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Category: Gaming
Tags: Wangan Racing

Wangan Midnight

Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 is the Best Racing Game of the Whole Anytime

There's a certain thrill (not hard to miss) while you're racing down the Wangan-sen at 300 km/h. I've always prefered the speed and character of highway racing as compared to touge racing. You are able to further upgrade your car using a Banapass, essentially saving your game progress as you tune your car faster and faster as you move closer towards the Devil Z, a cruel S30Z with a haunting past.

One neat thing about the Banapass is that it's an RFID card, so you only need to wave your wallet at the cabinet for it to read. The other thing is that it allows you to keep up to 10 cars on one Banapass!

I got into Wangan Midnight because it was the first racing game I played that had a card reader. The first I played was Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 in an old Namco arcade in Asheboro. I have no idea how that arcade has stayed open, and often I catch myself looking at my old Maximum Tune 3 card and wondering just where in the hell they found the cards to stock that card reader.

Either way, I was hooked when I heard that music while screaming around turns at 250 km/h. The first track I remember hearing was Stay Where You Are. The steady, kicked-up tempo of this Wangan Trance highlights the emotion Wangan seeks to convey through its highway racing world.

My top 5 favorite cuts from Wangan are:

  1. Glory days
  2. Drifting into You
  3. Stay Where you are
  4. Get your Engine Going
  5. Wanna Try One Last Time

The characters of Wangan contribute a lot to this emotion as well: a cast of characters who are only Japanese streetracers by night and regular folks by day. This duality resonates deeply with me. They chase the Devil Z through the game's many courses, hopelessly entangling their fates and hot on the tread of their passion.

If you have not already, I urge you to play any version of Wangan Midnight that you can find. The palette of high speeds, excellent art, beautiful scenery and kicked-up trance paints one of the most beautiful pictures in arcade racing.

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