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YMMV / Wangan Midnight

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The anime and manga contain examples of:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is R200 Club really doing their own legitimate tuning business, or just try to make their deceiving tricks to achieve their goals?
    • Also, what's the point of Drive GO GO? Is Kijima just go to make profits?
    • Jun Kitami as well. No one think who really is he. A psycho tuner who did some insane machines? A well-experienced tuner who fine-tunes everything to a finesse?
  • Awesome Music: The various S30Z themes, but especially "Run of S30Z".
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the "Legendary FC" arc, Hayashi offers to give Kijima back his prized FC for free if Kijima can prove on objective grounds that an FC (RX-7 GT-X) is better than an FD (the newer RX-7 Type R). In Maximum Tune 4 and later, the FD ends up becoming a top-tier car, with the FC close behind.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Akio's first accident in the Manga, where the left side of his face is covered in blood from sustained injuries. Thankfully, he gets better later on.
    • While counting as Harsher in Hindsight, the scene where Ko-chan imagines Akio getting killed in a car crash falls into this, specially in the animated adaptation while "Like Hell" blasts in the background.
    Ko-chan (cue voice crack): "ASAKURA!!!"
    • The Devil Z itself, since the previous drivers were killed in fatal accidents that are involved with the said car. Even Eriko lampshades this by mentioning that this particular S30Z is "possessed by a Devil".
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The death of previous Devil Z driver, as well as the backstory of Keiichiro, which mentions the passing of his father, Kouichi.
    • Eriko attempting to dispose of the Devil Z once and for all by using her spare key to drive it off the harbor, even if it will cost her her life in the process. Tatsuya has to physically block it with his car to get her to stop.
    • Less extreme examples go to Jun Kitami and Yoshiaki Ishida's respective different backstories.
    • Advertisement:
    • What does that blue, about-to-be-junked Devil Z remind Akio of when he was looking for something in junkyard? He had seen it once when he was younger in high school, with its driver carrying a school girl on the the same car.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks! :
    • The C1 Runner sequel, which largely omitted most of the old WM characters and introduced completely new characters for the whole new story. Shinji Ogishima, the new main protagonist, along with the old veteran Tatsuya Shima, were brought back along with few other characters who're related to RGO or R200 Club.
    • The anime also had this as well; Story arcs related to Masaki were skipped and completely removed from anime although it is still prominent in video games.
    • Averted with Ginkai's Speed Star, which has a completely fresh new plot that discards the previous Wangan Midnight canon stories.

The Wangan Midnight games contain examples of:

  • Abridged Arena Array: Expect C1, Hakone and Osaka to be make up a majority of the VS battles. In the opposite direction, almost no one chooses Yokohama, Wangan or Yokohane, especially the latter.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • From 4 to 5DX+, Story Mode stage 34 has "CCR" Motoki screaming "I'm coming!" in large-point font and with a very pained expression.
    • When you unlock the 10 Outrun Mode soundtrack, the album jacket for it shows an...alternate translation for the soundtrack's title: "Sound of Ten persons Pulling out Mode."
    • The opening eyecatch for Story Mode stage 27 has the line "15 years of passion from seven men is wrapped up in that silver body."note 
  • Adaptation Displacement: Most Maximum Tune players know almost nothing about the anime or manga. Some even believe that the anime and manga are based off of the games and not the other way around.
  • Alt-itis: Before Maximum Tune 4 it's quite common for a player to have more than one card, as you can only have one car per card. This became a thing of the past when Maximum Tune 4 eschewed the previous games' magnetic cards in favor of Bandai Namco ID system; since player data is stored on the server rather than on the card, there is no issue of cards having limited data, and thus the player can have up to 100 cars in their profile. Maximum Tune 6 takes this up to eleven by having up to 200 cars per profile.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • In Maximum Tune 1 and 2, Stage 20 is set up as a showdown between you, the Blackbird, and the Devil Z. However, the stage ends after a five-kilometer stretch of the Wangan Line, where the AI is so pathetically slow that, as long as you play it safe and haven't committed any serious mistakes, you've pretty much won once you merge onto Wangan.
