|Driving Emotion Type-S|
European Cover featuring Fourth generation BMW 3 Series
Driving Emotion Type-S[a] is a racing game developed by Escape, a subsidiary of Square. It was published in Japan on March 30, 2000 and was Square's first release for the PlayStation 2 console. After criticisms of the game's handling, the European and North American versions of the game feature revised controls and additional contents, and were released in January 2001.
The game features officially licensed cars from international manufacturers. Several modes of playing are present, including a training mode and a two-player mode. The game's music, primarily composed by Shinji Hosoe, was published as a soundtrack in Japan. Sales for the game were low and professional reviews very mixed, with either praises or criticism of the game's graphics, controls and sounds.
The gameplay of Driving Emotion Type-S follows general conventions of racing games. The game's physics and controls intend to be realistic and are based on vehicular weight. The player competes in races with other computer-controlled cars in order to unlock new cars and tracks. Car settings can be customized, as well as their colors, before each course. The game includes 43 officially licensed cars from thirteen Japanese and European manufacturers, including BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Porsche, Subaru, Mitsubishi, TVR, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, JGTC, and Lexus which was exclusive to the Western versions of the game. Fourteen courses are available in total, including two fictional circuit and real circuit like The Home of Formula One Circuit in Japan Suzuka Circuit and the home of Super Lap in Japan Tsukuba Circuit, and one exclusive to the Western versions of the game called West Coast.
There are four game modes. The "Arcade Type-S" mode is the main part of the game, and allows the play to immediately join a race. Only four cars are available at the beginning of the game, but as the player wins more races, more cars and tracks are unlocked. The "Line Training" mode enables the player to try out any of the tracks and improve their driving techniques, without any computer-controlled car. An ideal racing line is shown in red on the track and becomes jagged when the suggested braking points are approached. This mode features four autocross tracks that do not feature in the other modes. A "Time Attack" and split-screen two-player "Vs Mode" fill out the gameplay.
Announced in January 2000 under the working title of Type-S, Driving Emotion Type-S was developed by Escape, a subsidiary of Square. Its development team had previously worked with DreamFactory on Ehrgeiz and the Tobal series for the PlayStation. The announcement was later followed by a four-page advertisement in the Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu, which stated that the game would be Square's first release for the PlayStation 2.
In Japan, a playable version of the game was showcased at Square's "Millennium Event", a show held on January 29, 2000 in Yokohama. Television advertisements of the game were among the first ones to air in Japan for the PlayStation 2. The game was also showcased in the United States at the Electronic Entertainment Expo of Los Angeles, from May 11 to May 13 of the same year. This demonstration was not playable however, as focus groups were revising the game to improve upon the Japanese version. According to the American website GameSpot, the level of body details and shading was also refined. The European and North American versions of the game were eventually released ten months after the Japanese one.
|Driving Emotion Type-S Original Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, and Takayuki Aihara
|Released||December 29, 2001|
|Genre||Video game music|
|Chudah's Corner||(A+) |
The music of the game was primarily composed by Shinji Hosoe, with contributions by Ayako Saso and Takayuki Aihara. The soundtrack was published in Japan by Hosoe's label Super Sweep Records, on December 29, 2001, and was sold bundled with the soundtrack of the video game Bushido Blade. The music is mostly techno-based, with rock and jazz elements. According to the game music website Chudah's Corner, one of the more varied track is the opener "Rush About", which features electronic beats, a duet of saxophone and electric guitar, and a piano. The site also mentions the synth-influenced "Best Tone" and its bass solo as Ayako Saso's most enjoyable contribution, while Takayuki Aihara's is the catchy 80s rock tune "F-Beat". Finally, the site cites the piano-based "Recollections of Sepia" as the calmest track of the album.
All tracks are written by Shinji Hosoe, except where noted.
|3.||"A Light Turn"||4:35|
|4.||"Best Tone"||Ayako Saso||5:17|
|6.||"Shake Off"||Ayako Saso||2:46|
|8.||"Wild Feeling"||Ayako Saso||4:24|
|10.||"Back Swing"||Takayuki Aihara||4:35|
|13.||"Challenge to a Limit"||Ayako Saso||4:51|
|14.||"Recollections of Sepia"||2:16|
|15.||"To the Whirlpool of Light"||2:25|
A week after its Japanese release, Driving Emotion Type-S had sold 46,600 copies. The game made a more mediocre start outside Japan, with only 2,500 copies sold in the United States a week after its North American release. The American website Allgame noted that while the game sold poorly, it nevertheless benefited commercially from having been released before Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, a better title according to the site as well as GamePro, GameSpot, GameZone and IGN.
The game received very mixed reviews from gaming publications. The Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu gave the title a score of 28 out of 40, praising its graphics, usage of real cars and innovative driver's view perspective. The American magazine Game Informer and website GameZone also lauded the game's realistic car interiors and highly detailed environments, putting them on par with those of Ridge Racer V and Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. Still, Allgame noted the presence of a subtle shimmering effect in the graphics, an effect typically seen on early PlayStation 2 titles, while the American website Game Revolution found the graphics "severely jagged". The shimmering and jaggedness were also noted by GameSpot and the American website IGN, which did not feel they were that irritating.
Concerning the game's playability, the Japanese release was judged "impossible to play" by GameSpot and IGN, which both felt the Western versions were an improvement, even though the game was still "far more sensitive than it ought to be". Still, Game Revolution found the car default settings unbalanced and hard to re-adjust properly, and criticized the game's inconsistent AI, like Allgame and IGN. Famitsu reported long load times and a high difficulty level, noting that the game was aimed more toward fans of sim racing than fans of arcade-style gameplay, due to the difficulty of steering. Game Informer and GameZone echoed Famitsu's review, stating that the load times quickly become a "game-ending nightmare", and calling the game's handling "touchy", "intense" and "revolutionary", but acknowledging that most players would simply find it too challenging and frustrating to be fun. While Game Informer alleged that "there is a masterpiece for driving simulator buffs buried in here", Allgame was much more negative, stating that the cars "seem overly light on their tires" and that it "feels like you're driving on ice".
Reviews for the game's audio were also mixed. The music was praised by Chudah's Corner, which called it the game's "saving grace" and "a marvel of its own", while Game Informer called it "decent" but felt Square should have enlisted big bands to match the music of the competitor series Gran Turismo. GameSpot called the music "solid, albeit imperfect" and also thought that it lacked impact compared to that of Gran Turismo 2, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 or Ridge Racer V. While the site praised the game's ambient sound effects as realistic and detailed, IGN and GameZone felt they were too muted and "nothing special". GameZone, Game Revolution and the American magazine GamePro felt the music was "intolerable" and "out-of-tune", "cheesy and annoying", and sounded like "a flock of seagulls being maimed and tortured".
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- Chudah's Corner review Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
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- Official North American website retrieved from the Internet Archive
- Official Japanese website from Square Enix (in Japanese)
- Official Japanese website from Escape, retrieved from the Internet Archive (in Japanese)
- Official Japanese website from PlayOnline, retrieved from the Internet Archive (in Japanese)