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Daytona USA Review

Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega
Release Date: April 1, 1995 Also On: None

What separates Daytona USA from other racing games? Its length for one, but that’s actually one of the biggest detractors for this game. There are only three standard race tracks available. Compare that to racers on the N64, such as Mario Kart 64, which has 20 tracks, along with 4 multi-player multi-player arenas. To be honest, little effort was put into this game’s transition from arcade to Saturn, in terms of improving the game’s quality, length, or graphics engine.

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Aside from the very evident lack of race tracks to race on, there’s not much to do in terms of game modes. When it comes down to game modes, it even fails in this department, with three different modes, all of which play basically the same. The main thing that changes from mode to mode is the number of laps.

The two main modes are Saturn mode and Arcade mode. In Arcade mode you have a time limit to reach checkpoints. Saturn mode has no time limit. Both modes are playable on the three available tracks. You also have a choice of a couple vehicles, along with manual or automatic transmission.

The graphics for the time probably weren’t as bad as they are today. Compare these graphics to what the N64 generated just a year later and you’ll see why the Saturn failed, though, I must assure you that I don’t believe good graphics means good gameplay. The courses are different looking, which is a plus, but there’s no real crowd or sense of control. Hitting a wall will sometimes have no affect on your vehicle. It boggles my mind to see a car moving over 100 MPH and simply bounce off of a wall.

As far as replay value goes, good luck finding it. Unless you enjoy racing the same three levels over, I doubt you’ll be playing this for more than a couple hours, maximum. No two-player mode is available, so not even playing with friends is an option. I must say, that’s a complete bummer.

Daytona USA shows its age very clearly. Yesteryear racers are long gone, and after playing this, I have to say, thank God. By no means am I a basher of old-time racers. In fact, I’m a huge fan of F-Zero and the Super Mario Kart franchise. When it comes to vehicle and course selection, Daytona USA fails utterly.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 6.5
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 6.1
Written by Kyle Review Guide