    • Any default King/Top player ghosts.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Maximum Tune 5 DX have given us tons of old-yet-revamped features originally only available in Japanese versions, such as cars and currency systems for dress-up parts. Also in Japanese versions of 5 DX, all overseas-exclusive cars were brought back to the roster, including Audi and Dodge which weren't available originally.
    • The announcement that Maximum Tune 6 would increase the number of chapters in Story Mode from 60 to 100 did not go over well with fans, as well as the fact that those who already finished the story would have to finish it again to go from 5DX+'s 830hp cap to MT6's 840. When the game came out, it was revealed that you only needed to get up to Stage 80 to get up to the 840hp cap, prompting a sigh of relief from fans.
    • Many fans and their wallets were also relieved to find out that the unlock conditions for new tachometers were changed to completing any 100 story chapters without losing once instead of completing an entire story loop from start to finish, unshaded.
    • After the sheer amount of backlash received from resetting dress-up progress across the board in Maximum Tune 6 and replacing the older aero sets with newer aero sets, Bandai Namco announced that they would re-add all eight of the aero sets from Maximum Tune 5DX+ into a later update in 6.
  • Breather Level:
    • In MT 3 and 3 DX's story modes, opponent cars are very slow on stages set on Hakone, to the point where on a Hakone stage beyond 41, you can turn your horsepower as low as possible and still win by over 100 meters. This is perhaps why Maximum Tune 4 through 5DX+ has Story Mode take place strictly on highways, though Maximum Tune 6 has at least one chapter set on Mt. Taikan.
    • In MT 4 onwards:
      • Stage 51, the Wannabe Racers stage, during the Legendary FC arc. Both opponents start off with a huge lead, but they move so pathetically slow that you can easily win by over 400 meters. The stage also has the least dialogue of any stage in the game, ensuring a distraction-free Curb-Stomp Battle. Well, on the first loop, anyway; it's a different matter in subsequent loops. This stage is removed in MT 6.
      • Stage 52 has you driving with Kijima, Reina, and his TV crew, with both vehicles suddenly take a very significant drop in speed about a kilometer from the goal, likely to coincide with Kijima wrapping up an episode of Drive GO GO. It's not uncommon to win by more than 150 meters. This becomes the new Stage 51 in MT 6.
  • Broken Base:
    • Hakone is either the Best Level Ever due to the high degree of technique needed compared to other courses with people who dislike it being told to git gud, or it's loathed for the exact same reason with detractors saying "if I wanted a mountain course I'll go play Initial D Arcade Stage." Even seven versions after the course was introduced, disputes still spring up about the course; Hakone being selected for a VS match is a good way to generate cries of "ugh, I hate this course!" and "shut up, you just suck."
    • 3DX's randomized ramp selection system that replaced the manual ramp selection system had players argue as well. Some players are okay without it when other players consider this a Scrappy Mechanic because they aren't able to pick their desired starting ramps.
    • Dead Heat. Wasteful use of the Maximum Tune engine? Or a necessity given that the average customer probably won't play a game 60 times just to have a fully-upgraded car — a view that even some serious MT fans admit is right?
    • Maximum Tune 5 gives us two completely different versions (running on different hardware) in which the overseas version, running on older cabinets, cut down most Japanese features while adding some features not available in Japanese version. This has sparked the trope to the max.
      • Most overseas players were complaining about the lack of currency systems, Sub-center Area and most of the new cars which were originally released in Japanese versions, while others are impressed with Regional Bonus cars as a compensation. Also, customization options were disabled for the new cars, much to many dismay. (They were later added back in 5DX, thus now averting this trope with Author's Saving Throw.)
      • Japanese players aren't impressed with overseas version's Regional Bonus vehicles either; they were given a bland Mercedes SLK350 while most Japanese players are expecting an AMG model. The SLS AMG wasn't included in Japanese versions prior to being added to 5DX, but as a Regional Bonus in overseas versions, much to Japanese players' discontent. Even serious, Audi and Dodge, added in updates of overseas version, couldn't see any in Japanese version until 5DX.
