Open-road racing, manga-inspired visuals, wage battles – it’s all there according to fresh translations and screenshots for Sega’s free-to-play Initial D Perfect Shift Online.
As previously reported, this new title is headed to the 3DS and will allow wannabe delivery drivers to experience the thrill of high speed mountain pass racing in the palm of their hands.
The latest entry in the Initial D game series features simple controls to highlight intense race battles, cars that run automatically during races, shifting instructions which appear at strategic points throughout the course and a "perfect shift" mechanic allowing players to achieve a brilliant driving technique.
In addition to this, players can expect to encounter the legendary Fujiwara Takumi, and also compete against Akagi, Akina, and various other Initial D characters in wage battles.
The 3DS could use more driving games, and Perfect Shift Online looks as if it will appeal to speed demons of all sorts — although it remains to be seen how the freemium mechanics, automatically driving cars and "simple" gameplay will impact long-term player interest.
At this stage we can only speculate until more is confirmed, but if Sega has decided to make the base game free-to-play, expect this new entry in the Initial D game line to have possibly drawn inspiration from other free-to-play racing titles such as Drift City, and EA’s Need for Speed World and Real Racing 3, despite how unique the series has been in the past.