I have played this game and you have not. Hail, GAME Z!
It's really too bad, because I know a lot of you folks would love TRAIN RAIDER. I think it's probably the coolest, most fun, and likely best train game I've ever played. It would be a great game for a company like Z-Man or Fantasy Flight to pick up- it's totally unique, innovative, and daring in a way that many games released today simply aren't.
As it stands, the game is practically unavailable since it was only released in Japan and when Boulder had it for about five minutes in like 2003 I believe it was only Branham and two or three others that snapped it up. If Branham didn't own it, I would probably have never gotten a chance to play it.
So I wrote about it at Gameshark.com in a craven attempt to drum up awareness and demand for the game. The thing is, it wouldn't be too hard to pull the Artscow thing off with it or to simply make your own print and play version. But I want to see this game get a commercial, professional release. It deserves it.
The problem is really that the game came out at a bad time- it released in Japan in 2000 so it was kind of ahead of the curve in terms of hitting that big surge of online interest in board games and it was probably way too thematic and AT to appeal to the anal train gamers or Eurogamers. And copies were so scarce in the US, that by the time it made it here it was almost impossibly obscure anyway. This game deserves a better fate, and we all deserve a chance to play it. It's that good.
Say, while you're there at Gameshark, you really ought to check out the E3 coverage that Abner put together...I think it's the best I've seen. Candid and very well-organized. I was able to see the stuff I cared about without a bunch of bizarre console fanboy loyalty or endless screenshots of games I care nothing about.