      • Some feel that Namco is doing its American playerbase a disservice by releasing 5 in North America in 2017, even though at the time of release that put NA one version (now two) behind most of the Asia Pacific and two behind Japan, and put them on separate servers from the rest of the world. Not helping this is the perceived quality of the NA cabinets (in particular, the larger screen, raised screen height, cheap sound system, and cheap steering wheel). Others are just glad Namco is bringing over networked Maximum Tune games to the West while keeping in touch with its American playerbase. Fans are even divided on the title of the game, with some deriding the removal of the "Wangan Midnight" name as a pointless part of the localization that confuses players and arcades and others arguing that Wangan Midnight's complete lack of brand name recognition in the USnote  necessitate the simpler title.
    • The blocking metagame in Vs mode. While many player accept it, or at least tolerate it, some players think this is derailing the Vs mode. For the player with poor reflexes, getting the blue aura will be very hard and if they racing against skilled blockers (especially against brake blockers) in Vs mode, the Vs mode become unwinnable because they turned it into glorified Puzzle Game.
    • Car tiers, in particular the FD3S being at the top. Some feel that the FD is an overpowered monster that ruins vehicular diversity, while others think that calling it "OP" is silly, point out that skill is still necessary to drive a high-tier car, and argue that you should just use whatever car you want and not worry about tiers.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In a rarity for a game with a competitive scene featuring real-world vehicles, most players use third-person view rather than first.
    • At full-tune, no one uses a setting below 700 horsepower on most courses. Only in 5DX did this finally change with the Kobe course, where the generally-accepted ideal horsepower is 640; the Hiroshima course in 5DX+ is also a 640HP-recommended course.
    • A milder example is the Lancer Evolution VIII and IX, two of the most popular cars among players, as well as the RX-7 FD and RX-8 (both of which currently dominate time attack records, ESPECIALLY the former). The Skyline GT-R R32 and AE86 Trueno are also not uncommon in VS play.
    • Pick a Final Boss song, any such song. Most players will play those same songs repeatedly, to the point where the awesomeness becomes lost.
    • Practically nobody at a decent level uses the brake for slowing down; whenever someone needs to slow down, they'll simply let off the gas and/or tap the outer wall on purpose.
    • During the Maximum Tune 3 era, players who just wanted to grind Dress-Up parts would pick level 10 default ghosts on either Wangan Line or Hakone, due to default ghosts always using 740 HP, making beating them on Wangan with a full-power setting a joke, and being incredibly slow on Hakone (same reason Hakone stages in MT3 Story Mode are practically free wins). Beating a Level 10 ghost earns 50% more Dress-Up points than beating a Level 9 ghost, and just as much as a successful Revenge re-match on a Level 9 or 10 Ghost (sadly, the Level 10 and Revenge boosts don't stack).

      While challenging default ghosts is still a habit in Maximum Tune 4 and beyond, this is now done in the Japan Challenge sub-mode, where players will seek out level 10 ghosts that have all the trappings of a default ghost (740 HP/B, no team, rank B1, etc.; note that sometimes, ghosts with these qualities will be actual player-made ghosts) so they can easily complete Japan Challenge sooner for its unlocks while getting Dress-Up points (or Shop Grade points and Maxi G in 5DX and 5DX+) at the same time.

      All this is removed come MT6 where challenging any one ghost of a higher level among the three will not grant the player 150 Ghost Battle Points per ghost.
  • Contested Sequel: The release of Maximum Tune 6 in Japan has been a rather divisive one. While there has been praise for the new soundtrack, the 1v3 Ghost Battles and return of the story arcs from MT3DX+, others have been less than pleased with the renewed dressup system, the fact that it takes longer to full tune a car and complete a story loop (80 and 100 chapters respectively) and the overall lack of new content (no new tracks, and while they did add Porsche, they serve as a replacement to RUF).
    • It's divisive in many parts of Asia as well, to the point that some arcades actually still keep a set of 5DX+ machines running alongside the 6 machines.
  • Default Setting Syndrome: Competitive Maximum Tune players usually play with handicap left on. Why? Well, when you're going at 330+ km/h, and traffic patterns tend to be unpredictable if not randomized at higher ranks, it wouldn't be fair to be screwed halfway through the course because of one unfortunately-placed truck that you had no way of predicting.
  • Demonic Spiders: Any skilled ghosts (especially when you race it in the track that you think is hard).
