including the swan-neck mount rear wing and adjustable rear wing!

Also present are three new courses: Hanshin Express R3/Harbor Road in Kobe Area, Shibuya/Shinjuku Line, and Ikebukuro Line/Yamate Tunnel. The first course is Japan's preeminent harbor road, which is characterized by its beautiful tourist scenery and rugged sights of the harbor town, and has quite a unique layout which is a "combination of various elements rom previous courses" (Fukuoka and Hanshin come to mind). The second and third courses are both set in the downtown metropolitan area in Tokyo, which all run through Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro, and feature residential areas, narrow roads, tight sections, straightaways, and skyscrapers. The Shibuya/Shinjuku track features a roundabout while Ikebukuro/Yamate features the blind corners inside the Yamate tunnel, guaranteed to give the players a run for their money.

The game also adds six cars of mixed varieties: Nissan Skyline RS-X, Subaru Levorg, RUF rt-35, Mercedes Benz SLK 350 BlueEFFICIENCY, BMW Z4 S-Drive, and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. Not just that, there's also the new-for-2015 Subaru Imprezza WRX STI, RUF RCT, Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, and Mazda RX-3, bringing in a total of 10 new models appearing for 5DX! Also, cars previously introduced in 5 but were not viable for Dress-Up Parts now can be fitted with Dress-Up Parts, so consider dressing up your Toyota 86 or BRZ for that matter! More cars will be slated in the future update, but for now, these are the additions.

Stamps and Shuttles are also two of the new features you can't write off. The stamps, replacing the Challenge and Revenge system, are acquired as a proof of someone racing against your ghost, regardless if you win or lose. A shuttle is created when you and another person send each other a stamp, and you can earn titles, stamp designs, and terminal backgrounds (also a new feature here!) as rewards based on the number of stamps and shuttles you have. The stamps can be seen on the terminal unit car data screen.

The Japan Challenge is reworked with a new system. In this new system, you can select an opponent from up to five cars with a level similar to yours instead of just one per level. Seasonal motifs are also added to increase the enjoyment of each round. With the introduction of the new season, all Japan Challenge progress are reset to zero without any effect on the items you get from your previous Japan Challenge journey (e.g., license plates, Japan Challenge stickers).

Last but not least are the new soundtracks from Yuzo Koshiro himself, the composer for the Maximum Tune series. New to 5DX are Fascination, Let it Shine, The Race is On, and Risky Guy.

WMMT 5DX is released in international servers on August 2nd, while Indonesia server has the update rolled on August 31st, almost a month after the former's release. If you want to know more about the game, give the game's official site a visit!

Now the race is indeed on!

THE TEST DRIVE SESSION

Wrong cab graphics? Who cares!
Some spoilers for this test drive session: it's weekend, and 5DX has just come out so of course I'm in the waiting line and had only three tries each session before I had to give the next person his/her drive but at the time of my test drive, the cabs weren't that full, and this was in PIM 1's XXI arcade. Also, the price per play is increased from a minimum of IDR 8750 (roughly more than one dollar and a half) to IDR 10000.

Pondok Indah Mall is the place of choice for this mission, considering that it is the only nearest place to have a MI Center. Apart from a small chunk of traffic I faced during my ride from home to the scene, there were no significant troubles.

Arrived on the place, I took my time to "steal" some public Wi-Fi session to allow my games to be saved to the cloud (*cough*googleplaygames*cough*) before I go to the MI Center which isn't that far if you enter PIM 1. Apparently, the person responsible for ROM upgrades hasn't come, so I took my chance to try out 5DX, within a very limited budget of three swipes. Between these swipes, I focused my plays on trying out the new courses while doing Ghost Battles on the way. Apparently, the arcade owner might forgot to put some new cabinet parts showing 5DX stuffs, but perhaps the purple LED lights already made up for that.

New in the Maxi Terminal: Beauty shots! I mean... yeah, like that...
Obviously, coming from MT5, Data Transfer had to be done first on the Terminal before I am able to play 5DX, and I started out with Shop Grade 30 for my R34 and 9 for my R33, while I don't care the other cars' Shop Grades are. I took the time to tinker with the Terminal first to see Maxi Shop and backgrounds which is pretty much useful for taking pictures with your car, although I only took pictures of my R34 and S30 which I haven't drove for, like, eons. Maybe I should update my WM Expressway signature now?

And here comes the main part: playing the game! I noticed that the game sports a new Entry music which I really like and somehow reminds me of Mario Kart Wii's menu music. I proceeded with my R33 because, honestly, I had to dress this thing up as a 1996-spec 24 Hours of Le Mans car, and suddenly one ghost already challenged mine for stamps so I took this chance, and apparently I was able to pick the track for this battle, which I picked Shibuya/Shinjuku. This is hands down one of the challenging courses ever considering that it is twisty, narrow, and has a roundabout, probably on par with Taikan (ahem, Hakone Turnpike, but whatever) and Hakone. Having won this battle, not only I received some Maxi G bonus for fighting the ghost the "same day" it defeated me (it netted me 2000 Maxi Gs), but I received two stamps at once, and rewarding me with a new stamp design which is a green gas stand, but I have no intentions to change my stamp at the moment. Oh, and did I mention that the loading is now faster?

The next session would see me trying the new Japan Challenge, and I chose Hokkaido as the first area which comprises of only Hokkaido itself. Another thing that I noticed was that with this new system, I can no longer fight anyone of a higher level for farming purposes, and had to race against anyone of the same level, which in my R33's case is Level 4. Granted, the ghost I chose drove Kobe Area, so it was a plus. But, the best part in trying this track was actually the street part, which somehow gave me some Seaside Street Galaxy vibe from Daytona USA, where a portion of the track crosses a city street. Winning against this ghost resulted in earning 1000 Maxi Gs, clearing the Hokkaido area, and as a reward I got a license plate with names from Wangan Midnight series on the frame, like RGO, FLAT, Black Bird, GT World, and stuff, all in their distinctive colors, talk about carrying the progression of Japan Challenge rewards.

The last swipe began with me choosing a new car which was my main car: the R34. In this game, I initiated a normal ghost battle which is now affectionally titled as "Return Stamp" or whatever, although I had to say the title has a point regarding on this new stamp system. I tried out the last track which is the Yamate Tunnel, the track that prominently features long tunnel sections and a convergence to a portion of the C1 Route and is more twisty than Shibuya/Shinjuku. Sadly, I set the time to Day because if I set it to Night, I could write "dark and twisty" and think about Meredith Grey. I won the race, but the rewards weren't that big, only 500 Maxi Gs earned, and a small progression on the Shop Grade bar for my R34. Nevertheless, I have to consider promoting myself, and by earning 3500 Maxi Gs throughout my first playthrough, this concluded it.

In the end, I returned to the MI Center and found out that the ROM upgrade person didn't come as I spoke to the shopkeeper. But, I made sure that I would keep myself updated, so I left my number to the shopkeeper to make sure that he would notify me when the person in question comes. And apparently, that was it for my visit. I rode home as the condition was raining.

The new age of Maximum Tune is here, and it is here to stay as the race of the new age is finally on!

Yes, everyone, the race is OOOOOOONNNNNN~!

~[R]

1 comment:

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