The Fast and The Furious - that first wonderfully fun, wonderfully stupid film - carved out a niche for street racing entertainment. But despite some attempts, nothing substantial materialized for fans of the first film or its sequel on the gaming side. Finally, a game based loosely on Tokyo Drift has been released. However, instead of the roaring surprise hit of the original film, this The Fast and The Furious (TFATF ) comes off as an underpowered retread of Midnight Club III: DUB Edition.
When you start the game, you spend a few zippy, wonderful seconds in a top-end car loaned to you by another character. When you finish dusting someone - by screeching along at a hundred MPH through urban Japan's lowest traffic-density districts - your painfully hip guide demands his car back. Chuckling, he lets you know that with the prize money you can get a decent ride for yourself.
That'll take awhile, though. You start out with enough cash to get an okay car that you can't afford to customize, or a not-so-okay car that you can tune up a bit. Not every game has to start you up with a garage full of luxury cars, but the dink-mobile you start with strips that sense of dangerous, James Dean-style cool that TFATF is all about. Then again, it also serves as a major incentive to upgrade your whip using an admirably vast customization system.
Some features are interesting: in particular the "semi-automatic" transmission option, in which you upshift manually, and the drift gauge, designed to help you slide sideways with the best of them. And the races that have you charging up and down mountains aren't something you see every day. But every little perk has something like ugly backgrounds or an uncustomizable soundtrack to counter it.
Nothing will outrage you about TFATF, but the strongest features it offers are the robust customization and nice car models. There are better "underground" racers out there with comparable features (many of which can now be had for half this game's $40 price tag), and if you're a fan of the movies, the movies are what you should watch.