  • Eclipsed by the Remix: Not many players know "Give Up or Keep Trying Maxi5" is actually a Recycled Soundtrack remix of "Select (Maxi3DX Version)" with Adaptation Name Change.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Among hardcore racers as of WMMT4, the Mazda RX-7 FD and RX-8, which as seen on the online rankings, dominate most of the courses in Time Attack runs. This translates into their frequent usage in VS Battles by the same players.
    • The Toyota AE86 Trueno introduced in WMMT4 is fast becoming this thanks to its performance: Grippy, excellent handling, tough to push around, and small enough to sneak through traffic. Its fame in Initial D has also helped, which has also earned it the affectionate nickname "Tofu Car." Yes, it wasn't in Wangan Midnight, but in its authorical ancestor Shakotan Boogie where a minor character uses it.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Don't ask if dress-up parts affect car performance. Not only has it been indicated by the operator's manual that they don't, but players are sick of hearing it.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Game-Breaker:
    • WMMT 3DX+ introduces the Nissan GT-R (R35), now one of the grippiest cars in the game (especially for a heavy car), so much that when driven right it outraces even the purpose built rally cars (Evo and Impreza) in cornering courses like Hakone, and not to mention it's a really tough car to push out of the way (see Car Fu in the main section).
    • WMMT 4 and later has the Mazda RX-7 Type R (FD3S), which has fantastic grip and excellent other stats, making it the choice of car for time attack. Small wonder that many players call it a "bandwagon" car.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series enjoys a pretty strong and just-as-competitive playerbase in other parts of Asia, most notably Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.
  • Goddamned Bats: Traffic cars. Though partially averted that all the traffic cars had bright yellow Namco paint job.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In all versions up to WMMT 3, a particular trick allows you to easily clone cards without needing to access the operator menus. Be careful, though, because it can be literally game-breaking if done wrong—it can damage the card reader. Seriously, if you know what the trick is, don't do it.
    • One amusing bug that appeared since WMMT 3, and still hasn't been fixed as of 3DX+ , happens during 32-Outrun in Yokohane if you manage to get to Akio / The Devil Z before clearing the ramp from Wangan back to Yokohane - just before the junction going into C1, his car will come to a complete stop, and become permeable.
    • If you're clever enough, in some chapters of Story Mode, putting yourself in front of an AI car that suddenly accelerates to insane speeds will have the said car push yours to such speeds, sometimes over 400kph!
  • Hype Backlash:
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!:
    • The most prevailing complaint about the game within the arcade racing game community is that the courses are seen as "straight line driving simulator" and thus take minimal skill compared to other competition-viable arcade racing games like Initial D Arcade Stage, and given this series' popularity compared to other arcade racing games, Hype Backlash ensues.
    • MT 3's story mode, for many, ruined the prestige of unshaded status.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • A common complaint about the English-language versions of Maximum Tune 5, which doesn't add as much new content as the Japanese version. For many players, it may as well be called Maximum Tune 4 DX.
    • Fans are not pleased to see that Maximum Tune 6 looks very much like the seven years of Maximum Tune games before it, and as a result feel that the series is starting to degrade into full-on Sequelitis.note 
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A number of players mostly just play or follow the games due to the iconic Yuzo Koshiro trance soundtrack.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • The Mazda RX-7 Type R (FD3S). Or as the playerbase likes to say, "THE FD IS OP." While player skill is more important than car selection, a lot of folks like to joke that the FD is an unstoppable monster that will instantly demolish Time Attack boards when used.
    • Similarly, the Skylike GT-R R34. While it's mainly a high-tier car that's good at time attack and battle without being straight up overpowered, fans often refer to it as the car that requires absolutely no skill to use.
  • Memetic Loser: International fans have come to view North America as Bandai Namco Amusement's Butt-Monkey, due to being given inferior cabs and an outdated version (5) as a cost-cutting measure. It got even worse when Namco announced that China would be getting an upgrade to 5DX, which while behind the other three regions' 5DX+ is still something that NA doesn't have. note 
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Please call an attendantExplanation 
      • Slamming the wheelExplanation 
    • I'm coming!Explanation 
    • Sound of Ten persons Pulling out Mode.Explanation 
    • 15 years of passion from seven men is wrapped up in that silver body.Explanation 
    • Do dress-up parts affect car performance?Explanation 
    • FExplanation 
    • THE FD IS OPExplanation 
    • No Skill GT-RExplanation 
    • Enjoy the ProcessExplanation 
      • Enjoy the ButtsexExplanation 
    • TrollboothsExplanation 
  • Memetic Troll:
    • JPP Sonoda, who will not stop blocking you and potentially cost you undefeated status in Story Mode, all while taunting you the whole way.
