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Video Game / Densha De Go

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More fun than it looks.
Densha de Go! is a series of arcade style train simulations from Taito that were released in Japan. The games have gained somewhat of a cult following outside Japan, despite none of them ever officially leaving the country. Relatively easy to learn how to play but difficult to master, the game has you in control of one of many trains running in Japan, stopping at stations properly and obeying various signs and signals along the way. Different games have different selections of trains available. The series began in arcades and has been ported to many consoles, including PSX, PS2, PC, N64, and the DS, Wonderswan and PSP.

So far the Densha De Go games that have been released are:

  • Densha de Go!
  • Densha de Go! 2 Kōsoku-hen
  • Densha de GO! Professional
  • Kisha de Go! (focused on steam locomotives)
  • Densha de Go! Nagoya Railroad
  • Densha de Go! 3 Tsūkin-hen
  • Densha de Go! Professional 2
  • Densha de Go! Shinkansen Sanyō Shinkansen-hen
  • Densha de Go! Ryojōhen (focused on trams and light rail)
  • Densha de GO! Final
  • Densha de Go! Special Version—Revived! Showa Yamanote Line (a Continuity Reboot of the franchise)

Compare the Landing Series, another Taito series about operating mass-transit vehicles.


Tropes present in this game series :

  • Cool Train: Quite a few:
    • The famous Yamanote line is a route in several of the games, complete with its trademark green striped commuter trains.
    • In 2 and Professional there's the Akita Shinkansen, which hooks up to another Shinkansen for the final leg of the journey. Badass.
      • Shinkansen has the original 0 series Shinkansen (which has since been retired) and the awesome Nozomi Super Express, which can reach a top speed of 300 km/h.
    • Ryojōhen has the Botchan Ressa train, a street running steam train converted to diesel.
    • On the Tōkaidō line, there is the 223 series, a train with electronic chimes that play instead of a horn.
      • Several of the Nagoya Railroad trains have musical horns too, which play a tune that sounds somewhat like the NBC chimes repeated twice and sped up.
      • Nagoya Railroad even lets you drive a monorail. (One that sadly has ceased to exist due to low ridership)
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  • Nintendo Hard: The first 2 games were ported to console directly from their arcade versions and as a result are quite unforgiving. Later games are less strict but later routes are tough.
  • Scenery Porn: Most of the routes are through the same city/town areas, but occasionally you get some nice scenic routes like the one you drive the DD51 diesel engine on in Professional.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Obviously you need to get to each station on time, though this is enforced even for stations that you don't stop at. However, arriving too early will cause your train to have its speed temporarily capped in the next segment.
    • In a cross between this trope and a Life Meter, you have a counter displaying remaining seconds that decreases for every second that you are late (normally one second, but harder lines will deduct two seconds per second!). It also decreases for various penalties such as breaking speed limits or sufficiently misaligned stops. Well-timed, accurate stops will sometimes gain seconds back, as well as certain actions such as optionally honking your horn at certain spots. If this counter hits 0 seconds, Game Over.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: While most of the time you'll be warned of negative changes in speed limits, some of these changes don't have warnings, meaning that unless you know the change in advance, you will take a time penalty.

Example of: