Densha de Go! Shinkansen: Sanyou Shinkansen-hen (loosely translated to "Go by Train! Shinkansen: Sanyou Shinkansen Edition") is an electric train driving simulation game developed and published by Taito for the PlayStation 2 in Japan on September 20, 2001.
A spin-off of the Densha de Go! series, Densha de Go! Shinkansen focuses on driving high-speed trains through the titular Japanese high-speed rail line San'yō Shinkansen, which flows through the western part of mainland Japan and connects the cities of Osaka and Fukuoka. It is the first in the series to allow players to drive a route in either direction.
Similar to the Tōhoku Shinkansen route of both Densha de Go! 2 and Densha de Go! Professional, Densha de Go! Shinkansen has players driving special trains that allow speeds up to 300 km/h, with an Automatic Train Control (ATC) system that not only augments the navigation display (replacing track-side signals and signs), but automatically decelerates the train if it's too fast at certain points. Some gameplay aspects of the main series were changed for this game, including its controls (which changes the throttle lever from 5-stage to 13-stage) and the penalty system (which no longer shows as a dedicated "timer" but as a color-coded "gauge" made up of five cartoon passengers).
While the game received limited support with previous dedicated controllers in the series, Taito also sold a dedicated controller for the game that accounts for the changes with the throttle and braking levers. This controller also features a special LCD display that correspond with the game's speedometer and ATC system.
The game was later ported to the PC by Unbalance on December 13, 2002, and received an updated port for the Wii on March 1, 2007 (as Densha de Go! Shinkansen EX: Sanyou Shinkansen-hen). Along with a new interface and some route and timetable changes, the Wii version features a new "Kids Mode" utilizing the Wii Remote's motion control. Taito also sold a dedicated controller for the Wii version.
The game includes two play modes for the ATC system: "Densha de Go! Mode" (where players are tasked with decelerating before upcoming speed changes, with ATC braking applied afterwards) and "Real Mode" (where ATC braking is automatically applied on upcoming speed changes).
Routes & Trains
The game includes five trains to choose from: 0-series, 100-series, 300-series, 500-series, and 700-7000 series. While players can freely choose the route and train in Free Run mode, the main Drive the Train mode has them choosing from five specific routes:
- Kodama (0-series, Beginner) - Westward from Kokura Station to Hakata Station
- Grand Hikari (100-series, Beginner) - Westward from Ogōri Station to Hakata Station
- Hikari (300-series, Beginner) - Eastward from Okayama Station to Shin-Ōsaka Station
- Nozomi (500-series, Beginner) - Eastward from Hakata Station to Okayama Station
- Hikari Rail Star (700-7000 series, Beginner) - Westward from Shin-Ōsaka Station to Hiroshima Station