    • The traffic trucks, which always pop up in the worst places (such as during a sharp corner) and sometimes in dense groups. It's not uncommon to hear of players having their Story Mode streaks destroyed because of a truck in the last kilometer or so.
  • Narm Charm: Sonoda's repeated boasts of "I'm gonna block you!" He sounds less like an aggressive street racer and more like he's threatening to block you on Twitter or Facebook. That said, it doesn't stop him from being one of the more intimidating opponents in the game.
  • Never Live It Down: "CCR" Motoki will forever be remembered as that guy who screams "I'm coming!!" since MT6 was corrected with "Something's coming!!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Due to Early Installment Weirdness, Wangan Midnight R has some pretty unnerving tracks that will send chills down your spine, even by the franchise's standards:
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: With the arcade releases, not unlike the case for Initial D Arcade Stage. Every single arcade release so far has received more praises from it’s fans.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: You'd think that since WMMT has gotten very big in Western arcades that Wangan Midnight the anime and manga would get popular, much less licensed. It's been five games and there still is almost no fanbase for WM; Namco could remove the Wangan Midnight license for the next Maximum Tune game and no one would notice. Namco's new arcade racer Dead Heat (which uses the same game engine as MT3), as well as the US localization being called just Maximum Tune 5 (without the Wangan Midnight part), are thought to be indicators of this.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The randomized ramp selection system since 3DX. It is a Luck-Based Mission and some players used to manual ramp selection in 3 can't stand it because they can't help them select their desired starting ramps. Unlucky players can get wrong starting ramps because of this.
    • Maximum Tune 4's card transfer service let you transfer cards from Maximum Tune 3DX+. Two problems: It ended in October 2013, and North America never got MT4, skipping straight to Maximum Tune 5; American and Canadian players have to start all over again.
    • Having to play 60, 80, or 100 credits of Story Mode for a full tune is reviled by players of all experience levels. Newbies don't like it because it's a case of Earn Your Fun. Veterans don't like it because they have to repeat the entire process every time they make a new car, unless they use the "discard" system to get a car that has the first 20 stages completed, and even then it's still at least 40 credits of grinding to do.
    • A minor example for North American players of Maximum Tune 5: The North America super region only has one region available: United States, unlike the Japan version (which uses the prefectures of Japan) or the Asia version (which uses countries, of which multiple are listed). This makes all region-based indicators and features (such as the "Select by region" option in Ghost Battle mode) rather redundant. Also, even if you play in Canada, your region is still listed as "USA". However, this was fixed in the update and Canada is now featured in the region select.
    • Transferring to Maximum Tune 6? Hope you weren't too attached to your dress-up setup, because dress-up unlocks are reset completely. The only bright side to this is that some cars get to keep certain aero sets after the transfer.
  • Sequel Displacement: Ask a room full of Maximum Tune players if they've played Wangan Midnight R. You're lucky if anyone raises their hand.
  • Shocking Moments: The song "Love And Gold" from Maximum Tune 6. While the series has experimented with a few non-trance music genres (rock in "Highway Discipline" and "The Race Is On", house in "Drive Me Crazy"), nobody expected eurobeat or The '80s Synth-Pop to appear in Initial D Arcade Stage's prime competitor. To be honest, the live-action movie version of Wangan Midnight used actual Eurobeat before, but this one is unexpected.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The game starts you off with a stock vehicle that goes maybe 260 km/h tops and you need to complete the game's 60 or more stages of Story Mode just to make it into a full-tuned vehicle that's viable in competitive circles and Time Attack mode.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys:
    • If you grind for soundtracks, don't bring it up, or players will tell you to just listen to the soundtracks on your personal music player while playing instead. While they might be making a point regarding the Fake Longevity involved, there are players who do feel that the long grind is Worth It and prefer to have the music be part of the game, cues and all, rather than something on a separate device, yet some players try to tell them how they should enjoy the soundtracks.
