Friday, January 1, 2016

TX-1

John Marine | 8:50 PM | |
TX-1 is a racing game you've likely never heard of. You probably don't even know it is a racing game based on its name. However, this Pole Position-like arcade racing game with three screens has an OutRun-style infrastructure to it. It features forks in the road where players choose the next level. So what's the difference? TX-1 was released one year after Pole Position and two years before OutRun. Pole Position was released in 1982, OutRun was released in 1985, and TX-1 was released in 1983. This blog post introduces you to the fabulous world of TX-1.

(NOTE: I have NOT played this game. So what you are about to read is based solely on impressions I have based on various impressions online.)






TX-1


The creator of TX-1 is Tatsumi. It was licensed to Tatsumi, Namco, Atari, and Taito. This game was released in 1983 (the year I was born). In TX-1, you race a single-seater formula race car against others. Three monitors make up this arcade racing game. You gain score bonuses for passing cars. At some point after crossing the checkpoint, you will find a fork in the road in which you must choose the neck route you want to take. You can take any of the paths to complete your tour of racing duty. If you run out of time trying to complete each stage, the game is over.

TX-1 seems like the perfect "what if?" if Pole Position and OutRun had an offspring. Unlike Pole Position, you can actually spin out rather than face an explosive crash after contact. Unlike OutRun, you are only faced with forks in the road after you cross the checkpoint, as opposed to having to pick a route at the end of each stage like in OutRun. The fact this game has a three-screen setup makes it one of the first real hardcore style racing games. The two screens on the side give you two different bits of data. It was rare to have a three-screen setup for most arcade units. As far as racing games are concerned, there would be future games and even simulators that utilize a three-screen setup. Even the arcade version of SEGA's Ferrari F355 F1 Challenge is offered in a single-player, three-screen unit. I know because I actually played one. Maybe you'll see me review that game here on "John's Race Space," so stay tuned!

While the name of the game doesn't roll off the tongue as something unique, this is a racing game that surely reminds most people as a combination of two classic racing game franchises. Unfortunately, TX-1 is nowhere in the realm of classic, iconic, or memorable racing games. Not even its name will generate images of anything noteworthy or classic. This game still deserves credit for trying something different, such as a three-screen setup for a racing game. Equal credit in kind of stretching out the concept brought about by Pole Position. Unfortunately, this is a little-known title that seriously pales in comparison to Pole Position or even the future OutRun.


Video Preview.

Want to see TX-1 in action? Check this video out:


^ "TX-1 (1983) by Tatsumi - gameplay on MAME"

So what do you think about TX-1 after seeing this video?





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