I bought another train game.
Much like the last train game I played – Densha De Go! Pocket Yamanote-Sen – this game is all about driving a commuter train in a big circle around Tokyo, carefully adhering to a timetable and trying not to jostle the passengers too much in the process. Also you can honk your horn at children waving from overpasses.
If you are not immediately wondering how you can get your own copy, you’re not my kind of people.
Coming from the PSP version, there is obviously a massive graphical jump. I’m not sure what the resolution is – I’ve seen a fair number of jaggies on my 4k screen – but the lighting effects are pretty sweet. One thing that does detract somewhat from the experience is that, while I’m pretty sure it’s got all of the buildings you would normally see from the train, it lacks the massive advertisements that would normally be plastered on any available vertical surface. So it’s not EXACTLY like driving a train through Tokyo but I’ll give it a pass on that.
Also, it makes use of analog controls for acceleration and braking, which has taken a little getting used to. My co-pilot/tutorial voice chides me frequently for my rough stops.
I’m not very far into playing it at all. I went through the tutorial a couple of times and then went into the game’s Free Mode, which allows you to pick a train, departure and arrival stations, time of day, weather and passenger load.
So in this example, I’m going from Hamamatsucho to Akihabara, in the evening, with clear skies and few passengers.
Every time you stop at a station, you get a little replay of your arrival, with notes on how early or late you were and how far off you were from the mark. I am still getting used to the game again and this atrocious example here is actually one of my better stops.
16 seconds late and nearly a meter off the mark. I would be walking the tracks and pulling up weeds on my day off if I did this badly as an actual train conductor.
Once you’re done with the chosen route, you get an overall status screen. In free mode, you don’t also get a grade or any points, it seems mostly just a for-practice mode and I’m not sure you can fail out of it even if you’re doing terribly.
Setting the free mode aside, however, it has both “Arcade” and “Career” modes which I will delve into later. There’s even a VR Mode where you can look around while driving, and this tempts me mightily. For now, however, I am having a very specific itch scratched.