    • NEVER force any blocking techniques (especially brake blocking) to random players. It WILL offend most of them.
    • Saying you dislike Hakone will result in insults towards your intelligence.
  • That One Boss:
  • That One Level:
    • New Belt Line Clockwise. It is the longest non-premium track in the series, taking about 4 1/2 minutes to complete with a full-tuned vehicle. Moreover, in order to get the best times, you have to run the course at a full-power setup, as there is a 5-kilometer stretch of the Wangan Line where you can easily find out your vehicle's top speed, but in doing so, much of the course becomes difficult to navigate, especially the C1 portion where you are more liable to slam into walls at the red S-turns, smash straight into the two dividersnote , and have a very bad time with the sharp right out of C1.
    • Hakone was such a huge shock when it was introduced in Maximum Tune 2 and still is today for many new players. It is the only course in the game where the yellow S-curve alert can actually refer to more than two corners in a row; these corner combos are often blind, forcing the player to memorize them by heart. Yeah, the game does reduce vehicle speeds for this particular course, but it's still tight enough that it's a turbulent roller coaster of misery for many low-level players. The game's drifty physics means that if you're used to Initial D Arcade Stage, you might attempt this course the same way you play IDAS, only to eat walls and rails for days. Many opinions of Hakone are either "best course because all of the other courses are so easy they're boring in comparison" or "a salt mine where I always lose by over 100 meters." Ironically, in Maximum Tune 3 and its expansions, the few chapters set on Hakone are the easiest because of the comically slow AI.
    • In WMMT 3, Wangan Westbound. For the majority of the course, it's a simple feat of keeping 345 km/h...until the very last part where you have to merge onto Daikoku, in what is likely a full-power setup. At least when you do Wangan Eastbound, those sharp turns are at the beginning.
    • In WMMT 3DX+ , the new Fukuoka Expressway can be considered such, due to its narrow layout, long straights, and numerous long winding corners, combining the best and worst features of Hakone, Osaka Hanshin, and Yokohane.
    • MT4's latest update introduces Yaesu, a detour course inside C1, which is narrow, has very sharp bends, and has tollbooths, all of which can catch unweary players off guard.
    • MT5DX has Hanshin Expressway Route 3, around Yamaguchi-gumi's home turf of Kobe. The roads are somewhat narrow, there's one yellow turn with a tollbooth at the end of it, and if you can't evade bumping the walls, you're in a dire need of a Yakuza driver. Some parts composed of city streets doesn't help. It's notable for having a player-recommended horsepower setting of 640, tying it with Hiroshima from 5DX+ for the lowest recommended HP of any course.
    • As far as Story Mode stages go:
      • Stage 58 in Maximum Tune 4 and later. The vast majority of the route takes place on Wangan Line...but the end of the course is less than a kilometer after a sharp turn to merge from Wangan Eastbound to New Belt Line Counterclockwise. (While Story Mode does show the route used for each stage, it's sometimes ambiguous where exactly the route ends.) Many players use 815 HP thinking that it won't be a problem, only to crash on the final turn and get passed by the Blackbird, making their attempt at a racing meter (awarded with clearing a round of Story Mode without losing any stages) go up in flames a mere three stages from earning it. For many players, this is a very hard lesson that a "balanced" tuning setup works just fine for all of Story Mode.
      • Stage 51, in spite of featuring "wannabe" racers, becomes this on subsequent loops. Due to the odd way Story Mode AI rubber-banding works, the two opponents move faster and you have less time to catch up to them. Unlike in other stages where you can commit several early screw-ups as long as you come around in the last 5 or so kilometers, more than one mistake on this stage anywhere basically means you've already lost, and you won't know this until they're at the 700 m mark and still hundreds of meters ahead of you. Maximum Tune 6 thankfully removed this and swapped it out with Stage 52 ("Drive Go Go"), regarded as one of the easier stages.
