Cars aren't just about the cars. They're about the colourful characters that buy them, customise them, and drive them.
This is something that beautiful driving simulators sometimes seem to forget, but something that hellaflush doesn't.
Japan has its own version of hellaflush, called "tsura-ichi" (ツライチ), so the country's car enthusiasts took to last year's Hellaflush event at Fuji Speedway like ducks to water.
The music and culture element of hellaflush are solely missed in gaming. Sure, both Forza and Gran Turismo have thriving communities, filled with custom paintjobs and parts.
There are those who say hellaflush sucks, but the amount of crazy customisation is something that realistic car simulators cannot even become to touch. They're just scratching the surface.
Car games let us experience the thrill of driving a wide variety of cars and driving them fast — something that they've been focused on for years. In-game customisation is always about making your car better — levelling up. But sometimes, "better" might just mean "cooler". For those who want to trade drivability for expression, look elsewhere.
Some people, you know, are happy with a P.O.S. 1988 Mitsubishi Lancer with an amazing stereo and magnificent spoilers. Or, you know, something like this. Video games' inability to replicate this overlooked experience is somewhat depressing!
In the video here by iPhilms, the world of hellaflush in Japan is brought to life. Depressing, it's not.