  • That One Sidequest: Clearing Story Mode without any losses is one of the most frustrating side goals of the game, as a single mistake near the end of any stage can destroy upwards of 60, 80, or even 100 credits' worth of efforts:
    • Maximum Tune 2 has perhaps the hardest Story Mode to clear without losing, and also one of the most significant rewards: an extra tuning point (giving you 32; completing Story Mode with any losses only rewards 31). Did you slip up and lose a stage? Well, your card is forever tarnished and you'll have to start a new one if you want that 815 HP! Perhaps because of how much this frustrated players, Namco introduced a "Ver. B" patch that allows the final tuning block to be alternatively unlocked by simply racking up 5000 kilometers on your file's odometer.
    • In Maximum Tune 3 and its Updated Rereleases, the reward for undefeated Story Mode is the Wangan Midnight R soundtrack. While the Story Mode AI is cakewalk compared to that of Maximum Tune 2, and you can retry on the next loop instead of having to get a new card, it's still frustrating to lose this reward if you make a mistake near the end of any stage.
    • In Maximum Tune 4 onwards, you unlock racing meters and there are four meters to collect, one per loop, meaning that to unlock all of the meters, you have to play Story Mode four times (240 stages). Per car. Even though you can have multiple cars tied to the same Banapass account. And that's if you don't lose any stage at all; losing pushes back all of the unlocks by one loop!note  Soundtracks are unlocked in a similar way, again one per loop, and while the condition to unlock each one is simply "complete Story mode" and you're allowed to lose stages, it's still a ton of grinding and spending money to do. Maximum Tune 6 made meter unlocks worse and better at the same time: You now have to play 100 stages, but on the slightly bright side you now only have to beat 100 stages in a row, even if the chain goes from one loop to the next.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: North American fans are not pleased that, due to Executive Meddling on Toyota's part, Gatchan's Celsior and his wife's Aristo had to be replaced with the Crown Athlete and Chaser Tourer V, respectively, for their version of Maximum Tune 5.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A view held by some fans of Initial D Arcade Stage. Can be exacerbated in WMMT4 now that the Sprinter Trueno is available as a playable car.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: While most agree that the game can be enjoyed and mastered with just about any car in the game, with tiers only really mattering at world-class play, there are some examples of cars that stand out as outliers:
    • Low Tiers:
      • All of the Joke Cars (Corolla, Hiace, R2, Pajero) are examples, but Hiace is considered the worst vehicle in the game to drive due to having nothing good to go with its "lol huge wagon van" factor. It's become something of a meme within the community that tuning a Hiace is a road to depression.
      • Outside of traffic cars, the Chevrolet Camaro SS RS falls under the low tier category. Despite its acceleration being on the good side, the Camaro SS RS' poor handling and large dimensions in terms of length and width make it a chore to drive, especially on more demanding courses such as C1, Yaesu, or Hakone.
    • High Tiers:
      • The RX-7 Type R, known more commonly as the FD3S or just the FD, is infamous in the Namco ESA-based games for being good at practically everything, to the point where making an FD will draw accusations of bandwagoning. It's become something of a meme to complain that "the FD is OP."
      • On a similar note, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX and Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 provoke a similar level of ire and bandwagoning accusations from the community for the same reasons as the FD, mainly due to how frequently players use them in VS battles, where they excel the most.
      • The Skyline GT-R R34 is a similar "all-arounder" car, coupled with heavy pushing weight and a wide body that makes it excellent for the game's Car Fu meta. As such, it's referred to memetically as the "No Skill GT-R".
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • In Maximum Tune 2, if all players in a VS match hold down the red button during course loading, additional players cannot join in on the race, preventing the problem of being joined at the very last second of a 4-minute race, causing the entire battle to start over. This was unfortunately not kept from Maximum Tune 3 onwards.
    • In Maximum Tune 3, when racing in a Tokyo sub-area or Hakone in VS, players can vote on the starting ramp. This was removed in 3DX onwards in favor of randomized ramp selection. This has caused a Broken Base as well.
    • In Maximum Tune 4, ghosts can be searched by unique IDs, avoiding the problem of searching for a car by name only to get multiple results due to multiple cars sharing the same name. This was scrapped for 5DX+, likely because few players acknowledge that ghost IDs even exist; in the North American community, almost nobody who wants others to race their ghosts will list their ghost IDs.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The some of the in-engine rendered cutscenes in WMMT4 and later's Story Mode, notably the Devil Z's big crash at the end of Chapter 10, which was finally animated.


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